Level 3 Applied Diploma in Criminology

An introduction to Criminology


Please note: Demand for places on our Criminology Level 3 Diploma are always high, so when we believe we have enough students to fill the spaces available for the following September, we will limit the number of applications we can accept.   

This may mean that when you apply, you will see you can only request to be added to the Criminology waiting list. If you wish to be added the list, you should apply as normal and select three other subjects. Please note that a place on the Criminology waiting list does not guarantee a place on the course.

It may be that some students who have already applied for Criminology change their minds later in the year, in which case places may become available by September and the waiting list allows us to ensure spaces that become available can be fairly allocated.


Q: What type of qualification is this?

This course is a Level 3 Applied Diploma, graded from A* – E. It is equal to other Level 3 qualifications and carries UCAS/UMS points. A grade A is worth 48 UCAS points. Universities accept this qualification alongside other Level 3 qualifications.

Q: How is the course structured?

You will study two units in your first year (Unit 1 – Changing awareness of crime & Unit 2 – Criminological theories) and two units in your second year (Unit 3 Crime scene to courtroom & Unit 4 – Crime and punishment)

Q: How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed via a combination of controlled assessment (50%) and formal examination (50%). Unit 1 and Unit 3 are assessed via controlled assessment and Unit 2 and Unit 4 are assessed via formal examination.

Q: What is a controlled assessment?

A controlled assessment is an unseen assignment that is completed under supervised timed conditions (maximum 8 hours) at the end of unit 1 and unit 3. Unlike exams, you are able to use class notes and your own independent research to complete the assignment. You cannot access the internet whilst completing this.

Q: How long are the formal examinations?

Unit 2 and Unit 4 are examined via formal examination. Each exam is 1 hour and 30 minutes long, and will have a variety of questions ranging from 1 to 9 marks.

Q: When will you be assessed?

You will complete Unit 1 (controlled assessment) and Unit 2 (formal examination) during Year 12. You will then complete Unit 3 (controlled assessment) and Unit 4 (formal examination) at the end of Year 13. This means that you will have sat 50% of the course, and receive a grade, at the end of Year 12. The remaining 50% of your final grade will be made up from your achievement in Unit 3 and Unit 4. You will have opportunities to re-sit Unit 1 and Unit 2 during the course (if you choose to do this). You must pass ALL units to gain an overall grade and therefore achieve this qualification.

Q: How many lessons a week will you have?

As with all subjects you will have 3 x 1.5 hr lessons of Criminology a week.

Q: What resources will you be provided with?

You will be provided with a textbook for Year 1 and Year 2. You will also be provided with topic booklets (additional information, worksheet, activities, revision tips) for every topic that you study. All textbooks and course resources are provided free of charge. Students may need to purchase general stationary (folders, dividers, notebooks) to help with their independent study and course organisation.

Q: What are lessons like?

Criminology lessons involve a variety of activities to support and challenge you, whilst learning a brand-new subject. You can expect individual, paired, group-based tasks, independent research, presentations, exam practice, retrieval practice tests and teacher led content.

Q: What support can I access outside of lesson?

All the lesson resources are available to you via our Office 365 platform and internal VLE, along with links to wider reading, past paper questions and revision tools. We also run weekly subject support sessions that allow you to have one to one or small group reviewing of topics you will be studying.

Q: What types of homework will I be set?

Your homework tasks will cover a wide range of learning skills, including things such as research, revision, questions, presentation preparation and note taking. This will be for 4-5 hours per week.

Q: What other subjects complement studying Criminology?

Criminology is an interdisciplinary subject which means it draws on Psychology, Sociology, Biology, Economics, Politics and Law. As such, it can be studied alongside a wide range of other Level 3 courses. The structure of the course also compliments other subjects as you are assessed differently to BTEC’s and A-Levels. This can help you manage your workload over the course of Year 12 and 13.

Q: Does it matter that I haven’t studied Criminology before?

Criminology is not taught at Key stage 4, so you will not be at a disadvantage having not studied it before. Criminology is a social science, so you have already learnt key skills involved from your GCSE’s and now have the exciting task of applying those to a brand-new subject.

Q: What extra-curricular activities are there?

You will have the opportunity to attend talks by guest speakers, from a range of different profession backgrounds including the Police, CPS and Forensic scientists. You will also be given the opportunity to attend criminology conferences, court visits and visits to other organisations working within criminal justice.

Q: How will Criminology help me with my degree choices?

Criminology can help you study degrees related to the subject (Criminology, Psychology, Sociology and Law), however our past students have gone on to study degrees such as Biochemistry, Counselling, Nursing and Electrical engineering.

Q: How will Criminology help me gain an apprenticeship or employment?

Criminology will help you develop a range of skills suited to apprenticeships of employment. These include problem solving, critical thinking, organisation, research, presentation and communication skills.

Q: Will I enjoy studying Criminology?


We hope that the Course video, FAQs and Subject Live chat have answered all your questions about the course. If you do have any other generic questions, please contact the course leader sharon.hedger@bilborough.ac.uk

Please note that queries about your individual progression onto the course should be directed to admissions@bilborough.ac.uk