Criminological Psychology

BSc (Hons) Criminological Psychology

  • Study Mode: Part Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Six Years
  • Start Date: September 2022

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Have you ever wondered what drives a person to commit a crime? If the criminal mind intrigues you, then this course will give you the answers. In our BSc (Hons) Criminological Psychology course, you’ll explore areas of forensic psychology, victimology and psychology to find out what makes the mind of a criminal tick…
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We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered. 

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Application Guide

For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.   

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Students' Union

At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why we’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities through our SU – all to enrich your university experience. 


Why study this subject?

Our BSc (Hons) Criminological Psychology course 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 and will give you the opportunity to get involved in research in the social, developmental, cognitive and biological dimensions of the subject. 

This degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is a recognised qualification by employers throughout the country.

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Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

At BNU, we explore every aspect of psychology on our wide range of courses. Our teaching department is home to an incredible community of Psychology and Social Science students who can collaborate with you on projects, providing a rich supply of volunteers when you run your own experiments.

Your learning won’t just take place in a lecture theatre – you’ll have the chance to learn in labs and seminar rooms, gaining the skills that you’ll need when you start your exciting career.

BNU prides itself on teaching practical skills wherever and whenever we can, meaning you will always leave us feeling confident and prepared for your future. This hands-on approach will give you a sense of what it’s really like to work in the world of psychology and criminology, in whatever career you choose.

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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.

Our strong links with several local prisons will ensure you’ll be exposed to psychology in an applied context and we regularly invite guest speakers to provide additional insight to the worlds of forensic and clinical psychology.

Our BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is a recognised qualification by employers throughout the country. Upon graduation, you’ll be eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) and from there you can take your next steps to becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

What facilities can I use?

On our BSc (Hons) Criminological Psychology programme, you’ll take part in laboratory and computing workshops where you’ll have the practical use of software used by social scientists in the presentation of research data.

You’ll also have the opportunity to use our state-of-the-art observation laboratory to engage in the measurement of psycho-physiological responses using Biopac©. You’ll be able to measure the activity of the cardiovascular system, brain, autonomic nervous system and more. You’ll also have access to Tobii eye tracking equipment and HTC Vive, a virtual reality software, meaning you can push the boundaries and get creative with your research ideas!

Our library is packed with all the information you need for your assessments – you’ll have access to hundreds of specialist books, articles and online journals. Not to mention there’s plenty of room to knuckle down for some quiet study time.

We’ll also sign you up to our Virtual Learning Environment which means you’ll have access to lots of online resources wherever you are!

What will I study?

You’ll immerse yourself in the psychology present at every stage of the criminal justice system; crime, policing, legal system, prison, probation and rehabilitation).

On this course, you’ll dive into fascinating topics like developmental, biological, social, cognitive, forensic and police psychology as well as criminology, victimology, disability and mental health in the criminal justice system and radicalisation and terrorism.

The course also involves a lot of empirical study meaning you’ll learn exactly how to lead an experiment using different research methods. These additional modules will not only contribute to solidifying your grounding as a great researcher but will also teach you useful.


How will I be taught and assessed?

You’ll be introduced to the core areas of psychology within the British Psychological Society Curriculum and criminology before moving on to explore more complex issues and theories throughout your time on the course.

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, classroom-based activities and workshops, independent learning methods and practical sessions. You’ll always be encouraged to think critically about the ideas you engage with on this course and you’ll be given the opportunity to explore and discuss those ideas with your tutors and fellow students.

Whilst studying at BNU, you’ll also be given the opportunity to visit prisons and courts and hear from external speakers who can provide you with a deeper understanding of the subject from their ‘real-life’ experience.

You’ll work alone on your assignments, researching and critically engaging with your work. You’ll also participate in group assignments to coordinate presentations, both of which will provide you with useful transferrable skills for the future.

You’ll be assessed through a number of methods including poster presentations, essays and assignments, examinations, oral presentations, laboratory/research reports and an empirical dissertation in your final year.

Placements Plus

BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Useful documents

BSc (Hons) Criminological Psychology Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

For this course, you'll need at least two A-levels and a GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Intro to Developmental and Social Psychology

Intro to Biological Psychology and Cognitive Psychology

Introduction to Criminology: The Concept of Crime

Introduction to Criminology: The History of Punishment

Year 2 Modules

Intro to Personality and Applying Psychology

Psychological Research Methods

Intro to Cross-Disciplinary Psychology

Year 3 Modules

Psychological Perspectives on Criminal Behaviour

Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology

Year 4 Modules

Developmental Psychology


Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology

Cognitive Processes in Psychology

Year 5 Modules

Historical and Conceptual issues in Psychology

Issues in Personality and Individual Differences

Police Psychology and Legal Framework (optional)

Investigative and Forensic Psychology (optional)

Victimology (optional)

Interpersonal Violence (optional)

Disability, Mental Health in the Criminal Justice System (optional)

Communication, Interaction & the Criminal Justice System (optional)

Radicalisation & Terrorism (optional)

Year 6 Modules

Empirical Dissertation

Critical Social Psychology

Investigative and Forensic Psychology (optional)

Interpersonal Violence (optional)

Disability, Mental Health in the Criminal Justice System (optional)

How much does it cost

Home and EU

Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022

£4,900 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects? 

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

As part of the BSc (Hons) Criminological Psychology course, we’ll help you find the sort of career that suits you through advice and talks that cover both voluntary work and full-time employment.

Typically, graduates from this course will look at working with offenders either in an intervention or rehabilitative environment, perhaps with HM Prison Service or Probation Service.

There will be other opportunities available to you in the public and ‘not for profit’ sectors like the Civil Service, local government, the NHS, Social Services and Housing Associations.

After graduation, you won’t be limited to a career in criminological psychology either – the skills you gain are fully transferable so you can think about diverse areas like health, education, sports and local government.

Graduates can also choose to study for a postgraduate course, like our MSc Applied Forensic Psychology, MSc Psychological Interventions, MSc Applied Positive Psychology or even our MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Course leader

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Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe
  • Associate Head of School
  • Associate Professor of Education & Research
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Dr Julia Robertson
  • Senior lecturer
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Dr Barbara Kingsley
  • Senior Lecturer
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Dr Sena Agbo-Quaye
  • Senior Lecturer
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