- undertake career planning and research
- build your networks, meet employees and graduates
- gain essential work experience during your course
- attend career fairs and events
- continually develop your skills and knowledge
- get involved with relevant clubs and societies
- visit the
Careers Servicefor advice.
Discover employment and further study opportunities that you could consider once you graduate with a criminology or criminal justice degree, and learn how you can stand out to graduate employers.
We encourage you to:
Knowledge and skills
Your studies will provide a broad range of skills of value to employers, including:
- written and verbal communication through report writing and presenting
- teamwork and leadership skills through group projects
- planning and project management through independent research tasks
- collecting, analysing and evaluating evidence through seminar work and independent assignments
- time management through juggling different module assessment requirements and work-based learning alongside studies
- increased awareness of topics related to criminology through multi-discipline events/modules, work-based learning and interactions with academics and professionals
- awareness of and sensitivity to the factors that lead to crime and its impact on victims, perpetrators and wider society
- developing critical thinking and making ethical judgements
- problem-solving and flexibility.
96% of our criminology graduates are in work or further study*
The range of opportunities available to University of Plymouth criminology graduates is broad, and the skill set you will have as a result of your degree will be very appealing to employers. Practical and analytical skills, as well as emotional intelligence, will be nurtured on this inter-disciplinary degree and will in turn offer up ample opportunities to explore different working environments.
Direct links to criminology within the public sector include the criminal justice system and its agencies, local government, policy making and police work, but are not limited to these. Working with people is a key requirement, so working as a PCSO, welfare worker, paralegal or probation support worker are also viable options. Working in the third sector is also ideal for a criminologist, with their understanding of how society works and the challenges to everyday life that crime can have. Charities, non-profit organisations and community incentives are dynamic and rewarding, as well as fertile ground for networking and personal development. Since understanding the elements of criminology will illuminate other skills, you could also consider working in healthcare, law or education. Since specific career paths may be less obvious it is important to use your research skills to explore the range of opportunities and to consider your personal interests, motivations, values and strengths.
Researching your career options
It is important to research and explore these fully so that you can make informed decisions about your future. Keep an open mind and consider the wealth of skills you can offer.
The following websites provide helpful information on options with a career in criminology:
- British Society of Criminology
- Rehabilitation Workers Professional Network
- Prison and Probation jobs
- Police Now
- Work with Offenders
Below is a snapshot of what some of University of Plymouth criminology graduates told us they were doing 15 months after graduation. For some, these jobs serve as ‘stepping stones’ to professional posts by providing relevant workplace experience.
- Department Manager
- Software Engineer
- Senior Programme Co-Ordinator
- Service Delivery Consultant for Probation
- Law Enforcement Data Service Code and Practice Developer
- Digital Content Administrator
- Independent Sexual Violence Advisor
- First Hearing Team Officer
- Police Officer
- Prison Custody Officer
- Police Community Support Worker
- Prison Officer
- Prison Family Support Worker
- Probation Services Officer
- Assistant Commercial Officer
- Sales Executive
- Avon and Somerset Police
- CASS Plus
- College of Policing and Home Office
- Devon and Cornwall Police
- Dorset Devon and Cornwall Community Rehab Company
- Dorset Police
- HM Prison Services
- Metrolpolitan Police
- Patterson Law
- Survivors Trust
- Swansea Women's Aid
- Thames Valley Police
- The Economist Intelligence Unit
- University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust
- Watley Weston and Fox Solicitors
- West Midland Police
- Wiltshire Police
*Data is from the Graduate Outcomes Surveys of 2017/18 and 2018/19. Graduates were surveyed 15 months after graduating. Data displayed is for 62 UK-domiciled, first degree, full-time graduates who are working, studying or looking for work.
Some of the careers chosen by criminology graduates will require or benefit from further study, so this should be considered carefully. The University of Plymouth offers the following postgraduate study options that could be of interest to criminology graduates:
MSc Clinical Psychology
MA International Relations: Global Security and Development
You should consider the financial implications of further study as well as selecting a programme that suits your interests, learning style and future career direction. The following websites are a good starting point for exploring postgraduate options, but you may also benefit from talking to a Careers Consultant about your personal circumstances:
Careers Service support
Accessing support from the Careers Service couldn’t be easier, come along to the Careers Service Helpdesk in the
Student Hub or access 24/7 online resources.
There is a wide range of support available from skills workshops to events, placements and internships advice, 1-2-1 appointments and help getting started with LinkedIn.
Our bite-sized Skills Workshops can give your career the boost it needs. Choose from a range of topics:
- effective career planning
- job hunting techniques
- finding part-time work
- CVs and interviews
- mastering LinkedIn
- and more.
Workshops are delivered by the Careers Service; however, they are also an opportunity to learn from your peers, share experiences and ask questions. Visit myCareer to see the full range of activities and to book your place.
Connect with graduates
Build your network and job sector knowledge using LinkedIn alumni’s tool. This will allow you to see the career journeys of graduates from your programme, the qualifications they completed, the skills they developed and employers they worked for. You can then ‘connect’ with people of interest.
- search LinkedIn for ‘University of Plymouth’
- select ‘Alumni’
- filter the results by subject, sector, company or location.
For more information about the alumni tool select the LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile, select the LinkedIn guide for students or
come to one of our workshops.
Other advice and guidance
Gaining work experience
Undertaking work experience in your first and second years will help you stand out from the crowd when the time comes for you to complete applications for graduate employment and further study. Work experience develops valuable skills and qualities that employers are looking for and is essential for many roles. It can also help you to confirm or rule out some career choices. Furthermore, experience in the workplace can bring you into contact with people who may be able to assist you at the beginning of your career.
You have plenty of options open to you. You could apply for a placement year, work part-time around your studies, undertake volunteering or approach organisations directly to negotiate short periods of work experience. Some organisations offer paid internships over the summer or of one year’s duration.
On your doorstep, the University of Plymouth Students’ Union offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities.
Clubs and societies
Engaging in a sport or society shows employers you are engaged and seek out opportunities, it also helps you improve your teamwork, communication and negotiation skills. Committee members can develop leadership, diplomacy and organisational skills and will gain experience of meetings, handling funds, and society promotion.
You may choose to join a society that is specifically linked to criminology or take the opportunity to explore the huge range of clubs, societies and sports, all of which can help you to broaden your horizons and explore new interests.
Tutor and academic support
Your tutor and other academic staff are an excellent source of support for your career development. They will have experience and contacts across industry and academia, so do approach them for advice and insights into careers you are considering. Your tutor will ultimately be writing references for your employment or further study applications, therefore establishing a positive relationship with this person is invaluable.
Where could your degree subject take you?
Architecture and built environment
Business, economics, management, marketing, accounting and finance, and maritime and logistics
Accounting and finance
Human resources management
Operations and supply chain management
Creative arts: art, illustration and photography
Design: interior/product and furniture design, graphic design and game arts/digital design
Earth, geography and environment
Education and teaching
Hospitality, tourism and events management
Humanities: anthropology, art history, English and history
Law, criminology and policing
Media and filmmaking
Medicine, dentistry and biomedical sciences
Nursing, midwifery and allied health professions
Nutrition, exercise and health
Sociology, international relations and politics