What is the course about?
Criminology is the scientific study of criminal behaviour, on individual, social and natural levels, and how it can be managed, controlled and prevented. In particular, the course explores what crime is, how it is socially constructed, who commits crimes and the criminal justice process, once a crime has been committed.  

Duration of course –
WJEC Level 3 Certificate in Criminology (1 year)
WJEC Level 3 Diploma in Criminology (2 years)

Exam board – WJEC Educas

What topics will be studied?
Unit 1
is titled ‘Changing awareness of Crimes’. This unit explores the different types of crimes that take place in society, why they go unreported and what the consequences are of this. You will also look into how the media represents different types of crime and what the significances are of this, principally on the public’s perception of crime. You will be introduced to campaigns for change that have, or are aiming to change laws around a specific crime. You’ll even get to design your own campaign for change!

Unit 2 is titled ‘Criminological Theories’. Once you have built a foundation of knowledge from unit 1 on the types of crimes that take place in society, you will start to look into the people who commit these crimes in unit 2. You will be introduced to several theories that aim to explain why criminals are criminals. This unit will also explore how these theories and campaigns for change influence policy making.

Unit 3 is titled ‘Crime Scene to Courtroom’. You will learn what happens from the time a crime has taken place, to when it is taken to the court. As well as being introduced to the personnel involved in a criminal investigation, you will cover a range of investigative techniques used in criminal investigations, learn how evidence is processed, how decisions are made about sentencing and how to examine information for validity.

Unit 4 is titled ‘Crime and Punishment’. You will learn about the criminal justice system in England and Wales and how it operates to achieve social control. You will have gained an understanding of the organisations which are part of our system of social control and their effectiveness in achieving their objectives. As such, you will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the process of social control in delivering policy in different contexts.

What can I do to prepare myself to study this subject?
To prepare to study Criminology, you should keep up-to-date with the news by accessing a variety of different sources. In particular you should note what crimes are being represented most in the news and how the news portrays these crimes. 

Where can this lead me?
This Applied Diploma in Criminology supports access to higher education degrees courses, such as:
• BSc Criminology
• BA Criminology and Criminal Justice
• BSc (Hons) Criminology and Psychology
• LLB (Hons) Law with Criminology
• BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology
• BSc Criminology with Law


What are the enrichment opportunities as part of this subject?
Year 1 –
Annual Criminology Conference
Year 2 – Trip to a Magistrates or Crown Court

Entry Requirements

5 A*-C including English Language (4/5)

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