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The study of criminology focuses on the problem of crime and on understanding the social, cultural, political, and economic forces that interact with the law. Concerns about public safety, crime, and social justice contribute to a strong demand for people knowledgeable in these areas. The fundamental courses present overviews of legal systems with particular emphasis on criminal and juvenile justice, forms of criminal behaviour, the role of law in understanding social and psychological phenomena, and the applications of sociological theory in understanding law and legal systems. Additional coursework provides a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of crime, criminal justice policy, socio-legal theory, critical criminology, and restorative justice.

Criminology is an exciting and expanding area of study. By studying criminology and justice, students will learn about the causes and prevention of crime and other social harms as well as explore possible solutions to these problems. Our criminology BA degree programs provide excellent preparation for law school and for graduate study in sociology, criminology, criminal justice, and other disciplinary and interdisciplinary programs.

In this section

Student Profile

The Bachelor of Arts, Major in Criminology program provides students with a broad, liberal education in social science, criminal justice, and law. Students learn scientific research methods, legal and philosophical approaches to aid in understanding crime and related social problems, and social responses to crime. The BA degree program builds on the central core of method and theory and affords students opportunities to hone abstract, logical thinking, and critical understanding of the issues, arguments, and debates that shape the discipline's character and aims. Contemporary criminology courses developed especially for this degree expose students to cutting-edge theory and research.

The Bachelor of Arts in Community Criminal Justice program is designed to enable students to critically examine and explore the concepts and practices of justice, equality, and fairness that underpin our social and legal institutions. In so doing, students embark on an active and sustained engagement with institutions of civil society that can be productively harnessed to bring about social justice. By combining theory and practice, students investigate issues of class, race, gender, and socio-economic conditions and examine how they shape our society.

Our degree programs integrate opportunities to engage in undergraduate research, service learning, and practicum placements that provide students with highly transferable and marketable knowledge and skills.

Career Opportunities

KPU's criminology programs help prepare students for a wide variety of careers in government, the private sector, and not-for-profit organizations:

  • Law Enforcement: RCMP, Municipal Police, Transit Police, Customs and Border Security, Airport Security Officer, Child Protection Officer, Crime Scene Analyst, Human Rights Officer, Intelligence Officer, Investigator, Court Officer, Polygraph Technician
  • Corrections: Correctional Officer, Probation Officer, Parole Officer, Bail Supervision Officer, Corrections Program Developer
  • Community Agency: Child and Youth Worker, Community Outreach Worker, Community Relations Consultant, Program Officer/Developer, Program Evaluator, Public Administrator, Restorative Justice Worker, Social Policy Researcher, Social Worker, Victim Services Provider
  • Government, Legal and Other: Court Clerk, Court Reporter, Criminal Justice/Criminology Instructor, Lawyer, Paralegal, Policy Analyst

* Some of these career choices may require additional education and/or work training.

Criminology is a diverse academic discipline that provides a wide range of opportunities to students. Graduates of criminology programs find employment in every aspect of the criminal justice system, including law, law enforcement, corrections, crime prevention, and public and private justice administration. Many graduates pursue careers within the public and private sectors in occupations where familiarity with justice and the law is valued by employers; examples include customs and border security, regulatory and other public agencies, private companies, and not-for-profit organizations. Labour market predictions for criminal justice and related areas are very favourable, as demographic trends and public safety and security concerns have increased demand for criminal justice professionals. The conceptual, critical, and applied skills that students acquire in this program will be attractive to employers in a wide range of settings.

Criminology programs also offer excellent educational preparation for those who intend to major in law, social work, psychology, sociology, or philosophy. Students who wish to undertake graduate work in criminology are encouraged to take both CRIM 3104 and CRIM 4410 (both are required for entry into the Honours degree option for the Bachelor of Arts, Major in Criminology).

Note: See the Bachelor of Arts in Community Criminal Justice for information on an alternate program. The Bachelor of Arts in Community Criminal Justice is an innovative degree program, which prepares students for career opportunities in community-based work, social service delivery, legal advocacy, public safety, human rights, and the non-profit sector. The conceptual, critical, and applied skills that students acquire in this program will be attractive to employers in a wide range of settings, including community-based agencies and traditional organizations concerned with the justice field.

Last Updated: 14-Jun-2017

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