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Criminology can be described as the scientific study of crime, criminals and the criminal justice system. The Level 3 Applied Diploma in Criminology combines elements of psychology, law and sociology, whilst complimenting studies in humanities. As an Applied General qualification, the course is equivalent to one A level. Throughout the course, you will develop your understanding of key ideas, theories and principles of criminology; applying these to a range of cases studies and scenarios. Students will examine how the police regulate social order, the structure of the criminal justice system and the correlation between crime, punishment and behaviour. The course consists of 50% controlled assessment and 50% exams, so ideal for those students who don’t like the idea of being assessed purely by examination.  

Criminology includes four mandatory units. 

Unit 1 will enable the student to demonstrate an understanding of the different types of crime, influences on perceptions of crime and why some crimes are unreported. 

Unit 2 will allow students to gain an understanding of why people commit crime, drawing on what they have learned in Unit 1. 

Unit 3 will provide an understanding of the criminal justice system from the 

moment a crime has been identified to the verdict. Students will develop the understanding and skills needed to examine information in order to review the justice of verdicts in criminal cases and the final mandatory unit, willow allow learners to apply their understanding of the awareness of criminality, criminological theories and the process of bringing an accused to court, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of social control to deliver criminal justice policy. 


You will enter Christopher Whitehead at an exciting time, as you will be amongst the first students to undertake this brand-new qualification for us. You will be taught by a very experienced staff team to include Lawyers and teachers of both Psychology and Sociology. In lessons, you can expect to undertake project-based research, development and presentation and develop a range of generic and transferable skills such as problem solving, teamwork and independent learning. Alongside this, you will learn how to work with others, in a professional environment. 

Over the years, we have built excellent links with local universities, including Birmingham City, Aston and The University of Worcester. Through our fantastic enrichment programme, in the past students have taken part in lectures which discuss the effectiveness of geographical profiling to capture notorious murderers such as Denis Rader or ‘BTK’ and learn about the classification of crime. In addition, students will also be given the opportunity to attend Criminology conferences in Birmingham and visit local courts to see the prosecution service in action. 


Whilst one of the main purpose of this qualification is to support access to higher education degree courses, such as: BSc/BA Criminology, BA Criminology and Criminal Justice , BSc (Hons) Criminology and Psychology, LLB (Hons) Law with Criminology, BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology, BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology, BSc (Hons) Psychology etc. the qualification also allows learners to gain the required understanding and skills to be able to consider employment within some aspects of the criminal justice system, e.g. the National Probation Service, the Courts and Tribunals Service, the National Offender Management Service and the Police.

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