Applied A Level

Course Details

Awarding Body: WJEC

Staff Contacts: Mr C. Wardle (  Miss L. Straw (

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Key features of the course

Criminology is the study of crime and criminals. It investigates the causes of crime, the social impact of crime and the individuals involved in crime, from those who commit crime themselves to those who work within the criminal justice system.

We study Criminology in an attempt to understand what motivates an individual to act in a criminal manner, giving consideration to individual and situational factors that may have impacted on the decision making process; once this is known, we can study how crime can be managed, controlled and prevented.

In Year 12, you will study the changing awareness of crime, allowing you to identify and understand different types of crime, the perception of crime and the reporting of crime. You will also study Criminological Theories, exploring Psychological and Sociological explanations for criminal behaviour.

In Year 13, the focus will be on methods of investigating crime and the processes used from crime scene to court room in order to reach a guilty/not guilty verdict. You will also study crime and punishment, examining how effective different types of punishment for criminal behaviour are and the different agencies who work to maintain social control.

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Minimum of four GCSEs at Grade 4, with at least a grade 5 in English Language.

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What could this course
lead on to?

Criminology students are found in many walks of life but usually in a career that centres on working within the Criminal Justice System such as; Legal services, the Police Force, National Probation Service, Courts and Tribunals Service, Offender rehabilitation, The National Offender Management Service, education and government.

Criminology has many transferable skills and will allow you to develop your critical reasoning, debating, analytical and collaborative learning skills; all vital for progression to Higher Education and employment.

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Future prospects
and careers

The course will support access to degree courses in Criminology and combined Criminology with Law, Sociology, Psychology, Forensics, Youth Work, Criminal Justice etc.  Possibly leading to one of the career areas listed above.

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What type of student is this
course suitable for?

This course is suitable for anyone interested in understanding crime and the possible explanations of criminal behaviour. It requires an inquiring and critical mind and an interest in current affairs, as being able to apply your knowledge to the real world is a crucial skill. Criminology students need to be highly literate as there is a lot of reading and essay writing involved.


Criminology complements other subjects such as Sociology, Psychology and Health & Social Care.
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It is important to understand the assessment structure of the course. What percent are the units ? Are they internally or externally assessed ? Are they exams or coursework?

Unit One

  • Changing Awareness of Crime
  • Internally set assignment (Controlled Assessment)
  • 25% of overall grade.

Unit Two

  • Criminological Theories
  • 90 minute exam
  • 25% of overall grade

Unit Three

  • Crime Scene to Courtroom
  • Internally set assignment (Controlled Assessment)
  • 25% of overall grade.

Unit Four

  • Crime and Punishment
  • 90 minute exam
  • 25% of overall grade
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