Skip to main content

Course Code: SFVCR011

Course Level: Level 3

Study Mode: Full-Time

Course Type: A Levels and A+ Programmes

Course overview

Explore crime and its impact on society with our Applied Criminology course. Students explore topics such as policing, corrections, and criminal psychology. Through case studies, trips and practical applications, students develop the knowledge and skills to work effectively in various criminal justice settings.

Criminology is the scientific study of criminal behaviour, on individual, social and natural levels, and how it can be managed, controlled and prevented. The course is for you if you are interested in why people commit crime, what types of crime they commit and how those crimes are dealt with/punished. This course will enable students to use theories of criminality to analyse criminal situations and make recommendations for policy. Students also develop the knowledge and skills to research policy in practice, assess campaigns for changes in awareness of crime and examine information to review verdicts in criminal cases.

Unit 1: Changing awareness of crime. The focus of the unit is on unreported crime and the consequences of these crimes. We explore crimes such as white-collar crime, for example organised crime and individual crimes such as hate crime. The unit will also introduce media representation of crime and how campaigns for change can raise awareness of unreported crimes in society.

Unit 2: Criminological theories. The aim of this unit is to explore the reasons why people commit crime from a variety of different perspectives such as biological, sociological and psychological. Students will then be able to apply these theories to real life situations in order to answer questions such as what makes someone a serial killer?

Unit 3: Crime scene to court room. The focus of Unit 3 is the Criminal Justice System, from the identification of the crime through to the verdict. This unit will allow students to gain the understanding and skills to be able to examine the validity of verdicts given in criminal cases. Students will explore some of the techniques used by the police and follow the criminal justice process through the various stages. Students will also explore miscarriages of justice using real-life cases in order to see what happens when the criminal justice system fails.

Unit 4: Crime and punishment. This unit allows students to combine their knowledge of the criminal justice process and the role of pressure groups/charities in maintaining social control. The unit focuses on the roles of different agents of social control such as the police, CPS, probation and prison service. Students will also learn how to evaluate the limitations and effectiveness of these agents.

This course combines well with Psychology, Sociology and Law.

You will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above including maths and English Language, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices.

  • Changing Awareness of Crime (25% Internal Controlled Assessment)
  • Criminological Theories (25% External Examination)
  • Crime Scene to Courtroom (25% Internal Controlled Assessment)
  • Crime and Punishment (25% External Examination)

If you wish to find out more you can contact Hayley Mason-Last, Curriculum Leader for Criminology, by emailing:

When you have gained your Applied Diploma in Criminology you can use it to progress into Higher Education. There are a wide range of undergraduate degrees available in Criminology both locally and further afield. Criminology can be combined with many other subjects, for example Sociology, Law or Psychology.

You could even combine Criminology with other subjects such as Policing if you were interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice or International Security, where you may have the opportunity to study part of your degree overseas. The sort of jobs Criminology graduates go on to do are wide ranging including working within the Criminal Justice System, such as working for the police service, probation service and areas of victim support. Alternatively you could pursue a career in criminal law, teaching and many more options.

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. 

College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £26,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit


pass rate


achieved A*-B in 2023


What else do I need to know?

Think of what you're capable of. Then think beyond it.

Step up to a top university or move into a competitive programme like Medicine or Law with our Honours Programme. Perfect for ambitious and high-achieving students.

The Honours Programme is an additional pathway for students whose aspirations are to progress onto highly competitive courses at top universities, such as those in the Russell Group. Once accepted onto the programme, you’ll be expected to commit extra time every week to this intensive support pathway.

Find out more here