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Applied Criminology Level 3 (A Level equivalent)

This course explores criminology by looking at psychological, criminological and biological theories, case studies and analyses criminal activities/criminal justice system. You will study current issues such as the media creating moral panics against young people, procedures to criminal investigations, criminal agencies of control and why white collar crime is underreported? The Office for National statistics stated in 2014 that 212,699 fraud offences were recorded in England and Wales which has increased every year since.


A level students will study a two year linear A Level programme. At the end of their 1st year, students will sit internally assessed exams.


Please note that this course must be part of an A Level study programme (i.e. it cannot be taken on its own as a vocational subject).


Exam Board: WJEC



  • What will I study and learn?

    In the first year of Criminology, students will study the following units:

    • Unit 1: Changing Awareness of Crime – Media representations of Crime
    • Unit 2: Criminological Theories – Theories of Crime

    Learners will complete BOTH units.

    In the second year of Criminology, students will study the following units:

    • Unit 3: Crime Scene to Courtroom– Legal responses to Crime
    • Unit 4: Crime and Punishment– Legal responses to Criminals

    Learners will complete BOTH units.

    The purpose of the Criminology course is to provide learners with an introduction to criminal justice and to give a context for humanities learning. Together with other relevant qualifications, such as Applied Law, Psychology and Sociology, it develops the understanding to support entry to higher education courses in the humanities/social science sector.

  • How is the course assessed?
    • Unit 1 will be assessed by an internal assessment – internal controlled assessment.
    • Unit 2 will be assessed by an external assessment – exam.
    • Unit 3 will be assessed by an internal assessment – internal controlled assessment.
    • Unit 4 will be assessed by an external assessment – exam.
  • What skills will I need for the course?

    You need to be good at keeping up to date with assignments and presenting your ideas in a clear and well-structured way. The qualification would support learners’ progression from any study at Level 2, particularly GCSEs in Sociology, Law, Psychology, Citizenship, History and Humanities.

    An interest in social issues would be advantageous. Reading and watching the news regularly will help you with exploring a range of contemporary case studies. 

  • What formal entry requirements will I need?

    What formal entry requirements will I need?

    Minimum requirements - average point score of 5 including GCSE English Language at grade 5.

    Points Calculation

    The average points score for entry to Level 3 study programme will be calculated using your 8 best GCSEs OR 6 GCSEs plus 1 technical qualification (equivalent to a maximum of 2 GCSEs and 10 points).

    From 2017 English Language, English Literature and Mathematics GCSE will be graded numerically (1 – 9. Grade 5 = a good grade C, grade 6 = grade B and grade 7 = grade A).


    To work out your average and find out more information, please see our Entry Requirements page.

  • What could the course lead to in higher education or careers?

    An understanding of criminology is relevant to many job roles within the criminal justice sector, social and probation work, criminal lawyer and forensic psychology. Studying criminology can lead to a variety of related higher education courses such as sociology, criminology, psychology and law.

  • Are there any costs involved?

    There may also be the possibility of trips to the court, museums or conferences. These may cost between £5 and £15 each time.

  • Are you aged over 19?

    Students aged 19 or over on 31st August directly preceding their academic year may be required to pay tuition fees for that year of study. Advanced Learner Loans may be available for students studying at Level 3. If you are aged 19-23 as at 31 August and this is your first full Level 3 you may not have to pay fees.

    Students who are 19-24 years old with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) issued by the Local Authority are not required to pay course fees (ie tuition fees are free). Students will be required to provide a final copy of their EHCP provided by the LA as evidence.

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