BSc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology and Criminal Justice
Our BPS accredited BSc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology and Criminal Justice degree combines two complimentary perspectives to give you a cross-disciplinary approach towards your future career. We will look at the inner workings of the human mind and explore how this affects patterns of criminal behaviour from motivation to offend through to handling wrongful accusations and victim impact.
This course is ideal for you if you are interested in becoming a criminal psychologist or working within the criminal justice system. The cross-disciplinary approach of this course enables you to look at criminal behaviour under a psychological lens to understand the motivations and consequences of crime and its perpetrators, as well as preventative measures.
Our Psychology programme powers up your prospects through partnership. You will be challenged to apply your learning to real life practical issues and provide reviews and reports to update partners on your findings.
Get a glimpse of what it's like to study at USW before you apply
The first two years of your course will cover the core areas of psychology as required by the British Psychological Society for accreditation whilst developing your knowledge and understanding of criminology and the criminal justice system and how psychology can influence and support this area of expertise.
Year One: Psychology with Criminology Degree
You will take 80 credits of psychology modules as well as 40 credits of criminology modules. You will start to look at the core areas of Psychology and experience psychological research first hand. We will also introduce you to the criminal justice system and explore the patterns of crime and criminal behaviour and its impact on society.
Perspectives in Criminology: Developmental Criminology
Focuses on identifying risk/protective factors and why people commit crime (developmental, biological, psychological social) and considers means of intervention to prevent reoffending.
Inside the Criminal Justice System
Follows the journey through the criminal justice system, from arrest, court, custody, and release through to parole. We consider the legal processes at each stage and explore how individual differences may affect treatment.
Critical Perspectives in Psychology
Introduction to the core BPS perspectives of psychology (Biological, Cognitive, Social and Developmental) and the effect of individual differences on behaviour with emphasis on the key theoretical approaches and how these shape understanding.
Investigating Methods and Evidence in Psychology*
We will look at the process of conducting ethical research in Psychology and analysing the data produced. We will explore both quantitative and qualitative approaches, readying you for psychological research in your future.
*This module is available to study fully in Welsh
Year Two: Psychology with Criminology Degree
Continuing with the 80 credits to 40 credits split of your first year, we will continue with the core areas of psychology, whilst also introducing you to some key issues and debates that surround prisons and policing, resettlement after release, and violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence (VAWDASV).
Prisons and Imprisonment
We will focus on the key issues and debates surrounding prisons, such as why we use them and the history behind them. You will also explore surrounding issues of the prison system such as prisoner resettlement.
This module focuses on violence against women (domestic abuse and sexual violence), the prevalence of this and the matter of reporting of it. We regularly invite external speakers to assist your learning within this module.
Professional Practice and Employability
You will have the opportunity for work experience, as well as gain transferable skills and explore how to gain employment.
Advanced Methods and Evidence in Psychology
We will explore more advanced statistical and qualitative analysis, building on the methods you covered in the first year of your degree.
From Cells to Consciousness
We will build on the critical perspectives of psychology covered in your first year, exploring how biology and the brain influence behaviour (e.g., attention, memory, decision making) with consideration of individual differences.
Lifespan Development in the Social Context
We will build on your critical perspectives in psychology, exploring the social and developmental factors that influence our behaviour (e.g., attitudes and attribution) with consideration of individual factors.
Year Three: Psychology with Criminology Degree
In your final year, you will take a compulsory 40 credit dissertation plus a 20-credit specified forensic psychology module and a 20-credit specified criminology module looking at criminal investigations alongside two optional modules of your choosing, one in psychology and one in criminology.
Applied Criminal Investigation
Follows the journey from crime scene to court room for different types of crime, such as VAWDASV and homicide, exploring how we can think critically about the investigative process using real examples.
Understanding Homicide (Optional)
We will look at the social and legal meaning of different types (confrontational, revenge, corporate etc.) of homicide, covering causes of offence, the investigative process, and crime prevention.
Contemporary Issues in Youth and Crime (Optional)
We will build on your criminal justice system knowledge with emphasis on youth and crime, focussing on current issues and the role of the media/politics on youths, looking at examples such as youth gangs and bullying and social media.
Terrorism, Security & Extremism (Optional)
The evolution of terrorism and the processes of radicalisation. We will look at tackling extremism and prevent radicalisation, as well the debates around the rights of individuals against surveillance.
You will complete an independent research project, building on the skills developed throughout your degree. You will explore a subject of interest of your choosing with support from supervisors with a range of expertise.
Health Psychology across the Lifespan (Optional)
We will explore the effect of biology, psychology and social factors on physical health (ill health, preventative healthcare and wellbeing) and consider how this varies across the lifespan and levels of individual responsibility.
The Psychology of Education and Work (Optional)
We will focus on the practical application of psychology to contemporary education, exploring techniques to promote academic achievement and considering the health and well-being of educators.
Psychological Disorders and Therapeutic Interventions (Optional)
We will explore clinical disorders, such as eating disorders, anxiety, developmental disorders, and schizophrenia, evaluating the diagnostic and treatment practices of these.
Applications of Social Psychology (Optional)
We will look at social identity and how it can be used to improve negative circumstances, exploring the impact of the environment on social identity and using this to promote responsible behaviour, as well as social relationships online.
Cognitive Neuropsychology and Neuroscience (Optional)
We will explore the impact of brain damage on cognitive processes, exploring the ways we investigate neuroanatomical regions whilst considering environmental factors.
We will focus on the practical application of contemporary forensic psychology, considering police and security investigation, psychological aspects of CJS and psychological aspects of offender management.
We provide you with an engaging and immersive learning environment through lectures, workshops, tutorials, projects, group activities, placements, podcasts, and simulation learning in the Hydra Simulation Suite. We also arrange guest lectures throughout the year delivered by academics from other institutions and practising psychologists from various fields.
We want you to have the opportunity to explore psychology, criminology and criminal justice in new ways, with varied means of delivery and assessment across all modules: one of our most exciting features is how varied the learning is on our course! Coursework will include essays, practical reports, oral presentations, and case studies.
The British Psychological Society (BPS) has accredited this Psychology with Criminology course, which gives you eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the Society when you graduate. Registration will open the way for postgraduate professional training in areas such as clinical, educational, health and occupational psychology, as you progress to become a chartered psychologist.
Work-based learning plays a critical aspect of the course, helping you become career-ready. You will have specific opportunities throughout the course to apply and understand psychological theory to the workplace, with additional focus for these opportunities in the Professional Practice and Employability module as part of your second year. You can also opt to volunteer for longer than the required hours in your allocated placement setting, or volunteer to support a range of activities across different settings.
We want to help you enhance your skillset to open as may doors as possible for your future career, and you can also find a range of options for this through our Psychology Plus scheme, including volunteering, internships and short courses.
Our psychology facilities include a purpose-built psychology lab filled with industry standard equipment that you will use throughout your studies, as well as interview and observation rooms that allow you, as a researcher, to observe human behaviour in a natural manner through a one-way screen. As part of our dedicated Psychology space, you will also be able to book a space for quiet study and access the dedicated social learning space with computers and psychology textbooks.
On the BSc Psychology with Criminology and Criminal Justice degree, you will also utilise the Hydra Simulation Centre for scenario-based learning, using a mix of video clips, audio clips and written tasks to explore your ability to make decisions and take action, investigating the consequences of your decisions.
Our academic staff are passionate about psychology and are heavily involved in current psychology research across a range of specialist fields, so your teaching comes from staff at the forefront of their research areas. Tutors specialise in a range of fields, including developmental disorders across the lifespan, health behaviour and sport psychology.
Harriet Cassley, Course Leader
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.
Other qualifications and experience
We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.
To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.
If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here
Typical A-Level Offer
CCC to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 96 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C in the Skills Challenge Certificate and CC at A Level to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 96 UCAS tariff points).
Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Merit Merit Merit (this is equivalent to 96 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 96 UCAS tariff points
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.
International Entry Requirements
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: £9000
Full-time International: £15260
Part-time UK: £740 per 20 credits
August 2025 - July 2026 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: TBC
Part-time UK: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
A DBS is not obligatory for the course. It will only be required if a specific placement of dissertation project working with children or vulnerable groups is required. This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
|DBS Updating Service
Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to pursue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
|Other: Travel to placement location
Cost is dependent on placement location
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
International and EU students
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK.
Graduates with 2:2 or higher will receive the Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society, meaning that they are able to go onto further specialised study in forensic psychology, if desired, or onto specialised professional training in your chosen area. You could also look at further specialist studies in criminology, such as the MSc Crime and Justice or the MSc Working with Adult and Young People who Offend degrees.
Possible Career Paths
A popular career path for students on this course is that of Forensic Psychology: Forensic Psychologists look at the people involved in the criminal justice system – with a particular focus on those who commit crimes. They consider all parts of the system, from the psychology behind police investigations and juror decisions to assessing risk and implementing intervention. Forensic Psychologists consider mental health, early life experiences and trauma, as well as individual situations and review this information and propose evidence-based solutions to help prevent reoffending in the future.
Our Careers and Employability Service
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.