Criminology Course

Diploma in Criminology

The 17 Criminology Course Modules

1. Introduction to criminology

What exactly is criminology? And why do we study it?

Why does crime happen? We look back at how we used to view crime and punishment in Georgian and Victorian times. And we evaluate what recent research shows.

We examine the work of penal reformers like Bentham. We consider whether criminals are simply victims of society. And we examine inequality, the Chicago School, and Anglo-Saxon versus Nordic approaches to punishment. Which is more effective?

2. Crime Statistics

Is crime rising or falling? And what types of crime are growing? We look at the different types of crime, and ask which sections of the population are most at risk. Is fear of crime really justified?

3. The UK Criminal Justice System

Police officers, solicitors and judges all have separate roles to play. So do probation officers, barristers and prison officers. We examine the part each plays.

4. Understanding violent crime

We consider physical attacks, including sexual violence, football violence, robbery with violence, and gang warfare. Why do people commit these crimes? How does the law respond? And how can we reduce violent crime?

5. Hate crime

Is there a rise in crime against ethnic minorities, Jews, Muslims and gay people? We focus on the ideas and behaviour of neo-Nazis, and look at how the law responds to hate crime.

6. Crimes against women

What is ‘Honour’ killing? We look at ‘matrimonial disputes’ and battered women. We also consider the role of women in the criminal justice system, from judges to police officers. The ‘battered woman’ defence.

7. Understanding burglary and other property crime

Is crime against property as common as people think? When and where does it happen?

8. Terrorism

Do different terror groups have any similar aims and methods? How does terrorism affect governments and domestic populations? Do terrorists ever win?

9. Organised crime

Much crime extends beyond national boundaries. We see where and how the EU and Interpol get involved. We examine whether criminals’ assets can or should be confiscated. And we take a closer look at the Provisional IRA, the Mafia, and Yakuza.

10. Understanding youth crime and anti-social behaviour

Why do some young people embark on a life of crime, while others lead a spotless life? What types of anti-social behaviour are there, and can it be reduced? We examine how the law treats young offenders, and take a close look a Young Offenders Institutions. We also consider restorative justice, and mentoring. Are they a soft option?

11. Crime and the community

Has the community a role to play in crime prevention? Can it have a positive effect? Or are the police and legislation the only bulwark against chaos? We also look at Criminal Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) and the needs of victims, including the usefulness of Victim Impact Statements.

12. Criminal Profiling

What is criminal profiling, and how does it work? Does it catch criminals?

13. Understanding prisons

Are the jails really full? Are the numbers rising? Why do we put people in jail? The theory of jailing people. Who goes to jail? Is it effective? And how does it compare with probation or community sentencing?

14. White collar and high-tech crime

Are there fortunes to be made from white-collar crime? What are the most popular forms of white-collar crime? Are the offenders caught, and what punishments do they suffer? We also look at high-tech crime and money laundering. We then review some examples of corporate crime, including Bhopal, BP, and corporate manslaughter.

15. Drugs and Crime

How big is the international drugs market? Are we winning the war on drugs? And what is the effect of large seizures? We examine the roles of drug traffickers, sellers and users. We also consider the hierarchy of drugs organisations, and ask why most drug dealers live with their mothers.

We discuss common drugs and their classification. And we ask: how dangerous are drugs? We examine how society and the law respond to the problems of drug criminality. And we ask if there are alternatives.


16. Introduction to forensic psychology

A forensic psychologist assesses whether someone is a criminal or insane, and whether they are competent to stand trial. They aim to predict whether someone will commit violence if freed, and they interpret polygraph (lie detection) data.

17. The death sentence

Which countries execute people? How often are minors executed? And how sound are the courts’ judgements? We review the case for and against capital punishment; and see if there’s any hard evidence to support one side or the other? Finally, we examine politics and crime: how do the political right and left view crime, and is either side right?