Are you interested in studying criminology and learning about criminal justice? Explore where a criminology degree could take you with FutureLearn.
Are you interested in the impact crime has on society and the psychology behind a criminal’s actions? If so, then you may have considered studying for a degree in criminology.
While a criminology degree may appear specialist on the surface, the knowledge and skills you get during your studies can be applied across a variety of exciting industries and job roles.
In this article, we’ll explore the jobs you can get with a criminology degree, so you’re aware of the different career paths available to you once you’ve become an expert in the study of crime.
What is criminology?
Criminology is the scientific study of crime and criminals. It involves analysing the motivations and consequences of crime, as well as exploring methods of prevention.
The field of criminology is multi-disciplinary, combining psychology, law, sociology, and biology. You’ll be expected to learn about the legal and criminal justice system, the impact crime has on society, and why criminals commit the crimes they do.
Using your criminology expertise, some of the main responsibilities include:
- Conducting research
- Developing theories
- Investigating crime scenes
- Producing reports
Studying criminology will allow you to gain similar skills to psychology and sociology graduates, but with a specialist focus in crime. So, your studies will include both theoretical and practical work.
What will you study as part of a criminology degree?
While studying for your degree in criminology, you’ll cover a variety of different modules. These include:
- The criminal justice landscape
- Social policy
- Social research methods
- Crime, culture and social change
- The sociology of crime
These modules will be assessed using coursework, essays, exams, presentations, projects, and a dissertation.
During, and once you’ve finished your studies, you’ll develop some key career-specific skills that include insights into society and criminal justice. You’ll also learn how to do social research. However, there will also be a whole range of transferable skills you’ll learn, which can be applied to lots of different careers. Some of these include:
- Communication skills
- Critical thinking and analysis
- Presentation skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Organisational skills
- The ability to remain calm under pressure
- Data analysis skills
What jobs can you get with a criminology degree?
With a criminology degree, there are many careers you can choose from. Some will be directly linked to the expertise you’ve gained as a criminologist, whereas others will be more focused on the transferable skills you’ve learned.
Jobs directly related to your studies include:
1. Civil service administrator
You’ll carry out government policies and deliver vital services to the public whilst contributing to the day-to-day running of the country. Often dealing directly with the public, you’ll have the chance to impact people’s lives positively, doing important research and writing detailed reports.
2. Community development worker
As a community development worker, you’ll help communities bring about social change and improve the lives of people in the local area. This involves working with individuals, families, and communities. The projects you’ll work on will address inequality and help those who are economically or geographically disadvantaged.
3. Crime scene investigator
Your role will be to collect forensic evidence from crime scenes that help to detect and later prosecute criminals. This will involve visualising, recording, and recovering evidence. The evidence that you gather will then be used in criminal proceedings.
As a detective, you’ll be responsible for solving crimes and catching criminals. This means you’ll need to understand how criminals think and do what they do, whilst also working out how to stop them.
5. Forensic psychologist
A forensic psychologist interviews suspects and convicted criminals to help understand their motives and the reasons for their behaviour. You’ll work with all aspects of the criminal justice system.
6. Police officer
You’ll be responsible for enforcing the law and protecting the general public, including both detecting and preventing crime. A police officer will also fill out and file reports after an incident has happened.
7. Prison officer
Responsible for the custody, care, and welfare of prisoners, your main duties will be based around keeping prisoners safe. Whether it’s carrying out security checks or doing search procedures, you’ll play an important role in the smooth running of prison operations.
8. Probation officer
You’ll manage offenders to protect the public and reduce the risk of reoffending. You’ll work in courts, in the community, and while people are in custody. Ultimately, your main goal is to help offenders make better life choices.
9. Social worker
As a social worker, you’ll help to support individuals and their families through difficult periods in their lives. This involves making sure that vulnerable people are safe and they get the support they need to find solutions to their problems.
10. Victim liaison officer
Victim liaison officers work with victims of serious violent or sexual offences where the offender receives a prison sentence of 12 months or more. You’ll make sure that victims are kept up-to-date with the key stages of sentencing and that their concerns and views are heard.
Other jobs you can do once you’ve got your criminology degree include:
- Adult guidance worker
- Aid worker
- Border Force officer
- Charity officer
- Housing manager/officer
- Local government officer
- Political risk analyst
- Social researcher
What is the average salary for criminology graduates?
After completing your degree, your salary will depend on the sector you enter. For example, if you choose to become a forensic scientist, your salary will be approximately £24,197, while the average salary of a community development worker is between £23,000 and £29,000.
Some of the most common jobs for criminology graduates are:
- Protective service occupations
- Welfare and housing associate professionals
- Care workers
- Welfare professionals
As you gain more experience and progress into senior roles, you can expect your salary to rise considerably.
Careers in criminology: additional learning
If you’re ready to dig deep into the world of crime and positively contribute to society, then grab your magnifying glass and take a closer look at some of the crime and criminology courses we offer at FutureLearn.
From forensics to the criminal justice system, our courses will help you to develop your criminology skills and knowledge in line with your studies.
Online criminology courses at FutureLearn
- Introduction to Criminology by University of Hull
- Human Rights and International Criminal Law: An Introduction by University of Padova
- Incarceration: Are Prisons a Suitable Punishment by University of Leeds
- Casing the Joint: Introducing Histories of Crime by University of Newcastle Australia
- From Crime to Punishment: An Introduction to Criminal Justice by University of York
Are you looking to gain a criminology degree online? Check out our range of online criminology degrees and start your journey towards a new career from the comfort of your own home.