What can I do with a degree in Criminal Justice?
Through their Criminal Justice degree, graduates develop a useful set of abilities that are transferrable to a range of careers. Skills likely to be of value include:
- Applying a sense of justice and basic principles of fairness
- Problem solving and decision making adaptable to different contexts
- Understanding the core principles of New Zealand criminal law
- Understanding the causes and correlations of crime
- Understanding the principles of criminal justice and corrections
- Oral and written communication
- Presentation ability
- Interpretive and analytical thinking
- Indigenous and cross-cultural awareness
- Research and computing
Opportunities to apply your learning outside the classroom through work and other experiences also exist and can deepen your skills set and employability. Work and other experiences can also support and inform learning and skill development in the classroom.
The Bachelor of Criminal Justice is a new degree, so graduate destination information is currently unavailable. However, graduates will find that a Bachelor of Criminal Justice will prepare them for careers in all aspects of criminal justice, in particular roles within the police, the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Corrections. The degree is also likely to be applicable to employment in other government agencies, including prisons, probation and parole, in criminal justice policy, forensics, public and private investigation and security, or social work.
Some students may choose to combine their degree with a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts to expand possible employment opportunities in the future.
UC’s Guide to Job Hunting offers a variety of career resources including employer information.
For more information about UC student and graduate opportunities, go to UC CareerHub
Bachelor of Criminal Justice graduates may find a range of interesting job opportunities available to them.
Some of the jobs listed may require further study at postgraduate level. Postgraduate study can contribute to your employability. It enables you to extend your knowledge and skills, indicates your motivation and ability to persevere at a high level academically, and can make you more competitive in the job market. Postgraduate study may be a prerequisite for certain jobs.
- Customs officer
- Carries out inspections on imported and exported goods
- Conducts searches on ships and aircraft for prohibited or restricted cargo
- Gathers intelligence to assess security risks
- Corrections officer
- Works in prisons in various roles including prison case management, security, criminal intelligence and risk assessment and in the treatment of specialized groups of offenders
- Community corrections officer
- Provides pre-sentencing assessments to the courts
- Provides assessments of the suitability of offenders for parole
- Supervises and monitors the behaviour of offenders on parole
- Supervises offenders sentenced to supervision
- Provides access to services and programmes
- Police -officer
- Can specialize in a variety of areas including criminal intelligence and profiling, criminal and crime scene investigation, youth work, dog handling, anti-terrorism, diplomatic protection, dealing with armed offenders, and working undercover in the criminal world
- Attends and investigates crimes, gathers and documents evidence
- Interviews witnesses and takes statements
- Writes reports and gives evidence in court
- Policy analyst
- Researches and analyses information to assist in policy planning and development
- Provides information and advice to government ministers
- Reviews and interprets existing policies
- Prepares and presents reports
Entrepreneurship and innovation are increasingly becoming an important part of the world of work and should be considered as a career option. For more information about UC student innovation & entrepreneurship, related internships, scholarships, courses and activities go to Careers, Internships & Employment
For further information on job titles, please see the latest UC Graduate Destinations Survey
As they progress in their studies and into a career, our students and graduates often join professional bodies specific to their area of interest. These organisations offer graduates the opportunity to network and collaborate with others within the same community. Other relevant organisations are also listed.
- New Zealand Law Society
- New Zealand Association of Social Workers
- Department of Corrections
- Ministry of Justice
- New Zealand Police
- The Australian Sociological Association
- The International Sociological Association
Social media networks, such as LinkedIn (including LinkedIn groups), Facebook and Twitter can provide avenues for students and graduates to keep up-to-date with current industry knowledge and ‘best practice’, networking opportunities, industry-related events and job vacancies.
It is possible to study at postgraduate and graduate level in subjects related to your degree. For a list of postgraduate and graduate study options, go to Courses, Subjects and Qualifications
Postgraduate study can also lead to an academic career pathway in teaching and research.
Carefully consider your motivation for study, how it fits in with your long-term career plans and whether it is likely to enhance your employment prospects.