WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma

In Year 12, students get to learn about different types of crimes, explanations for why people commit crime and how we deal with criminals. They also study real life examples of high-profile crimes and learn about the media campaigns that arise from them, which aim to change the law.

In Year 13, students look at what happens at the scene of a crime, the forensic and police investigation process, how cases are prepared for trial, and what happens in the courtroom at a criminal trial. They also look at our current forms of punishments, such as prison sentences, and consider how effective these are for deterring criminals.

We also take students for an educational visit to The Royal Courts of Justice and The Old Bailey courthouse, where they are able to sit in on a real trial, and observe the process.

The Criminology A Level course provides a really good introduction to a range of degree courses and careers, and is ideal for students wishing to study criminology, law, politics, social policy or sociology at university. It is also very . is relevant for students interested in any role within the criminal justice system, such as in the police force, prison officer, probation officer or crime scene investigator.

Entry requirements

You need to have good grades in most of your GCSEs but it is important that you have at least a grade 4 in English Language.

Course content and structure

Unit 1:

  • Different types of crime
  • How we can study the amount of crime being committed?
  • Why are certain crimes not reported to the police?
  • What are the consequences of crimes not being reported?
  • How does the media represent certain crimes?
  • How do the public perceive certain crimes?
  • Learn about examples of campaigns that have changed the law
  • How effective campaigns are in changing the law
  • Students design their own campaign

Unit 2:

  • How do we define what is and is not a crime?
  • How does our idea of ‘crime’ change over time and between cultures?
  • Criminological theories (explanations of crime)
  • How useful are these explanations for explaining crime?
  • What policies are in place to prevent/reduce crime?

Unit 3:

  • Who is involved in criminal investigations?
  • How are investigations carried out?
  • How is evidence processed?
  • What rights do individuals have?
  • What is the criminal justice process?
  • What factors affect criminal trials?

Unit 4:

  • How are laws made?
  • How is the criminal justice system organised?
  • How do we control people’s behaviour?
  • How do we punish people if they commit a crime?
  • How effective is our system of punishment?




The course is comprised of 4 units each worth 25% of the overall grade.

Two of the units will be assessed through students writing an extended assignment (controlled assessment)

Unit 1 - Changing Awareness of Crime (Year 12)

Unit 3 - Crime Scene to Courtroom (Year 13)

The other two units are each assessed by a 90 minute external exams,

Unit 2 - Criminological Theories (Year 12)

Unit 4 - Crime and Punishment (Year 13)

This assessment structure is particularly useful in helping students to spread out their exams and controlled assessment across the two year A Level course.



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