WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma in Criminology

Exam board: WJEC
Guidance: 5 GCSEs at Grade 4+ including Grade 4+ in English Language
Course Start Date: 09/2022
Course length: 2 Years
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.

[Link to course presentation]

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

At the end of Year 13, you’ll be awarded a grade from A* to E and a Diploma in Applied Criminology.

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.
Scroll to Top