Certificate in Criminal Studies

Criminology certificate.Study criminal profiling, criminal psychology, forensics, legal terminology, ethics and more.

Course Code: VPS311
Fee Code: CT
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate
Get started!

Study Criminology Online with this specialist certificate

For a career working in criminology, supporting law enforcement or security, the Certificate in Crime Studies covers topics for a understanding the who, what, why and how of solving a crime.

This online course looks at:

  • criminal profiling
  • forensics
  • criminal psychology
  • legal terminology

You can then choose two electives to suit you and your needs. For example -

  • Journalists and writers may choose to specialise in writing courses to enhance their crime writing skills
  • People workin with people with mental health difficulties in the criminal justice system may also study two mental health electives

The course is suitable for anyone who would like to work in the criminal justice system, or would like to advance their existing career. The course is therefore suitable for -

  • youth workers
  • social workers
  • law enforcement
  • police
  • security officers
  • writers
  • journalists
  • counsellors


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate in Criminal Studies.
 Introduction to Forensics BSC114
 Legal Terminology BWR108
 Criminal Profiling BPS227
 Criminal Psychology BPS309
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 15 modules.
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Anger Management BPS111
 Cyber Security VIT103
 Freelance Writing BWR102
 Workshop I BGN103
 Writing Fiction BWR105
 Advanced Freelance Writing BWR201
 Anxiety Management BPS224
 Child and Adolescent Mental Health BPS214
 Ethics BPS217
 Managing Mental Health in Adults BPS216
 Security Management BBS213
 Social Psychology I BPS205
 Abnormal Psychology BPS307
 Psychopharmacology (Drugs & Psychology) BPS302

Note that each module in the Certificate in Criminal Studies is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Sample Course Notes From Our Criminal Profiling Course

Who Commits Crimes?

Research has found that the following factors can influence who commits a crime.


In the Western world, 90% of murders are committed by males.  Males are also the victims in 75% of murders.

In terms of police prosecutions, about three quarters of proceedings annually are against males. The most common offence for both males and females is acts intended to cause injury which accounts for about a quarter of both the male offender group and female offender group.   

We will consider more on gender shortly.


Age also affects murder rates, there is an increase in murders between the ages of 17 and 30.  People are less likely to commit murder as they age, but murders committed by children and adolescents are also rare.  However, if we look at research across different countries and cultures, the patterns do not always appear similar. For example, in Korea, according to the Asian Correspondent newspaper, 37.4% of murderers are men, which is obviously less than in America. But all the criminals had committed their crimes in their 30s.

With regards to crimes, the peak age for committing crimes is the teenage years. In many societies, rate of offending rises sharply from late childhood peaking at around 18 years, slowly declining to age 40 years, and then tailing off quickly into late adulthood. However, the proportion of young offenders is significantly less than adult offenders. Also, while adolescents are more likely to commit crimes against the person, the seriousness of their offences is less than for adults.


We often watch movies and TV programmes where we think it is going to be the spouse who did the murder.  But the Crime Prevention Research Centre in America found that –

  • 9.4% of murders were committed by a husband, wife, common-law husband or wife, father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, or stepdaughter.
  • 1.8% were other family members.
  • 4.2% were boyfriends, girlfriends, ex-husbands, or ex-wives.
  • 14% were acquaintances. This is a broad category can include taxi drivers to prostitutes and their customers.
  • 3.1% were a friend.
  • 5.4% were other known.
  • 11% a stranger.
  • 39% was an unknown relationship. For example, they participated in a gang fight but there was no apparent direct relationship between the victim and murderer.
  • 1% a neighbour.

But even looking at these statistics, it is not so clear cut. With family murders, the murderers tended to also have a criminal record for other crimes, so it is not just a simple someone in the family murdered the person.


Any Questions?

Do you have any questions at all? Our criminology tutors are more than happy to help. Please click here to contact us.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding in your selected discipline. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (6 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with studentservices@acs.edu.au if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( admin@acs.edu.au ).

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.

I agree for ACS Distance Education to contact me and store my information until I revoke my approval. For more info, view our privacy policy.