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Criminology is the study of crime from a social perspective:  it looks at the causes and impact of crime and the criminals involved in the crime. Criminologists want to understand why criminals commit crime as well as finding out why people react in certain ways to crimes. This subject is offered as both an Enrichment option or as a full Key Stage Five option.  

This course is accepted by universities and students will gain UCAS points that can be used to gain entry to university courses.

Level 3 Applied Certificate in Criminology (Enrichment Option)

Students studying Criminology for Enrichment will have two lessons a week dedicated to this.

For students who successfully complete this course they will achieve the following qualification - Level 3 Applied Certificate in Criminology. This is equivalent to an AS Level qualification.

There are two units of study:

Unit 1: ‘Changing Awareness of Crime’ - this unit focuses on reasons why certain crimes are underreported in society as well as looking at reasons why crimes differ in each society. Students will also evaluate the impact that the media has on our opinions of crime.

Unit 2: ‘Criminological Theories’ – this unit focuses on what causes people to commit crimes. Students will look at reasons why people commit crime by considering key questions such as: are people born criminal? Do we learn criminal behaviour from others? Students will also look at ways in which crimes can be prevented and whether these strategies are successful or not.

What will I study if I choose to study this as a full Key Stage Five option (Level Three Applied Diploma in Criminology)?

This is equivalent to an A Level qualification.

As well as studying the above two units you will also study:

  • Unit 3 – Crime Scene to Court Room (controlled assessment) – this unit aims to answer questions such as - How is crime investigated? What can influence the outcomes of criminal cases? Who works in criminal investigations? How is evidence used in criminal cases?
  • Unit 4 – Crime and Punishment (examined unit) - How are criminals punished? What are the aims of punishment? How are we controlled in society? Does prison work?

How will I be assessed?

Enrichment option - one 90 minute exam (Unit 2) that you will sit at the end of Year 12 and 1 controlled assessment unit (Unit 1) that you will sit at the end of Y13. Each unit is worth 50% of the final grade.

Full Key Stage 5 option - two 90 minute exams (unit 2 will be completed in Y12 and unit 4 in Y13) and two controlled assessment units (unit 1 will be assessed in Y12 and unit 3 in Y13). Each unit is worth 25% of the final grade.


The Criminology department is part of the Religion and Social Science faculty. The department has a wealth of resources as well as a dedicated team of enthusiastic and experienced teaching staff. The faculty has 9 dedicated classrooms, three of which are computer rooms.