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Criminology Level 3 Diploma at The Priory School

Course description

This course has been designed to offer exciting and interesting experiences that focus learning through the acquisition of knowledge and understanding in purposeful contexts linked to the criminal justice system. Students study four units over two years; a description of each unit is shown below.

Course content

Unit 1: Changing awareness of crime

The first unit is for students to plan campaigns for change relating to crime. Students will do this through gaining an understanding of the wide range of different crimes and the reasons people have for not reporting such crimes will provide an understanding of the complexity of behaviours and the social implications of such crimes and criminality.  At the end of this unit, students will have gained skills to differentiate between myth and reality when it comes to crime and to recognise that common representations may be misleading and inaccurate.  They will have gained the skills to understand the importance of changing public perceptions of crime.  Students will be able to use and assess a variety of methods used by agencies to raise awareness of crime so that it can be tackled effectively.  They will have gained the skills to plan a campaign for change in relation to crime; for example, to raise awareness, change attitudes or change reporting behaviour.

Unit 2: Criminological Theories

The second unit is for students to apply their understanding of the public perceptions of crime and campaigns for change studied in Unit 1 with criminological theories to examine how both are used to set policy. At the end of this unit students will have gained the skills to evaluate some criminological theories and know there are debates within the different theories.  They will understand how changes in criminological theory have influenced policy.  Students will also have gained the skills to apply the theories to a specific crime or criminal in order to understand both the behaviour and the theory.

Unit 3: Crime scene to court

This unit will develop the understanding and skills needed to examine information in order to review the justice of verdicts in criminal cases. A miscarriage of justice occurs when an innocent person goes to prison and when the guilty person is still free and unpunished.  At the end of this unit students will have gained the skills to review criminal cases, evaluating the evidence in the cases to determine whether the verdict is safe and just.

Unit 4: Crime and punishment

The final unit is for students to develop skills in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the process of social control in delivering policy in practice. Through this unit, students will learn about the criminal justice system in England and Wales and how it operates to achieve social control. Students will have gained an understanding of the organisations which are part of our system of social control and their effectiveness in achieving their objectives.  As such, students will be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the process of social control in delivering policy in different contexts.


The course is assessed using a combination of internal and external assessment. The following units will be externally assessed:

  • Unit 2: Criminological Theories
  • Unit 4: Crime and Punishment

Details of the external assessment are as follows:

  • 90-minute examination
  • Total of 75 marks

The following units are internally assessed (controlled assessment):

  • Unit 1: Changing Awareness of Crime
  • Unit 3: Crime Scene to Courtroom

Synoptic Assessment

Synoptic assessment requires students to demonstrate that they can identify and use effectively, in an integrated way, an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories and knowledge from across the whole sector as relevant to a key task.Examples of where this is present in the assessment on this course is shown below:

Unit 2 requires learners to draw on learning from Unit 1, in order to complete the assessment requirements.

Unit 4 requires learners to draw on their learning from Units 1, 2 and 3 in order to complete the assessment requirements.

Future opportunities

Students will gain the required knowledge to be able to consider employment within some aspects of the criminal justice sector e.g. Probation Service, Police Force or alternatively use the qualification to support access to higher/further education courses e.g.  Criminology, Criminal Justice and Law.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Priory School directly.

Last updated date: 21 March 2017
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