Subject Leader: Mrs E. Rivière-Price

Key Stage 5

Applied Diploma in Criminology

Exam Board: WJEC     
Level: 3

Course Overview

Criminology is the scientific study of criminal behaviour, on individual, social and natural levels, and how it can be managed, controlled and prevented. In particular, the course explores what crime is, how it is socially constructed, who commits crimes and the criminal justice process, once a crime has been committed.  This course will enable you to develop your critical analysis and judgement. It will enable you to articulate arguments effectively in class discussions and written assessments.

Units covered during the two year course are as follows:

Unit 1: Changing Awareness of Crime

  • Understand how crime reporting affects the public perception of criminality.
  • Explain the reasons that certain crimes are underreported.
  • Describe, explain and evaluate media representation of crime.
  • Understand how campaigns are due to elicit change.
  • Plan a campaign for change relating to crime.

Unit 2: Criminological Theories

  • Understand social constructions, theories and causes of criminality.

Unit 3. Crime Scene to Courtroom

  • Understand the process of criminal investigations.
  • Review criminal cases.

Unit 4. Crime and Punishment

  • Investigate different processes of the criminal justice system and the role of punishment and social control measures in England & Wales.


This is an Extended Certificate equivalent to one A level. The course is assessed using a combination of internal and external assessments.

Year 1: 50% exam 50% controlled assessment.
Year 2: 50% exam 50% controlled assessment.

Curriculum Content

Year 12

Term 1:

Unit 1: Analyse different types of crime, explain the reasons that certain crimes are unreported, explain the consequences of unreported crime, describe media representation of crime, explain the impact of the media representations on the public perception of crime, evaluate methods of collecting statistics about crime.

Term 2:

Unit 1: Compare campaigns for change, evaluate the effectiveness of media used in campaigns for change, plan a campaign for change relating to crime. Preparation for the controlled assessment.

Term 3:

Unit 2: Compare criminal behaviour and deviance, explain the social construction of criminality, describe and evaluate biological theories of criminality, describe and evaluate individualistic theories of criminality.

Term 4:

Unit 2: Describe and evaluate sociological theories of criminality, analyse situations of criminality, assess the use of criminological theories in informing policy development.

Term 5:

Unit 2: Explain how social changes affect policy development, discuss how campaigns affect policy making. Preparation for unit 2 assessment.

Term 6:

Unit 3: Evaluate the effectiveness of the roles of personnel involved in criminal investigations, assess the usefulness of investigative techniques in criminal investigations.

Year 13

Term 1:

Unit 3: Explain how evidence is processed, examine the rights of individuals in criminal investigations, explain the requirement of the Crown Prosecution Service for prosecuting suspects, describe trial processes, understand rules in relation to the use of evidence in criminal cases.

Term 2:

Unit 3: Assess key influences affecting the outcomes of criminal cases, discuss the use of law people in criminal cases, examine information for validity, drawn conclusion from information. Preparation for controlled assessment.

Term 3:

Unit 4: Describe processes used for law making, describe the organisation of the criminal justice in England and Wales, describe models of criminal justice, explain forms of social control, discuss the aims of punishment.

Term 4:

Unit 4: Assess how forms of punishment meet the aims of punishment, explain the role of agencies in social control, describe the contribution of agencies to achieving social control, evaluate the effectiveness of agencies in achieving social control.

Term 5:

Revision for Unit 4. Preparation for final assessment.

Useful Information

Suggested Revision Guides and Books:

Henderson C., WJEC Level 3 Applied Certificate & Diploma Criminology, Illuminate Publishing (2018)-ISBN-13: 978-1911208433

Henderson C., WJEC Level 3 Applied Certificate and Diploma Criminology: Study and Revision Guide, Illuminate Publishing (2019) - ISBN-13: 978-1911208969

R. Webb, A. Townend, Criminology Book One for the WJEC Level 3 Applied Certificate & Diploma, Napier Press (2019) - ISBN-13: 978-0993423598

Out of School Learning (OSL) and Extra-Curricular Activities

Support is offered to the students during lunch and after school sessions.