GSO Test



Criminology is a qualification which includes elements of psychology, law and sociology. The course aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the criminal justice system and an awareness of the different types of crime as well as exploring the behaviour and theories behind why people commit crime. 



A grade 5 in a Humanities subject
A grade 5 in English Language
It should be noted that most of the work you are required to do involves writing in extended style.



In the event that the course is oversubscribed places will be allocated to those students with the highest grades in GCSE English Language.



50% of the assessment is through externally marked examinations and 50% through internally marked controlled assessment.


 The course consists of four units:

  • Changing Awareness of Crime (internal assessment)
    This unit focuses on building your understanding of the different types of crime and the things that influence the way we perceive crime. We will also examine the reasons why certain types of crimes are less likely to be reported to the police.
  • Criminological Theories (external assessment)
    We will look at how we define crime and what constitutes criminal behaviour. We will also look at the fundamental question of why people commit crime, drawing on biological, psychological and sociological theories. We will then examine how these theories may have influenced social policy in relation to crime
  • Crime Scene to Courtroom (internal assessment)
    This unit will enable you to develop your understanding of the criminal justice system from the moment a crime has been identified to the verdict in the courtroom. We will look at the complex processes involved in investigating and prosecuting crimes, and we will review real criminal cases to evaluate the evidence and the validity of the verdict.
  • Crime and Punishment (external assessment)
    Using the knowledge and understanding gained from units already studied we will address questions such as: Why do most of us tend to obey the law even when to do so is against our own interests? What institutions have we developed to ensure that people do obey laws? What happens to those who break the law? Why do we punish people? How do we punish people? How effective is the criminal justice system in preventing and dealing with criminality?



The course will enable you to develop a range of transferrable skills including independent research skills, problem solving, presentation skills and the ability to work collaboratively. It will support access to higher education degree courses in the social sciences such as Criminology, Sociology, Psychology and Law. The study of Criminology will also equip you with a good grounding in the knowledge and understanding required to go on to employment in the criminal justice system in areas such as the probation service, policing and the courts and tribunals service.