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Diploma of Higher Education in Criminology - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

As a graduate of the Diploma of Higher Education in Criminology you will be able to formulate and examine criminological questions, summarise and explain information and research findings, and to assess the methods used to address topical questions on crime and justice. You will learn how to apply basic research tools, and access data on crime, victimisation and justice. Overall, the qualification will aim to equip you with the skills to discuss criminological topics with an appreciation of theory and evidence and to comment on the value of criminological work on understanding crime, victimisation, and responses to crime.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this diploma, you will have:

  • an awareness of key concepts and theoretical approaches in relation to crime, criminal justice, harm and victimisation
  • some knowledge of the complex ways in which the institutions, policies and practices relevant to ‘crime’ and ‘justice’ interact
  • some understanding of research methods, including ethical issues, and their appropriate use in criminology
  • an awareness of the ways in which social interests, positions and values may impact on policies and practices in criminal justice and law-making.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

  • identify evidence from a variety of sources, interpret and evaluate evidence of crime, victimisation and criminalisation
  • demonstrate some knowledge and understanding of key criminological theories, concepts and principles
  • deploy a conceptual understanding of criminology in order to explore a range of social problems and to devise arguments
  • identify appropriate methods and techniques to review knowledge and understanding of crime, criminalisation and legal frameworks.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

  • recognise and evaluate personal viewpoints and engage the views of others with
  • respect demonstrate some of the skills associated with independent learning
  • learn from feedback and reflect on the process of learning to evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses
  • identify and work toward goals for personal, academic and career development.

Key skills

On completion of this diploma, you will be able to:

  • accurately and effectively communicate information about crime, criminalisation and criminal justice
  • select and access a range of digital literacy practices to find, use, and reference data and information relevant to crime, victimisation and criminal justice
  • collate, analyse and interpret information and data from secondary sources
  • connect and work with other learners in group situations to achieve joint outcomes.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

In line with both the Quality Code, published by the QAA, and with the QAA’s criminology subject benchmarking statement, the Diploma in Higher Education in Criminology at the OU recognises that:

  • students need to be given the opportunity to acquire capacities of thinking in both abstract and concrete terms and to relate the two
  • students will be required to weigh alternative interpretations embodied in different theoretical perspectives as well as to rehearse and revise their own ideas
  • criminology is an ever-evolving discipline and reflects current social, political and public disputes
  • criminological learning, teaching and assessment approaches  should be designed to be as inclusive as possible.