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Criminology Level 3 Applied Diploma

Criminology Level 3 Applied Diploma


Examining Board

Specification Title

Specification Code


Level 3 Applied Diploma in



Course Leader: Mr Richard Bethell


What is it all about?

Criminology is the study of crime. Criminologists explore various explanations for crime and social reactions to crime and how it can be managed, controlled and prevented. This course aims to provide knowledge and understanding of crime and the criminal justice system. It covers all aspects of crime, from what kinds of people commit a crime, through to crime scenes and courtrooms, and punishment and prisons. It is an interdisciplinary social science subject, drawing from a range of sociological, psychological and biological discussions as well as law.


Why study this course?


This is an exciting social science course that combines very well a wide range of courses. Criminals and the crimes they commit are continuously changing – people are always looking for new ways to break the law. This means that Criminology is a dynamic and challenging subject, with many new research areas appearing regularly. Level 3 criminology could be the start of a journey into a career in which could be tackling crime, exploring why people break the law and improving systems in education, rehabilitation and crime prevention. There will be opportunities to apply your knowledge and understanding of course content outside of the classroom, for example, by visiting Shepton Mallet prison as well as Taunton and/or Exeter Magistrates and Crown courts.


What can I do with a Level 3 Applied Diploma in Criminology?

The study of Criminology can support access to a wide range of Higher Education Criminology and related degree courses. An understanding of Criminology is relevant to many jobs within the criminal justice sector including Probation Officers, Prison Officers, Police Officers, Crime Scene investigators, Forensic Science, Social Workers and Youth Workers. It could also be of interest to someone considering Law as a possible, future career path. 


 What are the entry requirements?

Students are required to have obtained 5 GCSE passes at grades 9-4. This must include a 4 in English and Math’s.  In special circumstances the department may consider students who do not meet these requirements. 


What will I learn on this course?


Students will focus on four areas of study during the course:

  • Unit 1 Changing Awareness of Crime – this looks at different types of crime, influences on perceptions of crime and why some crimes are unreported to enable students to develop an understanding of the complexity of behaviours and the social implications of crimes and criminality.
  • Unit 2 Criminological Theories – this develops learning from Unit 1 and explores the difference between criminal behaviour and deviance and the theories behind why people commit crime.
  • Unit 3 Crime Scene to Courtroom – students will gain an understanding of the criminal justice system from the moment a crime has been identified to the verdict in court and will develop the skills needed to examine information in order to review the justice of verdicts in criminal cases.
  • Unit 4 Crime and Punishment – this unit allows students to apply their understanding of the awareness of criminality, criminological theories and the process of bringing an accused to court in order to evaluate the effectiveness of social control and deliver criminal justice policy.


How will I be assessed?


Units 1 and 3 are internally assessed, each through a controlled assessment completed under controlled conditions over a period of 8 hours.

Units 2 and 4 are externally assessed through synoptic examinations (short & long answer questions) each 1 hour 30 minutes in duration.


Is there anything else I need to know?

This course suits students who are:

  • Self-disciplined
  • Open to new ideas
  • Able to express ideas verbally
  • Able to communicate their understanding through written assessment and extended answers
  • Able to evaluate the effectiveness of different theories and research methods
  • Able to work independently or as a group
  • Organised in the way they structure their class notes


For more information on OCR A-Level Sociology


 Who can I contact for further information?