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Job Description

Criminologists look at the reasons why people commit crimes and find ways to reduce re-offending.

Entry Requirements

You can get into this job through:


You could do a college course like a Forensic and Criminal Investigation (BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma) or Diploma Level 3 - Applied Science Extended Diploma. 

You will need 5 GCSEs including Maths and English at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent.

The following local colleges offer courses in Criminology/Law:

Or your local 6th form may offer a relevant course


You can do a degree in:

  • criminology
  • criminal justice and psychology
  • sociology
  • youth justice
  • law and criminology

You can also do a postgraduate qualification in criminology. Most degree subjects are accepted as entry but relevant work experience can also be taken into account.

You'll usually need 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree.

Click here to search for a suitable course.

Graduate training scheme

You could apply for a place on the Government Social Research Fast Stream programme to work in the Civil Service.

You'll need an upper second class degree or better, in criminology or social sciences, to apply.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

Career Tips

You could join the British Society of Criminology for professional development and networking opportunities.

Career Path and Progression

You could become a senior policy adviser on crime and crime reduction with local or national government, the police or the probation service.

You could also work as a specialist researcher in particular offences, for example online abuse, organised crime or youth offending.

With further training, you might move into social or probation work, a career in law or join the security services.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Social Worker
  • Cyber intelligence officer
  • Youth offending team officer
  • Probation Officer

Required Skills

You'll need:

  • knowledge of sociology and anthropology for understanding society and culture
  • excellent written communication skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • persistence and determination
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

Salary Range

£23,500 to £36,000

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