criminal justice

Diploma of Higher Education in Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice

  • Interested in what constitutes crime and how societies respond to those who commit it? 
  • Do you aspire to work in a criminal justice setting, such as the police, the prison service, probation or youth offending services?

The Diploma of Higher Education in Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice (Dip 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.  This course gives you the opportunity to develop greater insights into different types of criminal behaviour than the Certificate of Higher Education, as well as focusing on current practice issues across youth and criminal justice settings.

What level is the course?

  • FHEQ L4 & 5
    (equivalent to study in the first and second years 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
  • Policy analysis
  • Reviews

Who accredits the course?

  • University of Suffolk

How long will it take to complete?

  • 120 weeks (just over two years 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 Dip (HE) for 2024 is £4800

This is made up of:
Certificate of Higher Education in Crime, Criminology & Criminal Justice: £2400
+ Level 5 Criminal Behaviours module: £1200
+ Level 5 Criminal Justice in Practice: £1200
OR Level 5 Effective Practice in Youth Justice: £1200


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?

  • October 2024
  • contact us for more start dates

You will study four modules, each lasting 30 weeks, the first two of which make up the Certificate of Higher Education in Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice. The programme provides a detailed overview of how the criminal justice system works and the principles on which it is based and explores different types of crime and criminal behaviour. For the fourth module you can choose to focus on practice in the context of the wider criminal justice system or more specifically in the context of the youth justice system (for 10 – 17-year-olds). If you already have the Youth Justice Effective Practice Certificate (YJEPC), this will be recognised as prior learning for the fourth module, giving you a quarter of the Diploma already.

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:

  • Crime, criminology and justice
  • Defining crime and criminality
  • 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

Examine a wide range of criminal behaviours by considering categories of crime that include serial killers and crimes of the rich and powerful in six blocks:

  • Criminologies of the right and left
  • Gender, crime and justice
  • Serial killers
  • Crimes of the rich and powerful
  • The social construction of guilt and innocence
  • Researching crime

Examine in detail the work and operations of key agencies that operate within the criminal justice system:

  • Policing and society
  • Prisons and prison policy
  • Youth offending and youth justice
  • Diversity issues in criminal justice
  • Non-custodial responses to crime
  • Volunteering in criminal justice – theory and practice

Investigate the current state of theory, practice and evidence relating to working effectively with children in the youth justice system across a number of important domains:

  • Why young people offend
  • Working effectively
  • Assessment and planning interventions
  • Engagement and participation
  • Custody and resettlement
  • Desistance

Your Career

The Diploma of Higher Education in Crime, Criminology and Criminal Justice provides an excellent foundation 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 Dip HE CCCJ means that you will be two thirds of the way towards achieving 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.

Meet one of our Learning Coaches

“As a Learning Coach, I am available to support student learning and development on both a formal and informal basis. A key part of my role is to provide constructive, written feedback on assignments and help individuals navigate their own learning journey. I often work with students who haven’t studied since leaving school and might be less confident in their abilities; I am there to help with this transition and it is great to see a student’s confidence grow as they progress through the course”.

Alison Alford, Learning Coach