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BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology 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:

Ready to explore the mysteries of the mind? Want to understand criminal behaviour? Well, why not become an expert in both areas.
Our joint honours degree programme is perfect for anyone seeking a core understanding of psychology, the fascinating biological, developmental and social ideas underpinning it, and how it can be applied to understanding the criminal mind.
Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), a qualification recognised by major employers throughout the country, you’ll benefit from an industry-focused course through tailored modules, guest speakers and workshops.
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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) Psychology and Criminology course sheds light on the contexts in which crime and social life are discussed. Having criminology as a secondary discipline brings a sociological perspective on crime to core areas of psychology.

Not only will you build an understanding of yourself and of others that can help you in everyday life, but you’ll also learn valuable skills that will attract any future employer. You’ll get to know the psychological reasons behind crime and learn about the criminal justice system. You’ll develop your analytical mind, understand human motivation and nurture your own curiosity. 

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.

BNU will always provide you with excellent industry links and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to volunteer. Our team has built strong links with local organisations who frequently provide opportunities for our students to work with ex-offenders and victims of crime meaning you can get hands-on, practical experience whilst studying with us.

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) Psychology and Criminology 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?

This course will give you insights into social diversity and inequality. You’ll understand their implications for crime and the criminal justice system. You’ll also learn about the ethical issues related to working with vulnerable people in the criminal justice system or researching problems identified in crime and victimisation.

Across you three years at Bucks studying our BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology, you’ll study fascinating subject areas like development and social psychology, criminal law and justice, cognitive processes, biological psychology, victimology and interpersonal violence.

You’ll also get to grips with how to run your own research experiment through our research skills and methods modules.

In your final year, you’ll have the opportunity to deep dive into a specialist area you’re really passionate about by completing an empirical dissertation. With the support and guidance of your personal tutor along with the facilities available to you here at Bucks, the possibilities for this project are endless.

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. 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 transferable 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) Psychology and Criminology Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

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

For this course, you'll need a GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4.

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 admissions@bucks.ac.uk

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

Introduction to Developmental and Social Psychology

Introduction to Biological Psychology and Cognitive Psychology

Psychological Research Methods

Introduction to Criminology: The Concept of Crime

Introduction to Criminology: The History of Punishment

Criminal Law & Justice

Year 3 Modules

Contemporary Criminology

Issues in Criminology

Cognitive Processes in Psychology

Developmental Psychology


Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology

Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology

Year 4 Modules

Empirical Dissertation


Interpersonal Violence

Historical and Conceptual Issues in Psychology

Critical Social Psychology

Issues in Personality and Individual Differences

Investigative and Forensic Psychology (optional)

Cyber Crime (optional)

Disability, Mental health and the Criminal Justice System (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.

There are many other options to explore with your BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology degree too; it’s the first step to starting postgraduate study in a more focused area like clinical, educational, forensic, counselling, health, cognitive neuropsychology and sports psychology to name a few). Or perhaps you’d prefer to dive right into the world of work and explore a career in health, education, local government, the civil service, the probation service, the legal system or even the NHS. The possibilities are endless and with such strong transferrable skills, you’ll be sure to succeed wherever you go.

Our BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities. Many of our graduates choose to combine their learning under the two distinct disciplines to pursue careers in:

  • Social work
  • Youth Justice
  • Child & Youth Protection
  • Advocacy
  • Community Development Worker
  • Housing Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Social Researcher
  • Primary Care Mental Health Worker
  • Forensic mental health.

Graduates can also choose to study for a MSc Applied Forensic Psychology, MSc Psychosocial Interventions, MSc Psychology Conversion

We are always considering your future career at BNU so our Psychology team works hard to arrange careers talks and external speakers are invited to discuss their engagement in professional courses so you can really consider your next steps beyond graduation.

Course leader

Head and shoulders shot of Ciaran O'Keeffe wearing a grey suit with a white shirt and black tie stood in front of a white wall
Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe
  • Head of the School of Human and Social Sciences
  • Associate Professor of Education & Research
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Head and shoulders shot of Ciaran O'Keeffe wearing a grey suit with a white shirt and black tie stood in front of a white wall
Dr Ciaran O'Keeffe
  • Head of the School of Human and Social Sciences
  • Associate Professor of Education & Research
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Dr David Black
  • Lecturer
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Dr Barbara Kingsley
  • Senior Lecturer
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Dr Julia Robertson
  • Senior lecturer
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