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What is the Difference Between Criminology and Criminal Justice?

Shreya Sareen
Shreya SareenUpdated On: December 24, 2019 06:08 pm IST

If you are confused between the fields of Criminal Justice Vs Crimonology, you can refer to this article to find out more about the differences between Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Criminal Justice Vs Criminology

Criminal Justice deals with the courts and law enforcement. It pertains to addressing criminal behaviour and crime in the society and involves studying about the administrative side of crime-related careers while Criminology is all about the study of crime and the research and analysis into the causes of crime and their consequences.

Criminal Justice

Students can look forward to learn about criminal justice reform, criminal investigation, judicial process while studying criminal justice. It is a study of jails, justice and police and will specialise in established systems and ways of dealing with the crime, criminal prosecution, detaining criminals etc.


Criminology takes a look at why, how, when and where crimes take place and what can be done to prevent the crimes. Criminology is a good option for those students who wish to work in the legal system after graduation. Courses in criminology revolve around the different kinds of crime, the causes etc and students will get to learn about criminal psychology.

Criminal Justice Vs Criminology? What’s the Difference

The difference between criminal justice and criminology lies in the actions of each field. While criminology is the study of crimes, criminal justice on the other hand deals with the system in which the ones who have committed crimes must be punished. Students who study criminal study about law enforcement while students who study criminology will study the behavior and background of the criminals and look into the impact of the crime. The focus of the two fields also varies. Criminal justice is all about correctional institutions, juvenile justice facilities and criminal courts and involves attorneys, courts and police officers. Criminology’s focus lies a lot on sociology as it explores not only criminal behaviour but also the response of the society to the evidence and how effective is the punishment that has been meted out.

Also Read: Top National Law Universities (NLUs) in India 2020 - Check Here Admission Process, Fees & Eligibility

Degree in Criminal Justice Vs Degree in Criminology

A degree in Criminal justice deals with criminal justice system, criminal justice processes, Indian penal code, criminal justice administration, criminal justice research and advocacy and criminal justice administration. Students also get to intern with the courts and law enforcement agencies as a part of the course. Certain courses may also focus on business security, drug abuse, domestic violence and human trafficking. It will also involve studying about the ethics of criminal justice and the processes related to it along with the efforts for rehabilitating inmates. Students who are good with analysing results and collecting data and also research are the ones who should opt for a degree in criminal justice. The course also takes a look at the agencies which help in the prevention of crime. It offers an insight into the criminal justice process which includes the courts, police and corrections.

A degree in Criminology involves the study of criminology and forensic science. It also involves studying about the procedural laws, police administration, laws of crime and minor acts, vigilance and cyber forensic and correctional administration. It also includes subjects on criminal laws, human behaviour, vigilance and security management. The syllabus in criminology covers topics such as forms of crime, criminal law and procedure, introduction in criminology, crime theories, forensic science, psychology of crime, economic crimes, impact of economic crimes, crime management and prevention, protection of human rights etc.

Colleges Offering Criminal Justice Courses in India

Some of the colleges/universities which offer criminal justice courses in India are listed below:

  • University of Rajasthan
  • University of Hyderabad-Centre for Distance and Virtual Learning
  • Manonmaniam Sundaranar University
  • IFS Education

Colleges Offering Criminology Courses in India

Some of the colleges/universities offering criminology courses in India are as follows:

Also Read: Best Law Schools and Colleges in India 2020

Even though there are differences between the fields of criminal justice and criminology, these are both interlinked. The role of both is to prevent criminals from committing crimes but they have different angles to it. The person who studies criminology will be trying to figure out why someone commits the crime as well as investigating the crime scene. The one who is studying criminal justice will help in removing the criminal from the society by taking the appropriate legal action and putting that person under arrest.


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