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Criminology is offered in the sixth form as it provides students with an opportunity to acquire knowledge and understanding of criminology in a meaningful context, linking it to real-life criminal justice cases.

Every unit in the qualification has an application purpose; that is, students will learn the knowledge and apply it to authentic case studies. In addition, learners must consider how the use and application of their learning impacts them, others, employers, society, and the environment.

It is our intention to keep up with crime within the media and news and we encourage our students to do the same. Whenever possible, we will use examples from society that are relevant and real, with an emphasis on UK crime and justice. References to other world societies will be used to offer a variety of perspectives about crime and deviance.

Knowledge intent: We chose WJEC as the exam board offers a broad overview of areas within Criminology.

In Unit 1 students will learn how to:

  • Understand how crime reporting affects the public perception of criminality
  • Understand how campaigns are used to elicit change
  • Plan campaigns for change relating to crime

In this unit, students are required to study relevant, real-life case studies in order to engage them. During the course, the students will be able to understand the changing perceptions of crime, learn about the various campaigns related to the changing views, and design their own 

campaign for an underreported crime. Additionally, it provides students with the foundation and key concepts of the course so that they can continue with the rest of the units.


In unit 2 students will:

  • Understand social constructions of criminality
  • Know theories of criminality
  • Understand causes of criminality
  • Understand causes of policy change

Through this unit, students will learn about how crime occurs from a variety of sociological, psychological, biological, and individualistic perspectives. Furthermore, they will gain a better understanding of how theory informs practical solutions in society.

It is taught in year 12 so that students have the opportunity to bank a certificate in the event that their educational circumstances change.

In unit 3 students will:

  • Understand the process of criminal investigations
  • Understand the process for prosecution of suspects
  • Be able to review criminal cases

Students will be able to identify the steps that lead to a criminal conviction and follow the process from the crime scene to the courtroom (from beginning to end) in this unit. There will be a focus on the various personnel involved, the evidence used, and the various stages of an investigation. In addition, students will explore miscarriages of justice and the validity of information through real-life case studies.

In unit 4 the students will:

  • Understand the criminal justice system in England and Wales
  • Understand the role of punishment in a criminal justice system
  • Understand measures used in social control

In this unit, students have the opportunity to apply their previous knowledge and skills and form links between them. During the exam, students are required to analyse all aspects of their criminological experience alongside new content and form effective written arguments. Students need to have the understanding of the previous units to complete this unit, hence why it is taught last.