What can I do with a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice?

Find out where the range of skills you develop studying criminology and criminal justice can take you. Here we list potential careers and tell you how you can find a job in this sector.

Criminology and Criminal Justice careers

These pages look at career areas related to Criminology and Criminal Justice. Since Criminology can be studied as a joint honours degree at Kent, you may also wish to look at the pages for the other half of your degree.

The occupations listed below are a selection of those that may interest Criminology and Criminal Justice students and graduates. Many of these occupations are open to graduates in any degree subject and a degree in Criminology or Criminal Justice is not often a specific requirement: however, the knowledge you have gained from your degree studies will be highly relevant to these employers and will help to show your interest in and commitment to the career.

Court Reporter

Court reporters produce verbatim reports of court proceedings, using traditional shorthand techniques or stenotype machines. They may also work at public inquiries, court martials, tribunals and police interviews.

Target jobs: Court Reporter

British Institute of Verbatim Reporters: Become a Verbatim Reporter

Criminal Intelligence Analyst

Criminal intelligence analysts collect and evaluate information that they use to analyse patterns of crime, build up a picture of criminal suspects and their activities to help solve crimes and prevent future crimes being committed.
Prospects job profile: Intelligence Analyst
National Careers Service: Criminal Intelligence analyst

Forensic Accountant

Forensic accountants investigate fraud and other financial misrepresentation. Their work enables lawyers, insurance companies and other clients to resolve disputes.
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales: A career in forensic accounting

Police Officer and Detective Constable

Police Officers work to make communities safer by maintaining the law and preventing crime.

Prospect job profile: Police officer
Met Police: Detective constable                                

How 2 Become: Police careers

Immigration, Customs and Border Roles

These roles involve monitoring people, banned substances and other goods leaving and entering the country to ensure safety and security and to maintain the law. 

Target jobs: Customs Officer
Target jobs: Immigration Officer
Prospects job profile: Border Force Officer

Prison Officer

Prison Officers are responsible for maintaining security in prisons and supporting the rehabilitation of prisoners.

Prospects job profile: Prison Officer   
National Careers Service: Prison Governor                                                                                                    How2Become: Prison officer

Probation Officer

Probation Officers work with offenders and aim to reduce rates of re-offending and protect the public.

Prospects job profile: Probation Officer
How2Become: Probation officer

Scene of Crime Officer also known as Crime Scene Investigator

The role of a Scene of Crime Officer focuses on finding, documenting (by notes/ photographs/ video) collecting, preserving and packaging physical evidence from crime scenes

National Careers Service: Scene of Crime Officer
Target job profile: Scene of Crime Officer

Social Researcher

Social research covers a wide range of topics including migration, poverty, and healthcare. Social Researchers could work for universities or research organisations and manage research projects including collecting and analysing data and presenting the results.

Prospects job profile: Social researcher 
Social Research Association: Careers in social research.
Prospects job profile: Government social research officer
Gov.Uk: Government social research profession
Prospects job profile: Trade Union research officer

Victim Care Officer

Providing help to people who have been victims of crime, including supporting them during court proceedings.
National Careers Service: Victim Care Officer

Youth Offending Team Officer

Working with young offenders with the aim of reducing rates of re-offending and supporting young people to achieve positive outcomes.
National Careers Service: Youth Offending Team Officer

 For further information on these and other careers, see also:

Other careers

The following career areas may also be of interest to Criminology and Criminal Justice students, or are careers where the skills and knowledge gained from studying this degree will be useful:

Civil Service Fast Streamer

The Civil Service Fast Stream is a leadership development programme for those wanting to become senior leaders within the Civil Service

Prospects job profile: Civil Service Fast Streamer

Read about the 15 different Fast Stream schemes


Housing Manager / Officer

Manages housing services for bodies such as housing associations, local authorities, charities and the private sector. It is common to work with specific clients, such as homeless people, ex-offenders or people with disabilities. The role may involve team management responsibilities and participation in more strategic projects.

National Careers Service: Housing officer
Prospects job profile: Housing manager/ officer

Insurance Claims Inspector / Loss adjusting

Insurance claims inspectors work on behalf of insurance companies to assess or determine liability, negotiate payments and minimise the number of fraudulent claims.
Target jobs: Insurance claims inspector
Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters: Careers in loss adjusting

Social Worker

Social Workers work with people in the community who need support, for example, the elderly, children who are at risk, people with disabilities or mental health difficulties.

Prospects job profile: Social worker
British Association of Social Workers: Become a social worker

Substance Misuse Worker

Supporting clients to overcome their problems with drug, alcohol or solvent misuse.

National Careers Service: Drug and alcohol worker 
National Careers Service: Substance misuse outreach worker 

Youth Worker

Working with young people to provide support, raise aspirations and break down barriers to achieving. Achieved in a variety of ways including through recreational activities, organising projects, mentoring and liaising with other agencies.

Prospects job profile: Youth worker 
Target job profile: Youth worker

Skills gained

As well as their subject-specific knowledge and skills, a graduate in Criminology and Criminal Justice will typically:

  • Have research skills and familiarity with research methods
  • Be able to analyse and evaluate problems and issues
  • Be able to collect and interpret statistical data
  • Have an awareness and sensitivity of the needs and values of others
  • Communicate, debate and develop logical arguments
  • Have planning and time management skills
  • Be able to work in a group with other people
  • Be able to write clearly and concisely
  • Be able to present facts, ideas and arguments

This is not an exhaustive list of skills - you will develop many skills from your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience. 

Here you will find a selection of employers across various industries that recruit for roles related to Criminology and Criminal Justice.


Prison and Probation Services

  • Probation officer - give offenders support on the road to their rehabilitation and help them to make better life choices
  • Prison officer – Unlocked graduates – leadership development programme
  • Serco – Prison custody officers and prisoner custody officers
  • KSS CRC - provides probation services in Kent, Surrey and Sussex 
  • MTC – Probation and rehabilitation
  • GEOamey – Prison custody officer


Private sector

G4S  Security company – jobs board with opportunities in sectors such as care and justice, security, cash solutions and risk management.

Volunteer Opportunities

Social Research

  • Government Social Research – information on Summer placement, Fast Stream Scheme and Sandwich student placement
  • Ipsos MORI – one of the world’s largest market research companies – graduate and Intern opportunities
  • Centre for Crime and Justice Studies – independent educational charity that advances public understanding of crime and criminal justice.
  • NatCen – Britain’s largest independent social research agency

Academic and Professional Bodies and Further Study

Voluntary Organisations and Charities

  • Catch 22 – “a social business providing services that help people in tough situations to turn their lives around”
  • Centre for Justice Innovation A UK charity committed to improving the British justice system through testing ideas out in the real world. 
  • Churches Criminal Justice Forum - a network of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland with the primary purpose of upholding Christian values in the field of criminal justice.
  • Clinks Supports voluntary organisations that work with offenders and their families. Has a jobs board.
  • Crime Reduction Initiatives  Works in prisons, custody suites and communities to support individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice system.
  • Crimestoppers Independent charity helping law enforcement to locate criminals and help solve crimes. Volunteer and paid roles.
  • The Howard League for Penal Reform – charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison
  • KeyRing Works with people with a learning disability. Has various projects for those involved with the criminal justice system.
  • NACRO - crime reduction charity –voluntary opportunities
  • PACT A national charity that supports people affected by imprisonment, providing practical and emotional support to prisoners' children and families, and to prisoners themselves. Volunteer opportunities
  • Prisoners’ Advice Service Independent legal charity providing information and representation to prisoners. Recruits legal, fundraising and communications volunteers.
  • Prison Reform Trust – works to ensure prisons are just,humane and effective
  • Forward supports people with addictions or who have been involved with crime to move forward in a positive direction.
  • Reprieve Provides free legal and investigative support to defend human rights.
  • Change Grow Live works to strengthen communities by involving local volunteers in promoting social inclusion and reducing crime
  • St Giles Trust Charity helping ex-offenders and disadvantaged people to move their lives forward and break the cycle of offending
  • Turning Point social enterprise, providing specialist and integrated services which focus on improving lives and communities across issues including mental health, substance misuse, the criminal justice system and employment.
  • Victim Support – free and confidential support for people affected by crime or traumatic events


Find a job

The Careers and Employability Service provides information and advice on job searching to University of Kent students and recent graduates. This includes a vacancy database advertising a range of graduate jobs, sandwich placements and vacation work/internships. The websites listed below may also be useful when searching for a job in the criminal justice sector.

Further study

More and more students are following their first degree with further academic or professional study, and approximately 20% of Criminology and Criminal Justice graduates from the University of Kent continue into postgraduate study every year.

In some fields of work related to Criminology and Criminal Justice, such as social research, a postgraduate degree will give you a strong advantage. In others, particularly Law, you will be required to undertake a relevant professional qualification. However, many job roles in the justice system, such as police work or offender management, put a much higher value on personal skills and qualities than on further academic qualifications.

If you are interested in other careers, some, such as teaching or accountancy, will require study for a relevant professional qualification. In other careers, such as journalism, a postgraduate degree is not a requirement, but may be an advantage, while there are many careers that will put more emphasis on personal skills than on academic qualifications. The “Types of Jobs” section of the Prospects website will tell you whether postgraduate study is essential, useful or not needed for a specific career.

There are many reasons for choosing to continue into postgraduate study. You may wish to obtain a higher degree purely for interest rather than for career reasons. Whatever your motivation, you need to consider issues such as your suitability for further study, the options available to you and the costs involved.More and more students are following their first degree with further academic or professional study, and approximately 20% of Criminology and Criminal Justice graduates from the University of Kent continue into postgraduate study every year.

Looking for Careers Advice?  

The Careers and Employability Service is open to all University of Kent students and recent graduates. We support students from the moment they start their course, throughout their student life and up to three years after their graduation.   

Book an appointment with a Careers Advisor today 

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