Criminology Level 3 Applied Diploma

Departmental contact

Mrs Walkden – [email protected]

Examining board & Qualification


Entry requirements

Please see current prospectus for further information


My name is Lucy Eadon, I’m in year 13 studying criminology. Criminology isn’t a usual A level and it makes a nice change. The course is split into 4 different units and after each unit you sit an exam or controlled assessment. For the controlled assessment you are able to take your folder in, which takes away the stress of sitting an exam. The content of the course is interesting. You will learn about various types of crimes, why people commit crimes and different aspects which can influence people to commit crime. Year two consists of looking at crimes from scene to courtroom. It looks at how evidence is collected and used in court.

Criminology opens your eyes to what the criminal justice system is and the reality behind offending.


Are you the type of person who is intrigued by crime and criminal behaviour? Are you curious to know why some people commit criminal acts, whilst the rest of society follow the rule of law (or do they?). Are you fascinated by the inner-workings of our Criminal Justice system, and how you could have the power to change it? If so then Applied Criminology is the subject for you. Our aim is to enable students to develop their understanding of the Criminal Justice system an the skills needed to engage with the discipline of Criminology.

The popularity of this course is growing rapidly nationally and students are combining it with a wide range of A-level subjects. For example, it could be taken in combination with other Social Science subjects such as Sociology, Psychology, Politics, Economics, Business or it might be an attractive option for students focusing on 2 or 3 Science subjects such as Biology, Chemistry or Physics. It could equally fit nicely with Forensic Science or other BTEC options.


Criminology is the study of the reasons why individuals commit crime. By understanding why a person commits a crime, we can develop ways to control crime or rehabilitate the criminal. This course will enable you to use theories of criminality to analyse criminal situations and suggest ways of reducing crime. You will also develop the knowledge and skills to research policy in practice, assess campaigns for changes in awareness and examine information to review verdicts in criminal cases.



Unit 1 – Changing Awareness of Crime

You will explore how crime reporting affects the public perception of crime and criminals. You will then go on to study how campaigns are used to bring about change and plan a campaign of your own.

Unit 2 – Criminological Theories

You will discover and assess all the theories that have been put forward to explain why crime occurs.


Unit 3 – Crime Scene to Courtroom

You will gain an understanding of the process of criminal investigations. You will then go on to learn about the prosecution of suspects and be able to review criminal cases.

Unit 4 – Crime and Punishment

You will study every aspect of the criminal justice system and the types and purposes of punishment in England & Wales.

View the Criminology Curriculum Map


The course is divided into 4 units and therefore it is a modular structure. You will be assessed at the end of every unit. There are opportunities for assessment in January and June of each year.

Units 1 & 3 are internally assessed by your teachers in examination conditions on computers. Units 2 & 4 are examined through a 90-minute external written paper.

Units 1 & 2 lead to a Level 3 Certificate in Criminology, worth 50% of the final Level 3 Diploma.

Successful completion of the 4 units, over the 2 years, leads to the Level 3 Diploma, which is equivalent to an A level and carries the same UCAS points.


This course is ideal for anyone who wishes to pursue a career in Criminology. This course can provide a route into Higher Education to study at degree level in a variety of areas such as Criminology, Criminal Justice, Psychology and Forensic Science.

The course would also provide an excellent basis to anyone wishing to pursue a career within Social Work, Mental Health, the Police Force, Customs and Immigration, Prison Services, Court Services, Security Services, the NHS, Education and Youth and Community Services.


Visit to court rooms to see the criminal justice system in action, subject seminars hosted by the exam boards and we will be hearing from guest speakers from the police to the prison service in order to get first-hand experience of what criminology is.

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