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Criminology is becoming an increasingly popular subject for students who are interested in a career in criminology or the criminal justice system. The subject explores different types of crime, public perceptions of crime and explanations of crime including biological, psychological and sociological theories. As part of the course students will also learn about investigating crimes, the trial process and how laws are created. The level 3 Applied Diploma is equivalent in size to one A level and would be studied alongside two other A Levels (not applied diplomas)

Subject content

Year 1

  • Types of crime, public perceptions of crime, reasons for unreported crime
  • Media representations of crime and their impact on public perceptions
  • Collecting and evaluating statistics about crime
  • Crime campaigns
  • Explanations of criminal behaviour (including biological, psychological and sociological)

Year 2

  • Investigating crime scenes (including how to process forensic evidence)
  • Trial process
  • Law making
  • Forms of punishment

Criminology course specifications

Learning methods

You will learn through a variety of methods including lectures, group activities, independent research and discussion.


You will be assessed via controlled assessment and examination. In both years of the course, there will be an eight-hour controlled assessment (split over two days) and a 90-minute examination.

Progression opportunities

Progression opportunities could include going on to study a degree in Criminology, Sociology, Psychology or Law. Career opportunities could include a career in the criminal justice system such as; police officer, detective, prison officer, probation officer or social/youth worker.

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