Diploma in Criminology


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Diploma in Criminology

Why Oxford Learning College 


This Quality Assured Level 3 Diploma course is aimed at introducing students to the study of crime and criminology. The course will appeal to those wishing to concentrate on the scientific approach and analysis of crime and criminal behaviour. It is a relatively new and exciting subject.

Criminology is not about catching thieves and criminals, it will not instruct you how to profile an offender, rather it will give you an insight into the world of crime from different perspectives, some of which you may not have considered. This online criminology course draws on a range of disciplines and subject areas. These include the law, psychology, sociology, media studies and geography to name a few.

The Level 3 Diploma in Criminology certificate will be awarded by Oxford College ODL to students that satisfactorily complete all aspects of the course and the final online examination.

Students specialising in this field usually take up places in vocationally relevant areas such as:

  • Probation
  • Social Work
  • Youth Offender Teams
  • Youth Work
  • Further Education Teaching
  • Prison Service (including fast track)
  • Police Officers (including fast track)
  • Police Research
  • Victim support
  • Safer Cities Programmes
  • Legal Services Commission

'A criminologist' writes one of the most prominent practitioners of the craft 'is one whose professional training, occupational role and reward are concentrated towards a scientific approach, study and analysis of the phenomena of crime and criminal behaviour'. - Wolfgang 1963

Course Content

Module 1 - What is this thing we call 'crime'?

The first module highlights the fact that comprehensions of some social phenomenon such as crime are dependent upon the concepts of the day. Over time attitudes and beliefs have changed and the above view of crime and criminality also changed due to advances in science and empirical enquiry. This change was brought about during the period of enlightenment and the rise of rationalism throughout the eighteenth century when people moved away from superstitious thought and demonology to questioning why certain things occurred to certain people as it was not possible to prove or disprove effects of, or even the existence of, divine factors. The modern approach to addressing crime and criminality is based upon facts and scientific enquiry often resulting in the use of statistics and the conclusions that are drawn from the results.

Module 2 - Sociological Explanations of 'Crime'

In this module the student will focus on the sociological theories of crime, theories that concentrate on extraneous variables as the causes of crime such as poverty, unemployment, exploitation and labelling. This approach started to gain popularity in Britain after a change within the whole social structure caused by the industrial revolution, when life changed dramatically from the rural lifestyle of extended families and close knit communities who were relatively self sufficient and worked towards common aims.

The more modern approach to the life that we live now involves smaller, nuclear families, reconstituted families and the displacement of people who moved to the cities looking for work and a better quality of life. These changes brought about mass urbanisation bringing together communities with different beliefs, customs and personal goals. In pre-industrial Britain crime was more dispersed than it was in post-industrial times and sociologists argue that during more modern times the phenomenon of such things as 'crime hotspots' coupled with the fact that statistics now show that there is far more crime occurring in heavily built up areas highlights the changes brought on by industry and a more capitalist lifestyle. However it is these changes to the population of Britain that has shaped our modern society and the modern sociological theories of the causes of crime.

Module 3 - Psychological Approaches to 'Crime'

This module looks at developmental psychology, gender, social psychology, biological psychology, individual differences, personality, social learning theories, moral development, cognitive and decisions making processes, theories of aggression, sexual deviation, and mental disorders as explanations of criminal activity. The psychology of crime is becoming increasingly an important aspect of crime prevention and detection, movies and television now turn to the psychologists as the new age detectives, but this is reflected in the real world.

Module 4 - Offender Profiling and Eyewitness Testimony

This module looks at the early work of the FBI and the methods employed in the latter part of the last century. The module then looks at the work of David Canter a UK psychologist now famous as a profiler since he aided in the capture of John Duffy the 'Railway Rapist'. Finally the work of Brent Turvey a forensic scientist from the United States is considered. Turvey developed the Behavioural Evidence Analysis method of criminal profiling. We will then ask the question 'is profiling as great as we are led to believe or is profiling not to be trusted'. Eyewitness testimony will then be dealt with highlighting the pros and cons of this very complex issue.

Module 5 - Representing 'Crime'

On completion of this module you will realise that there are many problems with the way that statistics are gathered and the pictures that they portray and also how crime is problematic to society when represented by the media. We will look at the 'dark figure' of crime which is not some sinister character but a theory that postulates that we do not know how much crime is out there and with current methods of studying the phenomenon of crime we have no way of knowing the truth. Politicians use these statistics to fuel their political manifestos, the police use them to inform the public of their success rates and in turn the court system uses these statistics to inform itself and the general public about the state of crime in this country. This method of using police statistics and court statistics is referred to as official statistics but as you will see it can quite easily be argued that these statistics carry very little weight and can be very misleading. It could be said that these raw figures that are being collated are used purely to make assumptions but assumptions do not help to win the war against crime.

Module 6 - Environmental Criminology

If patterns of criminality and victimisation were consistently random there would be no need for crime mapping or even environmental criminology for that matter. However crime and victimisation do fit into patterns and the geographical concentration of crime coupled with other criminological research such as that done on repeat offenders highlights the need for criminological investigation of crime and the social environment. This module will look briefly at the history of this approach to studying crime starting with its birth in the nineteenth century and finish on more modern theories of environmental criminology that attempt to explain the spatial distribution of offences and the spatial distribution of offenders.

Module 7 - Crime Prevention and Community Safety

Firstly this module looks at the perceived failures and limitations of traditional approaches to crime prevention. Moving on the module then looks at more contemporary approaches to crime prevention and community safety and explores the philosophy of 'what works' in the UK and other countries.

Crime prevention and community safety have been transformed over the last twenty-five years and this transformation has impacted on academic study, policy and practice. This module looks at the history of crime prevention and community safety policies in the modern era, the rise of the 'what works' approach in the UK and the possible future developments in both practice and theory to do with prevention, safety and risk management. On completion of this module you will be able to understand the key concepts and research findings that allow for new directions to be taken, understand the main trends in crime prevention and community safety within the UK.

Module 8 - Women and 'Crime'

Criminology has been developed based on male subjects and male victimisation and the relevant theories have been generalised to include all criminals. This sexist approach influences the sentencing, punishment and imprisonment of women and also with the help of the media, the public is led to believe that these women are not bad rather they are mad. Women are judged to the level of appeared conformity to the image of a wife, mother or obedient daughter who contribute to society in a beneficial way. Women who do not conform to this ideal are said to go against their natural biological traits of passivity and compliance are seen as mentally ill. This module takes a brief look at the plight of women that for whatever reason fall foul of the criminal justice system.

Module 9 - Green 'Crime'

This module highlights the ways in which criminology is developing and looks at a relatively new addition to the field of criminology called the greening of criminology. Green criminology looks at the causes, and culpability of environmental disasters, an environmental is a disaster that has happened due to human activity and should not be confused with natural disasters. Green crime occurs through violations of local and international regulations, agreements and laws designed to protect the environment. Or they happen because of some type of exploitation, corporate crimes and corruption. Examples used in this module are the Union Carbine disaster at Bhopal India and Exxon Valdez oil tanker disaster.

Module 10 - White Collar 'Crime'

Whenever we think of crime and criminals we think about burglaries and car crime, thieves and junkies. How much does this type of crime cost the country? The people that take the blame for the state of the country tend to be poor people who commit crimes out of opportunity but are these people really costing the country the most money when it comes to crime, are they the real problem to the British economy? This module looks the problem of white collar crime from the criminological perspective starting with a definition of the term, statistics that highlight how bad the situation is, types of white collar crime and theories that attempt to explain this type of crime.


Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above.

Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit

Assessment Method

Final online multiple choice examination.

Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.


Diploma in Criminology

This course is Quality Assured by the Quality Licence Scheme
Quality Assured by QLS

At the end of this course successful learners will receive an e-Certificate from Oxford Learning College. There is also the option to purchase an Embossed Certificate and also a certificate from ABC Awards for the qualification.

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners' and/or employers' requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers. Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

How can I progress

For more information on how to progress after completing this course, please click here

Additional Information

You will receive a certificate from the College. A digital version is included in the price and will be emailed to you within 5 days of taking your online exam.

Should you require an embossed hard copy of your certificate to be sent to you by Special Delivery post, you can order this separately after taking your exam.

The course can be enrolled upon by students Internationally. There are no deadlines for enrolments.

To view the differences between our qualifications, please click HERE

What's Included

Online study materials to enable the student to successfully complete the Diploma. Support is provided by the tutor department for the duration of the course (1 year). Certification upon completion. All examination fees.

Course Fee


Payment by Instalments

Students are able to pay course fees in monthly instalments. Click here to download our instalment plan.

Further Information

The Quality Assured Diploma is a Level 3 equivalent on the National Qualifications Framework. The Diploma is a 1 year course which is self study and is examined by online examination. The Diploma is awarded by Oxford College. Upon completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College.

The Level 3 Diplomas require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order to for students to manage study and the assumed knowledge within course content.

They provide an ability to gain and apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding in a specific subject at a detailed level. Level 3 qualifications such as A levels, NVQ3, BTEC Diplomas etc. are appropriate if you plan to progress to university study.

Level 3 Diploma courses can assist you in career development, continued professional development, personal development, and provision of a basis for further study.

Progression from Level 3 is to specialist learning and detailed analysis of a higher level of information (for example university level study, Diploma Level 5 study).

Your course is delivered online via the Oxford Learning On Campus website.

This is a flexible learning course, so the more time you have to commit to your studies, the sooner you are able to complete.

In the student 'On Campus' you are also able to take part in the student chat room and forums as part of our online student community.

After enrolling online you will receive your username and password to access the On Campus area within 3 working days.

Materials and support provided by Oxford Learning. Oxford Learning

For more information please visit our FAQ page.

Overall rating 4 out of 5 based on 1 student reviews

I chosen this subject because this is the job area I want to go into. I really enjoyed this course... it was really interesting as well. Learnt so much plus I did a lot of my own research too to get a better understanding. There is also online videos as well that i used which helped a lot towards the course. First few modules of the course you do look into the history of criminology. I enjoyed most of the modules, but there were some bits that i didn't. The course information itself there's a lot to read and I mean a lot. Plus you have to do your own research to get a better understanding. What I didn't like about the course was the information that was given; this was because there is a lot to read and a lot of stuff to try and remember. When your reading you don't know what would be classed as the most important information that you need to revise prior to the exam. And there is a lot of theories/dates to read and remember towards your work. There is questions at the end of each module you can do to help towards your revision. Its one of those courses you need to really focus and get into. Criminology is based on 18 topics... and there are some topics that are a bit boring, of course others might not agree on just depends on what your into. Even though criminology has a lot topics involved........ a lot of the information is based on history and theories. Personally to do the whole course, definitely use the whole year that is given don't leave everything to the last minute. Overall I loved the course and I didn't regret one bit of it.

Rating: 4 Stars! [4 of 5 Stars!]

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 13 August, 2009.

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