Psychology and its role in a criminology career

A woman sitting at a desk reviewing paperwork.

When you hear of a terrible crime on the news do you find yourself asking ‘what would make someone do that?’. Understanding what makes people tick is a critical element in the work of a criminologist so if you’re curious about human behaviour a career in criminology could be for you.

What psychology and criminology have in common

There is a natural affinity between psychology and criminology because both require a deep understanding of why people do the things they do. Where psychology focuses on the human mind and how humans behave, criminology uses that information to look at the wider implications of criminal behaviour on society and the complex issues behind it.

What criminologists do and why we need them

Criminologists essentially use their understanding of human behaviour to reduce criminal behaviour. They look at patterns and trends, interpreting data to predict and prevent issues of criminality, relying on a strong understanding of psychological theories in their work. Crime is one of the major problems facing society today so the work of a criminologist is very important. Understanding intent and cause is also critical to fair sentencing of people who have committed a crime.

Careers for people interested in psychology and criminology

 People who have studied psychology and criminology can work across a number of settings including health and social care, criminal justice, corrections and law.

Some typical criminology jobs include:

  • Forensic psychologist
  • Criminal profiler
  • Corrections officer
  • Crime analyst
  • Police officer
  • Probation officer
  • Investigator

Study options for people interested in criminology

 If you’re interested in pursuing a career in criminology, ACAP offers a range of courses to get you on the right path. Our criminology courses focus on applied skills to influence positive change and develop practical responses that can have a positive impact on criminal justice issues. Find out more here

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Have a question? Contact a course adviser today. They are available to answer any study questions you may have to put you on the right career path.
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