WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma in Criminology

Course Leader:

Ms M Porter – mporter@sackvilleschool.org.uk

Exam board: WJEC
Guidance: Five GCSEs at grade 4 or above including grade 4+ in English language and (if studied) grade 4+ in sociology
Course Start Date: 09/2024
Course length: 1 year (Applied certificate in criminology); 2 years (Applied Diploma in criminology) – it is compulsory for all Year 12 criminology students to complete the one-year certificate. Those staying on to Year 13 will go on to complete the full diploma if they pass all four units.
Course description:

If you are fascinated by crime and punishment, then Criminology is the course for you. It is the academic study of crime, drawing on aspects of sociology, psychology and law. Because this is an applied course, everything you will learn is tailored towards understanding and explaining crime in the real world.

You will explore the causes, consequences and prevention of crime, as well as the role of the media and the processes and people involved, from crime scene to courtroom. Criminology can open doors to a range of exciting degree courses, apprenticeships and future careers.

To succeed on this course, you will need to be an effective independent learner, with excellent research, organisational and IT skills and a great work ethic. You will need to hit the ground running as you will complete your first controlled assessment after your first term in Year 12.

Course units:

Year 12

Unit 1: Changing awareness of crime (controlled assessment)

At the end of this unit, you will be able to plan a campaign for change related to crime – to raise awareness, or to change attitudes or reporting behaviour.

Unit 2: Criminological theories (exam)

How do criminologists define and explain crime and deviance? What are the strengths and weaknesses of their theories?

Year 13

Unit 3: Crime scene to courtroom (controlled assessment)

You will gain the knowledge and skills to be able to review the justice of verdicts in the criminal justice system.

Unit 4: Crime and punishment (exam)

Why do most people obey the law and how do we punish those who do not? Does punishment achieve its aims?


2x 8-hour controlled assessments, completed in school.

2x 90-minute exams

All students will be entered for the one-year certificate in Year 12 and must complete and pass Units 1 and 2. At the end of Year 13, if you have passed all four units, you’ll be awarded the Applied Diploma in Criminology (graded A* to E), which is equivalent to one A Level.

What can I do with this qualification?

Applied Criminology fits particularly well with Sociology, Psychology and Law. You will gain skills and knowledge that are valued in careers in the Criminal Justice System, social work, probation, policing, victim support and other related areas. The WJEC Applied Diploma in criminology is a Level 3 course equivalent to one A Level and is accepted by most universities. It is an excellent gateway to a degree course in Criminology or Sociology, as well as apprenticeships e.g. with the police, National Crime Agency, the Prison Service or the Ministry of Justice.

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