Undergraduate study
Forensic Psychology

BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology

UCAS code: C890 BSc/FPsy

Forensic psychology applies psychology to the criminal justice system. As a forensic psychology student you cover all of the core modules included in the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme, along with specific modules relevant to forensic psychology.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Entry to 2017/18 academic year

Part-time

  • Up to 5 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342308

Contact details

£500

£500 available to kick-start your degree – for travel, accommodation or other living expenses

Eligibility criteria apply

£270m

Over £270m invested in our town-centre campus for your improved student and learning experience

More about the campus

88%

88% of students would recommend Teesside University to others
(National Student Survey 2016)

Why choose Teesside
 

You consider different experiences of the criminal justice system – for victims, witnesses, defendants and legal professionals. You learn about the assessment and treatment of different types of offenders. You learn the theory and research behind police interviewing, and put it into practice in our mock police interview rooms. And you consider the role of jurors, witnesses and experts firsthand by taking classes in our replica courtroom. Our staff are actively involved in the practice of forensic psychology so you are taught topical issues by experts from this field. Excellent links with external organisations means that there may be opportunities for voluntary work.

Professional accreditation

The British Psycholigical Society Accredited This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society.

Modules

Year 1 core modules

Crime and Justice

This module introduces the criminal justice process, theoretically and in practice, from a criminological viewpoint. It offers an analysis of the process of criminal justice from the point of arrest to the outcome of a court hearing.

You examine the agencies and institutions of the law, as well as the criminological theories that produce knowledge for these institutions. The module allows you to participate in an inclusive environment for learning the foundational principles that have informed criminal justice debates to date.

Critical Thinking about Psychology

This module provides students with many of the skills needed to critically evaluate psychological theories and studies. It uses examples from psychology to highlight the common errors that people make when assessing arguments and evaluating evidence.

The module provides step-by-step guidance on how to overcome widespread mistakes and how to construct logical, balanced and coherent arguments. The module also requires students to assess the validity of a number of extraordinary claims, such as parapsychology, alternative medicine, astrology and mediumship. Students will be encouraged to be open-minded, yet require appropriate standards of proof when evaluating such claims.

Introduction to Core Areas in Psychology

This module provides students with an understanding of the core areas of study specified by the British Psychological Society (BPS). These core areas are; Biological Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Individual Differences and Social Psychology. The module will consider empirical work within each of these five core areas and will also introduce students to psychological research skills necessary in order to plan, conduct and report psychological research.

Psychological Research Design and Analysis 1

Providing a foundation in psychological research methods and analysis, this module covers a range of experimental and non-experimental methodological approaches.

You are introduced to the Windows SPSS package for statistical analysis and graph drawing, and you learn about simple qualitative research and data collection methods.

The module covers ethics in research, qualitative and quantitative methods, survey design, simple non-experimental and experimental designs, reliability and validity, probability, hypothesis testing, descriptive data analysis, simple non-parametric and parametric statistical analysis and research report writing.

By the end of the module, you’ll be able to identify the appropriate method for a range of research questions, analyse the resulting data and draw appropriate conclusions.

Underpinning Forensic Psychology

This module is designed to introduce students to the key concepts involved in understanding forensic psychology, such as crime and victim interaction, criminal thinking patterns, explanations of criminal behaviour, testimony and courtroom psychology, and crime prevention.

The main aim of the module is to introduce students to the basic concepts within Forensic Psychology. It will attempt to answer the question 'what is crime?', and will discuss the range of theoretical approaches that have been used to explain it. The module will also introduce students to a range of study and transferable skills relevant to their degree programme and future career.

 

Year 2 core modules

Biological and Social Psychology

The module is divided into two halves: biopsychology and social psychology. Biological, neurological and social explanations for a series of identified psychological topics are explored, as well as introducing the concept of evolutionary explanations for human behaviour and the scientific approach to the study of our social behaviour. Students are required to produce a 2,000 social psychology essay (50%) and complete a 2 hour unseen biopsychology written examination (50%) for their assessment in this module.

Cognitive Psychology

This module introduces students to a range of areas of cognitive psychology. Specific topics covered include aspects such as attention, perception, memory, language, emotion and reasoning. Consideration is given to the key models along with supporting evidence from experimental psychology, neuropsychological case studies and cognitive neuroscience. Students will develop an in-depth knowledge of these areas along with the necessary skills to distinguish between theories and to critically evaluate them.

Dissertation Preparation

You attend weekly two hour lectures and five hours (delivered in term one) of seminar activity. Your lectures introduce you to research management, supervision protocol, research ethics, personal development and career planning. You also look at specific psychological research studies to further develop your understanding of the research cycle (setting a research question, developing appropriate methods, using appropriate analysis, making appropriate conclusions and dissemination) and critical evaluation, to provide an opportunity to develop ideas for your own project. In lectures you cover general disciplines of psychology - cognitive, social, biological, developmental, individual differences and are delivered by subject group experts.

Psychological Research Design and Analysis 2

The module deals with more advanced research design and analysis, building on the module Research design and analysis 1. The module aims to facilitate the development of knowledge and skills in using advanced research designs, including the use of quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques.

Module content includes conceptual issues in advanced research designs - including experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental quantitative research designs - planning of sample size, quantitative data analysis (ANOVA and multiple regression), and qualitative data collection and analysis.

Theoretical Approaches to Forensic Psychology

This module aims to demonstrate the relevance of psychology to our understanding of crime, criminal behaviour, legal decision making and the investigative process. The key areas addressed include: theories of crime and criminality, the applications of psychology in the criminal justice system, detecting deception, witness testimony, the role of expert witnesses and applied interviewing techniques.

 

and one optional module

Developing Skills for Educational and Community Support (

This module provides you with experience and knowledge of working as a support worker with Neuro Partners (www.neuropartners.co.uk/). You develop transferable / employability skills, such as confidentiality, data protection, communications, problem-solving, group work, time management, self-management, and record keeping. The work experience enables you to work within a team whilst maintaining boundaries and a professional relationship with an individual. The service users will have a range of conditions, including mental health conditions and possibly co-morbid disorders and considerations when approaching support. You will be working on any combination of the following types of support:

Education-based support: Sighted Guide, Mobility Support, Travel Support, Note Taker, Transcriber, Library Assistant, Proof reading, Reader, Exam Support

Community-based support: Personal Care, Community access, Accessing social and leisure activities with service users, Assisting the service user during Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy. Community-based hours will include evenings and weekends.

Prior to commencing the module, you are required to apply for Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) enhanced disclosure and successfully complete the Neuro Partners interview, assessment centre and training. DBS applications will be made during the interview. You will receive full training for the role of support worker (delivered by Neuro Partners) and have regular contact with an Assistant Psychologist, who will appraise you 3 times throughout the year.

You will have 6 hours contact at Teesside University to introduce the module and go through assessment requirements. This will be delivered as 3 x 2hour lectures (delivered throughout the year). The module requires you to be available for the full duration of the academic year (30 weeks) and accumulate a minimum of 70 hours of support work experience. It is expected that you will gain 2-3 hours support work experience per week and will document your experience by completing logs after every session.

Positive Psychology: Wellbeing and Happiness

Positive psychology is the scientific study of optimal human functioning at the individual, group and social levels. This relatively new area of psychology is a radical shift away from the focus of psychology on illness and pathology. The aims of the module are to introduce students to the field of study and to explore the links between theory and research findings in positive psychology and their applications in a variety of settings e.g. clinical, educational, occupational and personal contexts. In addition the module will explore the observation of attitude and behavioural change. Key areas covered will include wellbeing and resilience, happiness, emotional intelligence, positive self, positive relationships and attitude and behavioural change.

Promoting Health, Preventing Illness

This module explores psychology’s role in progressing, treating and managing illness. You will consider the dominant discussions of health and illness and explore the methods used to measure and assess health and illness. This module explores health promotion interventions, particularly the associated psychological issues that need to be considered when you are addressing the health and illness needs of individuals across the lifespan.

Psychology of Death, Dying and Bereavement

This module introduces you to a range of issues relating to death, dying and bereavement. Starting with an investigation of attitudes and understandings of death, you will then consider the psychological experiences of dying and grieving. You will also study death-related topics such as euthanasia, suicide and near-death experiences.

Theoretical Approaches to Psychology and Education

This module is designed to demonstrate the relevance of psychological theory to our understanding and management of both the learning process and behaviour in an education setting. The relevance of cognitive, social and developmental psychology to the structuring of educational study and the educational environment will be explored in relation to mainstream education and the support of special needs.

The emphasis of the module will be on psychological theory and knowledge forming part of an evidence based contribution to education.

 

Final-year core modules

Applied Forensic Psychology

The main aim of this module is to focus on the application of psychological research and theory to practice in the criminal justice system.

In particular, it is concerned with the contribution made by psychology to the investigation and prosecution of criminal offences. It will use a holistic approach, enabling students to gain an understanding of how parts of the system interface with each other.

The module will cover areas of psychological work relating to aspects of the justice system, with a specific focus on the application of psychology to investigative interviews, victim and witness testimony, and courtroom procedures. In addition, it will cover relevant legal information to increase an understanding of psychological decision making in a legal context.

Dissertation

The module aims to provide you with an opportunity to apply your learning from earlier modules by conducting a self-initiated, substantial data driven research project in a specific area of interest.
You demonstrate your skills in data collection, analysis, interpretation and communication of findings of an empirical piece of research.

You attend a weekly 2 hour lecture (delivered throughout the year) and 5 hours (delivered in term one) of seminar activity.
You research management, supervision protocol, research ethics, personal development and career planning.

You are introduced to specific psychological research studies to further develop your understanding of the research cycle: setting a research question, developing appropriate methods, using appropriate analysis, making appropriate conclusions and dissemination and critical evaluation. This helps you develop ideas for your own project.  Lectures themes are general disciplines of psychology: cognitive, social, biological, developmental, individual differences and are delivered by experts from within the subject group.

The Psychology of Development and Individual Differences

The module is a core level 6 module and is divided into two halves: Developmental Psychology and Individual Differences. Both halves cover competing perspectives, contemporary debates, historical perspectives and applied topics. Key theoretical perspectives in developmental psychology will be studied using a lifespan perspective. The aim of this module is to develop students' understanding and skills in developmental psychology and individual differences.

 

and two optional modules (one must be a psychology module)

Current Issues in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

This module is aimed at students who have an interest in applied aspects of cognitive psychology, especially educational psychology, as well as those interested in developmental and bio-psychology.
The module introduces you to a range of different neurodevelopmental disorders e.g. autistic spectrum disorder, dyslexia, ADHD, specific-language impairment, Williams syndrome, Dyscalculia, Fragile X and Downs syndrome. Each disorder will be considered in terms of its diagnostic criteria, characteristics, theoretical perspectives and issues with comorbidity. As such we will discuss each condition at the levels of biology (including genetics), cognition, behaviour and the environment.
Wider issues such as the social aspects of neurodevelopmental disorders, including integration in education, lifespan changes and methodological and ethical issues in researching neurodevelopmental disorders will also be addressed.

Developing Skills for Educational and Community Support (

This module provides you with experience and knowledge of working as a support worker with Neuro Partners (www.neuropartners.co.uk/). You develop transferable / employability skills, such as confidentiality, data protection, communications, problem-solving, group work, time management, self-management, and record keeping. The work experience enables you to work within a team whilst maintaining boundaries and a professional relationship with an individual. The service users will have a range of conditions, including mental health conditions and possibly co-morbid disorders and considerations when approaching support. You will be working on any combination of the following types of support:

Education-based support: Sighted Guide, Mobility Support, Travel Support, Note Taker, Transcriber, Library Assistant, Proof reading, Reader, Exam Support

Community-based support: Personal Care, Community access, Accessing social and leisure activities with service users, Assisting the service user during Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy. Community-based hours will include evenings and weekends.

Prior to commencing the module, you are required to apply for Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) enhanced disclosure and successfully complete the Neuro Partners interview, assessment centre and training. DBS applications will be made during the interview. You will receive full training for the role of support worker (delivered by Neuro Partners) and have regular contact with an Assistant Psychologist, who will appraise you 3 times throughout the year.

You will have 6 hours contact at Teesside University to introduce the module and go through assessment requirements. This will be delivered as 3 x 2hour lectures (delivered throughout the year). The module requires you to be available for the full duration of the academic year (30 weeks) and accumulate a minimum of 70 hours of support work experience. It is expected that you will gain 2-3 hours support work experience per week and will document your experience by completing logs after every session.

Issues in Psychology

This module is aimed to introduce students to a number of debates in applied psychology. The module content is aimed to meet learning needs of students interested in aspects of applied psychology and to foster self-directed learning.

Psychology in Clinical Practice

You examine some of the areas of work of practitioner psychologists, structured around the core competencies inherent in training to become a Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society. You engage with professional and ethical issues inherent in the design and development of research, training, consultancy and interventions in clinical settings, and are introduced to the requirements of postgraduate study in Psychology.

Completion of this module does not provide eligibility for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society.

The Psychology of Criminal and Sexual Offending

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the contribution made by psychological knowledge and theory towards an explanation of criminal offending behaviour. Students will be introduced to relevant psychological theories in a discussion of a number of types of criminal offence.

 

Modules across the school also available

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

Teaching is delivered using a range of lectures, seminars and laboratory classes. We emphasise study skills so you learn how to use all our extensive facilities such as electronic journals, virtual learning environments and computer programs. You also have access to our computer suites and specialist laboratories where you develop practical skills in the investigation of human behaviour.

How you are assessed

Our varied assessments develop the skills most valued by employers. They include essays, exams, group and individual presentations, poster presentations, portfolios and a dissertation. There is even opportunity to write a psychological expert witness report.

Career opportunities

Although this is an academic course rather than a professional training course, on successful completion, with a 2.2 or above, you will be eligible to apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) status with the British Psychological Society (www/bps.org.uk). As with all our psychology degrees, upon graduation you can proceed to further study in any area of psychology. However, the unique skills and knowledge developed on this course are particularly suited to the postgraduate training you will need in order to become a Chartered Forensic Psychologist.

All programmes are designed to incorporate employability skills development alongside your degree course. Our staff utilise their extensive connections to provide many and varied opportunities to engage with potential employers through fairs, guest lecture sessions, live projects and site visits. In addition we offer a series of workshops and events in the first, second and third year that ensure all students are equipped with both degree level subject knowledge PLUS the practical skills that employers are looking for in new graduate recruits. We also offer extensive support for students to find and secure sandwich year placements which have been shown to make have significant positive impact on a student’s career prospects on graduation.

Our award winning careers service works with regional and national employers to advertise graduate positions, in addition to providing post-graduation support for all Teesside University alumni.

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 88-104 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent). You must also have GCSEs in English Language and maths at grade C (or equivalent). We recommend an Access course if you're a mature student.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

Part-time

What is KIS?

How to understand the Key Information Set

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Entry to 2017/18 academic year

Part-time

  • Up to 5 years

More part-time details

  • Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342308

Contact details

Open days

Undergraduate prospectusRequest a prospectus

If you would like more information about our courses or the University, please register with us.