WJEC Diploma in Criminology

Students studying the career related programme of Criminology have the opportunity to examine key theories about criminal behaviour and societal response, as well as involving themselves in active campaigning and the work of professionals in the criminal justice system.

All students on the diploma will study the same four units across two years, with controlled assessments and examinations each year.

Year 12

Unit 1 – Changing Awareness of Crime -  Controlled Assessment (8 hours) 25% of final grade

Topic Area


Understand how crime reporting affects the public perception of criminality

  • Different types of crime
  • Reasons for unreported crime
  • Consequences of unreported crime
  • Media representations of crime
  • Consequences of media representation
  • Collecting crime statistics

Understand how campaigns are used to elicit change

  • Compare campaigns for change
  • Evaluate media influence

Plan campaigns for change relating to crime

  • Plan, Design Materials, Justify campaign


Unit 2 – Criminological Theories – Examination (1 hour 30 minutes) 25 of final grade

Topic Area


Understand Social Constructions of Criminality

  • Compare criminal and deviant behaviour
  • Explain the social construction of criminality

Theories of Criminality

  • Biological Theories
  • Individualistic Theories
  • Sociological Theories

Causes of Criminality

  • Different types of Crime
  • Applying theories of criminality to different types of crime
  • Evaluate theories of criminality in relation to specific types and incidents of crime

Understanding Causes of Policy Change

  • Theories of criminality influencing policy
  • Social changes influencing policy
  • Campaigns influencing policy


Year 13

Unit 3 – Crime Scene to Courtroom – Controlled Assessment (8 hours) 25% of final grade

Topic Area


Understand the process of criminal investigations

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of personnel roles
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of investigation techniques
  • Explain how evidence is processed
  • Explain the rights of individuals in criminal investigations

Understand the process of prosecution

  • Requirements of Crown Prosecution Service to Prosecute
  • Describe the trial process
  • Rules of evidence in criminal cases
  • Assess key influences on a criminal case
  • Use of laypeople in criminal cases

Reviewing criminal cases

  • Examining information for validity
  • Drawing conclusions from information


Unit 4 – Crime and Punishment – Examination (1 hour 30 minutes) 25% of final grade

Topic Area


Understand the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales

  • Processes of law-making
  • Organisation of Criminal Justice System
  • Models of Criminal Justice
  • Explain the social construction of criminality

Role of Punishment in Criminal Justice System

  • Forms of Social Control
  • Aims of Punishment
  • Forms of Punishment and whether they meet aims

Understand measures used in Social Control

  • Agencies involved in Social Control
  • Aims and effects of agencies
  • Limitations on agencies
  • Evaluate effectiveness of agencies