Criminology, the study of crime, its causes, and its effects, offers a fascinating and diverse career path. In the UK, where the field is ever-evolving, a degree in criminology can open doors to a range of rewarding careers. From legal careers to working in the prison system or police force, criminology can be adapted to a wide range of roles working with different types of people. But if you’re wondering what jobs can you get with a criminology degree in the UK, here are some of the different roles and industries you could choose from.

Which industries can you work in with a criminology degree?

Which industries can you work in with a criminology degree?

A degree in criminology equips students with a unique set of skills and perspectives, making them suitable for various roles in law enforcement, the legal sector, social work, and beyond.

In the realm of law enforcement, criminology graduates can pursue careers as police officers or detectives. As a police officer, one is at the forefront of maintaining public safety and order, directly responding to criminal activities and community issues. Detectives, on the other hand, specialise in investigating complex criminal cases, requiring a keen eye for detail and strong problem-solving skills.

The legal sector also presents numerous opportunities for criminology graduates. Roles such as criminal lawyers and paralegals are integral to the justice system. A criminal lawyer represents clients in court, combining legal expertise with an understanding of criminal behaviour to provide defence or prosecution. Paralegals support legal teams, conducting research and preparing documents, serving as a foundational role for those interested in legal careers.

Furthermore, criminology graduates can make significant contributions to social work and rehabilitation. Probation officers work closely with offenders to ensure they reintegrate into society effectively, while youth offender workers focus on young individuals, guiding them away from criminal paths. These roles require a deep understanding of social factors contributing to criminal behaviour and a commitment to positive societal change.

20 jobs can you get with a criminology degree in the UK

1. Criminologist


The most thought of role when asking what job can you get with a criminology degree in the UK is a Criminologist. Criminologists study the nature, causes, and control of criminal behaviour. The day-to-day duties involve conducting research, analysing data, and developing theories about crime. Criminologists often work in academia, government, or research organisations, but can also work with police or legal teams too. Their insights help shape public policy and crime prevention strategies. This role requires strong research and analytical skills.

2. Community Worker

Community worker

Community workers engage directly with local communities to address social issues and improve living conditions. They organise and implement community programs, provide support and advocacy, and work towards community development and cohesion. This role requires strong interpersonal skills and a deep understanding of social dynamics

3. Prison or Correctional Officer

prison worker

If you like the idea of working directly with offenders, you could consider working in prison settings. Prison officers are responsible for the supervision, safety, and rehabilitation of inmates in correctional facilities. They manage daily activities, ensure security, and support rehabilitation programs, aiming to reduce reoffending rates. Similarly to the job of a police officer, you don’t need a criminology degree to be a prison officer, but it can help. It also requires strong communication skills and the ability to handle stressful situations.

4. Forensic Scientist

Forensic scientist is one of the jobs you can get with a criminology degree

If you’re able to handle looking at things that may be visually unpleasant, disturbing or gruesome, then the role of a Forensic Scientist might be for you. They use scientific methods to analyse physical evidence from crime scenes and help support criminal investigations. Their work can include analysing DNA, fingerprints, and other forensic materials. Forensic scientists often testify in court about their findings too, providing evidence on the stand. This role is critical in linking evidence to suspects and solving crimes.

5. Crime Analyst

Crime Analyst

Crime analysts play a crucial role in law enforcement by analysing crime data to identify patterns and trends. They assist in developing strategies for crime prevention and resource allocation. Their work involves data collection, statistical analysis, and report writing, requiring strong analytical skills.

6. Crime Scene Technician

crime scene technician

This is another role that involves dealing with crime scene evidence. Crime scene technicians are responsible for meticulously documenting the scene and preserving physical evidence. Their work is vital for ensuring that evidence is admissible in court. Crime scene technicians must be detail-oriented and methodical. They often work closely with detectives and forensic scientists.

7. Government Officer

government jobs criminology degree

In this role, criminology graduates can work in various governmental departments, focusing on policy development, research, and implementation in areas related to crime and public safety. They may also be involved in legislative processes and community outreach programs.

8. Criminology Lecturer

lecture vs seminar

This role involves teaching and researching criminology at a university level. The main responsibilities include delivering lectures, designing course materials, and guiding students through their academic journey in criminology. Lecturers also conduct and publish research in their field, contributing to the development of criminological knowledge. To become a lecturer, one typically needs a good bachelor’s degree, a master’s, and a PhD in criminology or a related field. While a separate teaching qualification is not always necessary, it can be beneficial and may be offered during PhD studies or early career stages

9. Police Officer

police officer jobs

You don’t need a criminology degree to be a police officer, however, the skills you learn in understanding criminal behaviour will no doubt lend to this role. Police officers are responsible for maintaining law and order, protecting the public, and preventing crime. They patrol areas, respond to emergencies, and conduct investigations. This role demands physical fitness, strong communication skills, and the ability to work under pressure.

10. Forensic Psychologist

Forensic Psychologist jobs you can do with a criminology degree uk

To be a qualified Forensic Psychologist, you’ll need to do a postgraduate course after an undergraduate in criminology or psychology. Although it can be a lengthy route, the job is considered a very interesting one that offers the ability to help offenders rehabilitate back into the community. You’ll also be able to venture into roles such as an Expert Witness, where you provide details on the psychological health of those on trial, or working with the police through offender profiling.

For tips on getting a psychology job, here’s how you can get psychology work experience to fill out your CV.

11. Private Investigator

private investigator jobs in criminology

Private investigators conduct investigations on behalf of private clients or organisations. Their work may include surveillance, background checks, and gathering information for legal, financial, or personal matters. Their primary duties include reviewing cases presented by clients, discerning the utility of investigations, and planning investigative strategies. They are skilled in gathering evidence, which may include tangible proof for use in court cases, civil hearings, and other legal proceedings. PIs often work both in office settings, where they conduct preliminary research and manage files, and in the field, where they carry out in-depth investigations. To become a private investigator, a combination of higher education in fields like criminal justice or criminology, relevant work experience, and mandatory licensure is typically required. The role of a private investigator is crucial in resolving various personal, financial, and legal issues, making it a dynamic and challenging profession

12. Probation Officer

Probation Officer

Probation officers supervise and support offenders on probation to prevent reoffending. They assess offenders, provide counselling, and help them access services like training or employment. This role requires empathy, strong communication skills, and the ability to work with challenging individuals. Probation Officers also maintain contact with probationers’ families and may collaborate with other agencies or services to support the probationer’s reintegration into society. Their role is integral in the criminal justice system, balancing the need for public safety with the rehabilitation of offenders

13. Social Researcher

Social Researcher

Working in social research means you’ll play a role in informing and evaluating policies through collecting and analysing data. It’s perhaps interchangeable with criminologists in some aspects, however, social researchers may focus on other areas of society and life too.  This role requires excellent research skills and the ability to interpret complex data.

14. Detective

police detective criminology jobs

A police detective is a specialised law enforcement officer who investigates crimes. They gather evidence, interview witnesses, and work to solve cases. Detectives often specialise in types of crime, such as homicide or fraud. Their work is crucial in bringing criminals to justice. Detectives need strong analytical and interpersonal skills.

15. Youth Worker

Youth Worker jobs you can get with a criminology degree in the uk

If you’re thinking of jobs can you get with a criminology degree in the UK that help young people then a youth worker would fit perfectly. They typically work with youths aged 11 to 25, who are at risk of offending to support their development and help them live a life away from crime. There’s a range of content typically taught on criminology courses that lend well to this role, including awareness of demographics of offenders, factors that influence criminal behaviour, and the different personnel involved in impacting a young person’s life (police, social workers, educators, etc.). You can find out more about working as a youth worker here.

16. Victim Support Advisor

victim support criminology jobs

Not all jobs can you get with a criminology degree in the UK include working with offenders. You could look at working with victims instead. As a victim support advisor, you would provide assistance, support and guidance to victims of crime. This might be working in call centres on the phone, drop-in centres or on a case-by-case basis to support victims.

17. Forensic Accountant

Forensic Accountant

Another option that most don’t automatically think of is using your criminology degree to work as a forensic accountant. This involves analysing financial records in criminal cases, such as fraud investigations, and preventing financial fraud. You’ll search financial data for any irregularities, which often contribute to legal proceedings and fraud prevention efforts.

18. Human Rights Officer

Human Rights Officer

Criminology degrees are good for understanding issues relating to the legal and criminal justice system, which in turn can be used to protect and promote human rights. Human rights officers’ key responsibilities revolve around assisting in investigations of alleged human rights law violations. This often involves interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence. Additionally, they are involved in conducting educational programs to raise awareness about human rights issues. These officers play a crucial role in advocating for human rights, ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations, and working towards the prevention of human rights abuses.

19. Charity Worker

Charity Worker

Working in a charity organisation can be a fulfilling and impactful career choice for criminology graduates. While the search results do not provide specific details about charity work for criminology graduates, we can infer the potential roles and responsibilities based on the nature of the degree and the sector. The field of criminology is integral to upholding justice in communities, and professionals in this area are equipped to handle diverse roles that involve understanding criminal behaviour, legal systems, and societal impacts of crime. The scope of work can range from law enforcement and legal services to academic research and policy development. With the growing importance of criminology in contemporary society, graduates in this field are well-positioned to contribute significantly to various sectors, addressing complex issues related to crime and justice.

20. Support Worker

Support worker

A support worker plays a vital role in assisting people with vulnerabilities, encompassing a range of responsibilities tailored to the individual needs of those they are supporting. Their primary duties include providing physical care, which can involve helping with daily activities and personal care. Communication is a key aspect of their role, as they need to effectively interact with clients, understand their needs, and provide emotional support. They are often involved in administering medication and ensuring that health care plans are followed. Additionally, support workers engage in organising and participating in recreational activities to enhance the social and emotional well-being of their clients. Essential skills for a support worker include strong communication and interpersonal abilities, problem-solving skills, and often experience in healthcare or social care. This role is crucial in enhancing the quality of life for individuals who require assistance, making it both a challenging and rewarding profession.

As you can see, there are lots of different opportunities when it comes to jobs can you get with a criminology degree in the UK. Some require further training, whether that’s at university or through other means. Others, you don’t need a criminology degree to apply, however it’s likely that the degree will give you both insight and skills for the role. Plus, it won’t look bad on your C.V.

If you haven’t started your degree yet and want to know where to go, here are the best universities for criminology in the UK.