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Criminology: A Comprehensive Career Guide


Do you believe there is more to know about criminals than just the crime they committed? Do you wonder what goes into the mind of criminals before and after they commit a crime? Are you interested in studying the mind of criminals and analyzing why they did what they did? Then hop on and read along as we discuss Criminology in detail.

What is Criminology?

Criminology is the systematic study of crime and criminal behavior. It is an interdisciplinary field of social and behavioral sciences that deals with a unique range of disciplines namely- anthropology (the study of origin, nature, and history of human beings), sociology (the study of society and social relationships) and psychology (the study of mind and behavior).

This field of behavioral science is not limited to the research and study of crime and criminal behavior; it aims to establish the origin of criminal behavior and to build effective ways to help and prevent it. The study focuses on numerous aspects, including:

  • Types of crime
  • Causes of crime
  • Occurrence of crime
  • Individual & Societal reactions to crime
  • Impact of crime
  • Consequences of crime

Who is a Criminologist?

Criminologists research and study the behavioral patterns of criminals, analyze and predict possible ways of finding potential law offenders/ criminals. They also research and investigate the background of criminals to understand their actions that led to the crime.

Let’s understand in detail about what Criminologists do:

  • Criminologists understand and study the factors that led someone to commit a crime and the consequences associated with it.
  • Criminologists research and identify why crimes take place and what measures can be taken to prevent them in the future.
  • Criminologists also interact with criminals and potential offenders to understand more in-depth about criminal tendencies, their psychological, emotional, and behavioral issues and identify how such acts can be prevented.

Why study Criminology? Is it for you?

Ever wondered what makes films like Dogs Day Afternoon, Goodfellas, Godfather, or Pulp-Fiction captivating and thought-provoking? An intriguing portrayal of crime is one of the reasons why these films are fantastic!

Studying criminology could be intimidating but taking up this field of behavioral science as a career option is the perfect choice for students who hold immense interest in this field. A large part of a Criminologists’ job involves understanding and identifying statistics on crime rates, victims and criminals and then studying those stats to explain crime problems.

Take a look at the image below and understand what all it takes to become a Criminologist:

Skill and Competencies to become a Criminologist
Skill and Competencies to become a Criminologist

A snapshot of what all it takes to become a Criminologist must be enough for you to pursue a career in this field. But if you still feel the need to understand what your strong and weak areas are, or you still need to figure out if your personality matches this career field, then you can quickly take up a career assessment test and you are all set!

How to become a Criminologist?

To pursue a career in Criminology, you can take a look at the following pathways:

Pathway 1: You can pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology/ Psychology / Social Sciences or similar subjects after class 12th in Arts and Humanities or any subject.

Criminology Pathway 1
Pathway 1

Pathway 2: Pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology/ Psychology/ Social Sciences or similar subject after class 12th in Arts and Humanities followed by a Master’s degree in Criminology/ Criminology & Forensic Sciences or similar subject.

Criminology Pathway 2
Pathway 2

Pathway3: If you want to pursue higher studies in Criminology and contribute in the field of research, then go for a Master’s degree in Criminology/ Criminology & Forensic Sciences or similar subject. After master’s degree go for an M Phil and then PhD or directly opt for a PhD program in Criminology.

Criminology Pathway 3
Pathway 3

List of Criminology courses in India

To pursue a career in Criminology, you can kick start your career directly after class 12th. Take a look at the list for various criminology courses offered at Diploma/ certificate/ PG Diploma, undergraduate and post graduate level:

Diploma/Certificate/ PG Diploma

  • Certificate training Crime Scene Management
  • Diploma in Forensic Science & Criminology
  • P.G. Diploma in Criminology and Criminal Administration
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Criminal Justice (PGDCJ) (Best for graduates in law, criminology, social work and functionaries of Criminal Justice Administration)


  • B.A. in Criminology and Police Administration
  • B.A. in Criminology and Correctional Administration
  • B.A. in Criminology & Criminal Justice Administration
  • B.A. in Forensic science and Criminology
  • B.Sc. in Criminology and Forensic Science

Post Graduate

  • M.Sc. in Criminology & Forensic Science
  • MA in Criminology
  • M.Sc. in Criminology and Crime Science
  • Ph.D. Criminology & Police Studies
  • M.A./M.Sc. in Applied Criminology
  • M.A. Criminology & Criminal Justice Administration
  • M.Sc. in Criminology and Criminal Justice Sciences
  • M.Phil. in Criminology & Forensic Science
  • M.Phil. Criminology
  • PhD in Criminology
  • Ph.D. Forensic Science & Criminology
  • LL.M. Criminology(Best for law graduates)

List of Colleges offering Criminology courses in India

  • Aligarh Muslim University
  • Panjab University, Chandigarh
  • Uttar Pradesh Rajarshi Tandon Open University
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University New Delhi
  • Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
  • Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University
  • Pondicherry University
  • Government Engineer Vishwesarraiya Post Graduate College
  • Annamalai University
  • International Forensic Science Institute (IFS)
  • University of Jammu
  • Jaipur School of Law

B.A. in Criminology/ Psychology

Take a look at the list of Indian colleges offering a Bachelor’s degree in this field:

  • Bangalore University
  • Government Women’s College Mandya, Karnataka
  • Dr. Hari Singh Gour University, Madhya Pradesh
  • Thiruthangal Nadar College, Tamil Nadu
  • St. Philominas College Bannimantap, Karnataka
  • OPJS University, Rajasthan
  • Government First Grade College Mandya, Karnataka
  • AM Jain College, Tamil Nadu
  • Dwaraka Doss Goverdhan Doss Vaishnav College, Tamil Nadu
  • Karunya University, Tamil Nadu
  • S.B.R.R. Mahajana First Grade College
  • Bangalore University
  • AM Jain College, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
  • St.Thomas College, Thrissur
  • Shri Krishna University, Madhya Pradesh
  • Swami Vivekanand University, Madhya Pradesh
  • Vani Sakkare Government First Grade College HIRIYUR
  • Karnatak University, Dharwad (KUD)
  • Rajiv Lochan Acharya Mahavidyalaya (RLM), Madhya Pradesh
  • Nabajyoti College, Kalgachia Guwahati University
  • Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, (SCAC) Pune
  • St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad
  • Kishinchand Chellaram College of Arts, Commerce & Science, (KCCACS) Mumbai
  • Post Graduate Government College for Girls, Chandigarh
  • L.S. Raheja College of Arts & Commerce, [LSRCA] Mumbai
  • Vivekananda College, Kolkata
  • Acharya Institute of Graduate Studies, Karnataka
  • Aligarh Muslim University
  • Alva College Moodubidire, Karnataka
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth’s Dr. Patangrao Kadam Mahavidyalaya
  • Jatiya Kabi Bira Kishore Government College, Odisha
  • St. Ann’s Degree College for Women, Telangana
  • Bangalore City College
  • Kamla Nehru Institute of Physical & Social Sciences Sultanpur

M.Sc. / M.A. in Criminology/ Psychology

Take a look at the list of Indian colleges offering Master’s degree courses:

  • Panjab University, Chandigarh
  • Maharaja’s College Mysore
  • Raksha Shakti University, Gujarat
  • Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University
  • Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan (LNJN), National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science (NICFS)
  • Sardar Patel University of Police Security and Criminal Justice, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
  • ManonmaniamSundaranar University (MSU)
  • Tamil Nadu Open University
  • Lucknow University, Uttarpradesh
  • University of Madras
  • Patna University
  • Dr. B.R. Ambedkar University of Social Sciences
  • OPJS University, Churu, Rajasthan
  • The Global Open University, Nagaland
  • Vinayaka Institution of Management and Technology – VIMT    
  • Mewar University
  • Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University
  • Dr. Hari Singh Gour University, Sagar, Madhya Pradesh
  • Dwaraka Doss Goverdhan Doss Vaishnav College, Chennai
  • Institute of Behavioral Science, Gujarat Forensic Science University
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai
  • Mithibai College of Arts, Mumbai
  • Mehr Chand Mahajan Dayanand Anglo Vedic College, (MCMDAV) Chandigarh
  • St Wilfred’s PG College, (SWPGC) Jaipur
  • The Central University of Haryana, (CUH) Narnoul
  • Vinoba Bhave University, [VBU] Hazaribagh
  • Swami Vivekananda College Of Distance Education, (SVU-DE) Pune
  • University of Lucknow
  • Calicut University, Calicut
  • Hindu College, (HC) Moradabad
  • St. Catherine Institute of Management & Technology, New Delhi

PG Diploma in Criminology

Take a look at the list of colleges offering a PG Diploma:


To help you understand the subjects and specializations are offered in Criminology courses in India, we have curated course wise break of the syllabus for UG, PG and PG Diploma. Take a look at each one of the following for more clarity:

PG Diploma

Introduction to Criminal Justice and SocietyForensic Science
Criminal Law and ProcedureCybercrime
Police and Law EnforcementCrime Prevention Management
Psychology of CrimeJuvenile Justice System


Introduction to CriminologyIntroduction to Human Rights
Sociology of LawPrinciples of Psychology
Child and lawContemporary Forms of Crime
Indian Penal CodePolice Administration
Penology & Correctional AdministrationCriminal Procedure & Evidence
Crime and MediaIntroduction to Crime Prevention
Social ProblemsBasics of Forensic Science & Forensic Medicine
Special & Local LawsVictimology
Basics of Research Methods, Statistics & Computer ApplicationVigilance & Security Management
Environmental Crime
Environmental Studies

Private Investigation

Post Graduate

Introduction in CriminologyTheories of Crime
Forms of CrimePsychology of Crime
Criminal Law and ProcedureForensic Science
Criminal Justice SystemResearch Methodology
Juvenile Justice
Policing and Law EnforcementCrime Prevention and Management
Penology and Correctional AdministrationVictimology and Victim Justice
Electives for Semester-IIIElectives for Semester-IV
Economic Offences and Prevention
Economic Crimes (Banking & Credit Card Frauds)
Impact of Economics Crimes (Insurance and Capital Market Fraud)
Legal Process for Economic Offences
Security Management
Fundamental of Security Management
Disaster Management
Corporate Security and Management
Human Rights in Criminal Justice
Evolution of Human Rights
Human Rights in Criminal Justice System
Protection of Human Rights For Special category of personsDissertation


The average course fee for an undergraduate degree may range anywhere between Rs. 2, 00,000 to Rs. 5, 00,000.

The average fee for postgraduate degree in Criminology and related courses shall be Rs.1, 50,000 per year approximately.

A Post-Graduate Diploma may cost around Rs.25, 000 to 1, 00,000.

Criminology Jobs

As the scope of Criminology in India is broadening and more and more students are aspiring to become a criminologist, criminology jobs in India are bound to see an upward trend. Graduates or postgraduates may have a higher chance of getting hired in both private and public sectors.

After completing graduation and master’s in this field of behavioral science you may find work in:

  • Police departments, Forensic departments, Rehabilitation or correctional centres, Crime Investigation & Research centres (such as Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR & D), Indian Council for Social Sciences Research (ICSSR),etc) in various capacities such as:
    • Forensic Technician
    • Cybercrime Analyst
    • Criminal Profiler
    • Probation and Parole Officer
    • Crime Scene Investigation Officer
    • Victims’ Advocate
    • Loss Prevention Manager
    • Forensic Psychologist
    • Correctional Counselor
    • Intelligence Analyst
  • Colleges/ Universities/ Research Institutes as a Research fellow or a Doctoral Research Fellow or Associate Professor depending on your level of expertise (for Research Fellow-Master’s/ for Doctoral Research Fellow-PhD).
  • Law Times Journal talks about the future of this field of behavioral science. Like other disciplines, this field of behavioral sciences has also undergone technological advancements. Criminology with the advancements of science and technologies and with the advent of Artificial Intelligence can prosper immensely in data collections, DNA Indexing systems, and much more.

PROs and CONs: What are the Merits and Challenges in this career?

Advantages of a career as a criminologist

  1. The immense satisfaction of paying back to society: Being a criminologist gives you the chance to work towards the betterment of society.
  2. Spending most of the time in solving intellectually stimulating cases: Most of the time you would be dealing with complex and intriguing cases, a really good reason for someone who is passionate to work in this field.
  3. Numerous career opportunities: A degree in this field gives you immense scope to find your niche. You could work in the government or public sector or pursue an academic career in teaching.
  4. Higher salary: Criminologists get paid higher after having acquired relevant years of expertise in the government sector.

Disadvantages of a career as a criminologist

  1. Lack of knowledge regarding this profession: This field of behavioral sciences is not highly recognized in India, yet. Although awareness of mental health illness and increasing crime rates, and their co-relation in many cases, have been bringing this field to the surface.
  2. Ambiguity on aspects relating to traditional criminal laws: Many people find that criminal laws need to be upgraded and changed as per changing times as traditional criminal laws do not match the status quo.
  3. Unpleasant working environments: Criminologists may have to profile extremely dangerous criminals or work in unpleasant environments
  4. The requirement of higher educational qualifications: Pursuing only a bachelor’s degree is not sufficient to be really good in this field. Students must hold a higher level of educational qualification to be able to excel in this career.

Summing up

The above article talked about Criminology in full detail and we hope it has been of great help to you. Thinking of becoming a Criminologist then? Or still need some clarification? Talk it out then, our career counsellors are just a call away.

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