School Guide

Best Universities to Study Criminology and Penology Programs in Nigeria

A Student Guide

Studying criminology and penology in Nigeria opens you up to a world of opportunities. There are many highly ranked universities across the country offering undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in these fields.

If you want to study criminology and penology in Nigeria, there are some top universities known for excellent programs in these fields.

Best Universities to Study Criminology and Penology Programs in Nigeria

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Here are the best universities to study criminology and penology in Nigeria

University of Ibadan

The University of Ibadan is Nigeria’s premier university and offers both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Criminology and Security Studies. Their program provides a strong foundation in the nature and causes of criminal behavior, as well as strategies for prevention and control.

Obafemi Awolowo University

Obafemi Awolowo University is another highly respected university for criminology and penology. They offer a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and Security Studies that focuses on:

  • Theories of crime and punishment
  • Victimology
  • Penology
  • Security and policing

The curriculum prepares students for careers in criminal justice, law enforcement, corrections, and security.

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University of Lagos

The University of Lagos’ Department of Sociology offers a Criminology and Security Studies program at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. Their program provides interdisciplinary training in:

  • The nature and causes of criminal behavior
  • The criminal justice system
  • Corrections and rehabilitation
  • Crime analysis and prevention
  • Corporate security

With a degree from one of these excellent universities, you’ll have a strong foundation for a successful career making communities safer and helping rehabilitate offenders. The field of criminology and penology in Nigeria is growing, and the future looks bright.

The criminology and penology programs in Nigeria typically offer a range of interesting courses and specializations. As a student, you can expect to take a mix of theoretical and practical classes, with opportunities for hands-on experience.

Some essential courses you will encounter include:

  • Introduction to Criminology: Learn about historical and modern theories of criminal behavior.
  • Criminal Justice Systems: Study how the police, courts and corrections systems function.
  • Criminal Law: Gain an overview of the major laws relating to criminal conduct and punishment in Nigeria.

Areas of Specialization

Many schools offer concentrations or specializations within the field of criminology and penology. Popular options include:

  • Penology: Focus on the punishment and rehabilitation of criminal offenders. Study prison administration, parole and probation.
  • Forensic Criminology: Learn how to apply scientific methods to analyze crimes and criminal behavior. Courses may cover forensic science, criminal profiling and crime scene investigation.
  • Security Studies: Develop skills relating to public and private security. Learn about threat assessment, loss prevention, cybersecurity and counterterrorism.

In your third and fourth years, you will also have opportunities for internships, research projects and study abroad programs to gain real-world experience. Overall, criminology and penology degrees in Nigeria provide a well-rounded education in a growing and socially important field. By choosing an area of specialization, you can prepare for an exciting career helping to create a safer, fairer society.

Career Prospects for Criminology and Penology Graduates

Once you’ve earned your degree in Criminology and Penology, many career opportunities will open up to you. Here are some of the top jobs you can pursue:

Police Officer

As a police officer, you’ll help enforce laws and maintain public order. Your criminology background will provide useful knowledge for investigating crimes and understanding criminal behavior. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, police officers in Nigeria earn an average salary of ₦5 million per year.

Probation Officer

Probation officers work with offenders who have been released from prison on probation. You’ll monitor them to ensure they meet the conditions of their release and stay out of trouble. With a degree in Criminology and Penology, you’ll have the skills to effectively rehabilitate offenders and help them rejoin society. Probation officers in Nigeria make around ₦3.8 million annually.

Prison Officer

As a prison officer, you’ll oversee inmates at correctional facilities. Your coursework in penology and rehabilitation will help you understand how to properly handle prisoners and maintain control in detention centers. The average pay for prison officers in Nigeria is ₦2.5 million per year.

Private Investigator

Private investigators look into legal matters and private concerns. With a Criminology and Penology degree, you’ll have a solid background in investigation techniques, evidence collection, and legal issues that will serve you well as a PI. Experienced private investigators in Nigeria can make up to ₦10 million yearly.


Studying Criminology and Penology opens up opportunities in law enforcement, corrections, probation, and private investigation. By helping to ensure public safety, rehabilitate offenders, and uncover the truth, you can have a rewarding career improving your community. With the right experience, you can also advance into leadership roles like police chief, warden, or run your own private investigation firm.

READ ALSO: Best Universities to Study Criminology and Penology Programs in Nigeria


Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from prospective students:

What degree or certification will I earn?

Most universities offer either a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Criminology and Penology. Some also offer related degrees like Criminal Justice. After completing an undergraduate degree, you can pursue master’s and Ph.D. programs in the field.

What careers can I pursue after graduating?

There are many options for careers in criminal justice and law enforcement, including:

  • Police officer
  • Security guard
  • Paralegal
  • Probation officer
  • Crime scene investigator
  • Corrections officer
  • Victim advocate

With a graduate degree, you can pursue roles like criminologist, forensic psychologist, and postsecondary criminal justice teacher.

What courses will I take?

Expect to take classes on topics like criminal law, criminal behavior, policing, prisons, ethics, statistics, and research methods. Typical courses include:

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Policing in Society
  • Corrections
  • Criminal Law
  • Ethics and Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Justice Research Methods

How much can i earn after graduating?

According to recent reports, criminology and criminal justice majors in Nigeria earn an average starting salary of ₦315,000-₦720,000 per year. Salaries differs based on factors like:

  • Your specific job and level of experience
  • Geographic region
  • Level of education (B.S. vs. master’s degree)
  • Job responsibilities and security clearances

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