Forensic Psychology BSc (Hons)

Why choose this course?

Fascinating and disturbing, criminal behaviour arises from social, biological and cognitive factors. We need to understand these if we are to help create a safer and fairer society.

Forensic psychology looks at the relationships between brain and criminal behaviour, how social groups interact and how human beings learn and develop. It also examines the treatment of offenders and the impact of crime on the broader community. You'll be able to gain valuable experience, with the opportunity for work-based practice or observation.

Choosing from a range of option modules, you'll be able to tailor your studies to your own interests and aspirations. You may also research a topic in depth for a dissertation.

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time C8C6 2020 (Clearing)
2021
4 years full time including foundation year C816 2020 (Clearing)
2021
4 years full time including sandwich year CC86 2020 (Clearing)
2021
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2020 (Clearing)
2021
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This is one of the few courses in the UK to offer a specialist forensic psychology qualification
  • This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • You'll be eligible for Graduate Membership and the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership; this is the first step towards becoming a chartered psychologist. With further training, you can begin a career in forensic psychology.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), which means that you could go on to become a Chartered Psychologist if that is your chosen career path. This is an ongoing accreditation.

Graduates, with a minimum of a 2:2, from this course are eligible to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the BPS.  This is a necessary first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. You would then take further training in a specific field of psychology that you want to work in. This could then lead to a career as a Chartered Psychologist in your chosen field, for example forensic psychology.

What you will study

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

Year 1

Year 2

Optional year

Sandwich year

Final year

In your first year you will acquire a broad foundation of knowledge around key theories and ideas of psychological science.  You will begin to critically analyse historic perspectives, contemporary issues and explore the social nature of crime and deviance. Whilst being introduced to key strategies which are used in psychological research.

Core modules

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.

Foundations of Psychology

30 credits

This module introduces students to theories and ideas of psychological science in core areas of research. This module allows students to acquire a broad foundation of knowledge of these core areas, as well as many specialist sub-areas of psychology (e.g., biological psychology, learning, sensory and perceptual processes, memory, thought and knowledge, language, social, developmental, neuropsychology, individual differences, clinical).

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.

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.

In the second year you will examine the relationship between brain function and our understanding of cognition and behaviour.  You will explore current theory and practice that focuses on the person in psychology. And start to explore mental disorders, antisocial behaviour and criminal offending. Whilst developing experimental research designs and delve further into inferential statistics

Core modules

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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 able to choose from selection of optional modules, which cover a range of topics, this will enable you to tailor your studies to your own interests and aspirations. You will also research a chosen topic for your dissertation.

Core modules

Psychology Research Project

30 credits

This module will provide the opportunity to study and employ different methodologies in psychology by evaluating the strengths and limitations of different research designs. Students will execute an empirical research project on a topic agreed in consultation with a Psychology staff supervisor. Supervisory sessions with an academic supervisor will guide students to conduct a literature review, formulate a research question, design a research study, and consider research ethics relating to their study, culminating in data collection and writing up of a research report which satisfies APA guidelines.

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.

Optional modules

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).

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. 

Risk and Crime

30 credits

This module explores the rise of risk and insecurity in relation to crime as a condition of existence in late/post modernity. Risk is a dynamic and fluid concept. It currently dominates our lives and this module examines risk-taking and risk strategies in the domains of crime and criminal justice. Risks from, for example, gun crime, knife crime, terrorism, fraud, hate crime, youth crime, domestic violence, sexual abuse, corporate crime and internet crime are major concerns. In recent years, the governance of crime (from policing and crime prevention to sentencing and prison organisations) has moved away from a focus on reforming offenders towards preventing crime and managing behaviour using risk techniques. Contemporary social theorists (such as Ulrich Beck and Anthony Giddens) argue that the predictability, certainty and security that were characteristics of modern society are being questioned in contemporary societies. This results in a world that is increasingly perceived as uncertain and dangerous and in which ‘risk' is endemic. This module provides a forum in which the issues of risk as they are associated with crime can be debated and subjected to empirical scrutiny. In order to explore risk in contemporary crime governance and risk in criminal activity students will examine theoretical perspectives and political approaches. Students are required to examine theories their own assumptions about risk and crime in terms of theoretical approaches, to undertake a fieldwork analysis about risk and criminal justice and to write a case study on an area of risk and crime of their own choosing.

Human Rights and Political Violence

30 credits

Conceptions of self and other are deeply embedded in violent conflict, an activity which typically results in the most egregious violations of human rights.  Highly polarised identities often sit uneasily with a universal humanity.  Based on the broad theme of the universal versus the particular, this module explores the interaction between identity, violent conflict and the abuse of human rights.  It provides students with the opportunity to consider how protracted conflicts may be better resolved more effectively and human rights better protected.  The module blends theoretical discussion of political violence with an analysis of recent conflicts and the legal and institutional mechanisms which have emerged to reduce their detrimental impact on human rights.

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.

Advanced Issues in the Psychology of Thinking

30 credits

This module will explore the psychology of higher cognitive processes, such as thinking, reasoning, judgement and decision-making. The module will encourage students to evaluate critically whether human thinking is rational, and the normative models with which that rationality is measured. It will also introduce students to quantitative models of these processes. Finally the module will introduce students to applications of cognitive psychology research, especially in terms of judgement and decision making in areas such as politics, sports, economics and health.

 

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.

Life on the course

Psychology conference

Psychology conference

Check out the video from the department's annual Psychology conference

Themed week: an inter-play of subjects

Themed week: an inter-play of subjects

Students experience the interdisciplinary nature of their subject

After you graduate

This degree will help you build a career as a forensic psychologist or in a complementary sector, such as the police force, community rehabilitation settings, and/or legal services.

Entry requirements

If you would like to join us through Clearing 2020, please call our Clearing hotline on 0800 0483 334 (or +44 020 8328 1149 if you are calling from outside the UK) and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable hotliners who will be able to provide information on available courses and will guide you through your options.

Please note the entry requirements listed below are for 2021 entry only.

Typical offer 2020

  • 120 UCAS tariff points (to include at least two A-levels or equivalent qualifications. A Level Psychology is not essential but must be passed at grade C or above if taken)
  • 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).

Entry requirements 2021

UCAS tariff points: 120 for BSc (Hons); 48 for BSc (Hons) including foundation year.

Additional requirements

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

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: 241 hours
  • Guided independent study: 959 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching: 248 hours
  • Guided independent study: 952 hours
Final year
  • Scheduled teaching: 186 hours
  • Guided independent study: 1014 hours

 

  • Year 1 - 20% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • Year 2 - 21% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • Final year - 16% 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: 55%
  • Practical: 0%
  • Exam: 45%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 60%
  • Practical: 10%
  • Exam: 30%
Final year
  • Coursework: 60%
  • Practical: 0%
  • Exam: 40%

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 40 students and lecture sizes are normally 60-70. 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

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

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home/EU tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

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.

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

For courses with a sandwich year, the fee for the placement year can be viewed on the undergraduate fees table. The placement fee published is for the relevant academic year stated in the table. This fee is subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body.

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home/EU tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

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

The Government has confirmed that EU students applying for places at universities in England in the 2021/22 academic year will be eligible for student loans and grants throughout their degree programmes.

The decision means they will be eligible for the same funding and support available to current EU students and the University will continue to charge at the 'home' fee rate.

These rights will continue for the full duration of their courses, even if the UK exits the European Union during that period.

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).