Criminological Psychology

BSc (Hons) Criminological Psychology with Foundation Year

TARIFF: 32 - 56
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2022

You can also study this course:

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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The lecturers on my course are very supportive, I’ve always been able to talk to them about any topic I’m struggling with or simply anything I want to know more about. They are interesting and are passionate about the course they teach which makes learning from them fun and enjoyable.
Juliet Salter
Juliet Salter
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Open Days

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 with Foundation Year course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and is a recognised qualification by employers throughout the country. This 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.

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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.

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.

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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).

Over the course of three years, 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?

This course is offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.

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.

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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?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 32 - 56

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to

Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.



This provides a guide 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

Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity

Preparing for Success Self-development and Responsibility

Inquiry Based Learning

Foundations of Psychology

Year 2 Modules

Intro to Developmental and Social Psychology

Intro to Biological Psychology and Cognitive Psychology

Intro to Personality and Applying Psychology

Psychological Research Methods

Intro to Cross-Disciplinary Psychology

Introduction to Criminology: The Concept of Crime

Introduction to Criminology: The History of Punishment

Year 3 Modules

Psychological Perspectives on Criminal Behaviour

Developmental Psychology


Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology

Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology

Cognitive Processes in Psychology

Year 4 Modules

Empirical Dissertation

Critical Social Psychology

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)

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£9,250 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£14,250 per year

The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

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 Psychosocial Interventions, MSc Applied Positive Psychology or even our MSc Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Course leader

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Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe
  • Head of the School of Human and Social Sciences
  • Associate Professor of Education & Research
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Dr Barbara Kingsley
  • Senior Lecturer
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Dr Julia Robertson
  • Senior lecturer
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Dr Sena Quaye
  • Senior Lecturer
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