Criminology graduates have critical thinking, analytical and communications skills, which are vital for a range of jobs in the criminal justice sector and beyond

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

All employers value work experience, and there is a range of paid and voluntary opportunities available in the criminal justice sector. These include working with offenders, criminal justice agencies, social work and community education departments, and victims of crime. Specific roles include prison visiting, working as a special constable, and involvement in drug treatment schemes or youth/bail hostels for young offenders.

Some courses offer a placement year, which can help you gain insight into particular areas of work and build up contacts for future jobs.

Think about the environment you're interested in working in and the group of people, and how you could get involved with local support groups or projects. Narrowing down your preferences will allow you to focus on specific employers and voluntary organisations.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

Major employers include:

  • central and local government
  • the police
  • prison and probation services
  • the court services
  • security services
  • non-profit-making organisations, including the NHS and charities that work with young offenders or victims of crime.

Opportunities exist in the private sector, for example in private security and in law practices.

It's also possible to work in a range of social welfare posts, such as mental health support and drug rehabilitation, housing (as housing officers or in outreach support roles), as homelessness officers, and in refugee and victim support/counselling.

Other areas of work include criminal intelligence, social work, counselling, teaching and research.

Skills for your CV

Studying criminology develops your understanding of the social and personal aspects of crime, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance, as well as building specific skills such as:

  • generating and evaluating evidence
  • making reasoned arguments and ethical judgments
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • collecting, analysing and interpreting data
  • report writing.

If you study other subjects alongside criminology, you should consider the complementary skills they provide you with, for example, an increased awareness of psychology, law, sociology or politics related to criminology topics.

Also consider your more general skills in areas such as research, written and oral communication, IT, time management and the ability to work productively both in a group and individually.

Further study

Many criminology graduates who go on to further study choose from a range of vocational areas including social work, teaching and law.

Others choose to progress to Masters courses, including MAs in criminology or criminal justice. These courses enhance your subject knowledge, possibly with a view to going on to further academic research. Courses relevant to specific client groups also exist, such as a Masters in alcohol and drug studies.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search for postgraduate courses in criminology.

What do criminology graduates do?

Protective service occupations (20%) are the most common jobs reported by criminology graduates 15 months after graduation. Welfare and housing associate professionals (14%), admin (8%), care workers (5%) and welfare professionals (2%) are also among the top ten jobs.

Further study6.3
Working and studying11.6
Graduate destinations for criminology
Type of workPercentage
Retail, catering and customer service17.5
Legal, social and welfare16.9
Clerical, secretarial and administrative16.7
Other professionals11.8
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other criminology graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate Outcomes survey data from HESA.

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