What can I do with my Criminology and Criminal Justice degree?

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:

  • 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 Service for advice.

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.

Career options

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 offers 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:

Employment Opportunities

Below is a snapshot of what some of University of Plymouth Criminology graduates told us they were doing six months after graduation. For some, these jobs serve as ‘stepping stones’ to professional posts by providing relevant workplace experience.

  • Alcohol and drug support worker
  • Assistant House Manager
  • Assistant Management Surveyor
  • Behaviour Mentor
  • Charity fundraiser
  • Community Youth Support Worker
  • Domestic Abuse Risk Assessor
  • Drug and Alcohol Practitioner
  • Events Manager
  • HR Assistant
  • Learning Support Teacher
  • Licensing Clerk
  • Outreach Worker
  • Paralegal
  • PCSO
  • Police Constable
  • Prison Officer
  • Probation Service Officer
  • Project worker
  • Recruitment Consultant
  • Response investigator
  • Sales Executive
  • Trainee Quantity Surveyor

Employers

Further study

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:

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’
  • Click on ‘Alumni’
  • Filter the results by subject, sector, company or location

For more information about the alumni tool click on LinkedIn alumni tool guide. If you are looking for help to set up or learn how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile, click on 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.