Criminologist

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Social science researcher

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

Salary range: £23,5000 to £36,000

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How to become a criminologist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a graduate training scheme
The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

University

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.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information

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Other routes

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.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

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

Further information

You can find out more about working in crime and justice from GOV.UK.

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • researching the reasons why people commit crime
  • advising policy makers in the justice and policing systems
  • analysing data from surveys and intelligence to spot trends
  • working on crime reduction and rehabilitation programmes
  • recommending ways to improve the effectiveness of punishments
  • visiting prisons and probation services to speak to offenders and ex-offenders
  • attending conferences and presenting research findings
  • teaching students at college or university

Working environment

You could work in an office, in a prison or visit sites.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you may spend nights away from home.

The CV Writer Career Advice Guides. Helping you write a CV, guiding you to a career. Norwich, Norfolk, UK.

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.