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BSc (Hons)
Criminological Psychology

Uncover the dark secrets of the criminal mind with Criminological Psychology. You'll learn about the broad area of psychology and be eligible to join the British Psychological Society when you graduate. This specialist course gives you the knowledge you need to start a lifetime career in any aspect of the Criminal Justice System.

Qualification: BSc (Hons)

UCAS code: C890

Study mode: Full-time

Location: High Wycombe Campus

Duration: Three years

Start date: September


Is this course for me?

Have you ever wondered what drives a person to crime? If criminal minds intrigue you, then this course will give you some of the answers. Criminological Psychology combines studying the core areas of psychology with applied areas of forensic psychology, victimology and psychology in the criminal justice system.

This course looks at how psychology furthers our understanding of criminal behaviour. It’s an opportunity to become involved in contemporary research in the social, developmental, cognitive, individual differences and biological dimensions of behaviour. You’ll also immerse yourself in the psychology present at every stage of the criminal justice system (crime, policing, legal system, prison, probation and rehabilitation).

Become an expert in the Criminal Mind
There are many roles for psychology graduates within the Criminal Justice System such as the courts, prisons and probation services. We’ve designed this course to teach you all you need to know about the underlying principles of psychology used to great effect in various forensic settings. Strong links with several local prisons ensure you’ll be exposed to psychology in an applied context.

By the time you graduate, you’ll have skills that are attractive to a wide range of employers. You’ll also be prepared to further your studies in any area of forensic or criminal psychology.

This course is also available on a part-time basis.

BPS LogoBe a part of the British Psychological Society
This course has been accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), a qualification recognised by major employers throughout the country. All our compulsory modules take you through the core BPS requirements. Once you graduate, with a 2.2 or above, you’ll be eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). From there, you’ll be able to take the next steps towards being a Chartered Psychologist. 

At Bucks, we explore every aspect of psychology on our wide range of courses. Our department is home to a fantastic community of Psychology and Social Science students who may collaborate with you on projects - providing a rich supply of volunteers when you run your own experiments. With psychology, learning doesn’t just take place in the lecture hall – you’ll have the chance to learn in labs and seminar rooms, gaining skills you’ll need for your career.

Learn from expert psychologists using specialist software
In workshops and lectures, we’ll take you through the various techniques you need to analyse data. You’ll focus on the practical use of the statistics software package SPSS, used by social scientists to analyse and present quantitative data. And you’ll have the opportunity to use the observation laboratory and measure psycho-physiological responses with Biopac©, a specialist research software tool.

Study in our well-designed facilities – both online and offline
You’ll study on our High Wycombe campus where everything is only a walk away. Our library is packed with all the information you’ll need for your assessments and there’s plenty of room to knuckle down for some quiet study. We also sign you up with our Virtual Learning Environment which grants you access to e-Journals and resources wherever you are.

Year One

  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Introduction to Developmental and Social Psychology
  • Introduction to Biological Psychology and Cognitive Psychology
  • Introduction to Personality and Applying Psychology
  • Psychological Research Methods
  • Introduction to Cross-Disciplinary Psychology

Year Two

  • Psychological Perspectives of Criminal Behaviour
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology
  • Cognitive Processes in Psychology

Year Three

  • Communication, Interaction and the Criminal Justice System
  • Radicalisation and Terrorism
  • Disability, Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System
  • Police Psychology and the Legal Framework
  • Investigative and Forensic Psychology
  • Victimology
  • Interpersonal Violence
  • Empirical Dissertation
  • Historical and Conceptual Issues in Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Issues in Personality and Individual Differences

What are the entry requirements?

For this course, you'll need at least two A-levels and a GCSE Maths and English at grade C. Our offers usually require a minimum of 96-112 UCAS points.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

How much does it cost?

Full-time Home and EU: £9,250 per year
Full-time International: £10,500 per year

For information on fees and finance, please view our fees and funding section.

Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years are subject to rise with inflation or course delivery costs.

For fees for international students, visit our international section.

Visit our Why Bucks? section to discover what studying at Bucks could mean for you.

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applynow.

What are my career prospects?

Taking this course will make you eligible (subject to achieving a 2:2 or above) to apply for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society. It’s the first step to starting postgraduate study in any area of practice (including clinical, educational, forensic, counselling, health, cognitive neuropsychology and sports psychology).

We’ll help you find the sort of career that suits you with advice and talks that cover both voluntary work and full-time employment. Additionally, a number of speakers will be invited to talk about their experience in Forensic, Clinical and Counselling Psychology (eg MSc students, Forensic Psychologists in Training etc.).

After you graduate, you won’t be limited to psychology careers. The skills that you gain are wonderfully transferable skills for diverse areas such as health, education, sports, and local government.

Typically, however, Graduates from this course gain immediate employment working with offenders either in an interventions or rehabilitative capacity, or as a Prison Officer. In addition to prisons, there are other opportunities in the public and ‘not for profit’ sector. Some of the key employers may be the Civil Service, Local Government, NGOs, the NHS, Probation Service (NPS and CRCs), Prison Service, Social Services, Housing Associations, social research, the education sector and legal system.

How will you help me prepare for my future career?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. Our modules and teaching expertise will help you become more independent as a learner and more certain of your discipline expertise.

We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.