Subject Intent: Why Criminology?

The study of Criminology provides an understanding of the complexity of behaviours and social implications of crimes and criminality and the impact of this on wider social issues, including government policies and initiatives. Students acquire academic skills such as research, report writing and communication along with practical skills including creativity, planning and organisation. Criminology provides the opportunity to apply knowledge to the real world, creating an awareness of the “big picture” and challenging students to hold to account, and question, decisions made on their behalf, encouraging them to engage with the society around them.  The course is good preparation for studying the social sciences at university, and also prepares students for work in crime-related contexts such as the law, policing and criminal justice. 

What will I study?

  • Changing awareness of crime: types of crime, media and crime, official data on crime, crime prevention and awareness campaigns. (Year 1 Controlled Assessment).
  • Criminological theories: theories of criminality from biology, psychology and sociology. (Year 1 Exam)
  • Crime scene to courtroom: the criminal justice system from investigation to verdict, personnel and techniques involved in criminal investigations and courtroom procedures. (Year 2 Controlled Assessment)
  • Crime and punishment: law-making, criminal justice, forms and functions of punishment. (Year 2 Exam)


Please note: Subject videos have been filmed from colleges across our Trust.

What are lessons like in this subject?

In Criminology lessons, students participate in a variety of learning activities as they progress through the course. Lessons include a range of teaching methods to support students in their learning, including independent research and group discussion and tasks. Students learn how the criminal justice system operates and investigate a number of case studies of crimes in society. For the controlled assessments, students carry out extensive independent research and write a detailed report. This includes planning a campaign to raise awareness of crime in the first year and studying the process of crime investigation from the crime scene to the courtroom in the second year. Students maintain a detailed folder of class resources and notes to prepare them for both forms of assessment used in this course – report writing and exams. In addition, students can benefit from guest speakers who work in the field of crime and criminal justice. 

What our


This course provides a great overview and understanding of what a career in the criminal justice system would be like, and helps you to understand that the life of crime runs much deeper than you think. Studying Criminology has motivated me to want to pursue a future in this field.

Kennedy Sugden, St Bedes and St Josephs Catholic College

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