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Criminology and Forensic Psychology BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time LF80 2018
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018

Why choose this course?

Kingston is one of the only universities in the London area to offer a criminology and forensic psychology programme at undergraduate level.

The course will give you a comprehensive understanding of crime, victimisation and responses to crime. It encompasses broad social and political environments of crime and crime control, as well as individual motivations, psychological influences and experiences of deviant and criminal behaviour and its effects.

You'll see how your studies apply to real life through court observations, empirical research and analysis of case studies. You'll also have opportunities to volunteer in organisations aligned to the department, like Victim Support, advocacy groups and justice campaign organisations.

Foundation year - Social Sciences

If you are thinking of returning to education after a break you could apply for our foundation year course. This course will provide you with the academic and transferable skills you need to study an undergraduate degree in any of the Social Sciences. At Kingston these include Criminology, Sociology, Psychology, Economics and Politics.

Throughout the year-long course, you can study a range of these subjects, allowing you to get a better idea of which ones you prefer. It'll guide you in the direction of a social sciences degree that you're particularly interested in. The foundation year will develop your independent study skills and help you to better understand your academic ability, a potential career path and how to develop the skills that employers look for in graduates.

Watch this video to find out what our students have to say about studying this course at Kingston University:

What you will study

In your first year, you'll cover the core theories and explanations for crimes, crime investigation and the criminal justice system, and develop your research methods skills.

In Year 2 you'll deepen your knowledge of individual causes and consequences of crime through the study of mental health, and of crime control measures in the form of policing and punishment. You can also focus on specialist crime-related topics.

In the final year you can take advanced modules on the context of crime, criminalisation and investigation, and choose module options related to the brain, criminal behaviour and therapy. You'll also complete a dissertation in an area of your own criminological interest.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1 (Level 4)

  • This module will introduce students to a range of theoretical perspectives and debates that inform criminology, and which underpin their learning throughout the criminology programme. Theories will be evaluated in relation to academic scholarship, empirical evidence, popularity and application in crime policy and practice, and in relation to their geographical, social, cultural, historical locations.

    Students will learn about a changing and dynamic field of study, which has encompassed both positivistic and social analyses of crime and criminalisation. They will learn to evaluate criminological theory in relation to a range of intellectual movements. They will be encouraged to understand criminological theory in relation to shifts across allied subjects like sociology, gender studies, critical race studies, social policy, politics and psychology.

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  • This module will provide students with an introduction to the institutions, processes and legal foundations of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. The module is core to the undergraduate degree. The module familiarises students with the language and reasoning of the criminal law and the structure and chronology of the criminal justice process. There is an emphasis on the development and practice of key academic skills especially information retrieval.

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  • This module will introduce students to major areas of investigation within forensic psychology with special emphasis on how these link to core areas of the discipline (social, biological and developmental psychology and approaches to personality/individual differences). Students will also be introduced to related topics in law, court procedures and forensic science. The module will also provide some insight into the training and career pathways for forensic psychologists.

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  • This module is a core requirement for students taking psychology in level 4. The module will introduce students to key strategies which are used in psychological research, including designing an experiment, hypothesis testing, and statistical analysis. The main features of the module will involve the acquisition of practical skills in psychological research, learning how to apply and carry out statistical tests using SPSS, and how to report research findings.

    Throughout the module students will design a research project, write a report of the research project. Students will also analyse and report a psychological experiment.

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Year 2 (Level 5)

  • This module provides students with a critical insight into key issues and controversies in the delivery of justice, social control and punishment.  It encourages students to think critically about the role of the state in the regulation of behaviour and provides an overview of key changes that have occurred in the field of crime control and criminal justice. The first part of the module is dedicated to developing understanding of the concepts of ‘policing' and the ‘police'. Key issues confronting contemporary policing are explored together with an enhanced awareness of the historical context within which contemporary policing has developed.
    Debates about policing are situated within broader debates of social control and governance, with a critical appreciation of the police function and role. It also considers the implications of globalisation for policing both at an organisational and conceptual level. The second part of the module provides students with the opportunity to undertake a critical examination of contemporary debates on the purpose of punishment. Students will be introduced to a range of theoretical perspectives and debates on the use of punishment to address criminality and will consider the purpose of punishment in modern societies. This will be accompanied by an examination of different forms of punishment including an in-depth exploration of the use of imprisonment and comparative penal systems.

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  • This module will introduce students to the associations between mental disorders and antisocial behaviour and criminal offending. Consideration will be given to the predisposing and precipitating factors that influence antisocial and criminal behaviour among those with mental disorders. Students will be introduced to the reasons for assessing risk and the validity of the instruments used. Students will also gain knowledge about the police investigative process and approach of the criminal courts to those with mental disorders and their disposal.

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  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • Crime, Media, and Policy is designed to provide second year undergraduate students with a critical introduction to the field of crime and the media.  The module provides a historical foundation to the subject before reviewing key media and criminological debates against twenty-first century concerns about crime and deviance. The syllabus develops to explore criminological theory, crime in media culture and the complex interactions between consumers and producers.  The module is designed to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to critically engage with debates about crime news reporting, media and moral panic, media constructions of women and children, crime fiction, film and television crime drama, crime and surveillance society, and crime online.  Direction to core factual material and substantive material will be provided via StudySpace, with weekly lectures and seminars used to explain and explore key concepts, and present visual material for dissemination and discussion.   

      On completion of the module you should be able to demonstrate that you have an understanding of the concepts of crime and deviance within the media, and the ability to engage critically with debates and developments within this controversial sphere of criminological theory and public policy. You should also be able to undertake a content analysis and show that you can apply appropriate context and theory to set questions on crime, media and associated policy.

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    • This module will enable students to contextualise criminology's past and present engagement with diversity and discrimination. The relationship between crime and discriminatory processes will be explored within different contexts such as within the law, prisons and cultural practices (eg FGM).  The responses of the criminal justice process to diversity will also be discussed and evaluated with regard to institutional racism and domestic abuse. In addition, students will critique the gendered social construction of the categories of ‘offender' and ‘victim', this will be further challenged by the exploration of female membership and affiliation with criminal gangs and their perpetration of crimes, and male victims of sexual violation.

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    • This module considers what is understood by the term youth, as a social category and life stage, and explores young people's lived experiences. As such, it examines the history of youth culture and subcultures and styles, and critically considers the notion of ‘problem' youth and societal responses to this including intervention and multi-agency working. Bringing together sociological, criminological and cultural studies theory from Level 4, the module considers youth from both an individual and structural view point. We will also look at how we have come to deal with young offenders in the youth justice system and considers the contradictory messages about welfare, diversionary measures, human rights, punitive justice, managerial and crime prevention discourses and strategies.

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    • This module is a core requirement for students taking Human Rights at level 5, and can also be taken as an option by students in related fields. The module introduces the contested and evolving relationships between the theory and practice of securing human rights.

      It starts with an overview of key frameworks and mechanisms designed to secure rights at the international, regional and domestic levels.  A central feature of the module is to introduce key critical themes, from which issues can be dissected and analysed through a range of contemporary and international case-studies.

      Themes may include:

      • Human Rights, Security and Forced Migration', which analyses the way in which the issue of forced migration brings together a variety of legal, political and security debates.
      • The Politics of Human Rights in Development', which examines the recent convergence of the fields of human rights and development (inclusive of ‘the right to development' and the proliferation of ‘rights-based approaches to development').
      • Rights in the aftermath? Truth, Justice and Reconciliation', which examines the globalization of transitional justice discourses and the propagation of different mechanisms (ranging from International Criminal Tribunals, to national truth commissions, to local justice initiatives).
      • And, ‘Indigenous Peoples, Rights and Beyond' that engages with central issues surrounding indigenous peoples' claims, whilst also probing the gravity of particular contested issues (such as ‘the right to self-determination' and broader ‘sovereignty' challenges).

      The module concludes by asking: what is the future for human rights? 

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    • This module builds on the introduction to research methods and inferential statistics offered in PS4001 Research Methods 1. It will cover more advanced research designs — involving multiple independent variables — and more advanced inferential statistics such as analysis of variance, regression analysis and factor analysis. It will also introduce students to qualitative research methods and data analysis. Students will learn to develop and implement multifactorial experimental designs through practical research exercises and a project. Students' scientific writing skills will be further developed on the basis of a series of lab reports.

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    • The module will cover a broad range of key theories and empirical research in social, individual and developmental psychology. This module will allow students to explore current theory and practice in psychology across range of topics that focuses on the person in psychology. In consideration of the social, individual (human abilities and personality attributes) and developmental areas of enquiry, the scientific approach and the notion of measurement is fundamental. 

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    • This module will cover major topics within the field of cognitive psychology, and will examine the relationship between brain function and our understanding of cognition and behaviour. The module will introduce key theoretical explanations proposed to account for human cognition and introduce students to some real-life applications of cognitive psychology. The module will also introduce students to the structure and function of the nervous system before examining the contribution of specialised brain structures to cognitive functions such as perception, attention, language, memory and decision making, and behaviours such as motivation, eating, emotion and sleep. Finally the module will examine the effect of hormones, drugs and neurological dysfunction on cognition and behaviour.

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Year 3 (Level 6)

  • The aim of the module is to introduce students to relevant issues within the realm of globalisation, terrorism and international crime: eg. terrorism, environmental crime, piracy, human trafficking, criminal networks, cybercrime. It will enable students to develop a detailed comprehension of the complexity of these criminogenic experiences.

    In the first part of the course, the module focuses on terrorism. It will be introducing students to a range of complex historical, political and social factors that have contributed to the articulation of terrorist practices. Students will have a chance to engage in the understanding of the reasons why certain practices emerge, the interaction between terrorist discourses and the media and how international law enforcement bodies work and interact.

    The second part of the module will present a critical overview of different organised and transnational crimes. Students will be offered a chance to explore the articulation, social control and impact of organised criminal behaviour at an international level. Students will understand the links between terrorist practices and other organised crime (eg. cybercrime or trafficking of humans).

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  • This module will focus on psychological aspects of investigations and will combine theoretical and practical approaches to activities central to the investigative process such as interviewing, identification, profiling, decision-making and deception. In addition, the module explore the psychological and behavioural underpinnings of feelings of security, and describe psychological factors in various measures that police, government, and security personnel take in ensuring the security of people in the community.

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  • Available options will vary each year depending on staff specialism.

    • Through this module you will develop your own criminological specialism by conducting an extended and in-depth study on a topic of your choosing. Students will be tutored in the skills necessary to successfully complete a final year dissertation and will work with a staff supervisor to develop a critical understanding of their research topic. You will gain hands-on experience of research skills that can be applied to future postgraduate study and careers in human resources, marketing, public sector and charitable and non-government organisations.

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    • The module studies the role played by race in all aspects of the criminal justice systems in the United States and United Kingdom. It takes as its point of departure Professor Paul Gilroy's 1993 concept of the ‘Black Atlantic' as a cultural-political ‘space of hybridity' involving Africa, America, Britain and the Caribbean, and we use that concept to examine the extent to which crime and the criminal justice system have been politicised.

      The module concerns itself with the shifting politics of race within the criminal justice system. Among other topics, it explores historical representations of race and crime; press and media depictions of black male offenders; racial profiling and the ‘othering' of female offenders; and the commodification of prison that has led to the United States having the highest incarceration rates in the world.

      Other focal areas include racial disparities within the criminal justice system, the politics of punishment and sentencing, and empirical, theoretical, practical and policy issues. The module addresses issues of representation, the production of knowledge, the historical contexualisation of minority experiences in theoretical perspectives, and the ethical duties of criminologists working within minority experiences.

      The module includes a field trip to Bristol to explore the history of immigration and emigration as it relates to crime. 

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    • This is a level 6 optional module that draws upon both criminological and sociological debates and knowledges.

      Students will learn by observing and undertaking work-based practice. The principle underlying this module is that worksites are important contexts for students to test, validate, expand upon, supplement and enrich their academic learning.

      The module requires students to undertake a minimum of 40 hours of fieldwork in an organisational setting. The form that the fieldwork will take will depend upon the type of placement secured, but, typically it may involve interning, shadowing or volunteering in subject relevant placements (for example across social justice, criminal justice/crime prevention, welfare and support fields).

      Whilst in their placements students are encouraged to think about the social aspects of organisations and working life, including their structural forms, interpersonal relationships and their practices. Students will be supported in securing their placement at level 5 in preparation for the commencement of the module at level 6.

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    • There are two main streams in this module: Part I - Neuropsychology. The module will place a particular emphasis on understanding the effects of brain activity on cognitive and social aspects of human behaviour (and vice-versa). In addition, the module will address the effects of brain injury and neurological impairments with a view to understand models of normal cognitive and social functioning. Video material will be used to illustrate clinical cases when available. Part II – Neuro-rehabilitation. The module will introduce students to modern techniques for the diagnosis of neurological disorders and their neuropsychiatric implications. Interventions for the treatment and management of neurological disorders will be evaluated. Students' effort and engagement will be essential for a successful and rewarding experience. This will include active participation in lectures and the reading of the indicated material.

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    • This module is an option at levels 6; it is likely to be of interest to students who want to extend their knowledge of the biological aspects of psychology as well as to those students who want to learn more about current clinical approaches to the treatment of drug-related problems. The module will introduce students to the basic principles of drug action before examining the mechanisms and effects of popular psychoactive drugs (such as alcohol, nicotine, cannabis and cocaine). The problems that can arise for the individual user and for society more generally due to drug abuse will be explored, for example by looking at the drugs' effects on physical and mental health and on the everyday lives of users. Different interpretations and explanations of "addiction" and "dependence" will be examined. Finally, the various treatments that are available for people with drug and alcohol problems will be evaluated. 

       
    • This module examines how psychology is applied in psychotherapeutic work in mental health contexts. It is relevant to students who are interested in Counselling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, psychotherapy, counselling and/or in mental health service provision more generally.The module begins with a consideration of how common forms of psychological distress and disorder are conceptualised within mainstream classification systems. After psychotherapeutic approaches are placed in historical context, the module considers the theory and practice of various psychotherapeutic approaches. Attention is given to how specific mental health issues can be addressed in therapy, how therapy can respond creatively and ethically to diversity issues, and how therapeutic impact or effectiveness might best be evaluated. By completing this module, students will develop a critical understanding of the nature of psychotherapeutic practice and of some key aspects of its complexity and challenges. The module will consider the principles and challenges of psychotherapeutic practice but students will not engage in any form of psychotherapeutic practice during the module, nor will it qualify them to do so afterwards. However it will help inform students' decision-making about careers in the psychotherapeutic and mental health fields.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Contact us

Admissions team

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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