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Studying criminology

Studying criminologyGet inside the criminal mind with a criminology degree.

What is criminology?

Criminology is the study of crime, why, where and how it happens, and how it can be prevented. Criminologists investigate questions like:

  • How do social problems like poverty effect crime?
  • Does prison work as a way to deter people from committing crimes?
  • What is the best way to measure crime?

Where can I study criminology?

Criminology degrees are available at many universities. You can often take it with another social science, such as sociology or psychology, which will complement the criminology aspect of your course. At many universities, you will be able to take modules from the law course as part of your degree.

What will a criminology course involve?

As well as studying different theories of crime, you will learn skills important to criminology including:

  • How to read and understand evidence from academic studies
  • Criminological research skills
  • Performing fieldwork

Later in your course, you will usually have the chance to specialize in an area like organized crime, drug abuse or crime prevention. In your final year, you will normally do a large project or dissertation based on an area you are particularly interested in.

What can I do with criminology?

There are a variety of jobs related to law and order that a criminology degree would be useful for. Examples include government research, prison governance and working as a probation officer. Your studies may also be relevant to things like social work, which are not directly related to crime but deal with some of the same issues.

More widely, your course will develop lots of skills that you can use in other careers, such as research, evaluating evidence and data analysis.