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Criminology Level 3 Diploma

Level 3 Applied Diploma

Criminology is the study of the reasons why individuals commit crimes. By understanding why a person commits a crime, we can develop ways to control crime or rehabilitate the criminal. This means there are lots of debated and controversial theories that try to explain the reasons for criminality which the course will explore.

Some attribute crime to the individual, who makes a conscious choice whether or not to commit a crime. Others believe it is the community’s responsibility to ensure that their citizens do not

commit A third group believes that some individuals have latent traits that will determine how they will react when put in certain situations. This course will enable you to use theories of criminality to analyse criminal situations and make recommendations for policy. 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.

This course is equivalent to one A level.

Please note; may be required to pay course costs towards your study on this course. Click here for a full list of Course Costs




Course content

You will develop an understanding of the theoretical explanations of why people commit crime. You will learn about the sociological, psychological and biological theories of crime and be able to use these explanations to analyse criminal situations. You will also gain an understanding of the criminal justice system. The way society defines crime and deviance is also explored during the course in conjunction with ways of finding out about crimes, including crimes that tend to be under-reported. In addition, you will also examine the reporting of crime in the media to see the impact this has on public perceptions of crime.

Year 1

Changing Awareness of Crime
You will understand how crime reporting affects the public perception of criminality. You will then go on to realise how campaigns are used to elicit change and then plan a campaign for change relating to crime.

Criminological Theories
You will understand social constructions, theories and causes of criminality. This will then lead to a knowledge of the causes of policy change.

Year 2

Crime Scene to Courtroom
You will gain an understanding of the process of criminal investigations. You will then go onto the prosecution of suspects and be able to review criminal cases.

Crime and Punishment
You will learn about the different processes of the criminal justice system and the role of punishment and social control measures in England & Wales.


You will be assessed by a combination of internally-assessed assignments (units 1 and 3) and externally-set and marked assessments (units 2 and 4).



Entry requirements

At least five Grade 4s or equivalent in a range of subjects at GCSE level, including GCSE English.


A Merit grade in an OCR or BTEC Certificate in a related area (6-credit qualification), and a Grade 4 or above in GCSE English. Students with a distinction grade in a related area

(6-credit qualification) may be considered with a Grade 3 in GCSE English.


Special features

There are regular visits to police stations and headquarters. In 2019 students took part in a stop and search discussion group to consider procedures. The college is visited by professionals such as police officers, prison workers, pathologists, forensics and crime reduction officers / professionals, including Neighbourhood Watch. You will also get the unique opportunity to interview ex-offenders to hear about their experiences from behind bars and to link the course content to their reflections. Practical activities like solving crimes through exploring available evidence will be a part of the delivery of the course.


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