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Criminology is the study of crime, criminality and how it relates to social inequality, victimhood and different sections of society: the media, prisons and the courts.

Lessons will be varied as per any A Level subject. You will be required to undertake independent research during lesson time and to present your findings to the class. PowerPoints, videos and case studies will often form the basis of stimulus material to illustrate key concepts. There will be a lot of reading and note-taking as well as class discussion.

The course could be studied alongside other Level 3 qualifications. However, as there is overlap between the material covered in Criminology and the material covered in Sociology, Psychology and Law, it is advised that a maximum of one of these three subjects is studied alongside.

What units will I study?

  • Unit 1 – Changing Awareness of Crime: You will develop an understanding of different types of crime, influences on perceptions of crime and why some crimes go unreported.
  • Unit 2 – Criminological Theories: You will gain an understanding of theories behind why people commit crime and also the difference between criminal behaviour and deviance.
  • Unit 3 – Crime Scene to Courtroom: You will gain an understanding of the criminal justice system from the moment a crime has been identified through to the verdict.
  • Unit 4 – Crime and Punishment: You will examine the effectiveness of social control to deliver criminal justice policy.

Course Essentials

Courses Available
Single Level 3 Diploma (equivalent to 1 A Level)
Entry Requirements
How The Course is Assessed

There is no coursework: this course is 100% exam.

Units 1 and 3 will be assessed through computer-based exams lasting 8 hours in total for each unit. Units 2 and 4 will be assessed through written examinations lasting 1½ hours for each unit. The controlled assessment and external exam marks are added together to give you your overall grade, eg. A- U.
Career Pathways
The Level 3 Diploma in Criminology would benefit students looking to go straight into work when they leave College. It could lead to work with employers such as the National Probation Service, the Courts and Tribunals Service, or the National Offender Management Service. For students wanting to progress into higher education, it is equivalent to an A level in terms of UCAS points.
Transferable Skills
  • the ability to learn independently
  • the ability to research actively and methodically
  • the ability to give presentations and be active group members
  • students can also benefit from opportunities for deep learning where they are able to make connections among units and select areas of interest for detailed study
  • the course provides a vocational context in which students can develop the knowledge and skills required for degree courses
How does the qualification provide employability skills?

Employability skills are in the following three main categories:

  • cognitive and problem-solving skills: using critical thinking, approaching non-routine problems applying expert and creative solutions, using systems and technology
  • interpersonal skills: communicating, working collaboratively, negotiating and influencing, self-presentation
  • intrapersonal skills: self-management, adaptability and resilience, self-monitoring and development
Enquiries To
Jasbinder Badesha: jb@varndean.ac.uk