Criminology is the study of criminal behaviour. You will explore key questions in relation to offending such as “what is crime?” “what makes someone commit a crime?” and “how effective are our current methods of punishment and rehabilitation?”. By studying Criminology, we hope you will become tolerant individuals with a keen interest in all things crime. You will also not only have a deep understanding of criminal behaviour but where society could be improved to improves outcomes for all.


The Criminology curriculum has been carefully sequenced to ensure that students build on prior knowledge at KS4 and frequently revisit new knowledge through their two years of study. During the first year of study you will understand what is meant by criminal behaviour and how it differs from deviance. You will also explore key criminological theories of criminal behaviour. You will also study different types of crime, why crime goes unreported and the impact this can have on individuals and wider society. You will also practise planning and designing campaigns relating to crime. In your second year of study you will understand the processes and people involved from crime scene to courtroom. You will able to use this knowledge to judge whether the outcome of a trial is fair and just. You will also apply your knowledge from across the course to consider the extent to which agencies of social control are effective in maintaining social order.

Why study Criminology?

Criminology is a fascinating subject that offers a unique delve into the world of criminal behaviour. If you enjoy watching, listening and reading about true crime then Criminology is the subject for you. You will regularly apply your learning in the classroom to real life case studies to examine how useful our theories are in explaining real world events.

What you will study?

During the course you will focus on different elements of criminality. Starting with what is crime and why does crime happen? Followed by, what are the processes and people involved in criminal investigations and how effective are different social institutions in maintaining social order?  Criminology is Level 3 Diploma, half of your qualification is assessed through external examination (one at the end of Year 12 and one at the end of Year 13), whilst the other half is assessed internally through controlled assessment coursework tasks. Please see below for a breakdown of the qualification:

Unit 1 – Changing Awareness of Crime

(Internally assessed unit : 25% of overall grade)

In Changing Awareness of Crime, learners develop an understanding of different types of crime, influences on perceptions of crime and why some crimes are unreported. Knowing about the wide range of different crimes and the reasons people have for not reporting such crimes provides an understanding of the complexity of behaviours and the social implications of such crimes and criminality.


Unit 2 – Criminological Theories

(Externally assessed unit : 75 marks : Short and extended answer questions : 25% of overall grade)

Unit 2 Exam – End of Year 12

Criminological Theories enables learners to gain an understanding of why people commit crime, drawing on what they have learned in Unit 1. Learners explore the difference between criminal behaviour and deviance and the theories behind why people commit crime.


Unit 3 – Crime Scene to Courtroom

(Internally assessed unit : 25% of overall grade)

Crime Scene to Courtroom provides learners with an understanding of the criminal justice system from the moment a crime has been identified to the verdict. They develop the understanding and skills needed to examine information in order to review the justice of verdicts in criminal cases.


Unit 4 – Crime and Punishment

(Externally assessed unit : 75 marks : Short and extended answer questions : 25% of overall grade)

Unit 4 Exam – End of Year 13

In Crime and Punishment, learners apply their understanding of the awareness of criminality, criminological theories and the process of bringing an accused to court in order to evaluate the effectiveness of social control to deliver criminal justice policy.

University degrees that require or often prefer Criminology include:

The study of Criminology at this level can lead to a range of further qualifications in forensic related fields including: Criminology, Psychology, Criminology and Policy, Professional Policing, Criminal Justice, Youth Justice and Forensic Psychology.


Possible careers:

Criminology can open the door to an array of career paths that require understanding of the criminal justice sector. These may include careers in the police force or in police support roles, the field of forensic psychology, social and probation work, or the prison


Entry requirements:

Minimum of a grade 5 in English.