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Criminology - Level 3 Applied Diploma


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Criminology is an exciting course with elements of Psychology, Sociology and Law. Throughout this course you will explore the reasons why people commit crimes and consider the psychological and sociological theories of crime. You will examine how crime is perceived in society including the impact of the media and crime statistics. By understanding why a person commits a crime, you can then analyse approaches to reduce crime rates or successfully rehabilitate criminals. The course provides you with opportunities to apply your knowledge and understanding to real life contexts related to the criminal justice system. It is recommended that you only study one of either Psychology or Sociology alongside this qualification.



Unit 1 – Changing awareness of crime – You will explore the wide range of different crimes including white collar crimes, moral crimes, state crime, individual crimes (e.g. domestic violence) and technological crimes. You will examine the reasons people have for not reporting such crimes and the consequences of these crimes going unreported. You will also look at how the media represents crime to be able to recognise where common representations of crime may be misleading and inaccurate. This unit will conclude with you developing the knowledge and practical skills to plan and create your own campaign for change.

Unit 2 – Criminological theories – You will gain an understanding of a range of sociological and psychological theories of crime and how these theories have been applied to helping create solutions to crime. You will also learn to support, challenge and evaluate expert opinion and be able to support your ideas with reliable and factual evidence.

Unit 3 – Crime scene to courtroom – You will gain an understanding of the criminal justice system from the moment a crime has been identified to the verdict. You will develop an understanding of the rules regarding the collection of evidence from a crime scene and the rules of the trial process. At the end of this unit you will have gained the skills to review criminal cases, evaluating the evidence in the cases to determine whether the verdict is safe and just.

Unit 4 – Crime and punishment – You will develop an understanding of the criminal justice system in England & Wales and how it operates to achieve social control. You will look at the roles of various organisations such as the Crown Prosecution Service, the police, prison and probation services and evaluate their effectiveness in controlling crime and protecting the public.


  • Units 1 and 3 are internally assessed by controlled assessments
  • Units 2 and 4 are externally assessed by exams



Criminology is an excellent preparation for anyone considering higher education at degree level in a wide range of related courses such as Law, Criminology, Social Policy, Criminal justice, Sociology or Psychology. There are also many career pathways involving the police, prison and probation services, criminal justice system, law and social policy.



Students who study Criminology must achieve 5 GCSE grades from 9 – 4 in more than five subjects (including English) at GCSE level.