Level 3 WJEC

The Criminology course is an excellent choice for anyone with an interest in criminal behaviour and the impact of criminality.

The course investigates the theories behind criminality and why individuals engage in criminal activity. Students will be invited to explore the impact criminality has upon society. Complementary options studied alongside Criminology although not exclusively are, Psychology, Sociology, Law, History and Government and Politics.

The course can lead to a wide range of career opportunities and opens up a study path at university in subjects such as Criminology, Criminal Psychology, Law and Sociology.

50% Internal Assessment 

50% Examination

a prospectus


Course content




This course provides an opportunity to broaden your field of study in the social sciences, with a particular focus on crime. You will explore the causes of criminal behaviour, attitudes to crime, criminal investigations and the wider social and psychological aspects of crime. The first year of Criminology is a certificate, and is used as a platform for the second year which will make up to full diploma.


Changing awareness of crime
At the end of this unit, you will have gained skills to differentiate between myth and reality when it comes to crime and to recognise that common representations may be misleading and inaccurate. You will have gained the skills to understand the importance of changing public perceptions of crime. You will be able to use and assess a variety of methods used by agencies to raise awareness of crime so that it can be tackled effectively. You will have gained the skills to plan a campaign for change in relation to crime; for example to raise awareness, change attitudes or change reporting behaviour.

Criminological Theories
At the end of this unit you will have gained the skills to evaluate some criminological theories and know there are debates within the different theories. You will understand how changes in criminological theory have influenced policy. You will also have gained the skills to apply the theories to a specific crime or criminal in order to understand both the behaviour and the theory.


Crime scene to courtroom
From investigating a crime scene, to police powers and legal processes you will understand each step of the criminal process. At the end of this unit you will have gained the skills to review criminal cases, evaluating the evidence in the cases to determine whether the verdict is safe and just.

Crime & Punishment
Through this unit, you will learn about the criminal justice system in England and Wales and how it operates to achieve social control. You will have gained an understanding of the organisations which are part of our system of social control and their effectiveness in achieving their objectives. As such, you will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the process of social control in delivering policy in different contexts.


Units 1 and 3 are assessed through coursework.

Units 2 and 4 are assessed through examinations.

Each unit is worth 25% of the overall grade.



There will be one controlled assessment in January and one written examination at the end of the course

Part 1: Changing Awareness of Crime (Controlled assessment)

Part 2: Criminological Theories (Variety of short answers as well as essay responses in examination form)


There will be one controlled assessment in January and one written examination at the end of the course

Paper 3: Crime scene to courtroom (Controlled assessment)

Paper 4: Crime & Punishment (Variety of short answers as well as essay responses in examination form)



As you will have probably never studied Criminology at school before, we do recommend that you carry out some research online to find out more about the different approaches you will study.

It would also be wise to select a few popular Criminology books in order to better prepare for yourself for under-taking this course.

Component 1 (Unit 1 and 3: 50%)
Internal controlled assessment: One 8 hour assessment split over 4 week period
Component 2 (Unit 2 and 4: 50%)
External assessment: 90 minute examination.

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