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The new WJEC Level 3 Diploma in Criminology is a qualification with elements of psychology, law and sociology, complimenting studies in other humanities subjects. It has been designed to offer exciting and interesting experiences which focus learning through the development of knowledge and understanding of concepts linked to the criminal justice system. The course examines different elements of crime including: different criminological theories, crime scene to court room, including an examination of how society approaches crime and punishment. Students will develop problem solving skills which will be applied to practical situations. The course is suited to students with enquiring minds and a willingness to work and study independently.

If you choose this course you would benefit from:

  • Experienced teachers with specialist knowledge and a variety of industry experience
  • Guest speakers from a range of criminal justice backgrounds including past students.
  • Trips to Birmingham Law Courts;
  • Opportunities for work experience in relevant areas.

In the first year you will study:

  • Different types of crime
  • Influences on perceptions of crime and why some crimes are unreported
  • Differentiation between the myth and reality of some crimes
  • How perceptions and criminological theories are used to set public policy
  • Criminological theories
  • Evaluation of different approaches to crime

In the second year you will study:

  • Understand skills needed to review the justice of verdicts in criminal cases
  • Examination of roles of different agencies in the criminal justice system
  • Examination of how crime scene evidence is collated and presented in court
  • The criminal trial process including the roles of both juries and lay magistrates.
  • The effectiveness of social control in society
  • Mechanisms developed by society to prevent law breaking
  • The need for society to be protected from criminal behaviour


What will I be taught?

This course is taught around a flipped learning approach, students make use of materials on the college Moodle site to research topics before they are delivered in class. This prior research is then assessed in class and activities follow which allow learners to explore the content in more detail and apply them to criminal justice problems and current issues. The course will be assessed through a combination of controlled assignments and examinations. In addition, your teacher and personal tutor will review and discuss your progress with you and will be available for advice to support your learning.

Classroom activities will include:

  • Teacher led discussion end explanation of key concepts
  • Controlled assignment tasks
  • Projects assignments
  • Interactive online quizzes
  • Group work
  • Investigative research

Based on research into how students learn best, each subject will set independent work to allow you to recap what you have done in the past, consolidate understanding for what you are studying in the present and develop the skills and experiences which will help you for the future. You can read more about the college’s approach to independent study here

The Past
Click here for the suggested ongoing revision activities in this subject which research has shown are most likely to boost your achievement

The Present
Each subject will set weekly homework tasks to help you consolidate your understanding and prepare for your next lesson. This work is typically set through Microsoft Teams, so you will have an electronic log of all your work, notes and feedback.

The Future
A key part of your independent work in this subject will be to prepare for a range of potential jobs and higher education courses when you leave us. To get started, look below at the top higher education courses and jobs which previous students of this course have gone on to do.

As part of a wider programme this course provides an excellent basis for progression to many careers or university courses. The qualification allows learners to gain the required understanding and skills to be able to consider employment in a number of aspects of the criminal justice system including: The National Probation Service, The Courts and Tribunal Service, National Offender Management Service and social work. Learners may also progress to careers in Law or the Police Force.

5 x GCSE grades 4-9 (incl. English Language)

Additional Requirements

4 in Maths

Not essential but it will help your success…

Commitment to working in an organised way and learning to write well-reasoned arguments.

Pairs well with Law, Sociology, Psychology.

Students need to be prepared to research traumatic cases where details may be fairly graphic.  You prefer to do a course that is a mix of exams, controlled assessment and coursework.

Teaching contact time is 4 hours and 20 minutes per subject. Other workshops will be available throughout the year. Students are expected to complete up to 4 hours of independent study to complete assignments, homework, extra reading and independent research.


50% internal and 50% external assessment

Year 1:

  • Changing Awareness of Crime – Internal assessment
  • Criminological Theories – External assessment

Year 2:

  • Crime Scene to Court room – Internal assessment
  • Criminological Theories – External assessment

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