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Learn criminology

Understanding crime’s causes and ripple effects has important societal implications. Learn criminology with online courses delivered through edX.

What is criminology?

Criminology is the scientific study of crime, its causes, and prevention methods. Criminologists work through various means to control, reduce, and prevent crime within civil society. It's a disciplinary field between social science and behavioral science, drawing expertise from fields as diverse as psychology, biology, and philosophy. 

The field of criminology has a long history, but modern methods of criminal justice take a more holistic approach to addressing crime. As nations and local leaders implement new forms of justice, it can be helpful to understand key theories of crime and how they relate to each system.

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Criminology course curriculum

Criminology work can take many forms. Public policy determines laws and penalties for different crimes, law enforcement implements those laws, and social work addresses both the needs of victims affected by crime and the root causes of crime. A wide range of coursework can help prepare learners for the field. 

A course in criminology might cover the following topics:

  • Sources of crime

  • Types of crime

  • Criminal justice systems

  • Methods of measuring crime

  • Restorative justice

  • Social conflict theories

Careers in criminology

Degree programs can help individuals pursue careers that aim to make society safer and more just for people. Work within the field of criminology can help create communities that protect the vulnerable and can help those who enter the criminal justice system reenter society successfully. 

Potential careers in this field include:

  • Criminologist

  • Criminal lawyer

  • Forensic psychologist

  • Victim advocate

  • Parole officer

Learn how online criminology courses can help you advance toward a career in this field. Start your learning journey today with edX.

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