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Criminology

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Crime and how to control crime are issues that both fascinate us and make us fearful. From the actions of petty thieves to the threats of terrorist organisations, crime affects us all to a lesser or greater extent. But why are some actions defined as criminal or anti-social, while others are not? And who defines them? As an OU student studying criminology you’ll explore a variety of questions and concerns around social order, security and surveillance and learn how governments try to tackle them. And through this study you’ll also be learning more about contemporary society, welfare policy and crime-control policy. 

From a career perspective, you’ll find your studies will be of particular value if you’re involved in, or plan to work in the criminal justice system, health care, housing, local government, public services, social welfare, or the voluntary sector.

Degrees ( More about Degrees
More about Degrees
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Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.

For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.

With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.

You can use a degree to:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • go onto postgraduate study, such as a diploma or masters degree.
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  • Combined Social Sciences
    Develop a rich synthesis of knowledge and skills drawn from the breadth of social sciences subjects: criminology; economics; geography; politics; psychology; sociology; and social policy.
  • Criminology and Psychological Studies
    Our society is fascinated by crime and punishment. This degree will help you understand the issues behind the headlines.
  • Social Policy and Criminology
    Prepare for a career in welfare, government, public health or criminal justice agencies with this degree which examines the historical and contemporary development of social policy and criminology.
  • Open degree
    The BA/BSc Open Degree is a qualification that gives you a huge choice in terms of subjects and modules that you study to make up your degree.

Diplomas of Higher Education ( More about Diplomas of Higher Education
More about Diplomas of Higher Education
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A Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE) is equivalent to two thirds of an honours degree. They are nationally recognised qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession, or academic study.

DipHEs are designed to increase the professional and technical skills of staff within a profession or extend your knowledge and understanding of a particular subject. A DipHE shows that you are capable of extended study at university level.

You can use a DipHE to:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain technical and professional skills
  • gain a greater knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • achieve a full honours degree through additional study.

The Diploma of Higher Education might be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.

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Certificates of Higher Education ( More about Certificates of Higher Education
More about Certificates of Higher Education
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A Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) is a nationally recognised qualification focusing on either a particular job or profession, or academic study. Equivalent to the first year of a full honours degree, they are the most basic level of qualification that can be gained in higher education and show that you are capable of studying successfully at university level.

You can use a CertHE to:

  • gain confidence to study successfully at university level
  • change careers or progress your current career
  • build on your existing experience and gain new skills
  • gain a broad introduction to a subject you are interested in
  • achieve a foundation degree, DipHE or full honours degree through additional study.
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Getting started with an Access module

There are two ways to start a qualification. If you haven’t studied for a long time or need to build your confidence, beginning your studies with an Access module may be the right choice for you.

Choose a qualification to find out more.

Study a module as a standalone course

You can study a single module on its own for personal interest or to improve your career prospects. See the list of all our individual courses in Criminology.

Postgraduate options

If you already have a degree, you may want to see postgraduate courses and qualifications in Social Sciences.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

Studying outside of UK and Europe?

If you live outside of the UK, Republic of Ireland and Europe, please visit our website for international students.

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