Entry requirements

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  • Six GCSEs 9-4 (or A*-C)
  • Two from English, Maths OR Science
  • Two at least grade 6

Course details

Criminology is the scientific study of crime and criminials.

WJEC Level 3 Diploma in Criminology is aimed at developing your knowledge and understanding of a wide range of crimes and work done in the criminal justice system. The course covers a wide variety of crime related topics including biological and sociological theories of criminality, media representations of crime and many more. You will have the opportunity to acquire both practical and academic skills, and the flexibility of the course enables you to study crimes you find personally interesting.

Internal Assessment

External Assessment


Explanations for why people commit crimes, and what makes someone a serial killer.


Why we punish people and the different ways in which society controls criminality.

Both external assessments will be 90-minute examinations, total of 75 marks, three questions on each paper. Criminology is assessed through short and extended answer questions, based on stimulus material and applied contexts. Each question will have an applied problem-solving scenario


Writing skills, description skills, application of knowledge skills, evaluation skills, independent study skills, organisation skills and time management.


Criminal justice services, police officer, prison officer, security services, court services, probation officer, social worker, youth worker


What is Criminology?

Criminology is the study of crime, criminal behaviour patterns and
the law. It deals with understanding, explaining, preventing, and
treating crime and criminal behaviour from a simple shoplifting to
mass murder. Students learn socioeconomic and sociocultural
influences that have affected crime over the years. Topics in this
course also cover crime prevention, law enforcement, criminal
justice systems and crime victims.

Is it an A Level?

The course is a WJEC Level 3 Diploma in Criminology. This is the
equivalent of 1 A level, and is graded A* to E. It offers the same
number of UCAS points as an A level when applying to university.

Is it linear?

Criminology is not a linear course. Students will take two units in
their lower sixth year, and two in the upper sixth year. Two of these
units are assessed by a controlled assessment which involves
students working independently in controlled conditions for a
period of 8 hours to complete activities set by the exam board. The
other two are traditional style examinations. This assesses both
their knowledge and skills gained across the teaching of the
particular unit, and allows for students with different learning
styles to showcase their abilities. Students must pass all four units
to be awarded the qualification.

Do universities accept the qualification?

Many universities accept this qualification. However, entry
requirements vary considerably across institutions. Students should
always check with their chosen university to confirm their individual
entry requirements for their chosen undergraduate courses.

Is there a lot of maths or science?

The course does not require a high level of maths or science. Topics
do include the measuring of crime, which involves some
understanding of statistics and their usefulness. We also consider
the biological explanations of criminal behaviour in one of the
units, however this is not a fully science focussed course, and the
skills of extended writing and reading are most important.

What does a usual criminology lesson look like?

Every lesson is different as the topics covered and skills developed
are diverse. However, all students will be provided with high quality
departmental resources, handouts and activities to support their
learning. Activities will include discussion, research tasks, using
documentaries for case studies, group work, stretch and challenge,
as well as teacher led sessions will be included throughout the
course of the year.

How big are the class sizes?

Class sizes average around 20 students.

How big is the department?

Criminology is a very popular subject. We currently have 9 Upper Sixth and 10 Lower Sixth classes totalling approximately 400 students.

How much homework is involved?

As with all Level 3 courses, our students are expected to spend
around 4-5 hours per week on homework and revision for this
course. Some directed tasks such as research, and exam practice
questions will be set, however the most important aspect of
independent work for the Criminology level 3 diploma is the
creation of a set of consolidated notes, which must be student led
and can be taken into their controlled assessments