criminal justice

Certificate of Higher Education in Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice

  • Interested in what constitutes crime and how societies respond to those who commit it?
  • Want to find out more about how the criminal justice system operates, how it has evolved over time and what working in it involves?

The Certificate of Higher Education in Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice (Cert HE CCCJ) draws on disciplines such as Criminology, Sociology, Psychology, Law, Social Policy and Philosophy to actively encourage the development of analytical, reasoning and reflective skills. You will engage with academic literature and debates whilst evaluating research and evidence and applying this directly to current criminal justice or youth justice practice. You don’t need to be working in criminal justice to register for this course – you just need to be curious about crime, the study of criminology and the criminal justice system.

What level is the course?

  • FHEQ L4
    (equivalent to study in the first year of an undergraduate degree)

How will you be assessed?

Computer Marked Assignments (CMAs)
A range of Tutor Marked Assignments (TMAs), including:

  • Short answer questions
  • Case studies
  • Briefing papers
  • Policy analysis

Who accredits the course?

  • University of Suffolk

How long will it take to complete?

  • 60 weeks (just over one year part-time)

What are the entry requirements?

We are firmly committed to a policy of open learning and there are no specific academic entry requirements for this course, you just need to be motivated to succeed. See Student Support for how we can help you during your course to realise your full potential.


What does it cost?

  • The total cost of the Cert (HE) for 2022 is £2400

Payment plans are available – please see Fees and Funding for more information. If you are being sponsored on this course, please have your sponsor details ready when you register.


When can you start?

  • 26.9.22 REGISTER NOW 
  • February 2023

You will study two modules, each lasting 30 weeks.  The programme provides a detailed overview of how the criminal justice system works and the principles on which it is based. The first module is designed to ease you into your studies and to start thinking about what the study of criminology is all about.  The second module focuses on the criminal justice system itself and introduces aspects of psychology in the context of crime and criminality.

Using our unique digital platform, you will learn through video case studies, extracts, reflective activities and interactive quizzes. You will be able to study anywhere and at any time; either online or on the app, which you can use even without an internet connection.  You will also have a dedicated Learning Coach who will support you on your learning journey and assess your work.

Click on the modules below to see more.

Explore the key issues that relate to crime – why people commit crime and how society responds to those who do:

  • Studying crime, criminology and criminal justice
  • The Criminal Justice System: an introduction
  • The rational actor model
  • The predestined actor model
  • The victimised actor model
  • Crime prevention and community safety

Investigate the operations of the criminal justice system, including issues affecting criminal justice policy that are of historical importance and contemporary relevance.   You will study six blocks:

  • History of crime and punishment
  • The criminal justice system – an overview
  • The English legal system
  • The measurement of crime
  • Cyber crime and policing of ‘the dark web’
  • Psychology of crime

Your Career

The Certificate of Higher Education in Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice provides an excellent introduction for anyone aspiring to work in a criminal justice setting – such as the police, the Prison Service, probation or youth offending services.

The organisational, research and analytical skills that you will develop through your studies are also highly prized by employers and are transferable to a wide range of other work settings.

Further Study

Completing the Cert HE CCCJ means that you will be half the way towards achieving a Diploma in Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice (Dip HE CCCJ) and a third of the way towards a BA (Hons) in Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice

See our main criminal justice courses page for how you can progress to the next study level.