Criminology Certificate / Diploma

Course Overview

Please note that the Certificate is the first year of the course, with students able to progress onto the Diploma in the second year.

This two year course is designed to give you an introduction to the theory and skills application of criminology.

An understanding of criminology is relevant to many job roles within the criminal justice sector, including police officers, probation and prison officers, and social workers. With their critical thinking, analytical and communication skills, criminology graduates are also attractive to employers outside the criminal justice sector in areas such as social research and politics.

This course can be taken alongside other A Levels such as Law or Psychology.


Entry Requirements

A strong GCSE profile, including a minimum grade B in English Language

Course Delivery

1st year - Level 3 Applied Certificate in Criminology

Unit 1 - Changing Awareness of Crime
This unit is assessed through an eight hour controlled assessment.  The purpose of this unit is for learners to plan campaigns for change relating to crime.

Not all types of crime are alike. What different types of crime take place in our society? What kinds of crime exist about which we know very little, or which are simply not reported to the police and the media? How do we explain people’s reluctance to come forward about crimes of which they have been the victim? Some crimes which seem inoffensive, such as counterfeiting of designer goods, have actually been linked to the funding of more serious crime such as terrorism and people trafficking; so why do people turn a ‘blind eye’ to these ‘mild’ crimes? What methods have governments and other agencies used to raise social awareness of these crimes?

Unit 2 - Criminological Theories
This unit is assessed through an external exam at the end of the year. The purpose of this unit is for learners to apply their understanding of the public perceptions of crime and campaigns for change studied in Unit 1 with criminological theories to examine how both are used to set policy.

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? Are these theories relevant to all types of crime? What can we learn from the strengths and weaknesses of each? How can these theories be applied to real life scenarios and real life crimes?

2nd year - Level 3 Applied Diploma in Criminology

Unit 3 - Crime Scene to Courtroom
This unit is assessed through an eight hour controlled assessment. Through this unit, learners will develop the understanding and skills needed to examine information in order to review the justice of verdicts in criminal cases. 

What are the roles of personnel involved when a crime is detected? What investigative techniques are available to investigators to help to identify the culprit? Do techniques differ depending on the type of crime being investigated? What happens to a suspect once charged by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)? What safeguards are in place to ensure a suspect has a fair trial?

Unit 4 - Crime and Punishment
The purpose of this unit is for learners to develop skills in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the process of social control in delivering policy in practice. 

Why do most of us tend to obey the law even when to do so is against our own interests? What social institutions have we developed to ensure that people do obey laws? What happens to those who violate our legal system? 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? We spend a great deal of taxpayers’ money on social control, so how effective are these organisations in dealing with criminality?

Level 3 Criminology has been awarded UCAS points and can be found on the UCAS website

Progression Opportunities

Staying at Gower College Swansea, you could progress to the Foundation Degree in Criminal Justice

Many students go on to university and pursue future careers within the probation service, police or criminal justice system. Other routes include:

  • BSc Criminology
  • BA Criminology
  • BA Criminology and Criminal Justice
  • BSc (Hons) Criminology and Psychology
  • LLB (Hons) Law with Criminology
  • BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology
  • BA (Hons) Criminology
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology and Sociology
  • BSc Criminology with Law

Additional Information

Extra curricular activities include:

  • Local CSI talk
  • CPS talk
  • Abi Carter – Forensic archaeologist
  • Ben Giles – Crime scene cleaner
  • Barrister / solicitor talk
  • Trip to local courts
  • Trip to London – Jack The Ripper Tour and The Krays Tour
Course deliverable in Welsh: