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Criminology Level 3 Applied A level

The Criminology A Level is a really popular course, covering all aspects of crime.

In Year 12, students get to learn about different types of crimes, explanations for why people commit crime and how we deal with criminals. They also study real life examples of high profile crimes, and learn about the media campaigns that arise from them, which aim to change the law.

In Year 13, students look at what happens at the scene of a crime, the forensic and police investigation process, how cases are prepared for trial, and what happens in the courtroom at a criminal trial. They also look at our current forms of punishments, such as prison sentences, and consider how effective these are for deterring criminals.

The exam board is ‘WJEC’ and the course is the ‘Level 3 Applied Diploma in Criminology’. Please click here for further information about the course.

Please click here to access our Criminology website.

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in GCSE English.

Future Opportunities

The Criminology A Level course provides a really good introduction to a range of degree courses and careers, and is ideal for students wishing to study criminology, law, politics, social policy or sociology at university. It is also very . is relevant for students interested in any role within the criminal justice system, such as in the police force, prison officer, probation officer or crime scene investigator.


WJEC Level 3 Applied Criminology - Carole Henderson

Criminology Books 1 & 2 - Robb Webb and Annie Townsend

Course Content & Assessment

Course Content

Unit 1:

  • Different types of crime
  • How we can study the amount of crime being committed?
  • Why are certain crimes not reported to the police?
  • What are the consequences of crimes not being reported?
  • How does the media represent certain crimes?
  • How do the public perceive certain crimes?
  • Learn about examples of campaigns that have changed the law
  • How effective campaigns are in changing the law
  • Students design their own campaign

Unit 2:

  • How do we define what is and is not a crime?
  • How does our idea of ‘crime’ change over time and between cultures?
  • Criminological theories (explanations of crime)
  • How useful are these explanations for explaining crime?
  • What policies are in place to prevent/reduce crime?

Unit 3:

  • Who is involved in criminal investigations?
  • How are investigations carried out?
  • How is evidence processed?
  • What rights do individuals have?
  • What is the criminal justice process?
  • What factors affect criminal trials?

Unit 4:

  • How are laws made?
  • How is the criminal justice system organised?
  • How do we control people’s behaviour?
  • How do we punish people if they commit a crime?
  • How effective is our system of punishment?


The course is comprised of 4 units each worth 25% of the overall grade.

Two of the units will be assessed through students writing an extended assignment (controlled assessment)

Unit 1 - Changing Awareness of Crime (Year 12)

Unit 3 - Crime Scene to Courtroom (Year 13)

The other two units are each assessed by a 90 minute external exams,

Unit 2 - Criminological Theories (Year 12)

Unit 4 - Crime and Punishment (Year 13)

This assessment structure is particularly useful in helping students to spread out their exams and controlled assessment across the two year A Level course.

Enrichment & Extra-Curricular

We offer students the opportunity to attend an annual criminology student conference, where guest speakers cover a range of interesting topics.

We also run a ‘Criminal Investigation’ full day workshop for students, run by ex-homocide detectives, taking students through all aspects of investigating crimes such as murder. The day looks at the  various forensic techniques that are used, how evidence is processed, and how cases are brought to trial.

Lastly, we also take students for an educational visit to The Royal Courts of Justice and The Old Bailey courthouse, where they are able to sit in on a real trial, and observe the process.

Social Sciences Team

Subject Leader Miss A Esland
  Miss Mollie Burns
  Miss Holly Flannery
  Mrs L Toovey
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