Criminology (SCQF Level 5 & 6) NPA

What is special about this course?

This course consists of three separate SQA units, which are studied consecutively, in the following order:
•    The Nature and Extent of Crime
•    Crime Scenes
•    Forensic Psychology
Criminology is a great course for anybody who is interested in the subject area.  There are practical elements – such as visits to the court and Police Station, and visiting speakers (in normal times; when classroom teaching resumes), which adds variety to the learning experience.
As two of the units are at Level 6, candidates must be able to write essay-type answers, and to research and process complex information.
The benefits of studying this course are that it will widen your knowledge of crime and justice today, and it offers many pathways into different courses, careers and voluntary roles.
This course would suit school leavers, adult returners, and those who are still at school.

Entry requirements

Communications Level 5

The 3 units:
The Nature and Extent of Crime (Level 6) – this unit has two parts:  the first part is a historical journey through the different theories which have emerged over time, as the study of crime has developed; the second part explores how crime is measured, highlighting the challenges of recording crime accurately.
Crime Scenes (Level 5) – again, there are two parts to this unit:  in the first part we explore all the different types of evidence that might be found at a crime scene (e.g. biological, weapon or environmental evidence) and in part 2 we explore the nature of psychological evidence and offender profiling – which provides a perfect lead-in to the third unit.
Forensic Psychology (Level 6) – this unit has 3 parts.  In part one we look at the role of forensic psychologists in the police, the courts and the prison/probation services.  In part two we evaluate psychological explanations of criminal behaviour and in part three we look at extraordinary criminal behaviour, for example serial killers.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Online

For 2020/2021 there will be a combination of video conferencing and online learning, with a return to classroom teaching whenever possible.

How long will my course last?

1 Year

1 academic year, or individual units of 12 weeks each

1 day a week from September to early June with a combination of video conferencing and online learning.

For individual units, you can attend for one full day for the 12 weeks’ duration of that unit.  Open learning is also available.

How will I be assessed?

    There are written assessments for each of the three units, as follows:
    Nature and Extent of Crime: 2 written assessments
    Crime Scenes: 1 written assessment
    Forensic Psychology: 3 written assessments

    Practice assessments precede each of the written assessments.

Where can I study my course?

    • Lerwick Campus

Start date



For the latest information on fees please see our fees policy.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Academic progression routes: NC Social Science / HNC Social Science/BA Sociology and Criminology

Career: Court Reporter; Crime Clerk; Criminal Intelligence Analyst;
Forensic Accountant; Police Officer; Police Support Roles; Immigration, Customs and Border Roles; Prison Officer; Probation Officer; Scene of Crime Officer; Social Worker; Mediator; Advocacy Worker; Volunteer - in a variety of relevant services e.g. Victim Support

Is there more information available online?

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“This course provides a broad introduction to the study of Criminology and has taken many of our students a step closer to their dreams of following careers in social work, criminal justice, mediation, and many other careers”. Karen Manson, Lecturer

Apply for Criminology (SCQF Level 5 & 6) NPA

I want to start in 2023/24

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Shetland. UHI Shetland operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.