Course at a glance


This Level 3 Course in Criminology is designed to provide an introduction to those students who are interested in understanding more about the nature of crime and the type of people who commit crime in the society in which they live. Students may be considering studying Criminology because they are considering a career in Law, Probation, Victim Support or the Police Force or simply because they have an interest in the topic. Criminology is defined as the systematic and scientific study of the phenomena of crime. Criminology is a diverse topic and covers many aspects of human society.

The College will provide you with the resources necessary to complete the course and will also provide you with tutor support. Tutors have all been specially selected for their knowledge and understanding of your particular area of study and have experience in Distance Learning support. The Course will combine theoretical knowledge of Criminology and several aspects of the subject in order to build a coherent understanding of the subject area.

Assignments which will be marked online by a course tutor. The assignments will develop theoretical knowledge and understanding gained from studying the relevant Modules (and indeed further reading). Students are encouraged to develop self reflection and understanding during their Course of study which will assist them when considering a career or further study in Criminology. An important aspect of Criminology is the study of Research Skills and Analysis of Data and this is embedded within many of the modules.

The Course duration is one year and students study at home at their own pace using our virtual learning environment. The course offers flexible delivery so that the more time you can allocate to your studies the sooner you can complete the Course. Upon enrolment you will be provided with all the necessary materials to complete the Course and you are free to study as often as you wish. Progression from Level 3 can assist in career development, continued professional development, personal development and provision of basis for further study. On successful completion of this Course you become eligible for Level 5 study at Oxford Distance Learning and can discuss this with student services at any point during the progression of your Course.

There are ten modules of study within the course and two assignments totalling approximately 3000 words. Students are required to pass both assignments and this will determine the award of the Level 3 Diploma in Criminology. Assignments must be written by the student themselves and work that has been copied and pasted into the assignment will not be accepted as all work has to be screened for Plagiarism. The completed assignments will be marked online by a course tutor and feedback on performance will be provided. Tutor support will be provided throughout the Course of study and you are encouraged to make contact with your Tutor at the earliest possible opportunity as this will assist you develop your understanding and knowledge of the topic.

The College will provide you with the resources necessary to complete the course and you are also encouraged to read around the topics you are studying in further detail as this will help you decide whether or not your chosen course of study is the right topic for you to develop in the future.

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Entry Requirement

Entry to this Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.


The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations.

Study Hours

Approximately: 200 hours of personal study time for the entire course is recommended. All of which is supported by the OLC Course Tutor, who we greatly encourage students to access support from throughout their course.

Quality Assurance

This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. It is also part of the College’s validated level three Diplomas’, recognised internationally, as verified and moderated by awarding body. Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Course Length

1 Year.

Awarding Body


Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Course Content

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Module 1 – Introduction to Criminology

We begin our course of study with a look at why Criminology is an important area of study and the way that attitudes and beliefs about crime have changed over time. We examine aspects such as the rise of rationalism in the 18th century and the way in which this changed ideas about crime from previous views of crime such as those equated with superstition and demonology. Modern approaches to crime are evidence based and based upon statistical and rational approaches to the study.

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Module 2 – Sociological Approaches to Crime

Society has been the subject of many changes since the industrial revolution and many theories have emerged to explain crime since that time. We examine the way in which life has changed since the industrial revolution and also examine sociology theories of gender, unemployment, poverty and race to examine their links to deviant and criminal behaviour. Changes in family life such as the demise of the extended family and the rise in divorce are often blamed for the rise of criminal behaviour and we examine the links between changes in family structure and rising crime rates. The rise in urban living has led to increased crime rates and we examine the reasons behind this and the links between industrialisation and crime..

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Module 3 – Psychological Approaches to Crime

This module examines psychological approaches to crime which are based upon biological predisposition, personality, social learning theory, theories of aggression, mental illness and their relevance to the study of crime. Crime is frequently portrayed in television programmes and on the news and we examine the messages that are conveyed in mass media presentations of ‘criminals’ and the role that Psychology plays in supporting the Police try to detect criminal behaviour.

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Module 4 – Offender Profiling and Eyewitness Testimony

This module examines the work of David Canter who was a UK Psychologist who developed the idea of offender profiling as a consequence of his work in the capture of John Duffy who is famously termed ‘The Railway Rapist’. The early work of the FBI is contrasted with more modern approaches such as ‘offender profiling’ and we question the validity of the method. We will then examine eyewitness testimony and whether or not it is as reliable as we are led to believe.

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Module 5 – Representing Crime

This module examines the way in which Government Statistics on crime are produced and presents the idea that statistics need to be appropriately evaluated in order to determine their value in explaining crime. Crime statistics are used by Politicians, the Police and other public bodies to inform the general public about the nature of crime but it is argued that the figures may not reflect reality and the reasons are discussed. The ‘dark figure of crime’ suggests that statistics may lie and the reasons for this are explored. We consider the different methods used by Public Bodies to collate the statistics on crime and the appropriateness of the different types of data such as qualitative v quantitative will be discussed.

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Module 6 – Environmental Criminology

In this module we examine the demographics of crime and the idea of crime being concentrated in specific areas associated with criminal behaviour. We examine the usefulness or otherwise of ‘crime mapping’ and examine issues such as labelling, victimisation and whether research carried out on repeat offenders leads to them being over-represented in the crime statistics. The ‘random nature’ of crime is discussed and we discuss this in relation to evidence collected by statistical representations of crime.

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Module 7 – Crime Prevention and Community Safety

This module looks at crime prevention strategies and examines their usefulness or otherwise in keeping communities safe. We compare UK figures with those collected in other countries and examine the transformations that have occurred in the last twenty five years. We examine new approaches and research to try and understand what works in relation to community safety in the UK.

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Module 8 – Women and Crime

Males are over-represented in Crime statistics and women are under-represented and we examine the reasons for this in this Module. The difference between the crimes committed by men and those of women is explored as are issues such as sentencing, punishment and imprisonment. Women who do not conform to the ideal of wife, mother and obedient daughter are more likely to be labelled as ‘bad’ by society and we examine the links between these women and their representation in crime in this module.

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Module 9 – ‘Green Crime’

Environmental disasters can have a huge impact upon the landscape but this is not the same as crime and ‘green crime’ is about the contravention of local and international regulations, agreements and laws designed to protect the environment. Many people do not see this as ‘crime’ at all and the reasons for this are explored and also the punishments of ‘green crime’ are discussed. Students are given the opportunity to explore topical examples of this types of crime.

Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma Module 10 – White Collar Crime

The crime statistics do not reflect ‘white collar crime’ and indeed much white collar crime can go undetected. White collar crime is not about burglaries, car theft and robbery but about the type of crime that can go undetected such as stealing from an employer or the Government by tax evasion. We examine the relative cost of both types of crime to society and why white collar crime is rarely punished or indeed detected.


This Accredited Level 3 Criminology Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.