Diploma of Higher Education in Criminology and Law Open University
Crime, justice and the workings of the law are matters that affect us all and often dominate the news. This degree takes a critical and analytical view of the role and functions of the legal system and examines its relationship with crime, criminal behaviour and criminal justice. You’ll explore issues such as the role and place of law in modern society, processes of criminalisation, violence, anti-social behaviour and inequality, and their implications for justice. You'll gain the ability to critically assess everyday understandings of crime and criminal justice, the social, political, economic, historical and ethical dimensions of law, and gain knowledge of the key institutions which make up criminal justice and legal systems.
Key features of the course
- Explore the complex issues behind today’s crime, law and justice headlines
- Understand, interpret and apply concepts about crime and law to the real world
- Develop transferable employability skills to support career progression
- Build a solid foundation for further study
A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, this diploma of higher education is also equivalent to the first two-thirds of the BA (Honours) Criminology and Law (Q92).
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Diploma of Higher Education in Criminology and Law uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
- studying online – some modules have a mixture of printed and online material, and others are entirely online. Online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
- online tutorials
- developing numeracy and academic writing skills
- using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
- working collaboratively with other students
- finding external/third party material online
- using technology for research purposes involving access to catalogues and databases online
- working with specialist reading material such as legal cases and statutes
- continuous and end-of-module assessment in the form of essays, short answer questions, and in some cases an examination
- using feedback: continuous assessment involves receiving detailed feedback on your work from your tutor and using this feedback to improve your performance
- engagement with learning and assessment within a pre-determined schedule or timetable – time management will be needed during your studies and the University will help you to develop these skills
- some modules may require you to use specialist software (for example the OpenStudio)
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
The level and depth of your learning gradually increase as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
This qualification has two stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- At Stage 1 you’ll study two 60-credit introductory modules – one with a focus on law and one with a focus on criminology.
- Next, in Stage 2, you’ll complete your diploma with two further 60-credit modules. The first explores public and criminal law, and the second examines social welfare and crime control.
Prepare for OU study with an Access module
We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in at Stage 1, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module.