Criminology focuses on the study of crime and criminals, the motivation behind the crime, the consequences and any theories for prevention. Criminology is a sub-group of sociology as it incorporates an array of fields of study including biology, penology, psychology and statistics.
This degree allows students to gain insight into criminal behaviour on; individual, natural and social levels, and how it can be controlled and managed. The term criminology was first coined in Italy in 1885.
There are no specific A-Levels required, although some courses may ask for a Maths GCSE – to help with the statistics side of the degree. Sociology or Psychology A-Levels may be an advantage, although institutions are interested in the grades that students hold. Students who display a keen interest in social studies and the criminal justice system will appeal to
Institutions typically ask for around 280 UCAS tariff points, ranging from BCC upwards, however, the higher the university and course are on the league table, the higher the university entry requirements tends to be.
Students are advised to check with their chosen universities and desired courses to guarantee that they understand the entry requirements needed for admission. It’s always recommended that students visit universities at open days, it provides the students with a feel for student life at that university.
Criminology (or other courses titled Criminal Justice, and similar) are available in Bachelor’s of Arts, and Bachelor’s of Science degrees, depending on the university. Modules will also vary depending on the institution; it is a good idea for students to conduct a lot of research into the modules on offer during the degree course, to ensure that they are completing studies that they are interested in, as well as studying areas that will help employment opportunities.
Criminology is often studied as a joint honours degree, typically Sociology or Psychology, however, there is an array of options for students who wish to study two subjects at university – such as Anthropology or Law.
Examples of degrees within criminology include; BSc Criminology, BSc Applied Social Science, BSc Criminology with a Modern Foreign Language (German, Spanish), and BSc Sociology and Criminology.
There is a high level of module options for students during their studies which may be difficult to become accustomed to at first, but will get easier, and prove helpful in the final year when picking topics for a dissertation. The variety of modules will allow students to pick the right modules that interest them or wish to specialise in for job prospects, this will vary between institutions which is why choosing the right university and course can help tailor a degree to a student’s preferences.
There is a range of work that counts towards a final degree classification, and other work which is designed to enhance learning and studying for students but is not carry any weight in your final degree grade.
The majority of assessments are essay based on written examinations, with a dissertation or research project for the final year module assessment.
Criminology degrees allow students to gain transferable skills in presentation, research, communication, time management, organisation and social skills and awareness through coursework, presentations and group work.
Crime and behaviour are fascinating, and many questions can be answered through the studying of criminology and criminal justice.
The degree offers an in-depth look into theories behind crime and deviance, exploring the criminal justice system, look at modern crime and punishment and studying the connection between law-breaking and the construction of those laws.
Students do not need to have a specific career in mind (although it may help) when they begin studying criminology as the vast amount of modules will help them decide what they wish to do. Criminology offers students skills such as research methods, problem-solving, social awareness and critical thinking which can be applied to many career sectors or postgraduate options.
Typical employers for graduates of criminology can include prison services, charities, home office, law practices and the police force.
Examples include; MSc Forensic Psychology, MA Criminal Justice, MA Criminological Psychology or MA in Criminology.
Criminology degrees are sought after by several professional organisations such as the British Society of Criminology.
Dan Aykroyd, from Ghostbusters, studied Criminology and Sociology at Carlton University but sadly dropped out before finishing.
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