Return to the search form Return to your search results

Crime and Justice in Britain

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:



London, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland




Freshman: 2.50 GPA and good academic and disciplinary standing. All others: Good academic and disciplinary standing.

Application Due:

February 14

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

What better way to gain insight into American criminal justice than to study its British roots? And, what better way to make this study “come alive” than to visit important crime and justice sites in Great Britain? Crime and Justice in Britain is a three-week summer course, with the first week of classes held on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City.

This first week of the program (May 19 - 23, 2014) will introduce students to crime and criminal justice in Britain, drawing comparisons and highlighting features that are important to understanding crime and justice in the United States.

During the second two weeks of the program (May 27 - June 9, 2014) students will travel to London and then Edinburgh. This portion of the program will include classroom as well as experiential learning through visits to key sites.

Some of the sites visited will include: Scotland Yard and the Crime Museum, British Home Office, Pentonville Prison, London’s City Police Museum, the Tower of London’s exhibit on medieval punishments, Edinburgh Castle’s prison exhibits, and other sites. This course offers a unique opportunity to visit sites that aid students’ understanding of British justice and prison systems, as well as contemporary patterns of crime and justice in Great Britain.

Students can return to the US or travel independently after the program ends on June 9, 2014.

Academic Program

Crime and Justice in Britain is taught by University of Iowa Professor Karen Heimer. Credit earned on this program will transfer to course number ‘034:190, Topics in Sociology’ and can be used as follows: 1) as elective credit for any major, 2) to fulfill credit requirements the Criminology Track in the Sociology Major, and 3) to fulfill credit requirements for the Sociology Major, more generally. This course provides 3 s.h. of University of Iowa resident credit.

Professor Karen Heimer has been teaching at the University of Iowa since 1991, and has won the Collegiate Teaching Award and the university-wide President and Provost’s Teaching Award. Her teaching and research focus on crime, criminal justice, and violent victimization. She has served on national committees on crime and justice for the National Academies of Sciences, Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Centers for Disease Control. Heimer currently is the Vice President of the American Society of Criminology. She teaches Criminology, Juvenile Delinquency, Criminal Punishment, Women, Crime and Justice, and Gender and Violence.

Cultural Activities

To acquaint students with cultural life in London, there will be a series of optional free or inexpensive activities, including lectures on topics such as local customs, contemporary issues, sports events, walking tours, and restaurants and eating establishments. The program fee includes a “Jack the Ripper” walking tour of London and a half-day guided tour of Edinburgh. There will also be optional opportunities to accompany the professor to additional sites and events of cultural interest, beyond those that re formally part of the course, should students choose to do so.


The class will meet daily for one week on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City, from May 19-23, 2014. (Accommodations for distance learning during the first week of class are possible.) This will be followed by two weeks of class and site visits in London and Edinburgh. Students will depart for London on Monday, May 26 (arriving on May 27), travel to Edinburgh on June 6, and return to the US from Edinburgh on June 9.

For More Information

Students are invited to meet with a study abroad advisor to discuss their plans further. Schedule an appointment at the Study Abroad reception desk (1111 UCC) or by phone 319-335-0353. Students may also email Cory Petersen ( or Professor Heimer (

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is a highly-developed country with an advanced economy. Four countries comprise the UK -- England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Excellent rail and bus systems make getting around the UK easy. From the excitement of its larger cities (London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Glasgow) to the charm of its hamlets steeped in history and tradition, the UK has something to offer everyone. There are endless places to visit and activities for day trips. There are also many historical and contemporary sites of interest to students of crime and justice, as we trace the roots of our criminal justice system to Great Britain.


The greater London area is home to approximately 7.5 million people. It is over 70 miles across and over 300 languages are spoken there (including English!). Founded by Romans, populated continuously since Anglo-Saxon times, and the capital of England from the Middle Ages on, London is home to the British Museum, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the Tower Bridge, and countless but fascinating churches, museums, buildings, and public spaces. London also is the site of one of the world’s most vibrant live theater communities, and there are many central theaters offering musicals and classic plays, as well as many theaters offering experimental productions. In addition to offering you the opportunity to explore these parts of London, the course will include site visits to the London Metropolitan Police Museum, Scotland Yard, the Tower of London, and many other sites.


Arthurs Seat from Edinbugh castle

Arthurs Seat from Edinbugh castle

Striking medieval and Georgian districts, overlooked by the Edinburgh Castle and Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano, Edinburgh is a handsome European capitol city famous for the arts, its architecture, and fine museums. Edinburgh has a population of 480,000. The economy is largely based on the service sector – centered on banking, financial services, higher education, and tourism. Edinburgh is home to one of the premier universities in Britain, the University of Edinburgh, which houses important studies of crime and justice. It also is home to Edinburgh Castle, which houses an excellent example of an 18th century prison of war.

Pipers at Holyrood Castle

Pipers at Holyrood Castle

ACCENT International

This program partners with ACCENT International, a US-based non-profit study abroad provider with offices in London. Classes take place at the new ACCENT Center, located in the heart of the Bloomsbury area of London, near the University of London. It is near the British Museum, which is one of the greatest museums in the world. It also a few minutes’ walk from the shopping and dining districts of Covent Garden and Soho. ACCENT will provide a comprehensive on-site orientation focusing on culture, your academic program, and practical information about living in Londno and Britain. Students are then invited to use the ACCENT Study Center in their city as a home base – visiting throughout their program to use the internet or library, check the cultural events calendar, or ask questions about anything at all. Please take a look at ACCENT's website for information about the facilities and services they provide:

Living Arrangements

Housing is NOT provided during the first week of the program in Iowa City (May 19 - 23). Students must make their own arrangements for housing during this time.

While in London (May 27-June 6), students will live in dual occupancy apartments and will be provided hotel accommodations in Edinburgh (June 6-9). The housing is provided through ACCENT and is near to the ACCENT London Study Center. You can find more information about the accommodations from ACCENT's website here:

In London, program participants will have the option of preparing their own meals using the cooking facilities in the apartments, eating at the University of London cafeteria, or choosing from the wonderful variety of restaurants for which London is famous.

Travel Arrangements

The program fee includes group transportation from Heathrow airport to London for students who arrive at Heathrow on the same date and time as the group flight. The program fee also includes transportation to excursion sites within London and travel by train from London to Edinburgh, as well as group transportation from the hotel to the Edinburgh airport for the return flight for students returning immediately after the end of the program. Students will be given coaching and instruction on making travel arrangements during orientation this spring.

Local Transportation

London is famous for “the Tube” (its subway system), which efficiently moves people through the city center and into the suburbs. The famous, red double-decker buses complete the matrix with their surface routes. And there is always the iconic black London taxi for those out late after regular public transportation closes. A pass good for zones 1 & 2 of the Tube is included in the program fee.


The Crime and Justice in Britain program is open to students from any university in the US. To be eligible to apply students must have completed the first year of study, and be in good academic and disciplinary standing. Students who have only completed one year of classes must have at least a 2.5 GPA.

How to Apply

We are no longer accepting applications for the summer 2014 session of this program

Application Deadline

The program application deadline is February 14, 2014.

Next Steps

Once the application process is complete, your application materials will be reviewed by the program director Karen Heimer. You will receive official notification of your acceptance status shortly after the final application deadline, and will also receive information about how to confirm your place in the course.

Please note that by submitting the confirmation materials, you are indicating that you accept full responsibility for any withdrawal penalty fees that may be assessed to your U-Bill if you later decide to withdraw from the program for any reason. These fees are described below, and will also be sent to you as part of your confirmation materials.

Details about flights, orientation materials, and more will follow soon after your confirmation in mid-March.


You must have a passport in order to enter the UK and take part in this program. Students whose passports are currently valid passports should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the U.S. from the UKd, i.e., through December 2014. If your passport is not valid through December 2014 you will need to renew your passport before traveling to the UK.

Expedited passport processing service is available (although this still takes several weeks and is expensive). Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.


The fees for the summer 2014 program total $3,254. This includes tuition, housing in the UK, orientation, cultural events, program-related transportation, and an excursion to Edinburgh. This also includes the mandatory study abroad administrative fees described on our 'Costs of Study Abroad' page here.

The program fee does not include housing in Iowa City (approximately $400+), airfare to and from the UK (approximately $1500 from Cedar Rapids), passport (~$135), food ($300+), or personal expenses ($300+). Additionally, there is also a non-refundable application fee ($50) and a mandatory fee for Iowa Regents CISI Insurance healthcare coverage (approx. $20) charged to participants' U-Bills (You can find more information about the CISI insurance here).

Program cost sheet

A cost sheet for the Crime and Justice program can be found below.

The cost sheet captures the best possible estimate for all costs a participant on this program will be responsible for, including fees paid to UI as well as out-of-pocket costs and personal expenses, although actual spending amounts may vary. This information will be provided to the Office of Student Financial Aid to help determine your eligibility for aid for this program.

PDFCrime and Justice in Britain- 2014

Withdrawal policy

Notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to UI Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount shown in the following chart represents the fees you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa:

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
Within the first nine days after the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: 100% ($544)
Portion of program fee: $500
10-19 days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: 100% ($544)
Portion of program fee: 50% ($1,355)
20-44 days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: 100% ($544)
Portion of program fee: 75% ($2,032.5)
45 or more days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: 100% ($544)
Portion of program fee: 100% ($2,710)


Students may be able to use financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) to cover some of the costs of the Crime and Justice in Britain program. Take a look at the Financial Aid section of our website for information on applying your aid package to study abroad, and speak with the Office of Student Financial Aid office to see what might be available to you.

The Study Abroad office offers several scholarships and grants for summer session programs. The awards listed below are available to University of Iowa students studying on this program:

1- Merit-based Short-Term study abroad scholarship (requires a 3.33 GPA or higher)

2- Need-based study abroad grant (for students who are eligible for financial aid, based on available FAFSA information)

3- Diversity Ambassador scholarship (see web site for details)

Other awards

4- Other University of Iowa awards

5- External Awards

6- Or a Google search for 'study abroad scholarships'!

If you have any questions about funding for this program, please contact Cory Petersen at or call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 for an appointment.

Acceptance and Confirmation Instructions

Please SUBMIT the following items to Study Abroad by Friday, March 7, 2014:

PDF1- Confirmation of Participation/Withdrawal Form and Withdrawal Policy

- This document includes the program fee, estimated cost of the program, along with the financial penalties that would be incurred if you were to withdraw from the program after March 7th,2014. Please read the withdrawal schedule carefully before completing the Confirmation of Participation form.

PDF2- Medical Self-Assessment form

3- Copy of the photo/information page of your passport (if you haven’t done so already)

Submit these documents to the Study Abroad office at the following address:

Study Abroad 1111 University Capitol Centre
The University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA, 52242-5500

Please READ the following items:

CISI International Medical Insurance information

UI Financial Aid procedures (paying particular attention to the 'Summer Programs' section toward the middle of the page)

PDFPayment and Withdrawal Policy


If you are a U.S. citizen and do not already have a valid U.S. passport, you need to apply for one immediately. In Iowa City, passports can be applied for at the main U.S. Post Office at 400 S. Clinton St. You can download a passport application from the Dept. of State web site at or fill out the application at the passport office.

Passports currently cost $135 and are valid for 10 years from the date of issuance. You will also need two passport photos, a notarized copy of your birth certificate and a picture I.D. or an old passport in order to apply. If you already have a passport, be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid at least six months beyond your proposed return date (in this case, until at least mid-December or mid-January).


Study Abroad will be arranging a suggested group flight that the course instructor will be flying on. Students are free to join that flight or make their own plans. We will send information about the flights in the coming weeks. DO NOT purchase plane tickets until receiving further instructions from Study Abroad. You will be given details about arrival and flights in enough time to still allow you plenty of time to arrange your travel plans.


Students may be able to use financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) to cover some of the costs of the Crime and Justice in Britain program. Take a look at the Financial Aid section of our website for information on applying your aid package to study abroad, and speak with the Office of Student Financial Aid to see what might be available to you.

Meetings/Information Sessions

Your instructor will be in contact soon with information about informational meetings, which will cover many other program logistics, so stay tuned!

Useful websites

UI Study Abroad office

Secrets of the Tower of London, PBS video:

How Sherlock Holmes Changed the World, PBS:

Underground Edinburgh:

Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London: