Qualifications for criminology courses in Kenya [updated]

Last updated on January 25th, 2021 at 02:53 pm

So, what are the current qualifications for criminology courses in Kenya?

Well, below we look at the minimum criminology courses requirements at the certificate, diploma, degree, and post-graduate levels in Kenya.

But first, what does a criminology course entail and how is its marketability?

Here are the answers:

What does a criminology course entail?

Criminology is simply the study of various crimes, criminal behavior patterns/trends, and the law.

As a student of criminology in Kenya, you will also be tackling topics such as criminal justice systems, law enforcement, crime prevention, and handling crime victims.

Additionally, you’ll learn how to investigate and gather intelligence on various types of crimes.

What kind of jobs are graduates of criminology hired for?

To give you an idea of where your criminology course can take you, here are the typical criminology jobs in Kenya you can be hired for.

  1. Enforcement officer- these officers are recruited in organizations like the KRA and country governments especially if you have undertaken paramilitary style training to support your criminology certificate.
  2. Security manager- these types of positions exist in educational institutions, hospitals, hotels, etc.
  3. Investigations officer- A Bachelor’s degree in criminology may suffice for this position which is available in probation departments, the police service, private investigation firms, EACC etc.
  4. Surveillance Officer- This position involves CCTV surveillance and control among other roles. A University degree in criminology is demanded for this job.
  5. Security Officer- A certificate or a diploma in criminology from any recognized institution makes you eligible for jobs at this level. In most cases, you must have attended the National Police Service/Kenya Defense Forces training previously.
  6. Complaints Officer- This role involves handling complains in organizations like IPOA and requires that you have at least a diploma in criminology and forensic science.
  7. Inspections Officer- For this job, you will be conducting thematic, impromptu, and obviously, routine Inspections of assigned premises.


Is criminology marketable in Kenya?

Earning a course in criminology can unlock the door to plenty of fascinating and well-paying careers in both the private security industry and government agencies.

But there’s a catch: this course works best when you have a background in security in Kenya.

Indeed, for the most part, employers ask for paramilitary training for most of the criminology-related positions.

That makes sense considering that you’ll be involved in the security industry where you’re sometimes required to use force to handle hostile situations.

Having said that, jobs that do not make paramilitary training mandatory exist in private security firms (most offer basic paramilitary training in-house anyway) and small organizations but they generally do not pay well.

It’s worth mentioning that this can be a brilliant course for you if you dream of working outside Kenya (think of destinations like Dubai and Qatar) and you already have NYS training.

Here are some combinations that can be great if you hope to secure a prestigious job with this course.

  • NYS+ Criminology.
  • Private security training+ Criminology.
  • Police training + Criminology.
  • KWS training+ Criminology.
  • Kenya Prisons Training+ Criminology.
  • KDF training+ Criminology

Let’s now turn to the key question: the qualifications for criminology courses in Kenya.

Qualifications for criminology courses in Kenya

Now, to pursue the course, you must meet the following criminology courses requirements in Kenya.

Criminology certificate courses in Kenya

This is the basic level and the entry requirements are as follows:

  • KCSE mean grade C – (or equivalent) or
  • Division III ( O’ level )mean grade or
  • ‘A’ Level qualification with a minimum of 2 subsidiary passes (or equivalent).

These apply to courses like a certificate in criminology and criminal justice in Universities such as MKU, USIU, and Kibabii.

Target group: The Programme is best for students/clients planning to pursue careers in forensic investigations, police services, human rehabilitation services, security management, etc.


Diploma in Criminology requirements

For diploma courses such as a diploma in criminology and forensic science, diploma in criminology and security studies, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • KCSE mean grade C (or equivalent) or
  • KCE Division III (37 Points and above)

Besides, you need to have a C- in English plus a C plain grade in one social science subject to pursue criminology.

For Universities like African Nazarene, the following are also accepted as qualifications for criminology.

  • 3 credits at the IGCSE (or its equivalent).
  • A certificate in Criminology [with a GPA of 2.3 (Minimum) ]

Still, when we come to colleges like the Kenya Institute of Social Word (KISWCD) and the Kenya institute of criminal justice (KISJ), the qualifications for criminology change to:

  • KCSE C- or
  • KCE Div 2 or
  • A Certificate in Social development, Project management, Social work, or Community development

Target group: The course is open to beginners, security project managers, security training facilitators, and fresh students (from form 4).

Qualifications for criminology at the degree level

For a Degree in Criminology in Kenya, you must hold any of these qualifications in most of the universities offering criminology in Kenya:

  • A certificate in police science/training from accredited colleges.
  • A certificate in criminology (you must have passed with a credit -or its equivalent- at the very least).
  • A Diploma in Police Science or criminology from accredited colleges (credit pass and above).

Note that you may qualify for a credit transfer if you’re applying with a qualifying diploma.

At Dedan Kimathi University, the qualifications for criminology at this level are as listed below:

  • KCSE mean grade C+ (minimum) plus a C grade in English or Kiswahili.
  • 2 principal passes and 1 subsidiary (minimum) for KACE Certificate holders.
  • Diploma in Criminology & Security Management/ Police Science /Military Science/Forensics Science & Psychology/Computer Forensics (with a Credit Pass)
  • Higher Diploma in Criminology & Security Management/ Police Science /Military Science/Forensics Science & Psychology/Computer Forensics (with a Credit Pass)

At the Africa Nazarene University, the following may be accepted.

  • KCSE Mean grade C+ in KCSE plus a C in Maths or
  • 2 principals and 1 Subsidiary (A’level) or
  • 5 credits in IGCSE or
  • Diploma in criminology (Minimum GPA 2.3)

Note that to get Exemptions, you must have obtained a GPA of 2.7 (and above) in your diploma.

Target group: Disciplined forces such as the Police, Prison, Military, and other Security Officers.

Qualifications for criminology at the Masters level

A Masters course in criminology is ideal for those aspiring to occupy leadership positions in areas such as criminal justice.

The course is taught locally at Egerton University and you must have the following requirements to be admitted:

  • An undergraduate degree in Arts, law, or Social Science or other acceptable disciplines, second class honours (upper division).

Further, you will be required to pass an entrance interview to be eligible.

Where to study criminology in Kenya

Here are some of the most popular criminology schools in Kenya:

  • Kenya Institute Of Criminal Justice (Up to Diploma level)
  • Kenya institute of Social work (Up to Diploma level)
  • Mt. Kenya University (Degree level)
  • Kenyatta University (Degree level)
  • Chuka University (Degree level)
  • Dedan Kimathi University
  • ANU (Africa Nazarene University)

Criminology careers salary in Kenya

As we conclude, it’s important that we give you an estimate of the salary scale for those pursuing criminology careers in Kenya.

  • Holders of certificate courses – 15-25k
  • Diploma holders- 30-50K
  • Degree holders- 60k and above
  • Masters holders- 100k and above

Security jobs at NGO in Kenya may pay slightly more but that’s the average criminology salary range in Kenya.

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54 thoughts on “Qualifications for criminology courses in Kenya [updated]”

  1. I need to study criminology and I had a mean grade of C plain and in the languages I had a grade of D+ can I really do it

    • Where to study criminology in Kenya
      Kenya Institute Of Criminal Justice (Up to Diploma level)
      Kenya institute of Social work (Up to Diploma level)
      Mt. Kenya University (Degree level)
      Kenyatta University (Degree level)
      Chuka University (Degree level)
      Dedan Kimathi University.
      ANU (Africa Nazarene University)

  2. Am security lady working under Bm company and would like to pursue criminology course I scored D+ in my form four exam and want to start with certificate

  3. I would like to study criminology with amean grade of D+ start with certificate, kindly advice which campus can I join bearing in mind I need part time classes and am located in Nairobi.

  4. well, thanks for the educative article.Actully i do really love about security,and in that regard I find interested in criminology course.Thank you.


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