Do you find crime shows on TV fascinating? Do you insist on watching Crimewatch? Are you interested in the way that crime impacts on society? If yes, criminology is for you!

In this post, we take an in-depth look at criminology, from its origins and functions to the types of careers you can pursue after gaining a criminology qualification. Use the links below to navigate and find the information you’re looking for.

What is criminology?

Criminology is about much more than just looking at criminal behaviour. It analyses how crime affects victims and society as a whole.

Criminology considers various theories and ideas around how and why crimes occur. It also looks at ways to control and prevent criminal behaviour – in addition to the way law enforcement operates, and the mechanism of the criminal justice system.

The study of criminology dates back to the beginning of the 18th century. Scholars began to realise that defining criminal behaviour as simply a “sin” was not a sufficient way to understand this phenomenon.

The term ‘criminology’ comes from both the Latin word “crimen,” which means accusation, and the translated Greek term ‘logia’, which is used to describe the study of a particular concept or subject.

Furthermore, criminology is considered a branch of sociology. It draws on aspects of psychology and anthropology. It takes a scientific approach to understanding crime and criminal behaviour.

A lot of people don’t realise what a broad field criminology is. As part of a criminology qualification, you’ll touch on all sorts of important issues and disciplines, including sociology, psychology, social anthropology, criminal law and psychiatry. This makes it a hugely rewarding subject of study for anyone interested in this cluster of study topics.

What are the benefits of a criminology qualification?

Considering studying towards a criminology qualification? While hard work and dedication lie ahead, there are a wealth of benefits to enjoy upon successfully completing your studies, including:

  • Interesting and diverse subject matter – as touched on earlier, studying criminology allows you to cover a broad range of topics, meaning your studies will always be engaging and interesting.
  • A varied pool of career options – the sky’s the limit in terms of career options upon successfully completing a criminology qualification. From psychiatry to criminal law, police investigation to anthropology; you’ll have a range of options at your disposal.
  • Lots of personal development opportunities – at different stages of your career, you’ll have plenty of options to take your skills to the next level. Those with a criminology background can climb the ladder in a number of fields, whether it’s as part of a police force or while working as a solicitor.

What can you do with a criminology qualification?

The study of criminology can lead to an exciting career. As a result, you could work for the police, the courts or the prison service.

Criminologists work within the social welfare sector. This includes programmes dealing with youth offending, housing and homelessness, and victim support.

Here are some of the typical career options which may be open to you after completing a criminology qualification:

  • Police officer
  • Detective
  • Prison officer
  • Probation officer
  • Youth worker
  • Social worker
  • Crime scene investigator
  • Paralegal
  • Border control officer
  • Counsellor
  • Community support officer
  • Civil service administrator
  • Solicitor
  • Local government officer

As you can gather, the career options available through a criminology qualification are varied and far-reaching. Businesses and organisations which typically look for criminology qualifications include:

  • The police
  • Probation and prison services
  • Local and central government
  • Courts of law
  • Charities
  • Security services

What qualifications can I take in criminology?

If this subject area does fascinate you and you want to learn more, we offer a range of distance learning criminology courses.

If you are interested in the behaviour and psychology of people who commit crimes, our  Criminal Psychology Level 3 course could be right up your street. Furthermore, this distance learning course will teach you about the role of the criminal psychologist and the criminal justice system – in your own time, and at your own pace!

To find out more, view all the online criminology courses we offer.

Who is the right fit for a criminology qualification?

Given the broad range of prospective careers which can stem from a criminology qualification, there are few limits as to the people who are best suited to it. That said, the below points should help you decide if a criminology qualification is right for you:

  • Analytical thinker
  • Hardworking and focused
  • Level-headed and patient character
  • High level of professionalism
  • Strong work ethic
  • Proactive and willing to rise to new challenges
  • Caring and attentive

Have you enjoyed this article? Perhaps you’re keen to learn more about where a criminology qualification could take you? At Oxbridge, we can help you achieve your career aspirations with our range of industry-recognised distance learning courses. Browse our complete list of criminology courses here, , visit the homepage, or give one of our experienced course advisers a call on 0121 630 3000.