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Criminology and Psychology - BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

This joint honours degree in criminology and psychology is ideal if you’re interested in the relationship between crime and social issues such as ill-health, poverty and discrimination, and gaining an understanding of the workings of the human mind. 

In the most recent (2015-16) Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

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Unravel the debates surrounding the causes of crime from the perspectives of both sociology and psychology in this programme taught by expert staff. The combination of criminology and psychology will give you an expertise in theories and approaches from both disciplines, allowing you to critically evaluate the causes and effects of crime and deviant behaviour.

Gain a solid grounding in developmental, social and cognitive psychology, as well as study how the individual develops through infancy, childhood and early adult life, the development of personality, social factors that influence behaviour, and the development of perception and human thought.

You’ll also be introduced to criminological theory, including the assumptions that underlie intervention and control, and to the criminal justice system including the police, judiciary and prisons where you'll examine the concept of justice and sentencing. You’ll learn the research skills needed to measure and interpret crime, including both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and through optional modules in your second and third year, you’ll begin to pursue the areas that most interest you. Options are wide-ranging and include terrorism, victimology, serial offenders and forensic psychology. 

Visit the criminology subject hub for news and events from the University.

Assessment

You're assessed via essays, seen and unseen examinations, research projects and a final dissertation.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC National or Advanced Diploma)
  • GCSE English grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent)

Applications are welcome from mature students who have passed appropriate access or other preparatory courses or have appropriate work experience.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Accelerated study

If you have relevant qualifications or credit from a similar course it may be possible to enter this course at an advanced stage rather than beginning in the first year. Please note, advanced entry is only available for September start. See our information for students applying for advanced entry.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    This module focuses on various aspects of thought (“cognition”) and behaviour, and how these develop through the lifespan. Lecture topics will include the historical development of ideas in cognitive and developmental psychology. They will also look at topics in Cognitive Psychology including perception, attention and memory and in Developmental Psychology, topics including research methods, development of the self (including gender development and attachment), and social & cultural influences on development.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Friday morning

    The module provides a study of crime and its control through considering the history of criminological thought from the Enlightenment to the present day. The module begins by exploring classicism and traces the shift towards positivistic theories and later critical forms of criminological theory. Students are introduced to these theories through relating them to the social context in which issues to do with crime and deviance now occur.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning
    • all year (January start) - Thursday morning

    This module introduces students to the scope and functions of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in England and Wales. It provides a broad overview of the mechanisms and aims of the CJS upon which students can build a more detailed knowledge of criminal justice policies, crime control, punishment and social control by the state, at levels 5 and 6. The module also specifically provides students with an introductory picture of the extent of officially recorded crime.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module introduces students to some key theories and models of personality as explanations for individual behaviour, along with social psychological theories, which seek to understand behaviour in a wider social context.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This module extends and develops students’ knowledge of personality and individual differences to include psychometrics, intelligence, personality disorders and mental illness, motivation and emotion, and further examines social behaviour in terms of how individuals think about and seek to understand their social world and interact with others at group and societal level.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    A comprehensive grasp of research methodologies and the ability successfully to undertake primary research are key employability skills in social science/services careers such as working in government departments, the police, the voluntary sector and the private sector. This module aims to develop students’ competence in both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, critically assessing the ways in which these are utilised and presented and how they can contribute to our understanding of crime. The module first examines quantitative methods, which are predominantly employed by organisations with interests in investigating crime and making evidence-based decisions. The module then goes on to explore qualitative methods, which are deployed as a way of understanding criminals and the phenomenon of crime in more flexible ways than those permitted by the collation of crime statistics. The utility and justification of both research methodologies is critically considered and students have the opportunity to developing a variety of practical research skills, from questionnaire design and SPSS analysis to observation and interview techniques.

    A basic understanding of research methodologies and the way that they are used in professional settings is an essential skill for graduates who intend to pursue a career in an area related to criminology, whether as a researcher or a practitioner. This module therefore aims to develop students’ knowledge of research methods and ability to apply them in practice to enhance their future employment opportunities.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    The module builds on level 4 introductory modules to provide an overview of the study of crime, criminality and criminals with reference to particular categories of ‘crime’. It begins by looking at how crime developed and changed in the transition from premodern to modern industrial societies. It then examines contemporary forms of crime by looking respectively at those associated with and predominantly perpetrated by the socially marginalised (the criminal ‘underworld’) and those associated with the economically and socially powerful (the ‘overworld’).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module looks at the media impact on public perceptions of crime and justice.
    It also looks at the way contemporary media and technologies influence criminal behaviour and influence the operations of the criminal justice system; and the emerging forms of deviant behaviour facilitated by contemporary technology and media.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon

    This module comprises of two major areas: Developmental psychology and Cognitive Psychology. In comparison to the first year combined module, it introduces the following new areas in depth. Each topic is covered by several lectures: Life-span development, Theories about development, Language (incl. bilingualism and language disorders) and Reasoning/Decision making.

    In the first set of tutorials, students are instructed how to write a Press release. This feeds into the project module in the third year.

    In the second set of tutorials (3-hour workshops in January), students learn to create a small reaction time/accuracy experiment using Superlab software. This feeds into Research Methods module ‘own design’ practical which follows thereafter in the same term.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    The module develops student knowledge of specialised areas of police operations and professional practice. The module focuses specifically on community policing (policing diverse communities), covert policing (police surveillance methods), specialist policing operations (organised crime, child protection), police analysis and intelligence-gathering, police ethics and culture and police governance (mechanisms for oversight and accountability).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module focuses on aspects of psychology and personal development which are useful for gaining and maintaining appropriate employment, and for successful career planning. This module takes a practical approach to considering employability. It combines short presentations with practical in-class activities, independent self-discovery, collaborative group work, and discussion. Module content will be focussed around employment-related skills, attributes, and attitudes (e.g., effective communication; resilience, and self-motivation) and around career planning and career development (e.g., mentoring, and effective self-presentation).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    Academic authors have shown that for centuries adults have expressed concerns about the anti-social and criminal behaviour of young people. In recent times, this concern has centred on rising levels of violent crime by young people and the burgeoning ‘gang, gun and knife crime culture’ in the UK. In response to public concerns policy makers and practitioners have designed numerous community and criminal justice initiatives to tackle the anti-social behaviour of young people, reduce their offending rates and encourage desistence from criminal activity.

    This module critically examines young people’s involvement in crime and violence. It examines key theories for understanding violence by the young and explores the connection between violent behaviour and a variety of social issues such as peer pressure, gender, ‘race’ and ethnicity, and alcohol and substance misuse. This highlights the impact of changing economic, political and cultural contexts from the global to local. The module also explores, and critically examines, media and criminal justice responses to youth crime.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module is based on self-managed work experience within an organisation or agency related to the field of criminal justice / criminology. The student either:

    1. Spends a period of 15 days with his or her chosen employer and produces an evidence-based account of his or her experience. In carrying out the work experience students develop new skills and enhance their generic learning experience.

    Or

    2. Undertake a piece of consultancy work for an employer producing a piece of work in agreement with the organisation that will develop the student’s new skills and enhance their generic learning experience.

    Students will be assisted to find a period of work experience, which can be paid or voluntary, and will be allocated a supervisor whom they may contact for support to look for work and during the work experience period.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This year long module focuses on the application of psychological theory and method to the promotion of health and treatment of physical and mental illness. Requires any 4 core level 4 and/or level 5 modules taken from the BSc Psychology programme. This module is assessed by two equally weighted case study reports.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    This module examines the relationship between cognition and emotion (thinking and feeling) beginning with early philosophical theories of emotion then considering the behaviourist theories of emotion and subsequently current psychological theories of emotion (especially cognitive theories of emotion). Separate theories of normal emotion and disordered emotions will be drawn together to introduce a theoretical framework applicable to both normal and disordered emotions.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    The PC6054 counselling psychology module is a third year BSc psychology module running in the Autumn semester. This module introduces students to the discipline of counselling psychology as one of the main forms of applied psychological practice accredited by the British Psychological Society in the United Kingdom. The module will cover counselling psychology in theory, clinical practice and research.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon

    The first part of this module examines historical and contemporary approaches to crime control and the way in which the latter is manifest in policy and practice. The module considers and assesses the rhetoric, strategies, practices and evaluation of key criminal justice agencies in relation to both serious and less serious crime and national and international crime control issues.

    The second part of the module concentrates on penal policy and practice, exploring issues regarding the imprisonment of convicted offenders and the way in which this relates to theoretical criminological concepts. Through comparative penology, the role of imprisonment and impact of penal policy within the context of wider society are explored and examined. Issues such as diversity, gender, ‘race’ and mental disorder in relation to prisoner experiences area highlighted.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning

    This module requires students to produce a piece of independent research which provides them with the opportunity to bring together and develop their interests, knowledge, research and report writing skills gained whilst taking other modules on their degrees. Students’ research will be facilitated by workshops and discussions with peers and tutors which will provide support, discipline and advice on their chosen research topic, and on writing up their results in a research report. The module workshops also aim to develop students’ ability to work in collaborative environments where they must offer and accept, and evidence application of, constructive criticisms.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    In this module students have the opportunity to develop their interest in an area of criminology and related fields – exploring a topic of their own choosing in-depth by means of independent research.

    Students are given the opportunity to design and conduct their own research project focussing on a topic that relates to their degree course. The self-directed third year project is a great opportunity for students to build upon the knowledge and research skills acquired throughout their studies. The research project can take a variety of forms – surveys, questionnaires, interviews etc., or it may take the form of library based theoretical work.

    Students are required to attend a series of dedicated workshops designed to support you through the research project. From the outset, through to completion, students will also receive guidance from an allocated supervisor.

    The skills and experience gained throughout the project can also affect your employability and/or provide a reference for postgraduate study.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

    This module is designed to provide students with a solid basis of knowledge and understanding of the application of psychology to explanations of criminal behaviour, and to the study of contemporary issues and processes in the criminal justice system.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    Educational environments interact with individuals’ unique genetic profiles and neurobiology, leading to wide individual differences in learning ability, motivation, and achievement. The module will provide new insights into the origins of individual differences in education traits such as cognitive abilities (e.g. IQ) and learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia); motivation and personality; behavioural and emotional problems; social functioning and academic achievement. The module will also examine factors that influence both typical and atypical neurodevelopment (to the extent that those factors are linked to educational performance). Finally, the module will provide an overview of the learning deficits that individuals with learning disabilities (e.g. Specific Language Impairments disorder) experience.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    This module will cover modern theoretical models of social control. It then goes on to interrogate the changing nature of social control in contemporary society, looking both at continuities with and disjunctions from the past It will use drugs and organised crime as examples to support and critique the theories. As this module is to be taught at level 6 it will also include some complex social and criminological theory.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday afternoon

    This module develops students’ knowledge of social and cultural psychological concepts and theories with the focus on the application of psychological theory to a range of contemporary issues related to psychological phenomenon such as self and identity, prejudice and discrimination, social exclusion, and intergroup conflict and cooperation. It additionally introduces theory and research on the cultural specificity of psychological phenomena such as motivation, emotion, cognition, development, and psychological health and wellbeing.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday morning

    This module will examine a range of topics from the field of applied work, business and relevant aspects of work psychology. Participants will be exposed to a range of academic disciplines/pillars that will make up the syllabus of this module. These pillars are Occupational Psychology and Business Psychology.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The module introduces students to the key concepts and theories relating to the social construction of gender and sexuality and their application to a range of social sectors and issues in the UK and abroad. The ways in which gender and sexuality are both constitutive of the social and are constituted through social structures, institutions and interactions are explored, as are the ways in which theories of gender and sexuality have informed the sociological study of the family, work, health, education, crime, the welfare state and politics, media and the body.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    This module explores the definition, characteristics and offending behaviour of serious and serial offenders, with a particular focus on mass, spree and serial murderers, sexual offenders and arsonists. The module also considers how such offenders are investigated, their behaviour and characteristics analysed. Key explanatory theories used to explain serious and serial offending will be examined and the efficacy of these in relation to methodological concerns critically evaluated. Finally, the module explores the identification and apprehension of serious and serial offenders, including the application of psychological and geographic profiling techniques.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    This module examines extreme political violence in the form of ‘terrorism’ and the responses of states and international organisations. Students will be encouraged to examine critically the phenomena, reflecting upon how motivation, tactics and strategies of groups employing extreme political violence have changed over time. The module explores the theoretical justifications of political violence, contrasting the presupposition that political violence is ‘rationalist’ with the presupposition that it is ‘pre-rational’. The second half of the module considers the impact of the threat posed by Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups and the UK’s legislative and policing response in the context of the global “war on terror”.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    For much of its history, criminology has been concerned with the offender. The victim was largely absent from criminological discourse, research and the criminal justice process. It was not until the early 20th century that criminologists [re] discovered the victim and began to consider the role they played in the commission of crime. From these early investigations, the victim became the central focus for many scholars and the discipline ‘victimology’ emerged. The victim is no longer considered to be ‘a bit part player’ in understanding crime. They are considered to be central to crime detection and to the prosecution of criminal acts. This module charts the birth and growth of victimology and considers some of its key theoretical concepts. It will explore the nature and extent of criminal victimisation in society and critically examine it from a number of different perspectives. The module will also explore the changing role of victim within the criminal justice system.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Introduction to Criminological Theory
  • Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
  • Individual Differences and Social Psychology 1
  • Cognitive and Developmental Psychology 1

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Individual Differences and Social Psychology 2
  • Measuring and Interpreting Crime
  • Cognitive and Developmental Psychology 2 (optional)
  • Crime in Context (optional)
  • Perspectives on Policing (optional)
  • Crime, Media and Technology (optional)
  • Youth, Crime and Violence (optional)

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Criminology and Psychology Project
  • Applied Social and Developmental Psychology
  • Criminological Research Practice 
  • Crime Control and Penology
  • Work Psychology and Applied Decision Making (optional)
  • Counselling, Health and Abnormal Psychology (optional)
  • Justice, Punishment and Social Control (optional)
  • Serious and Serial Offenders (optional)
  • Forensic Psychology (optional)
  • Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism (optional)
  • Forensic Psychology (optional)

A combined degree in criminology and psychology is useful in a variety of professions including policing, social work, the probation service, human resources, victim support services and local authority research.

Graduates often undertake further postgraduate academic study or vocational training.

Full-time

Attendance at the University is required two days per week during the first and second semester in addition to a summer study period.

Part-time

Attendance at the University is required one day per week during the first and second semester for both years, summer study period Year 2.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

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