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Luton Sixth Form

Criminology WJEC Level 3 Diploma

Why study Criminology?

If you are interested in analysing crimes, understanding what pushes people to the limit, want to understand more about the criminal justice system and how to gather crime scene evidence, then Criminology is the subject for you. Criminology will encourage you to develop critical thinking and see things from the perspective of an offender’s, victim’s or an official’s eyes. It’s for students interested in acquiring an in-depth understanding of the complexities of criminal, delinquent and
deviant behaviour, as well being able to explain society’s reaction.

Entry Requirements

In addition to our general entry requirements, you must have:

  • GCSE English – grade 4

No previous knowledge of Criminology is required.

The Course

Criminology explores a range of crimes from petty theft to sex trafficking. Students will analyse the victims and offenders of these crimes, whilst challenging public awareness. You will have the opportunity to investigate crimes scenes and methods of preserving it right through to sentencing in the courtroom.

Course Activities

Students will be involved in many research-based activities, analysing documentaries and holding classroom debates. Students will need to engage with academic writing and will need to develop evaluation skills.

We recommend that you devote 4.5 hours of private study time per week to this subject.

Career and Progression Opportunities

Criminology students often aim to develop careers working with offenders or victims, but may also be interested in teaching and legal work. This subject is recognised by universities. Possible careers may be:

  • Forensic psychologists
  • Criminal profilers
  • Jury consultants
  • Counsellors
  • Social workers
  • Prison psychologists
  • Law Enforcement, policing
  • Probation
  • Criminal, forensic and private investigations
  • Foreign service worker
  • Immigration officer

Course Structure and Assessment

This is a two-year course and is the equivalent of one A Level. There are four units, each one equally weighted at 25% of the total mark.

Unit 1: Changing Awareness of Crime Learners will plan campaigns for change relating to crime. Not all types of crime are alike. What different types take place in our society? What kinds of crime exist about which we know very little, or which are simply not reported to the police and the media? 

Many people learn about the fear and fascination of crime from the media, but is that a reliable source of information? To what extent are we misled by our tastes in programmes and newspapers about crime? Who decides what behaviours should be against the law?

Assessment: Internally assessed. 8 hours controlled assessment (100 marks)

Unit 2: Criminological Theories Students will apply their understanding of the public perceptions of crime and campaigns for change studied in Unit 1, with criminological theories, and to examine how both are used to set policy. 

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?

Assessment: Externally assessed, 90 minutes (75 marks).

Unit 3: Crime Scene to Courtroom Learners will develop the understanding and skills needed to examine information to review the justice of verdicts in criminal cases. What are the roles of personnel involved when a crime is detected? What investigative techniques are available to investigators to help to identify the culprit? What happens to a suspect once charged by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)? What safeguards are in place to ensure a suspect has a fair trial?

Assessment: Internally assessed. 8 hours controlled assessment (100 marks)

Unit 4: Crime and Punishment In this unit students will develop skills to evaluate the effectiveness of the process of social control in delivering policy in practice. What social institutions have we developed to ensure that people do obey laws? Why do most of us tend to obey the law even when to do so is against our own interests? What happens to those who violate our legal system? Why do we punish people?

Assessment: Externally assessed, 90 minutes (75 marks). 

Additional Information

Examination Board: WJEC


Case Study