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Diploma of Higher Education in Criminology and Sociology - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

As a graduate of the Diploma of Higher Education in Criminology and Sociology you will be able to formulate and investigate criminological and sociological questions; summarise and explain empirical evidence and research, including its ethical implications; and assess the methodologies used to address questions in criminology and sociology. You will also be able to apply basic research tools and access relevant qualitative and quantitative data.

Overall, this qualification aims to equip you with the skills to evaluate and discuss criminological and sociological topics with due appreciation of relevant theory and evidence. It also aims to allow you to comment on the value of criminological work on crime and victimisation, and responses to crime and deviance. Similarly, it aims to allow you to comment on the value of sociological work with particular reference to the impact of digital technologies on social life and inequalities.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

When you complete your studies for this qualification, you will have knowledge and understanding of the:

  • key concepts and theoretical approaches in criminology and sociology
  • main methods of sociological and criminological research, including the ethical issues they raise, and the ability to assess their appropriate uses
  • major processes and phenomena that characterize social worlds, including social diversity and divisions; inequalities, power and stratification; the relationship between social action and structure; the processes that bring about social change, conflict and stability; and those that shape individuals, groups, practices, institutions and structures
  • complex ways in which institutions, policies and practices relevant to ‘crime’ and ‘justice’ interact, and a critical awareness of how social interests, positions and values impact on policies and practices in criminal justice and law-making.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this qualification you will have developed the ability to:

  • identify and select evidence relevant to sociological and criminological concerns, and interpret, analyse, and critically evaluate this evidence
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of established techniques of sociological and criminological analysis and enquiry
  • deploy a conceptual understanding of criminology and sociology in order to explore a range of complex social problems and to devise and sustain arguments
  • interpret, analyse and evaluate sociological and criminological ideas, concepts and arguments and demonstrate an ability to extend knowledge and understanding of these.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this qualification you will have developed the ability to:

  • recognise and critically evaluate personal viewpoints and engage respectfully with the views of others
  • identify and describe the value of sociological and criminological inquiry to social, public and civic policy and debate
  • learn from feedback and reflect on the process of learning to evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses
  • regularly review current and future goals for personal, academic and career development, and develop strategies to achieve these goals where necessary.

Key skills

On completion of this qualification you will have developed the ability to:

  • accurately and effectively communicate criminologically- and sociologically- relevant information, in a variety of ways suitable for a range of audiences, both formally and informally
  • select, access and exploit a wide range of digital literacy practices to find, use, reference and share data and information relevant to the study of criminology and sociology
  • demonstrate skills necessary for planning, conducting and presenting criminological and sociological investigations, including the collation, analysis and interpretation of secondary data
  • work collectively with other learners in group situations to achieve joint outcomes.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will be taught through our highly successful ‘blended-learning’ approach. This combines print-based teaching texts, innovative online resources (including text, audio-visual material and interactive activities) and a mixture of face-to-face and synchronous online teaching and forums. Assessment is designed to help you build your skills as you progress through your diploma, starting gently and building towards more advanced skills in Stage 2. Modules typically include a number of individual assignments and a longer piece of end-of-module assessed work. Unmarked online quizzes and other activities help you build knowledge and understanding towards your formal assignments, all of which are marked and count towards your module result. You will receive detailed feedback on these assignments to help you improve your marks in future work.