Search our site
Search our site
  • Criminology and Forensic Psychology BSc (Hons)

Criminology and Forensic Psychology BSc (Hons)

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.

Our course provides 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 will apply your studies to real-life applications through court observations and analysis of case studies. You'll also have opportunities to volunteer in organisations aligned to the department, such as Victim Support, advocacy groups and justice campaign organisations.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time LF80 2020
4 years full time including sandwich year LF81 2020
4 years full time including foundation year LF82 2020
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Kingston is one of the only universities in London to offer this degree.
  • You can choose to study for a year in a partner university abroad. You'll gain an international perspective to your studies, experience a different culture and broaden your academic network.
  • You may incorporate a module of applied work or volunteering as part of your degree.

What you will study

Take a look at some of the content and modules that you may have the opportunity to study on this course:

Year 1

Year 2

Optional year

Sandwich year

Final year

In your first year, you'll cover the core theories and explanations for crimes, crime investigation and the criminal justice system. You'll be introduced to the foundations of Forensic Psychology and will develop your research methods skills.

Core modules

Foundations in Criminological Theory

30 credits

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.

Crime, Law and Justice

30 credits

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.

Psychology Research Methods 1

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for students taking psychology in level 4. The module will introduce you 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 you will learn how to design a research project, analyse data and report a psychological experiment.

Introduction to Forensic Psychology

30 credits

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.

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 will have the opportunity to specialise in your chosen areas of interests by choosing 2 modules from a range of choices.

Core modules

Policing and Punishment

30 credits

This module provides you with a critical insight into key issues and controversies in the delivery of justice, social control and punishment.  It encourages you 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 you with the opportunity to undertake a critical examination of contemporary debates on the purpose of punishment. You 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.

Forensic Mental Health and Criminal Behaviours

30 credits

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.

Optional modules

Diversity and Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System

30 credits

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.

Youth, Crime and Deviance

30 credits

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.

Securing Human Rights: Contemporary Themes and Issues

30 credits

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? 

Crime, Media and Policy

30 credits

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 Canvas, 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.

Psychology Research Methods 2

30 credits

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.

Social, Individual and Developmental Psychology

30 credits

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. 

Brain, Behaviour and Cognition

30 credits

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.

Study abroad optional year 

You have the option to take an additional year to study abroad or to undertake a year-long work placement overseas (or even a mix of both.)

This course has a sandwich year option which takes place between Year 2 and your Final year. During this sandwich year you will take a placement within a relevant setting, ensuring you gain essential experience to add to your CV and help you secure a graduate job.

In your Final year, you will be introduced to relevant issues within the realm of globalisation, terrorism and international crime. You will focus on psychological aspects central to the investigative process such as interviewing, identification, profiling, decision-making and deception. You will also choose 2 module from a range of specialist modules that suit your area of interest.

Core modules

Psychology of Investigations and Security

30 credits

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.

Global Terrorism and Transnational Crime

30 credits

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).

Optional modules

The Politics of Crime in the Black Atlantic

30 credits

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. 

Criminology Dissertation

30 credits

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.

Applied Criminology: Work and Volunteering

30 credits

This is a final year 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 in Year 2 in preparation for the commencement of the module in their final year. 

Neuropsychology and Neuro-rehabilitation

30 credits

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.

Psychotherapeutic Psychology and Mental Health: from Theory to Practice

30 credits

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.

Drug Use and Abuse

30 credits

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. 

Introduction to Forensic Psychology

30 credits

This module will give a broad overview of the intersection between psychology and the criminal justice system. Forensic psychology is concerned with the psychological aspects of the legal process including police investigation and court procedures. Students will learn to apply psychological theory to criminal investigation, understand the psychological problems and developmental processes associated with criminal behaviour and victimisation. There will be an introduction to the assessment and treatment of those who have committed offences. The module will also give an insight into the training and career pathways for forensic psychologists.

 

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Foundation year- Social Sciences

If you would like to study this degree at Kingston University but are not yet ready to join the first year of a BSc (Hons) course, you may want to consider studying this course with a foundation year.

After you graduate

This degree suits a career forensic psychology by offering progression to a postgraduate BPS-approved forensic psychology MSc.

Our graduates have entered a range of careers within a variety of public and private organisations including: health, housing and welfare, teaching, probation service; youth offending teams; criminal justice and advocacy organisations, local and central government, the police force and the prison service.

Entry requirements

Typical Offer

  • 120 UCAS tariff points (to include at least two A-levels or equivalent qualifications)
  • BTEC Lvl3 National: Distinction, Distinction, Merit (DDM).
  • Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects grades A*-C including Mathematics and English Language (or comparable numeric score under the newly reformed GCSE grading).

Additional requirements

  • Entry on to this course does not require an interview, entrance test, audition or portfolio

Alternative Routes

  • Mature applicants (21 years and older) will need to pass a QAA-approved Access to Higher Education Diploma in a relevant subject with 60 credits, minimum 45 credits at Level 3 including 15 at distinction and 21 at merit + GCSE English Language grade C + GCSE Maths grade C (or comparable numeric score under the newly reformed GCSE grading).
  • Applicants under 21 years will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

International

  • We welcome applications from International Applicants. Please view our standard entry requirements from your country
  • All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5

Teaching and assessment

Timetabled teaching and learning on this course includes lectures, small group tutorials and seminars.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University. 

Your workload

Year 1

Year 2

Final year

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Final year
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study

 

  • Year 1 - 21% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • Year 2 - 19% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • Final year - 20% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Year 1

Year 2

Final year

Year 1
  • Coursework
  • Practical: 0%
  • Exam
Year 2
  • Coursework
  • Practical: 0%
  • Exam
Final year
  • Coursework
  • Practical: 0%
  • Exam

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally attracts 28 students and lecture sizes are normally 60-200. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on this course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. The following group of staff members are currently involved in the delivery of different elements of this course. This pool is subject to change at any time within the academic year. 

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) Foundation year: £7,800
£9,250*
International Foundation year: £14,200
Year 1 (2019/20): £14,200
Year 2 (2020/21): £14,600
Year 3 (2021/22): £15,000
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences.

Free WIFI is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

2020/21 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2020/21 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK and EU students)

Foundation year: £9,250
£9,250*

International

Foundation year: £14,600
Year 1 (2020/21): £14,600
Year 2 (2021/22): £15,000
Year 3 (2022/23): £15,450

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

Undergraduate study
Site menu