The field of criminology involves the study of criminal behaviour and the systems in place to deal with the criminal offenders. You will examine behaviour, institutions and systems from a variety of perspectives. Criminology looks at sociology, psychology, economics and social work. Studying criminology will give you an insight into crime and criminals, as well as society as a whole. You will gain knowledge around the key concepts of criminology, and develop your practical application abilities.
Highlighted courses and degrees in Criminology
An undergraduate degree in criminology will give you a good foundation of knowledge in the area. You will study modules on crime and deviance, psychology, criminal justice, and human rights. These modules will allow you to develop your knowledge and skills in the area, preparing you for your future career.
Your degree will be delivered in a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as practical sessions. You may be required to take part in a work placement module.
Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your degree. This specialisation might influence the area in which you choose to work after you have graduated. Common specialisations include:
If your degree requires you to write a dissertation or submit a research project in your final year, this will allow you to further explore a favoured area of criminology.
The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. Different countries can have different accreditation systems. Typically, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Science (BSc), or a Bachelor of the Arts (BA).
Depending on your career path after you have graduated, you may be presented with further opportunities to earn professional or academic certifications and accreditations.
Generally, an undergraduate degree in criminology will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years, when studied full-time.
Once you have successfully completed your criminology degree, you can choose to either seek employment in your chosen area, or further your studies. Continuation of your studies might be in the form of a postgraduate degree, such as a masters or a PhD, or a graduate diploma or certificate.
The entry requirements for a criminology degree will depend on where you choose to study. Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Some universities may prefer you to have studied certain subjects, and others might consider previous relevant work experience.
You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their criminology programmes.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.
Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. You should make sure that you are aware of how much your course will cost you.
You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section.
Graduates of criminology will find that there are many career opportunities available to them. You can choose to work in a variety of fields. These might include the government, courts, security agencies, prison services, defense firms and youth offending organisations. You might work as a police officer, prison officer, social worker or a community development worker.
You will have gained a wide variety of transferable skills throughout your degree. These will be useful in many different job roles. Skills gained might include data evaluation, problem solving, analytical thinking, report writing, and effective argumentation.
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