This BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Psychology degree looks at why people commit crime and how understanding this behaviour can generate evidence in court and help determine steps for rehabilitation.
This course is designed to encourage critical thinking. You will evaluate perspectives on psychology and crime in lectures, workshops and small group seminars and complete practical experiments to increase your understanding.
On this course you will:
- Explore topics including criminology, sexual offending, young people and crime, legal frameworks, human rights, diversity and duty of care, mental health and forensic psychology, and developmental psychology.
- Gain laboratory experience.
- Develop your research and analytic skills.
- Learn to support explaining behaviours relevant to everyday functioning and experiences.
- Complete a final year dissertation, focuses on a topic that you choose.
Teaching and Assessment
How you will learn
You will build your subject knowledge and practical experience through lectures, workshops and tutorials in small groups. These sessions will encourage theoretical and critical inquiry, debate, and practice research skills.
You will study core and optional teaching modules, and develop skills central to professional practice and psychological research.
Each module you study has three hours of contact time per week. You will study four modules per semesters, so you can expect 12 contact hours per week. This time includes lectures, seminars and workshops.
You will be assessed through a range of assignments including scientific reports, essays, group and individual presentations, poster design, multiple choice papers, short answer papers, research participation and essay exams.
What you will study
You will study a selection of core and optional modules in each year. Each module is worth a number of credits and is delivered differently depending on its content and focus of study.
This list is indicative and subject to change.
Select a year
Introduction to Criminology and Forensic PsychologyIn this module you will consider the origins of, meaning and perspectives on crime. You will explore crime statistics and crime data and discuss crime in several contexts such as gender, youth, race, penology and cybercrime. You will be assessed through an assignment and a group presentation.
Diversity and Duty of CareThis module will explore the broad concepts that underpin human rights, diversity and duty of care. You will focus on the development of social identities and the relationship between diversity, discrimination and oppression. Your research will be based on the initial premise that British society is diverse and includes a wide variety of cultures and will explore racism to exemplify the impact of oppression on people who are marginalised.
Crime and SocietyThis module examines how society manages crime and criminals and introduces you to the wider judicial and prison systems. You will consider the role of the media, moral panics, emerging crimes, and world approaches to crime.
Everyday Experience and Psychological Methods: Understanding RelationshipsIn this module you will break down functions of understanding relationships into contributory functions. You will explore selected experiences of relationships using the processes related to forming an impression of someone, feeling attracted or not to them, wanting to be their friend or partner, getting to know them and forming a relationship with them through a variety of behaviours. These behaviours will include seeing them, talking to them and meeting them socially. You will be introduced to certain psychological theories and empirical findings from investigations and explore impression formation, attraction, prejudice, and stereotyping and relationship formation. You will explore a range of methodologies and analyses such as interviewing, content analysis and observational approaches and be assessed through a coursework assignment and a practical report.
Everyday Experience and Psychological Methods: Analysing AttitudesOn this module you will define a range of everyday experiences using psychological models of attitudes. You will learn to analyse attitudes and to explore psychological constructs, methodology and theories associated with experiences. You will develop your fundamental data analysis skills through lectures and the use of statistical software with a focus on understanding patterns of data via visualisation. You will be assessed through a coursework assignment and a practical report.
Everyday Experience and Psychological Methods: Usability and CognitionIn this module you will explore functions and experiences relevant to using technology, focusing on the criteria used to assess technology's usability and how human limitations relate to this usability and usage. You will be introduced to certain psychological theories and empirical findings from investigations into information processing by the mind, and discuss a range of methodologies and analyses such as laboratory experimentation and inferential statistics. You will be assessed through a practical report and research participation.
Perspectives on PsychologyThis module seeks to enable you to understand the contribution of key thinkers to the development of modern psychology and to appreciate their biographical backgrounds. The lives and work of key thinkers will be introduced and contextualised with reference to contemporary ideas and mores.
Mental Health and Forensic PsychologyThis module is an opportunity to explore a comprehensive range of key constructs, theories, and research in mental health and forensic psychology. You will examine the numerous ways that psychological research, methods, and expertise are applied to the study of criminal behaviour and the issues that psychopathology create within the context of the criminal justice system. You will be assessed through an essay, a presentation and a reflective report.
Legal FrameworksYou will consider the legal system in the UK to broaden your knowledge and situate your learning in the current legal context. You will focus on criminal law, how it is dealt with in the UK and the legally mandated roles associated with it.
Cognitive PsychologyThis module will introduce you to the ways cognitive processes have been studied in the past. This includes studying experimental and cognitive neuropsychological methodologies. You will investigate the areas of attention, perception, learning, thinking and language and relate your findings to underlying theory and empirical research. You will be assessed through a coursework assignment and a 1750 word report.
Individual DifferencesOn this module you will be introduced to how individual differences processes have been studied in the past, for example through psychometrics and case study methodologies. You will investigate areas of personality, intelligence, cognitive style, motivation, gender and ethnicity in terms of underlying theory and empirical research. You will be assessed through an essay and a lab report.
Developmental PsychologyThis involves the study of development and maturation in cognitive, personality, and social processes. The module will introduce you to basic theory, research findings, and methods of investigation in childhood, adolescence, and lifespan development. You will consider the ways in which behaviour is influenced by developmental factors, the nature of developmental processes, and the ways in which empirical research can help us to understand how developmental processes influence what we do.
Biological PsychologyThis module explores the ways biological processes have been studied, for example through brain lesions and cell stimulation methodologies. The areas of behavioural genetics, neuro-imaging, neuropsychology, socio-biology and evolutionary psychology will be investigated in terms of underlying theory and empirical research.
Research Methods I: Experimental Designs and AnalysisThis module will develop your understanding of experimental designs and associated methods of analysis, and introduce you to research ethics.
Research Methods II: Survey and Qualitative Designs and AnalysisThis module will develop your understanding of survey and qualitative designs and associated methods of analysis related to criminology.
Young People and CrimeYou will examine the factors that contribute to young people becoming involved in crime and consider crimes committed against them. You will explore the Youth Justice System in the UK and the interventions offered to young people to reduce their offending behaviour.
Sexual Offenders – Across the Life CourseThis module will introduce you to the theoretical models that underpin sexually problematic behaviours perpetrated across the life course, while considering the typology of offenders in this cohort.
Criminology in Professional PracticeThis will introduce you to the practice in real life of criminology and give you an idea of where you could apply your skills. You will explore jobs relating to criminology degrees, including: community development worker, detective, police officer, prison officer, probation officer, social worker, and youth worker.
Project Management Skills (Criminology/Psychology)This project in criminology will support you to develop a wide range of skills from project management to the ability to present your research results in an accessible form. You will develop their scientific reasoning and reporting skills and produce a poster to present your research work.
Professional SkillsThe module will cover core theory and key skills across professional and applied psychology contexts including psychological assessment and case formulation, psychotherapy, psychometric test development, administration, and interpretation and research methods in clinical psychology.
Independent Project (Criminology/Psychology)This project is an opportunity to apply your criminology knowledge, concepts, techniques and research to an in-depth study of a particular question or problem. You will develop your understanding of the processes involved in undertaking a research project, and produce a written research report and a poster presenting your research and findings.
Use industry standard equipment
Use facilities including the Brain Imaging Unit, VR Immersive Suite, Psychological Test Centre, Interview and Observation Suite and individual fully equipped testing cubicles and use industry standard equipment and software throughout your studies.
Brain Imaging Unit and Neuroimaging: NIRScout
Virtual Reality Unit and Immersive Suite
Advanced Physiological Data Acquisition system
Eye tracking software
Specialist Advanced Research Software
Learning Resource Centre
Dedicated Lab Technician
Gain practical experience
You will have the opportunity to complete a range of work placements throughout your degree.
We support students who wish to broaden their academic and cultural experience by choosing to study abroad for one semester as part of their degree studies. This is an exciting chance for students who wish to widen their horizons and immerse themselves in a different culture and encounter how the discipline of Psychology is viewed and taught at universities in Europe or North America. For example, under Erasmus agreements, students might study for a semester at either Maastricht or Radboud universities in the Netherlands, where Psychology classes are delivered through the English language.
Where you could go after your studies
This degree prepares you for a career in criminology and psychology and you will graduate with graduate basis for a chartership with the British Psychological Society.
This degree provides a foundation for you to progress into specialist areas of psychology and subsequent status as a Chartered Psychologist, or you could continue your studies with a BPS accredited Master’s degree.
You will also graduate with transferable knowledge and practical, analytical and technical skills that are highly marketable across a range of industries.
This BSc (Hons) Criminology and Forensic Psychology degree could lead to a career in:
- Police work
- Probation service
- Victim or offender support
- Social welfare
- IT or computing
- Data analysis
- Human resources
- Market, government or social research
- Civil service
Forensic Criminologists and Forensic Psychologists
This degree could prepare you for a career as a Forensic Criminologist or a Forensic Psychologist. These roles have a lot of overlap, but are different.
A criminologist will focus on societal or sociological factors that underpin criminal behaviours, particularly the factors that could lead people to committing crimes. They will explore the impact of crime on victims and work with victims to help them cope and return to normalcy. They will also work with criminal justice systems professionals on subjects including implementing policy and procedural changes to benefit criminals and victims of crime.
Psychologists will focus more on developing, testing and implementing treatment programmes for criminals to reduce reconvictions. They also examine the techniques they can use to to develop, pilot and implement treatment programmes to modify offending behaviours. Forensic psychologists can give evidence in court and undertake statistical analyses to look at offender and prisoner profiling.
Both roles can both work in the prison service, rehabilitation units, secure hospitals, courts, and in social services.
To become a Forensic Criminologist or Psychologist, you will need to register with the BPS. This degree offers you the graduate basis for chartership with the British Psychological Society and you would go on to complete a BPS accredited MSc Forensic Psychology qualification to prepare to take the doctoral level Stage 2 BPS qualification.
You may choose to continue your studies at postgraduate level.
Typical offers (individual offers may vary):
Access to HE Diploma
Are you interested in this course and would like to learn more? Please email Professor Esther Burkitt on email@example.com for admissions queries.
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When does this course start?
This course starts in September 2022.