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Crime and Justice in Britain

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:



London, England




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

Application Due:

January 25 for priority consideration; final applications due February 10

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 four-week summer course.

This first ten days of the class are taught online and 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.

The final two weeks of the class are based in London and include classroom as well as experiential learning through visits to key criminal justice and historical sites. These site visits vary by year, but typically include a visit to the London Criminal Courts (i.e, the Old Bailey) to observe court proceedings and trials, a local prison, a London police station, a Victorian era prison museum, the Tower of London, and other museums and historical 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.

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 ‘SOC:4900, Special 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 is a past Vice President of the American Society of Criminology, and has recently been named Fellow of the ASC. She teaches Criminology, Juvenile Delinquency, Criminal Punishment, Women, Crime and Justice, and Gender and Violence.

Cultural Activities

In order to acquaint students with life and culture in London, several events and excursions are included in the program fee. The specific excursions vary by year, but typically include events such as a Jack the Ripper tour, a London ghost tour, excursion to Oxford, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London, or afternoon tea at the British Museum. The final itinerary of excursions will be available in early spring 2016.

Other optional free or inexpensive events are also available to students using our resources in London, including lectures on topics such as local customs and contemporary issues, as well as sporting events, walking/bus tours, restaurants, and shows at London theaters.


The dates for the summer 2016 session will be June 20 - July 14.

From June 20 - June 29, the course will occur via the course ICON website, when we will lay the foundation for understanding and comparing the British and US criminal justice systems. From June 30 - July 14 the course will take place in London, and will include lectures, and excursions around the city.

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.

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 ten days of the program in Iowa City. Students must make their own arrangements for housing during this time.

While in London students will live in double occupancy apartments. 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:

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 in and around London, as well as group transportation from the ACCENT lodging to the 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 in Spring 2016.

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.

Eligibility requirements

The Crime and Justice program is open to students from any university in the US. It is open to students of all majors who fulfill the following requirements:

Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter.

Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. It is the policy of the UI Study Abroad office that all students who study abroad must be in both good academic standing and good disciplinary standing. Students who, even after being accepted into a program, are put on either academic and/or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad.

In these cases, students must forfeit their acceptance and will NOT be allowed to study abroad. Any student who must forfeit their acceptance and/or attendance on a study abroad program due to a probationary status is wholly responsible for any and all financial expenses incurred. See the ‘Withdrawal Policy’ below for more information about the related late withdrawal fees.

Approval of faculty director and Study Abroad advisor- Course faculty director(s) and the Study Abroad advisor will review all submitted applications. In order for a student to be accepted into the program, faculty directors and the advisor must approve the application and grant permission for the student to participate.

At least Sophomore standing preferred- Students who have at least sophomore standing are preferred. Students who have only completed one year of study must have at least a 2.5 GPA. First-year student applicants should also be prepared to provide at least two academic references when submitting their application materials.

Visa eligibility- Students must also be able to acquire a visa and legally enter the UK based on immigration requirements established by the British government. Currently, the UK’s immigration requirements include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can complicate the visa process. Please contact Cory Petersen at for more information.

No language requirement- Students do not need to have any foreign language background, as courses on this program are taught in English.

Additional notes on eligibility

Students from universities other than the University of Iowa may apply. Please note the additional fees for non-UI students listed in the ‘Costs’ heading below.

Enrollment in this program is limited to 23 students. If more than 23 students apply for this program, students will be added to a waitlist and offered acceptance on a space-available basis. Specific selection criteria will be made available by late-fall 2015. For more information, please contact Cory Petersen at or call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 for an appointment.

Application Deadline

The application deadline for priority consideration is January 25, 2016. Students will be accepted on a rolling, first come, first served basis until January 25, 2016. All eligible students who apply before that date will be considered after their Fall 2015 grades are available.

The final application deadline is February 10, 2016. Applicants will be considered on a space available basis until that date.

How to Apply

University of Iowa students

University of Iowa students should submit their application using the UI student Study Abroad online application system.

The online application form will be available October 30, 2015 - February 10, 2016.

In order to submit a complete application, you will also need to submit the following supplemental documents:
• Statement of Purpose: A 200-word essay outlining your academic and personal objectives for your time abroad.
• A copy of your Completed Grades report from ISIS. First-Year Graduate Students only: In addition to your Completed Grades from ISIS, please also upload a scan of your undergraduate transcript(s). An unofficial copy is acceptable.
• A scan of your passport, OR indicate that you are applying for a passport. If you already have a passport, please check the expiration date to be sure it is valid through July 17, 2016 (see explanation below under 'Next Steps').

Students from outside of the University of Iowa, and non-degree students

Non-UI and non-degree students will complete the PDFNon-UI Student Paper Application Form for Crime and Justice in Britain, attach supplemental materials (including the $50 application fee, official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended; a copy of the information page of your passport OR indicate that you have applied for a passport; and a 300-word essay outlining your academic and personal objectives for your time abroad), and submit complete applications to the Study Abroad office by mail using the address listed on the application form.

Next Steps

Once the application process is complete, your application materials will be reviewed by the program director Prof. 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.

The confirmation deadline is 5:00pm on Thursday, February 25, 2016.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 should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the U.S. from the UK, i.e., through December 2017. If your passport is not valid through December 2017 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 fee for the Summer 2014 program was $3,254. The program fee for the Summer 2016 session may be slightly higher. The 2014 program fee included tuition, the Study Abroad Administrative Fee, housing in the UK, orientation, cultural events, and program-related transportation.

The program fee for 2016 will not include housing in Iowa City (approximately $400+), the Study Abroad Administrative Fee ($544), airfare to and from the UK (approximately $1500 from Cedar Rapids), passport (~$135), food ($300+), Student Visitor Visa (~$180), 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).

Study Abroad Administrative Fees

University of Iowa study abroad administrative fees are required for all participants. They are based on tuition set by the Iowa Board of Regents. Please check the Costs of Study Abroad page for more information on these administrative fees.

Program cost sheet

A cost sheet for the Summer 2014 session of Crime and Justice program can be found below. An updated cost sheet for the Summer 2016 program will be available in mid-Spring 2016.

The cost sheet reflects 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. Actual spending amounts may vary from individual to individual. Your home campus may need this information for financial aid purposes. 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)

Financial Aid & Scholarships

University of Iowa students may be able to use financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) to cover some of the costs of this program. Take a look at the Financial Aid section of our website for information on applying your aid package to study abroad, including the Suggestions for Scholarship Applications, and contact with the Office of Student Financial Aid to find out what might be available to you.

Students from outside of the University of Iowa should contact their home school study abroad office for information on financial aid options.

Study Abroad Awards

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

1- Merit-based 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 UI-affiliated awards

4- Other University of Iowa awards

Awards from organizations outside of the University of Iowa

(Note that when searching for financial aid from organizations outside of the University of Iowa, it's always best to be safe. Be sure to take a look at these tips to avoid scams before you apply!)

5- External Awards

6- NAFSA’s U.S. Study Abroad Scholarships and Grants List

7- IIE Passport's Study Abroad Funding page

8- U.S. Department of Labor's scholarship page


10- Or try a Google search for 'study abroad scholarships'!

Finally, if you’re having trouble writing scholarship essays, you may want to contact the UI Writing Center for a helping hand!

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 Materials

Once you have been accepted to the program (after the application deadline) your study abroad advisor will send you the documents you need to confirm your plans to participate in the program.

Vaccinations and Health/Safety

We will address many issues related to health and safety during the orientation sessions, but until then our general advice is that before you go abroad it is best to check with your doctor about any health concerns you have. Take a look at the Centers for Disease Control web site for UK-specific health information and visit either your doctor or the Travel Clinic at UI Student Health & Wellness for any vaccinations you might need.

Safety, too, is vital to your study abroad experience. While the UK is generally a very safe place, unfortunately safety cannot be guaranteed anywhere. Take a look at the Health and Safety section of the Study Abroad website for some tips on staying safe abroad.

OCAS - UK: Information from the U.S. Department of State on safety and security abroad. Anyone can subscribe for the free OSAC newsletter to receive international safety news and updates via email.


If you do not have a passport, please apply for one soon to ensure you receive it before the program begins. Students who are U.S. citizens can find more information about how to apply for or renew a passport on the U.S. Department of State’s web site.

Important notice for students without a valid passport, or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

Those without valid passports should apply for a new passport or a passport renewal as early as possible.

Those with 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 studying abroad. If your passport is not valid through this time then you will need to renew your passport before applying the visa you will need to enter the UK.

Expedited processing service is available for U.S. passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.


Program participants are required to have a visa to enter the UK. Please contact your study abroad advisor for more information about acquiring the visa you need to enter the country.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

You can find more information about funding options by clicking on the 'Application' tab above and scrolling to the 'Financial Aid & Scholarships' section toward the bottom of the page.

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 (Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 5:00pm).


In-person orientation sessions will be scheduled late in the semester prior to the start of your program in the UK, usually in mid-November for the spring semester, and late-April for the Fall semester. Your study abroad advisor will be in touch with you about the specific dates shortly after you have been accepted into the program.


You will need to register for this course on ISIS prior to your departure for the UK. You will receive more information on the registration process from your Study Abroad advisor.


Study Abroad will be arranging a suggested group flight that the course instructor will be flying on. Students are strongly encouraged to to join that flight, but alternative arrangements can be made on a case-by-case basis. Information about the flight options will be available in mid-Spring 2016. 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.

Useful websites

UK’s official tourism page on Instagram

UI Study Abroad office

Secrets of the Tower of London, PBS video

How Sherlock Holmes Changed the World, PBS

Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London