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Writing criminology undergraduate dissertation

Criminology Undergraduate Dissertation Ideas

3 min Read|September 25 2023
|Written by:

George Christofi


Finding a topic that can sustain a first-class dissertation can be a challenge if you don't already have a firm idea that you are passionate about. Don't worry, though, as it can take a lot of time and research to find the ideal subject to focus on. Following these steps will help direct your focus towards finding first-class criminology dissertation ideas and subject material:

Identify A Gap In Existing Criminology Literature

One of the defining traits of a first-class criminology dissertation idea is that it focuses on an area not directly covered by existing research and literature. It can take a significant amount of research to find a case like this, especially if you are looking at subjects that have already been widely discussed.

Reading academic literature on topics that interest you is a great way to develop your understanding of a subject and find your perspective.

In addition, this research can help in thinking about the issue in different ways to find that research gap, or it might just jump out at you as a noticeable omission from the literature you are reading. Reviewing the dissertations of past students is an excellent place to start. It can give you a better sense of what a first-class dissertation looks like and look at less successful dissertations to understand what to avoid. But, more importantly, it can help you avoid choosing a similar topic and find areas previous students have not considered.

While reading, remember to note every idea and question that comes into your head as you process the text. Following up on these notes later will help you find the gaps where existing literature has not addressed your ideas and questions.

Choosing A Strong Dissertation Idea

The process of finding gaps in current research can leave you with several ideas for a dissertation topic. Now you need to narrow it down to the most robust choice. This means considering the impact and relevance of the subject besides the gap in the research you want to investigate.

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Consider the Human Aspect

A first-class criminology dissertation idea considers the impact an issue has on people's lives, not just the legal implications. For example, this means addressing how laws impact the people they affect, the changes in law enforcement they might result in, and the consequences of those changes.

Find Hotly Debated Issues within Criminology

When choosing your criminology dissertation idea, do not limit your search to published works. Your dissertation needs to show that you can apply your understanding of criminology to ongoing events. Furthermore, this helps you avoid retreading ground covered by past research. This almost inevitably means tackling a controversial subject.

Good dissertation topics usually provoke strong and diverse opinions. Therefore, talk to your friends and family about your subject ideas as much as possible. Their responses will help you gauge the general interest and perceived importance of the subject. It will also expose you to more opinions on the topic, allowing you to develop your ideas and arguments while considering other perspectives.

15 Undergraduate Criminology Dissertation Ideas to Inspire You

These criminology dissertation title ideas can help you find a clear and concise topic to summarize your dissertation. We don't recommend borrowing them directly, though, as a dissertation not based on your ideas will suffer as a result.


  • A comparative analysis of drug policy enforcement and impact
  • What is the role and motivation of people who travel abroad to join terrorist groups?
  • Is prison labor a valid and effective method of criminal correction?
  • Has COVID-19 contributed to changes in criminal activity?
  • Do gun control laws cause or prevent high crime rates?
  • Can social workers reduce violent crime without law enforcement?
  • The use of sexual violence in armed conflict
  • The impact of political corruption on the security and stability of a nation
  • How has cybercrime changed the nature of fraud for offenders, victims, and law enforcement?
  • Are cryptocurrencies used mainly to facilitate crime?
  • Do media and culture influence criminal behavior?
  • What is the connection between parental separation and future criminal behavior?
  • Will legalizing hard drugs like heroin and methamphetamine reduce crime?
  • Do domestic abuse laws protect men?
  • Is forced labor for prisoners and detainees moral?

Need Assistance?

For many of you, your dissertation will be the longest and most thoroughly researched piece of work produced during your undergraduate degree. While this can seem like a daunting prospect, it doesn’t have to be. If you’re not sure what you want to write about and need more criminology dissertation ideas, get in contact with one of our expert tutors. We’ll be able to walk you through the process. From forming an idea, right to putting the finishing touches on your criminology dissertation. We’ll be there every step of the way!

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Professional tutor and Cambridge University researcher

George Christofi

Written by: George Christofi

Oxford University - Masters Philosophy

George studied undergraduate and masters degrees in Classics and Philosophy at Oxford, as well as spending time at Yale. He specialises in helping students with UK and US university applications, including Oxbridge and the Ivy League. He writes extensively on education including on schools, universities, and pedagogy.

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