Skip to content ↓


Criminology is a KS5 (Post 16) subject. It is a very popular option at DSTC for Post 16 students.

What happens in this subject?

Criminology provides students with an introduction to criminal justice and gives a context for humanities learning. It encompasses elements of psychology, law and sociology that complements studies in humanities. Criminology has been designed to offer exciting and interesting experiences that focus learning for students through applied contexts, i.e. through the acquisition of knowledge and understanding linked to the criminal justice system. 

Criminology helps students to understand the criminal justice system which impacts on their own behaviour and conduct in UK society.  It requires students to consider how the use and application of their learning impacts on themselves, other individuals, employers, society and the environment.

KS5 Curriculum

The applied nature of the course allows students to learn in such a way that they develop skills required for independent learning and development, a range of generic and transferable skills such as critical thinking, report writing, time management, ability to solve problems, skills of project based research, development and presentation, the ability to work alongside others and the ability to apply learning in vocational contexts.

The Criminology course is designed to give the opportunity for students to be awarded either the WJEC Applied Certificate or Applied Diploma. It is accessible for all students as it is graded A*-E. The first unit (Changing Awareness) will enable the students to demonstrate understanding of different types of crime, influences on perceptions of crime and why some crimes are unreported. The second unit (Criminological Theories) will allow students to gain an understanding of why people commit crime, drawing on what they have learned in Unit 1. If students successfully complete these two they can be awarded the Certificate. To gain the Diploma students have a further two units to pass and draw upon their knowledge developed in the first year of the course. The third unit (Crime Scene to Courtroom) will provide an understanding of the criminal justice system from the moment a crime has been identified to the verdict. Students will develop the understanding and skills needed to examine information in order to review the justice of verdicts in criminal cases. In the final unit (Crime and Punishment), students will apply their understanding of the awareness of criminality, criminological theories and the process of bringing an accused to court in order to evaluate the effectiveness of social control to deliver criminal justice policy.

The course is assessed through 50% controlled assessment and 50% external examination. This means the course is suitable for different types of learners. 

Throughout the course students will be expected to work independently as reading/researching around topics areas is vital to further develop knowledge and understanding. This is encouraged through keeping up-to-date with the latest news and watching television documentaries. Many students do this anyway as they have a personal interest in this genre of viewing to start with. Criminology is a popular subject with the media so there is always a wealth of information to be gained from these sources and students are keen to do this in their own time.  They are also eager to discuss what they have learned in lesson. 

Opportunities for visits are currently being developed such as a visit to Dartford County Court or the Crown Courts (Woolwich or Maidstone), and a trip to London taking in the Houses of Parliament, Courts of Justice and Supreme and the London

Aspirations and KS5

The Applied Diploma attracts UCAS points and allows students to access higher degree courses in Criminology alongside other areas such as criminal justice, law, psychology and sociology.  Alternatively, the qualification allows students to gain the required understanding and skills to be able to consider apprenticeships or employment within the criminal justice system, e.g. the Crime Prosecution Service, the National Probation Service and the Courts and Tribunals Service.