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Top 5 Criminology Courses in India

In this article, you will get to know all the details about Criminology. You will learn the following topics in detail. As a result, these detailed insights will help you to choose the right course among various Criminology courses. Also, you can pursue these courses after your 12th or graduation.


The image highlights the top 5 criminology courses in India

Do you get excited to see and read crime news or a crime series? Does it make you think about the reasons a particular crime takes place? Do you have a liking for research? Do you want to contribute to the betterment of society? Have you wondered if you can make a career out of it? So, if your answer is yes then Criminology Courses might be the right choice for you!


In this article, you will get to know the following:

  • What is Criminology?
  • Why is it important?
  • Who needs the service of a criminologist?
  • Top 5 Criminology courses to pursue and from which college
  • Career Opportunities
  • Future prospects


What is Criminology?


Criminology is a fundamental study of crime and crime-related behavior. It is a branch of Sociology. Its’ study involves everything from the nature of crime and criminals to criminal laws and law enforcement agencies.


A criminologist has to research a particular crime. For example- why does a crime happen? What made the criminal do that crime? What was going through his mind? Was such a big step taken by him due to any sort of financial or social pressure? He or she has to study the patterns involved.


Not only this, a criminologist will have to deal with forensic investigation. Also, he or she will have to take part in the direct investigation of a case. They will also be interacting with the criminal to know about the factors that led to a crime.


Criminologists also do a deep study about the existing criminal laws, their relevance, and how they can be improvised. They also study the roles of law enforcement agencies, judicial institutions, and rehabilitation centers. They also provide a helping hand in educating society through various means.


So, in short, a criminologist has to study a crime and the law which is prevailing. And, as well as from the social, economic, psychological, and biological points of view. Thus, it needs deep research working abilities.


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Why is it important?


Imagine living in a society where for any kind of crime committed, the punishment is the same. The crimes are not investigated properly. People are getting arrested because the law enforcers concluded without any thorough investigation. Won’t it be complete chaos? Won’t the morale of people be low? It might also happen that people will always be in fear. Thus, affecting their and society’s growth. Besides that, the power will remain in hands of a few. They will run the society as per their wish.


So, to avoid such a difficult situation, the study of crime and criminals is important. By helping update criminal law, providing a fair investigation, studying the behavior patterns of criminals, a balance can be achieved in society. So, it helps the government to run the country smoothly, bring the law and order, and help in reducing crime rates. Besides that, it will ultimately result in the making of peace and prosperous society.


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Who needs the services of a criminologist?


In India, the services of a criminologist can be required by CBI, Forensic Departments, Police, Judicial, etc. These are government agencies. Apart from this, he or she can be also hired by some corporates. They can work as a private detective. They can also be hired by educational institutes to render their services.


Outside India, they can be hired by a country’s law enforcement agencies. They can also work as crime analysts, forensic scientists, or a private investigator.


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Top 5 Criminology Courses in India


Over the years, the importance of criminology has expanded a lot. As a result, many colleges and universities in India and Abroad have come up with various Criminology courses. Since it has many specializations, we have come up with the 5 most popular Criminology courses for you to choose from.


As Criminology courses vary a lot, it is strongly advised that one should go through it thoroughly and then compare and decide accordingly. To help you in choosing one of the right Criminology Courses, the course structure and brief syllabus have been mentioned. The Criminology Courses can be chosen as per one’s field of interest. For example, if you are more into finding leads from pieces of evidence then it is strongly recommended that you choose Forensic Science.


To pursue criminology, you need to first complete your 12th with either Science or Arts stream. Since there are many colleges now offering courses in this subject, we have also mentioned a few of the best colleges in India.  Thus, it will help you in deciding the right course as per your requirements. The details are not exhaustive but you can approach the college for any queries related to a particular course.


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The Criminology Courses are as follows:


  1. B.A. in Criminology and Police Science


This is one of the rare Criminology Courses you will find in India for an undergraduate degree. This course is offered by St. Thomas College (Autonomous), Thrissur, Kerala. It is one of the premier Catholic Colleges in Kerala. The college was established in 1894.


Apart from general topics like Common English, one will be learning some of the following topics.  These topics are part of the syllabus and thus, you will learn them in different semesters: –


  1. Basics of Criminology
  2. Police, Personal and Judicial Administration
  3. Typology of Crime and Contemporary Crime
  4. Psychology of Crime and Criminal Behaviour
  5. Cyber Criminology and IT Acts
  6. Practical Crime Investigation
  7. Juvenile and Gender Justice System
  8. Police Science and Crime Investigation
  9. Victimology and Victim Justice
  10. Fundamentals of Forensic Psychology


Learning Outcomes


  • Understanding of Criminal Justice System, principles of crime, Criminology and Police Science
  • Ability to understand the theoretical explanation of crime and criminal behavior to handle all forms of crimes
  • Understand the law of crimes, Gender, and Juvenile Justice System and develop skill sets in crime investigation and scientific interrogation
  • Develop skills for victim assistance


 Eligibility to enroll in this program


  • Class 12th Certificate from Kerala State Board of Higher Secondary Examination or any recognized equivalent examination


Once you have completed this course, you can opt for higher studies for specialization.  Or, you can also get good job opportunities with law enforcement agencies. You can also become a private detective or get attached to an NGO.


  1. B.Sc. (Hons) in Forensic Science


If you get excited watching crime and detective series like Fringe or Sherlock and wonder if it is true in real life. You want to be the forensic expert who finds details about crimes from the pieces of evidence. If you want to make a career out of it then this is a good course for you.


Course Duration


It is a three years course and is divided into six semesters.


 Fee Structure


The fee ranges from as low as Rs 6,000/- to Rs 3,20,000/- depending upon the University.


The syllabus for this course consists of the following:


  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • Document Examination
  • Cyber Forensic
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Fire Investigation
  • Forensic Serology
  • Forensic Toxicology


Learning Outcomes


  • Examine and explain pieces of evidence available from crime scenes
  • Psychologically assess the crime and criminal
  • Conduct Cyber-crime investigations


 Institutes Offering this Course


  • Amity University
  • Osmania University
  • Lovely Professional University


Career opportunities


After completing this course one can be hired by government agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research & Analysis Wing (RAW). Also, depending upon specialization, one can be hired in hospitals and laboratories. One can also be hired in Banking or other corporates as a Document Expert.


  1. Diploma in Juvenile Justice and Juvenile Psychology


If one wants to work for the betterment of juveniles and think that they have the capabilities to understand teenagers’ psychology. And think that they can bring justice to them then out of many Criminology Courses, this is a great option for them. This is also a great option for those who are already working in this field. This will enhance their concepts and theoretical knowledge.


Course Duration


This course can be completed in one semester – if you intend to do it full time. However, if you are already working then you can study it part-time and complete it in two semesters.


Eligibility criteria


Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from the University of Madras or any other recognized degree.


Course Fee


The total Course Fee is Rs 15,000/-


Syllabus of this course


  • Principles of Human Development
  • Psycho-social Aspects of Childhood and Adolescence
  • Vulnerability faced by children and adolescents
  • Juvenile Justice System
  • Assessment, Interviewing, and referral


Learning Outcomes


After completing this course, one will be able to understand the behavior of children and adolescents. One will also be able to understand the juvenile justice system and its processes so that justice and proper care can be given to juveniles.




The University of Madras offers this course.


Career Opportunities


Upon completion of this course, one can work with Juvenile Justice System or an NGO.


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  1. M.Sc. Degree Course in Criminology & Criminal Justice System


If you want to dig deep into the field of Criminology then this course is designed for you. This postgraduate course combines studies of crimes & criminal behavior as well as the justice system. This will enable the student to get an overall knowledge about the crime and the legal aspects attached to it. If one wants to have both the subject knowledge then it is a good choice.


Course Duration


The course includes four semesters in a span of two years.


Eligibility Conditions for admission to this course


Any Bachelor Degree from the University of Madras or any other recognized University.


Course Syllabus


  • Introduction to Criminal Justice and Society
  • Law of Crime
  • Fundamentals of Psychology
  • General & Advanced Forensic science
  • Prevention of Crime and Delinquency
  • Cybercrime
  • Criminal Procedure and Evidence
  • Police Administration
  • Human Rights and Criminal Justice System
  • Comparative Criminal Justice
  • White-Collar Crime and Organized Crime


Learning Outcomes


After completing this course, one can have all the relevant knowledge about Criminology and Criminal Justice. One will be able to understand the typology of crime, the Criminal Justice System, understand personalities of different criminals, deal with forensic science-related work, and will have knowledge about the functioning of Police. He or she will be able to study the crime scenes, pieces of evidence collected and interpret them accordingly.


Institute offering this course


University of Madras


Career Opportunities


You will have the opportunity to work with the judiciary, Police, forensic laboratories, law enforcement agencies, and NGOs.


  1. M.A. in Social Work (Criminology & Justice)


This course is unique and one of the best Criminology Courses available in India. It is provided by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, one of the premier institutes for Social Sciences in India. This is one of the best courses if you are interested in social work and want to do something for victims, juveniles, offenders in need of justice, and those who are vulnerable to criminalization and victimization.


Hence to do any social work in the field of criminology, you need to gain knowledge about this domain as you will be working in liaison with state agencies, the judiciary, and the victimized group. Accordingly, this course teaches you the domain knowledge, right attitude, and skills specific to the justice system and state agencies.


Course Duration


This is a two years course, comprising of four semesters.


Eligibility for applying to this course


One needs to have a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree of a minimum of 3 or 4 years duration or its equivalent.


Selection Process


The selection process for this course comprises two stages: –


  • Stage 1:

TISS NET (TISS National Entrance Test) – It is a computer-based test of 100 mins and consists of 100 objective type Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ).


  • Stage 2:

On successfully clearing Stage 1, candidates will be called for stage 2. Again, this stage is divided into two parts – (i) Programme Aptitude Test (PAT) & (ii) Online Personal Interview (OPI). You need to attend these two parts simultaneously. And so, you will first appear in PAT and then you have to appear in OPI. Please remember that without appearing in PAT, you cannot appear in OPI.


Seats: – This course has a very limited number of seats. As per the latest data, the total number of seats is 34. Hence, one needs to prepare for this vigorously.


Fee Structure


The total course fee is Rs 1,08,600/-. Apart from this, other charges of Hostel and Dining are Rs 1,24,000/- for a total of 4 semesters.


Syllabus in nutshell


The syllabus covers about History and details of social work, Criminology, Community Organisation, Social Welfare Administration, Child Rights, and Juvenile Justice, Rural Crime and Justice, Victimology and Crime Prevention, Criminal Law and Practice, Issues and Challenges in Criminal Justice Social Work. The syllabus topics mentioned in the last sentence are not exhaustive.  For the full syllabus, one can check the institute’s website.


Learning Outcome


After completing this course, one will have the required domain knowledge. One will learn the attitude and skills required to deal with the highly pressurized judicial system and government agencies. This will help them to discuss and solve the human rights concerns of offenders and victims. One will also be able to provide counseling to offenders, juveniles, and victims and lay out a recovery path for them.


Job Prospects


On completion of this course, one can work with law enforcement agencies, correction centers, and NGOs.


Apart from the above Criminology Courses and institutes available in India, one can also go abroad for studying Criminology. There are a plethora of courses available abroad in a country like the USA and European nations. The career prospects are also huge in these countries.


Moreover, if one wants to study Criminology online then they can get multiple options to choose from renowned online education platforms like – Coursera, Edx, and Udemy. These platforms provide you with various courses in collaboration with good Universities. So, if you can’t go to a college and still want to get the domain knowledge then these platforms are the best options.


Future Prospects


A society is not perfect and due to its diversity, it is almost impossible to achieve perfection. However, we can always work towards bringing a balance in society to reduce imperfections. Therefore, Criminologists play a very important role in our society.


Criminologists, through their research and study of cases, can suggest required changes and upgrades. This will help in improving the functioning of law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, and the state administration. So, they play a key role as they can tremendously help in solving and reducing crimes. They also help in bringing justice to victims and wrongly accused persons.


With increasing population and crime rates, our judiciary and government agencies are under huge pressure and lack enough manpower. Thus, there’s a huge demand for criminologists. Criminology, as a job, has a lot of research involved. And so, you will have to continuously study crime, criminal behavior, and existing laws to positively contribute to society.


To perform their duties effectively, Criminologists have to do a lot of research. The nature of this job lessens the availability of the number of skilled people. So, this factor creates more demand for specialists in this sector.


Criminologists are also specialized in Document Examination and Cyber forensics. Therefore, they have good demand in Banking, Finance, and IT sectors. As the economies and societies are increasingly getting technology-driven, cyber-crimes have seen a huge rise in recent times.


Therefore, it makes Criminologists more relevant as they can study increasing digital crimes and bring out the solution based on continuous research, analytical mind, and expertise. As a result, in today’s technology-driven world their importance has increased more and brings more career opportunities.



Criminology is a research-oriented job. One will be developing an analytical mind and logical thinking after completion of a course in this field. This particular domain has many branches in it. As a result, one can learn and specialize in specific skills for the specific career they want.


Criminology sounds and looks very attractive but it is a very vast subject. To gain more and more knowledge of this subject, you will need to do a lot of research. Not only this, but you also need to keep on evolving and learning new things to grow in this field.


You don’t have to worry if you have no prior or god-gifted abilities to work as a criminologist. However, only thing is that you need to do deep study and put in a good effort as the field expects such kind of work. Do you think that you can put in that kind of effort and are comfortable with the research? Do you think that you can handle the demanding nature of this job? If yes, then it can be a great career choice for you.


This is one field where you can bring real and visible changes to society. So, it will give you great satisfaction as you will bring differences in the life of people who are in need. The opportunities are plenty. You just need to put in all the effort. And then you can find yourself in one of the most satisfying and rewarding careers.

I am a Banker by profession. Passionate about writing and reading. Guest blogger at IIM Skills.

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