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Criminology (Applied Diploma)

Criminology is becoming an increasingly popular subject for students who are interested in a career in 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. It is an Applied Diploma course which is the equivalent to one A Level and would be studied alongside two other A Levels.

Subject content

In the first year of this course, you will study types of crime, the public perceptions of crime and reasons for unreported crime. You’ll also focus on media representation of crime and its impact on public perceptions, collecting and evaluating statistics about crime, crime campaigns and explanations of criminal behaviour (including biological, psychological and sociological explanations).

The units you will cover in the second year are: investigating crime scenes (including how to process forensic evidence), trial process, law making and forms of punishment.

This course is an award of WJEC. Read the 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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