Criminology degree study guide


What is criminology

Criminology is a part of sociology; it is a study about; crime; criminals; their behavior; and its correction. But with time the field of criminology has expanded and now it connects with a lot of other fields, like genetics, psychology, law, forensics, investigative studies and many more. The reason is that criminology requires the help and assistance of these subjects for finding clues and understanding criminal behavior.

Description of degree types in UK, US and Canada

Criminology can either be studied separately or also with a bi major. Many universities in UK start offering criminology from the bachelor’s level. A B.A or a BSc (Hons) in criminology can be studied. Student also have the option of studying; psychology, sociology and law with criminology in BSc. Universities in the United Kingdom offer a master, Msc in Criminology and other disciplines.

Not all universities in the United States offer criminology from the bachelor’s level. They start with masters in Science.

Mostly universities offer Master of Arts and Master of Science in criminology studies. In many schools and colleges criminology is also offered at the doctorate level. As the field of criminology has connections with other fields too, it creates new avenues for individuals in the market place. A degree in criminology can also be obtained by studying at a university online.

Fields of study in criminology

The field of criminology is very vast now as compared to the older times and universities now have proper schools and department for the study and research of criminology.

Comparative criminology

Crime prevention

Crime statistics

Criminal behavior

Criminal careers and desistance

Domestic violence

Deviant behavior

Evaluation of criminal justice agencies

Fear of crime

The International Crime Victims Survey

Juvenile delinquency


Sociology of law


Top 5 criminology universities in each of: UK, US & Canada

University of Maryland

University of Maryland which is located outside Washington DC, it was founded in 1856 and is the ranked topmost for criminology and criminal justice in the country. The criminology department at Maryland offers students the opportunity of a Traditional masters, a Professional and also a joint masters M.A/ JD (Juvenile Delinquency).

University of Edinburg

Located in Scotland, UK, Edinburg is one of the oldest universities. It is also ranked on the 20th position in the best universities of the world. University of Edinburg was founded in 1583 and is the reason Edinburg was nicknamed Athens of the North. The University receives around 47000 applications every year and is ranked at the third position in all of UK. University of Edinburg has a law school which not only offers law degrees but also post graduate degrees in criminology. They offer Msc in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

University of Albany

Founded in the year 1844, the University of Albany which is a part of the state of New York University has its own College Of Criminal Justice. It is a research university and is divided into nine schools and colleges. The College of Criminal Justice was established in 1966. The University belongs to public sector and ranks no.2 in the United States. The college of Criminal Justice is one of the few colleges of criminology which offer a bachelors degree also. They offer students the opportunity of a bachelors, masters and doctorate in all aspects of crime. The graduates of this school have been very successful in their careers be it in teaching, research or a practical job.

University of Cincinnati

University of Cincinnati, also known as Cincy or UC is ranked number three in all of US for Criminology. The university is a public research university. The university is a part of the university system of Ohio. It is also one of the largest universities in the United States. It is also rated on the top when it comes to research in Criminal Justice. The University of Cincinnati comprises of 13 schools and colleges, and the College Of Education, Criminal Justice and Humans Services is a part of it. The school was founded in 1905 as College for Teachers, and in 2003 it was renamed as the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services (CECH). The Criminal Justice section of the college consists of the following units: Criminal Justice, Legal Assisting Technology, Legal Assistance and Paralegal Studies. It has also been rated as one of the best distance learning schools.

Simon Fraser University-School of Criminology

The Simon Fraser School of Criminology is one of the largest in Canada, located on the Pacific Rim; it is also one of the most successful leading schools in the entire world. It has great research and teaching facilities and provides students a wide berth of opportunities. The school consists of an Institute of Criminal justice Policy, Center for Forensic Research, Law and Policy Institute and a few others. The School of Criminology ha the highest number of students in it asters and PhD programs. The School added another research center in the year 2008, in the name of International Cybercrime Research Center. Now they offer studies in Cybercrime at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Career opportunities in criminology

Criminology has a very diverse career path and individuals with degrees at all levels; bachelors, masters and doctorate levels get the freedom to choose from a number of options.


Or a student who likes criminology and also wants to be on the psychology side can get a chance to make their career in counseling.


It is a budding aspect of Criminal Justice and many universities also offer courses in Criminology and Corrections.

Criminal investigation

Criminal investigation is a broad field, students with a degree in criminal justice, forensic, and criminal law can get in this field. A student can also take up criminal investigation as a short course with criminology majors to enter this field.

Diversion Program

A diversion program in criminal justice is initiated to stop people from turning into criminals. It is also a program that provides relief to the court, police and probation centers. Many programs are conducted for youth to make sure the stay away from crimes.

Financial Fraud Investigation & Prevention

Companies need individuals with degrees in criminology to help them in preventing fraud or to help them in investigating about the frauds that have taken place. As financial crimes have increased rapidly in the last couple of decades this is one industry that needs a lot of investigators.


Criminology and Forensics go hand in hand many universities provide a BSc in criminology and forensics which covers number of fields including; victimization, criminal investigation, criminal justice and penal systems. A forensic scientist examines finding and presents them in the court.

Law Enforcement

Criminal law and criminal justice degrees get individuals in the law enforcement sector. There is a list of organizations that provide career opportunities in this field.

Private Investigation

For those who do not wish to work under a public agency can start their own private investigation, or join a private investigation agency.

Employment areas for criminology

Financial Institutions and Banks

Insurance agencies


Investigative agencies

Counseling Agencies

In the Government sector

Government agencies

Federal Bureau of investigation

Public safety

Highway patrol

Local; cities, towns and villages

Local police divisions

Safety division