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Higham Lane
Sixth Form



Is the course fun?

Of course! This is an exciting and interesting qualification that develops knowledge and understanding in purposeful contexts linked to the criminal justice system from Police investigation, to trial, imprisonment and rehabilitation.


Is it worthwhile?

Absolutely, this qualification is relevant to many job roles within the criminal justice sector, law, local government  social and probation work and also sociology and psychology fields. You will also learn many transferable skills which will aid you in the future like independence, research skills and problem solving.


What other courses sit well with this course?

As criminology is so varied it sits well with a host of other subjects such as; Business Studies, Economics, Media, Sociology, Law and Psychology. 


Is the course hard?

The course seeks to challenge students perceptions of crime, the law and the ideas of punishment and rehabilitation. While two of the four topics are conventional examinations, the course also comprises two controlled assessments; these are two pieces of coursework bases on assignment briefs agreed between student and teacher.


Criminology is the scientific study of crime and criminals. Ever thought why different people commit different crimes? Why do serial killers commit crime? Why do some people report crime and others don’t? How much does the media influence our perception of crime? How do psychology and sociology explain crime? What happens during a criminal investigation? Who decides what laws to make? How do judges decide on the appropriate punishment for a criminal? It would be criminal not to take this course!


Exam Board:

WJEC (Diploma in Criminology). The Diploma carries equal weight and UCAS points to 1 A-Level.



There will be four units over the two years that you will be examined on. This accessible course provides units is a mix of examination and coursework. Each unit equates to 25% of the overall grade.


Course Details:

  Unit 1 Changing Awareness of Crime      (Coursework/controlled assessment)         

  Unit 2 Criminological Theories    (exam)

  Unit 3  Crime Scene to Courtroom    (Coursework/controlled assessment)

  Unit 4 Crime and Punishment  (exam)


Knowledge and Understanding:

Unit 1: Changing Awareness of Crime
Knowing about the wide range of different crimes and the reasons people have for not reporting such crimes will provide an understanding of the complexity of behaviours and the social implications of such crimes and criminality. At the end of this unit, you will have gained the skills to differentiate between myth and reality when it comes to crime and to recognise that common representations may be misleading and inaccurate.


Unit 2: Criminological Theories
How do we decide what behaviour is criminal? What is the difference between criminal behaviour and deviance? How do we explain why people commit crime? What makes someone a serial killer, or abusive to their own families? Criminologists have produced theoretical explanations of why people commit crime, but which is the most useful?


Unit 3: Crime Scene to Courtroom
Develop the understanding and skills needed to examine information in order to review the justice of verdicts in criminal cases. What investigative techniques are available to investigators to help to identify the culprit? Do techniques differ depending on the type of crime being investigated? The criminal trial process involves many different people and agencies. Learning about the roles of these will give you a clearer insight into what happens once a crime is detected and the process that leads to either a guilty or non-guilty verdict.


Unit 4: Crime and Punishment
Why do we punish people? How do we punish people? What organisations do we have in our society to control criminality or those who will not abide by the social rules that most of us follow? You will learn about the criminal justice system in England and Wales and how it operates to achieve social control.


Other Learning Opportunities:

  • Student-led mooting workshop opportunity to develop advocacy skills, reasoning and debate.
  • We hope to provide the chance to visit the criminal and civil courts, together with talks from local Police and welfare institutions.
  • Access and subscriptions to physical and online learning resources and revision materials.



Where next with this course?

An understanding of criminology is relevant to many jobs and courses whether that be in social work, local government or roles in sociology and psychology. Alternatively, it could help access employment within some aspects of the criminal justice system, e.g. the National Probation Service, the Courts and Tribunals Service or the National Offender Management Service and the law generally.