Criminology

Criminology takes a social sciences approach to the study of crime as an individual and social phenomenon; this includes the incidence and forms of crime, as well as its causes and consequences. This course is designed to support learners to access Higher Education courses and careers in the criminal justice sector, social and probation work, plus sociology and psychology fields. The course contains a large vocational element which focuses on the application of knowledge to authentic case studies.

Awarding Body

Available As

Dip

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What will I study?

During the Criminology course you will study a variety of topics related to the causes and consequences of crime.  We look at a variety of types of crimes, the influence of the media, and how famous cases have led to changes in the law.  We look at the process of a case from when a crime is committed through to conviction and sentencing - including police investigations, trial processes and ensuring the correct verdict is delivered.  Finally we will look at options for punishment and rehabilitation of offenders and discuss different options, including for example, looking at prisons across the world.

Options

The Diploma runs over two years and all units are compulsory. Each unit must be passed individually in order to achieve the qualification.

How will I learn?

During the course you will engage in a variety of activities; the course has been designed to include a vocational element so there are practical tasks throughout the course.  You will learn through a mix of individual and group work; written tasks; presentations; research and interactive lessons.  A key element of this course is the application of knowledge to real case studies so you will research a wide range of cases across the topics.

How will I be assessed?

Diploma in Criminology

Each unit is worth 25% of the Diploma.  Each unit is graded A-E.  To achieve an A* you need to achieve a Grade A in the overall qualification and at least 90% of the total marks for units 3 and 4.

Unit 1: Changing Awareness of Crime
This unit is assessed by a controlled assessment at the end of the unit. Students have a set amount of time to complete the tasks; this will be timetabled during college time.  

Unit 2: Criminological Theories
This unit is assessed through an external exam in the summer.  The exam is 90 minutes long and has a total of 75 marks.  There will be a mix of short and long answer questions that test your knowledge and how this can be applied to a range of scenarios.

Unit 3: Crime Scene to Courtroom

This unit is assessed by a controlled assessment at the end of the unit. Students have a set amount of time to complete the tasks; this will be timetabled during college time. 

Unit 4: Crime & Punishment

This unit is assessed through an external exam in the summer.  The exam is 90 minutes long and has a total of 75 marks.  There will be a mix of short and long answer questions that test your knowledge and how this can be applied to a range of scenarios.

Are there any trips on this course?

Students have recently attended trips that include the following:

- Former prisons, e.g. Gloucester
- The Clink Restaurant
- Bristol Crown Court
- University taster days

A range of trips and conferences that focus on areas such careers, mental health and offending, rehabilitation and the causes of crime are currently being explored to potentially offer in the future.

Are there any extra costs?

Students are required to use booklets for the course, and these can either be purchased (approximtely £4) or electronic copies can be downloaded from Moodle.  There is no need to purchase any textbooks or other course materials.  There is a charge for each trip, although this is kept to a minimum where possible.

Are there any specific entry requirements?

Standard college entry requirements apply.

What enrichment activities are offered?

In addition to the trips that we currently offer, we also hold conferences and guest speakers at the college, and this year it has included: 

- Life Behind Bars: reformed offenders discuss their crimes, their experiences of prison life and the psychological effects of labelling.  
- Restorative Justice conference: academics, senior police officers and both victims and offenders who have taken part in restorative justice outline their experiences. 
- Hollie Gazzard Trust: Nick Gazzard has talked to the students about Hollie and the charity he is now running in her name.

What work experience opportunities are there?

Students are encouraged to seek out a wide range of work experience options throughout the criminal justice sector.  This could vary from shadowing solicitors, attending a local police Ride Along scheme to working with charities that support both victims and offenders outside prison.  Once students have identified a particular area of interest they will be supported to find relevant work experience.

Careers Information

FAQs

How can I keep up to date with relevant cases?

You will be expected to regularly read the newspapers and watch current affairs programmes on television.  We will often discuss high profile cases that appear in the media in class and relate our theoretical knowledge to these cases as they happen.

How similar is Criminology to Psychology?

Whilst there is some overlap between the subjects, e.g. psychological theories of crime, Criminology takes a broader view of the subject.  We take key ideas from a range of subjects such as Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics and Law and apply them to the specific context of crime.

Do I need any previous experience?

No - all that is needed is a strong interest in the study of crime from a social sciences perspective.

What other subjects does this go well with?

Criminology will enable students to develop a range of skills that complement their learning many different subjects.  Students often combine Criminology with a range of other subjects.  For those students interested in Forensic Science other suitable subjects would be Chemistry, Biology or Applied Science.  Other students combine Criminology with Psychology, Sociology and Law which provides an excellent foundation to future study in any of these areas.