Could you spot a psychopath? We’ll teach you how

You’ve seen Walter White go from bumbling chemist to successful drug lord. You’ve gawped as Dexter’s mixed crime fighting with serial killing. And you’ve probably watched Villanelle finish off another target with nothing but a hairpin and a smirk.

Yes, when it comes to criminal activity and gory murders, nothing on TV bothers you much anymore.

Patrick Stewart interview, caption I've seen it all, I've seen everything 

But could you spot a psychopath in real life?

Killing eve scene, caption you should never tell a psychopath they're a psychopath. It upsets them.

Do you know what makes a person commit a crime? Or what happens during crimes, and how criminals are prosecuted? And do you know the ins and outs of our criminal justice system and how it compares to the rest of the world?

No? Well, if you want to find the answers, criminology at UWA is where you should be looking.

What even IS criminology?

It’s the study of crime, criminal behaviour and criminal justice, and it’s proving more and more relevant and valuable at reducing crime. The skills you get from a criminology degree are vast and varied, from creative problem-solving to detailed understanding of criminal cases and laws, and criminologists learn everything from law and psychology to history, anthropology and geography.

Enforce the law, change the law or teach the law

The communication and analytical skills you pick up are useful for a whole range of jobs. You can choose to work as a forensic scientist, police officer, correctional officer or in policy development, either enforcing the law or changing it for the better. You could also continue on to a postgraduate pathway through the Juris Doctor and become a criminal lawyer.

Scene from Judge Dredd, caption you betrayed the law

Or you can use the same skills to tackle local community issues as a youth worker or community development worker, or in a range of not-for-profit roles that work with disadvantaged youths.
Plus you can specialise and become a criminologist yourself. That’s what Dr Joe Clare from The University of Western Australia’s Law School chose to do. Right now, he’s working on how wearing a camera on the body could help policing in Western Australia, researching the market in stolen goods, and setting up a burglary prevention campaign for Perth’s southeast. “I’m also doing some work to understand and prevent contract cheating in universities. All of the work I do is aimed at preventing problems using existing resources as effectively as possible.”

He also steals enough time in the day to teach criminology classes at UWA, meaning you get to learn from someone who’s got the skills and is active in the field right now.

School hall scene, caption I'm the teacher

Interested? Find out more about criminology at UWA or contact our Future Students team on 131 UWA (131 892) or by email at After all, it’s an easier way to fight crime than inheriting millions of dollars and putting on a batsuit.