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Criminology and Psychology - BSc (Hons)

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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 Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of all 2017 graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

More about this course

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.

Fees and key information

Course type Undergraduate
UCAS code CM8X
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

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 or above (or equivalent)

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

If you don’t have traditional qualifications or can’t meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the Criminology, Policing and Law Extended Degree (including Foundation Year) BSc (Hons).

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.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 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

    The aims of the module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher education Qualifications. Specifically, this module aims to introduce students to some of the foundational theories within cognitive psychology and developmental psychology, including a prehistory of cognition that examines some of the earlier approaches to human thought and behaviour. Students will also be introduced to some classic research studies that will help them to evaluate theories of cognition and development. In the cognition tutorials there will be the opportunity to replicate, and participate in, classic experiments and in the developmental seminars, the opportunity to watch and discuss existing developmental research. This module also aims to provide students with the qualities and transferrable skills necessary for employment requiring: written communication skills, discussion contribution, independent study and time keeping, summation and evaluation skills, and understanding of the scientific method and ethical research consideration

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

    The module aims to:

    1. Examine the emergence and development of criminological theory
    2. Examine the different ways in which different criminological traditions theorise crime and its social control
    3. Examine how the assumptions which underpin different traditions provide for different strategies of intervention and control
    4. Develop students’ learning and transferable skills in preparation for modules at levels 5 and 6.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Provide students with a solid grounding in the field upon which to build a grasp of issues relating to criminal justice
    2. Review the historical development, structures and roles of key agencies responsible for the execution of justice in England and Wales
    3. Identify key models of the Criminal Justice System such as the due process and crime control models
    4. Consider recent, and significant, examples of changes in the CJS (such as the increasing levels of inter-agency cooperation)
    5. Develop students’ knowledge of current policies relating to the ‘problem of crime’.

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

    The aims of this module are to (1) provide students with an understanding of key theories and models of personality as explanations for individual behaviour along with social psychological theories which seek to understand individual behaviour in its wider social context; and (2) develop students’ understanding of how psychological explanations of individual differences and social behaviour can be applied to real world events and experiences. This knowledge and understanding will help students’ employment skills by enabling them to appreciate the different perspectives that are needed to fully understand individual behaviour in everyday life. The module also develops students’ understanding of some key principles underlying psychological research, which will facilitate progression to modules at Level 5. The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

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

    The aims of this module are to provide students with an understanding of (1) key theories and models of personality and individual differences and related research; (2) key theories and models of social behaviour and related research; (3) how these areas can be scientifically investigated using appropriate research methodologies; (4) how knowledge of individual differences and social psychology can be applied to the ‘real-world’ and their relevance to a range of settings. This will develop students’ employability by providing a basis of knowledge and understanding which will be beneficial in future work and training (e.g. understanding interpersonal and intergroup relations). The module also fosters students’ knowledge of research methodology (e.g. psychometrics) and fosters skills in the development of psychological assessment, academic argument and critical evaluation.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Develop an informed grasp of the strengths and limitations of survey research including identification and consideration of the ethical issues which may arise
    2. Develop students’ competence in designing and conducting primary quantitative research in relation to data collection, analysis and report-writing
    3. Develop an informed grasp of the strengths and limitations of qualitative research including identification and consideration of the ethical issues which may arise
    4. Develop students’ competence in designing and conducting primary qualitative research in relation to data collection, analysis and report-writing
    5. Examine the ways in which quantitative and qualitative data are created and used in professional settings such as the Home Office, the Metropolitan Police, voluntary sector organisations related to the Criminal Justice System and private sector organisations such as MORI and Gallup and so to enable students to work towards a career in the field of Criminology.

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

    This module builds on level 4 introductory modules by focusing on specific categories of crime and behaviors, which have emerged as sources of concern. It gives attention to the emergence of concern about imagined dangerous groups, and moves on to more recent social anxieties. This includes the crimes associated with the socially and economically marginalized, and those associated with the economically and socially powerful.

    The central themes revolve around why some behaviors and some groups of people are ‘constructed’ as the focus of concern and special treatment. Equally, it considers why some crimes, such as corporate crime, or state crime, usually receive less attention. This exploration encourages reflection on how and why certain behaviors are defined and constructed as ‘crime’, and ‘social problems’.

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

    1. Consider the various relationships between media, technology and crime

    2. Develop an understanding of the role of the media in shaping perceptions of crime
    and criminal justice, with a particular emphasis on marginalised groups

    3. Develop an awareness and familiarity with the emerging forms of deviant
    behaviour facilitated by contemporary technologies and/or the media

    4. Provide an overview of the way technologies interact with crime and the criminal
    justice system

    5. Develop summarising and analytical skills

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

    The first aim of this module is to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of theories in cognitive psychology, and theories of cognitive and social change throughout the lifespan. The second aim is to facilitate students’ ability to think critically about these theories, especially in the context of empirical evidence. Thirdly, related to the previous aim this module also aims to develop students’ skills in locating primary sources, and to read, understand and accurately communicate the information within. The ability to source information, evaluate it and provide a summation is a useful transferable skill necessary in a wide variety of employment. The deployment of theoretical research into a practical based application is also a key transferable skill.

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Explore the operational challenges and ethical dilemmas inherent in specialist police operations
    2. Examine particular aspects of specialist policing in detail from both practical and academic viewpoints
    3. Analyse the effectiveness of governance in relation to specialist policing operations
    4. Compare and contrast different perspectives in relation to policing priorities.
    5. To develop student communication and team working skills.
    6. Improve critical analytical thinking for real world problems.

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

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. Specifically, this module aims to provide students with the opportunity to critically consider the nature of employability and to assess, reflect upon, and develop their own employability skills, attributes and attitudes. Students will be introduced to self-assessment and career planning tools and resources that will support this process. Finally, this module aims to give students the opportunity to apply their learning in an employment context, and to identify and plan for their ongoing training and development needs.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Familiarise students with the theoretical perspectives that have shaped criminological thought on violence by young people
    2. Encourage students to develop a critical overview of young people’s engagement in violent crime
    3. Develop students’ ability to research, analyse and communicate critical and informed arguments relating to the theory, policy and practice underpinning youth involvement in violent crime.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

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

    The module aims to:

    1. Provide the opportunity for the student to gain experience of a working environment
    2. Enhance and extend their learning experience by applying and building on their academic skills and capabilities by identifying and / or tackling real life problems in the workplace
    3. Provide the opportunity to reflect upon the culture and structure of a working environment and their activity within it
    4. Develop new capabilities and skills in the context of a work environment.

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

    This module introduces students to Clinical and Health Psychology as applied areas within the discipline to allow informed and realistic decisions about further education and training in clinical and health psychology. The module aims to critically appraise key perspectives and approaches to clinical and health psychology as well as to evaluate diagnoses, explanations and treatments that are applied to a range of physical and mental disorders. Students will have the opportunity to investigate the role played by physiological, psychological and social mechanisms in the causation and treatment of physical illness and psychological disorders.

    Students will gain experience in constructing case reports thus providing an additional transferable skill for future employment. The aims of this module have been developed in accordance to the QAA, CQC, NICE guidelines and BPS code of conduct and ethics.

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

    The module aims for students to understand philosophical, behaviourist and cognitive theories of emotion. In addition, students will understand how normal and disordered theories of emotion might be combined to a common framework, capable of explaining both normal and disordered emotions. Additionally, students will build on previous critical reading skills and discussion: some sessions will require prior reading of research papers and discussion of these in class time. This will encourage active participation from students, which is useful experience for the workplace, following graduation.

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

    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. Through developing an understanding of this branch of applied psychology.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Identify and explore key concepts underpinning crime control
    2. Examine contemporary policies and practices of principal crime control agencies
    3. Enable students to understand the linkages between contemporary crime control and wider social policy (and accompanying political debate)
    4. Enhance analytic skills and instil a critical awareness through consideration of both official rhetoric and evidence together with the limitations of crime control policies and practice in a 'real world' context
    5. Explore the application of criminological theories and concepts to penal policy and practice and encourage confidence in the use of varied learning and discursive strategies
    6. Develop understanding of the operation of prisons and the role of imprisonment within the criminal justice system and wider society
    7. Explore comparative penal perspectives and develop understanding of diversity within penal policy and practice.

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

    This module aims to:

    1. Develop students’ research skills which they will potentially be able to apply with the confidence and competence appropriate to an honours graduate in their future careers. Students will be required to develop self-reflexivity to know the limits of their competence and how to seek and offer constructive advice.
    2. Develop students’ report writing skills to enable them accurately to communicate the results of research to its intended audience in an appropriate manner, and adapted to influence decision making, policy formation and public debate. This will necessarily involve considering the ethical, legal and political implications of research.
    3. Develop students’ ability to manage their time over an extended period and meet successive deadlines.
    4. Develop students’ ability to work constructively with colleagues as part of a team.
    5. Provide students with practical experience of orally presenting research to peers and to develop their ability personally to deliver coherent commentary on the research methodology and skills employed and key research considerations and problems addressed and/or overcome.
    6. Develop students’ knowledge of the specific criminological topic they have chosen to research.

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

    The module aims to:

    1. Give students the opportunity to reflect upon their learning to date and define and research a topic of interest to them in the light of that experience.
    2. Give students the opportunity to design and plan an independent research project and to produce a research proposal outlining the field of interest, proposed methodology and ethical considerations.
    3. Enable students to produce a written piece of research which demonstrates awareness of the relationship between criminology and related fields and the limits of knowledge.

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

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. Specifically, this module aims to provide students with a solid basis of knowledge and understanding of the application of empirical research and theory in psychology to the study of contemporary issues and processes within the criminal justice system.

    Through engagement with the teaching, learning, and assessment opportunities provided, students will develop skills in the integration, evaluation and critical application of psychological literature, the construction of argument, self-assessment and reflection.

    A final aim of the module is to provide students with an insight into and understanding of the potential for the practical application of psychology within forensic settings. This will be of benefit to students in making choices about the possibility of pursuing further study or a career in forensic psychology.

    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) - Monday morning
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    This module aims to exploit specialism’s residing within the criminology team in London met so that students can apply theories to exciting and relevant areas of criminology


    The module aims to:
    1. Introduce students to theories and debates on the nature of crime control in the modern state
    2. Provide an overview of the major traditions of thinking within Criminology regarding the issue of illegal drugs their use and distribution
    3. Examine the way the attempts to control crime and deviance are examples of broader debates over social control
    4. Sensitise students to the ethical and social consequences that flow from the way in which contemporary society elects to punish offenders and prevent crime

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

    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.

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

    Students will gain a critical understanding of a range of theories, models, applied research and application within work and organisational contexts. They will work with organisational case studies and problem-based contexts, and thereby develop skills in applying psychological knowledge to the understanding of client needs and learn to provide solutions to address work problems, taking into account aspects of ethics and safety. In covering the five content areas of occupational psychology, as defined by the BPS, students will have an enhanced opportunity to enter related postgraduate studies – business psychology and/or occupational psychology. To enhance employability skills, students are presented with mini project-based learning opportunities followed by group presentations. Specifically, business related case studies are provided necessitating self-managed problem solving within groups. Students are thus given the opportunities to take effective and appropriate action, work effectively with others and develop self-management skills.

    Read full details.
  • 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.
    Module aims
    • To introduce and critically analyse key concepts in the sociological study of gender and sexuality;
    • To introduce a range of theoretical approaches to understanding the operation of gender and sexuality at the levels of social structures, social relations and social identities;
    • To consider the impact of gender and sexuality across a range of social sectors and social issues;
    • To consider the links and intersections between gender, sexuality and other forms of social identity and difference, including class, race, ethnicity, etc.
    • To consider the social and political sources of the persistence of discrimination and inequalities on the basis of gender and sexual orientation.

    Read full details.
  • 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.

    The module aims to:
    1. discuss and give examples of some of the most disturbing and controversial forms of offending behaviour;
    2. identify the prevalence of serial and serious offending within the broader population of criminal offences, questioning common assumptions about, and contemporary popular focus on, these categories of offences;
    3. evaluate and debate the definition and measurement of serious and serial offending, particularly in relation to methodological concerns;
    4. describe and critically discuss a range of key theories and concepts employed in the explanation and understanding of serious and serial offenders;
    5. critically evaluate the investigation and detection of such offenders and offences, with a special focus on offender and geographic profiling.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. examine the debate over of the origin of a variety of forms of ideological, nationalist and religiously motivated violence in the form of 'terrorism'.
    2. explore the dimensions of the new ‘terrorist’ threat.
    3. examine the contemporary range of counter terrorist agencies and policies in the
    national and international context.

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

    a. To provide students with an overview of the key theoretical concepts within victimology.
    b. To identify to some of the social and political factors that placed victims at the forefront of academic and professional discourses.
    c. To encourage students to critically appraise the nature and extent of victimisation. To develop student ability to research, analyse, and communicate their thoughts relating to victimisation, victim policy and practice.

    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)

After the course

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.

Attendance

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.

Additional costs

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 - key information set

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

Apply to us for January 2019

Start a degree in the new year. Applying is quick and easy – simply call our January hotline on or apply to us online.

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.

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