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What is criminology?

Simply put, criminology is the study of crime and the driving forces behind criminal activity. Unlike criminal justice, which centers on law enforcement and the criminal justice system,  criminology approaches the study of crime from an interdisciplinary perspective. In criminology programs, students will learn about the impact of crime on society, what motivates people to commit crimes, and how crime can be prevented.

If you’re someone who is endlessly fascinated by the behavior of criminals, or hope to make a real difference for crime victims, communities, and perhaps even criminals themselves, studying for a degree in criminology would be right up your alley. Read on to learn about the field of criminology, and find a criminology program that would suit you best!

Why should I study criminology abroad?

Crime is a reality for any society with a legal system. Studying for a degree in criminology can enable you to understand the root causes of crime, gain insights into the behavior of criminals, and identify solutions for combating crime in the future. Many criminology students will earn a Bachelor’s, or perhaps even a Master’s degree, but there are also shorter diploma/certificate programs that can prepare you for a career related to criminology. Criminology diploma/certificate programs vary in length, and can range anywhere from 6 months to 4 years.

Studying criminology involves learning about criminal behavior and activities, and will cover subject areas such as cybercrime, criminal justice, criminal psychology, and crime scene investigation. In addition to gaining plenty of  criminological knowledge, you’ll also develop soft skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, and data analysis, which can be applied in a variety of professions, whether they’re inside the criminology field or not.

Regardless of your academic or professional goals, there are plenty of options available if you’re looking to study criminology abroad:


What can I do with a degree in criminology?

If you’ve earned a criminology degree, there are several directions you could take in choosing your future career. Because criminology and criminal justice are complementary fields, many graduates will pursue a career in criminal justice. Occupations in the criminal justice field include Police Officer, Homicide Detective, or Forensic Science Technician; according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Forensic Science Technician Jobs are projected  to grow 17 percent by 2026. Entering into criminal or forensic psychology is another great career path for criminology graduates, and occupations in these fields include Criminal Psychologist, Forensic Psychologist, Criminal Profiler. If you’re aiming for a career in academia, you could also go on to earn a Master’s or Doctorate degree in criminology, and work within universities or government organizations as a Criminologist.

You can take a look at some average salary statistics for jobs in criminology, obtained from PayScale:

Job Role & Average Salary

  • Police Officer - $50,859
  • Criminal Psychologist - $58,565
  • Homicide Detective - $74,072
  • Forensic Science Technician - $48,838
  • Criminologist - $41,992

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