Criminology is about much more than just looking at criminal behaviour. It analyses how crime affects victims and society as a whole.

Why study Criminology?

Criminology considers various theories and ideas around how and why crimes occur. It also looks at ways to control and prevent criminal behaviour – in addition to the way law enforcement operates, and the mechanism of the criminal justice system. Why do people commit crime? Why are some types of crime focussed upon more in society? Why are some people more likely to be treated as criminals by society than others? These are just some of the ideas explored in Criminology. 

The course is a Level 3 Diploma in Criminology, which is equivalent to one A-level.

What will I study?

The first topic you will look at is underreported crime – why do crimes such as hate crime and domestic abuse remain underreported in society? How can we change this to get justice for victims? You will learn about psychological and sociological theories of crime and the ‘solutions’ these theories suggest to our crime problems in society. You will also learn about how a case is investigated from the crime scene through to the court verdict. In addition, you will look at punishment – what works?

Which exam board & how will I be assessed?


50% controlled assessment. A controlled assessment is a blend of coursework and exam. It will take place over 8-hours, but you are allowed your notes in with you to help.

50% external written exam.

Where could it take me?

By completing Criminology, you will be fully prepared for any crime-based degree such as criminal justice and policing. You may also choose to go directly into employment in roles within the police force, scene of crime officer or a prison officer.

Subject combinations

There is some overlap with both Psychology, Sociology and Law. Criminology is popular amongst those students not wanting to study three A-levels.

What support is available?

One-to-one tutorials, revision buddies with other students and small group support sessions are well attended. The teachers will endeavour to meet your individual support needs.

What extracurricular activity is available?

The department run trips to prisons, law courts and universities. We attend workshops on crime scene investigation, digital investigation and eye witness interviewing. We also host visiting speakers on domestic violence, hate crime and drug use.

Did you know?

63% of Winstanley College Criminology students achieved A*-A grades on their unit 3 controlled assessment in 2021.

Criminology is the most popular vocational subject at Winstanley College.