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Creative and Media Studio School


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Criminology is the interdisciplinary study of crime as both an individual and social phenomenon, with research on the origins and forms of crime, its causes and consequences, and social and governmental reactions to it.

Why study Criminology?

If you have ever asked yourself questions such as; What are the different types of crime? Why do some people commit crime, while others do not? Why does some crime go unreported? How are communities affected by crime? How can we prevent crime? These are just some of the questions that Criminology attempts to answer. Through studying Criminology you will be challenged to become a critical thinker who can analyse and evaluate a variety of Sociological, Psychological and Biological explanations of crime while applying this knowledge and understanding to different aspects of criminality and the criminal justice system.

Which syllabus do we follow?

WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma in Criminology (1 A-Level Equivalent graded A – E)

What is the course about?

Unit 1 Changing Awareness of Crime

In this unit you will explore how crime reporting affects society’s perception of crime and the role that the media play in this. By researching existing campaigns you will develop an understanding of how these are used to illicit change At the end of this unit, you will have gained skills to differentiate between myth and reality when it comes to crime and to recognise that common representations may be misleading and inaccurate. You will have gained the skills to understand the importance of changing public perceptions of crime. You will have gained the skills to plan a campaign for change in relation to a crime of your choice that affects your community.

Unit 2 Criminological Theories

Criminologists have produced theoretical explanations of why people commit crime, but which is the most useful? Are these theories relevant to all types of crime? What can we learn from the strengths and weaknesses of each? How can these theories be applied to real life scenarios and real life crimes? Knowing about the different types of crime and the criminological approaches to theory will give you a sharper insight into the kind of thinking used by experts and politicians to explain crime and criminality. You will have gained the skills to evaluate some criminological theories and know there are debates within the different theories.

Unit 3: Crime Scene to Courtroom

The criminal trial process involves many different people and agencies. Learning about the roles of these will give you a clearer insight into what happens once a crime is detected and the process that leads to either a guilty or non-guilty verdict. There are strict rules as to how evidence is collected from a crime scene and also strict rules governing the giving of evidence in court; learning about these rules will allow you to review the trial process and assess whether the aims of the criminal justice system have been met. You may be familiar with the role of the jury in the Crown Court, but you may not be aware of the many different factors that influence jury decision-making. By undertaking this unit, you will be able to evaluate the criminal trial process from crime scene to courtroom.

Unit 4: Crime and Punishment 

Most people in our society are law-abiding and unwilling to break laws. Law-breaking is frequently of the petty variety, so serious crime and repeat offending is often restricted to a few people who cannot or will not abide by the rules that most of us consider to be so important. Society has had to develop a complex system of mechanisms, processes and organisations to ensure that people do not break the law. If they do commit crime, society needs to be protected from their behaviour. These social institutions each have different mechanisms, ideologies and policies. You will learn something of their variety, how they work and their effectiveness in preventing and protecting us from criminality. Through this unit, 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.


Unit 1 & 3: Internally assessed through the completion of a controlled assessment which is externally moderated. 
Unit 2 & 4: externally assessed through an electronic 1 Hour 30 minutes exam worth 75 marks which take place in June of each year.

Future opportunities

Studying the applied course is the perfect preparation to continue your studies at University on a range of courses including other Social Sciences, Journalism, Humanities, Law or Social Work. Likewise combine your creativity and interest in the criminal justice system and explore possibilities of becoming a police sketch artist, crime scene photographer or Journalist.

Specific Entry Requirements

Students applying for Criminology should achieve at the very least a Level 6 in English Language and a Humanities subject as well as at least a level 4 in Maths and 2 other GCSE subjects. Students invited for interview will be asked to prepare a piece of written work set by the CMSS. This work will be assessed by the subject specialist as part of the interview process and will contribute to the decision of an offer being made.

Would You Like To Find Out More?

Maybe you have a question about the different range of units you can study? Or maybe you want a bit more info on the resources? Whatever your question, the Tutors are more than happy to answer any that you have. Get in touch and we’ll get back to you with all the answers.

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