How to become an efficient Criminologist

Do you have an investigative mind and like to solve mysteries? Want to work for a detective agency and aspire to be a detective? Want to know the characteristics of becoming a criminologist? Then check out this article to know how to become a criminologist. Also, know about the various Indian universities that offer the course in criminology, the eligibility criteria, and the careers for criminologists.


Crime is a term that is associated with an act that is forbidden by law. It includes those actions such as car stealing murder, absconding from arrest, possession of arms, drinking and driving, trading flesh and drugs. The crimes vary from country to country; it is one of the oldest forms of social problems, the crime and the violence existed in the lives of people. People commit crimes for various reasons and their motives are also varied. The demand for criminologists is ever-increasing with the crime rates increasing in the present scenario. They are needed in the police department for solving issues such as simple petty crimes, online and financial frauds, and other complex crimes. The career in criminology is rewarding challenging and thrilling. The trained professionals need to work hard to gain recognition with commitment and dedication, be alert and solve issues very diligently.

The scientific study of crime, criminals and their behaviour and the justice-involved in the criminal system is referred to as criminology. It began during the 1700s, the book 'On Crimes and Punishments" became the basic foundation for the criminology. Criminology is a scientific study that focuses on aetiology, prevention, and control of crime and delinquency. Criminologists investigate the crimes and how the individuals became criminals. Criminology is a vast subject, it helps in understanding the cause for the crime and also helps in preventive measures for crimes. The study also focuses on understanding the relationship between biological characteristics and the behaviour exhibited by the criminals. The study emphasis on the social and environmental causes of crime. The courses offered in colleges and universities are diploma course, certificate course, bachelor's degree course, master's degree and postgraduate courses in criminology. Here are the details of the postgraduate degree course.


M.A in Criminology - the best course to become a Criminologist

Master of Arts course is two years duration and aims at providing high-level academic study leading to the profession of criminologist or other profession related to the field. Students are exposed to understanding of problems of crime and the justice system in crime, Criminology is also referred to as making and breaking of laws. The program provides adequate knowledge in the subject and enhances the skills of critical thinking, logical reasoning, data analysis, and interpretation. The course prepares the students to become professionals in criminology, embark upon their career and face the challenges in the field. The students equip themselves with the required skills to become competent responsible leaders in the respective areas. Training provides extensive hands-on experience in practical aspects to become self-directed learners in research approaches.

crime and law

The study focuses on the crime patterns, analyze based on social biographical and psychological factors. The training emphasis on studying why criminals commit crimes, they unveil the backgrounds of the criminals, reveal past incidences, create profiles of the criminals. They collect data and help the law enforcers to nab the criminals and find their motives behind the crimes. The criminologists study about the demographics and repost the case studies. The study emphasis on understanding human behaviour, and their actions. Training provides an intensive study of criminal justice and history. The program equips them in transferable knowledge such as information technology, problem solving and time management. The students gain in-depth knowledge in research and development, policy interpretation, independent thinking abilities, a career in Criminology provides challenging avenues and exciting opportunities to become successful professionals. The study subjects cover the topics of sociology, social research, quantitative methods for sociologists, criminology, theories of deviant behaviour, criminal justice, and juvenile delinquency. Students also learn about scientific inquiry, critical analysis, and historical consciousness.
cctv- public safety

Eligibility Criteria for M.A in Criminology

The students should have completed a degree in bachelor/master's degree in psychology/sociology or criminology. They should possess a keen interest in deducting skills and logical reasoning. They should be self-motivated to pursue higher studies in criminology.

Additional Information of M.A in Criminology

Criminologists work involves in researching the crimes and the factors associated t it. The program introduces students to theories, assumptions, and definitions. The training provides vast knowledge of terminology, classification and trends in criminal justice. Students learn about varied kinds of crimes such as white-collar crime, a crime against women and children, a crime against humanity, religion, violence etc. They study the connections for the crime in varied angles, environmental biological and behaviour of the criminal. They study about the motive behind the crimes. about the brain structure and the chemical imbalances in an individual. The students study the various aspects of criminals such as poverty, overpopulation, family problems, financial problems, social, emotional and housing problems. They also study the rules and regulations of punishments and the treatments provided for offenders. This branch of science is called penology.

The study of penology deals with the rehabilitation process for the criminals for reviving their lives to become useful for the society. With an increase in crime rate in the present age, the process of quick trial and bringing the offenders is becoming certain. Criminologists use varied methods of detection for crimes. It includes statistical, methodical approaches and the latest techniques and technologies for researching case studies. The statistical studies help the criminologist to learn and understand about the personality traits that are common in criminals and compare them with non-criminals' he criminal behaviour of a person is assessed by looking at the trait that occurs more frequently among criminals. In the case of studies the criminologist investigates all the personality traits and the causes for the crime, it includes the environment, history of the family. Psychological state and other traits. The data collected will enable the criminologist to arrive at the results of how the several aspects contribute to the criminal behaviour of the individual. The curriculum includes theoretical lectures, practical sessions, group discussions, internships, seminars, case studies, seminars, debates, thesis presentations, assessments, and examinations.

Characteristics skills required for a criminologist

  • Criminologists should have excellent observation, recording and deduction skills. They need to have excellent communication skills to collect information from all sources related to the crime and analyze the facts. He should be able to travel to the crime site to assess the crime and be able to record accurately the minute details of the crime at the site. They should possess excellent interpersonal skills, good rapport with people to interact and obtain clues to the crime. They should gather all the vital clues from different sources and from different angles on how, when and where the crime was committed. They should have strong argumentative skills to justify their views and opinions.
  • He/she should possess good skills in logical reasoning and in deriving the motive and how the crime occurred. He should have an excellent skill to convince and in delivering the details of the crime and other details. He should have excellent judgmental skills and be able to provide a suggestion for punishment for the offenders. They should be hardworking and dedicated to work. They should be willing to travel as the job involves the movement to the crime scenes. He should possess good writing skills and in producing the judgment sheets of the crime.

Careers for criminologists

There are plenty of jobs available in India and abroad. They find jobs in universities as professors, in crime preventive organizations, police departments, detective agencies, forensic laboratories, in courts, police service, government service, legal services, crime control and intelligence bureau, social welfare departments, legal services, social service organization, injustice departments, in court writing proceedings, as law firms. The job profile includes professor, detective, police officer, crime analyst, lawyer, judge, forensic scientist, special agents in CBI, FBI, researcher, forensic investigator, crime scene analyst, private detective, caseworker, Superintendent, crime prevention officer, probation officer, Non-Government organizations, correction officer, police informer, crime investigator, law reformer, consumer advocate, drug policy advisor, environment protection analyst, medical examiner, fingerprint expert, policymaker, crime reporter, human rights counsellor, crime informer, crime writer. They can also venture into their entrepreneurship and establish detective services.

Indian universities offering courses in Criminology

  • University of Lucknow
  • Punjab University, Chandigarh
  • University of Jammu, Jammu
  • Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai
  • University of Madras, Chepauk ,Chennai
  • University of Pune, Ganeshkind, Pune
  • The Global open university, Nagaland
  • Raksha Shakti University, Gujarat


If you have a passion for becoming a detective and have excellent tactics for deducing, reporting and interpreting results and strong skills in communication, then you can choose to become a criminologist. The job is rewarding and gets you the satisfaction of solving mysteries and prevention of crimes. The job takes you to different places and you would be exposed to varied cultures. You can help the society in bringing the criminals to law and bring in social justice in society. The career in criminology is exciting and thrilling, it offers vast scope for qualified professionals within the country and across the globe.

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Author: Natarajan08 Sep 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 7

An excellent article, what a career to consider, We all have grown up either reading Sherlock Holmes, watching Karamchand, Old Fox, seeing movies of James Bond going after elite world criminals. Now we see serials like CID or the highly technical CSI crime series...

Every day one opens the newspaper and finds crimes of various types reported from all over the country
Sadly, its unfortunate to note that
1. increasing levels of abuse of children and women
2. increasing levels of crime against elderly ( When people say that Our children are in USA,Australia etc, it means that the poor parents are often alone here and prone to be a victim of a variety of crimes)
3.increasing rates of stabbing and assault over small amounts of money
4. increasing reports of high profile crimes and killings
5. increasing reports of drug, rage and hate related assaults and deaths
6. economic, financial and cyber crimes that were a rarity has now become a regular affair.

There will always be How, Where, Who, When and WHY crimes are committed and degree of punishment for the criminals. Any country big or small, under developed to developed has crime and its part of dailylife which we have to accept. So like any aspect of public service, why not take up this, if one the aptitude. Going by the authors there seems to be a decent number of colleges and courses. Hope some of our young men and women take up criminology to keep the common man safe.

For anyone who thinks beyond hating crimes, An interesting quote about crime

Society prepares the crime; the criminal only commits it. Henry Thomas Buckle. Maybe we are indirectly responsible for creating such an atmosphere where the opportunity arises and someone takes it...

Author: Partha K.17 Sep 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

An excellent article on studying Criminology in India. Nowadays there are some Indian universities which offer Criminology as a subject at Masters level and the author has mentioned these universities. However, I have doubt whether the actual Criminologists have actually studied the subject or not.
In my opinion, the Criminologists must have a very good idea on various subjects, some of which are mentioned below:-
(a) A good knowledge of Forensic Science: This is required to understand the nature of death/murder and time of death/murder.
(b) Botany & Chemistry: The knowledge of Botany and Chemistry is essential to understand poisons and poisonous chemicals.
(c) History: Knowledge of History is required to understand the importance of stolen/recovered artifacts/historical documents.
(d) Logical mind & Observation power: But above all, a Criminologist requires logical mind and minute observation power. I have doubt whether formal study of any subject can develop these two abilities.

So, I think the caption of this informative article should be "Study of MA (Criminology) in India'' instead of the present caption.

Author: jenny17 Sep 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 8

Natarajan, thanks for taking time to read. Yes, it is becoming very unsafe for children and women every day. The crimes on children and women are increasing and it's become a trauma for parents to send their to school. They are most worried about their child's safety, till they return home. Not only at school but at home and its environs too. Safety of children has become a major concern for every one. Most important, parents need to be alert always and safeguard their children. They have to take extra precautions to avoid any undue incidences. In present scenario, more professionals are needed to help police in solving the crimes and court proceedings should happen at a faster pace to enable justice to the victims.

Partha, Thank you for your comments. There are Indian universities offering different courses in criminology. The courses offered in colleges and universities are diploma/certificate / bachelor's degree/ master's degree and post graduate courses in criminology. In this article, I have briefed about M.A in criminology. The courses are exciting and provides good scope for job opportunities. Many students do take up the courses. These courses are not highlighted as people are after professional courses, Engineering/Medicine. Now slowly students are opting for unconventional careers as their choice. Universities offer short term, advanced and specialized courses in forensic sciences. Training and internships are also provided to create an awareness about forensic sciences. The students can choose the course as per their interests and make a career.
I have listed here some of the certificate/diploma courses

  • Forensic science and criminology

  • Cyber forensics

  • Cell phone forensics

  • Forensic science and finger print

  • There are varied and many more courses. A candidate can pursue degree course in forensic science and certificate course in criminology. Yes, the course equips students with skills in historical consciousness and scientific inquiry. Training provides practical experiences, case studies to develop their logical thinking and observation skills. Once the students enter into the field they develop the professional skills necessary for the job and gain expertise with experiences. Regarding the Caption, I had given a different title, I have requested ME to look into it.

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