SCQF Level 8
Enterprise and Commerce

Course Overview

This PDA is designed to introduce candidates to a selection of topics and areas of debates that inform contemporary justice. Candidates will examine how crime and criminal justice have been theorised and then consider theoretical explanations of crime causation and criminalisation. The aims of criminal justice and the penal system will also be covered.

This Professional Development Award may be undertaken for a variety of reasons:

  • Widening participation
  • The potential to meet the needs and/or interests of a variety of candidates
  • Providing opportunities for part-time and evening class candidates
  • Providing a sense of achievement of a Group Award
  • Useful to outlying centres that do not have the teaching resources to deliver a full HNC
  • Could be used to credit achievements for those who do not achieve, for a variety of reasons, a full HNC
  • The awards develop skills needed for progression into higher education and employment
  • Study skills are developed
  • The awards promote flexible entry into higher education and provide an element of specialisation
  • The awards could help tailor requirements to a particular programme of learning
  • They could help with advanced entry to university
  • They will provide opportunities for progression into a range of HE programmes
  • The awards will enhance the social sciences/legal services portfolio within centres
  • Meets the needs of some adult returners
  • Continuous professional development (CPD)


The PDAs would be particularly relevant to part-time study and the evening class market. Many candidates can be adult returners, some of whom are vulnerable, can come from deprived sections of the community and/or who have experienced social exclusion.


They would be aimed particularly at those who are not in a position to commit to a full HN programme, for example, 

  • asylum seekers whose status can change
  • 6th-year school candidates
  • employees seeking to improve their CPD might choose to study them





What You Will Learn
The PDA in Criminology at SCQF level 8 covers the following:
  • theories of crime causation and criminalisation
  • aspects of the criminal justice system in Scotland
  • an open-minded, critical and evaluative approach to the study
  • data handling, critical analysis and complex thinking skills
  • problem-solving and research skills
Entry Requirements

Entry is at the discretion of the centre. However, it would be beneficial if learners had achieved at least one of the following:

  • relevant qualifications at SCQF level 6/7
  • NC Social Sciences, Legal Services or Police Studies
  • employment experience for a specific subject(s)
We will also take into account experience, life skills and potential ability
English Proficiency Requirements
  • Minimum 5.5 IELTS
How the course is assessed
  • On going assessment
Information on Test/Auditions/Interview Requirements
  • Application & Interview
Progression And Articulation Routes

  • HND Legal Services  or HNC Police studies
  • Possible progression onto Social Science related courses

Career Opportunities

Market research demonstrates that such qualifications could be useful to paralegals as the Units provide them with some of the practical skills required by employers, as well as opening the door to other vocational opportunities existing in administrative or supervisory/management roles in business, finance, the commercial or public sector and the Police.


Skills such as communication, time management and the ability to work with others were said to be fundamental to a candidate’s employment prospects.


Number Of Days Per Week/Day Of The Week/Time Of The Day
  • Open Learning with tutor support
Course Cost And Funding Options
Start Date(s)

Open Learning

This course will start week commencing...
  • 20/01/2020
End Date(s)

Open Learning

This course will end on...
  • 12/06/2020
Course Delivery
GRANTON x x x x x
MIDLOTHIAN x x x x x
MILTON RD x x x x x
SIGHTHILL x x x x x
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Courses may be subject to alteration or cancellation

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