Undergraduate study
Psychology and Criminology

BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology

UCAS code: CM89 BSc/PYCR

Criminology is the study of crime, human rights and the criminal justice system at the individual, social and global level. You examine the contribution that psychological perspectives and methods can make to our understanding of crime and the criminal justice system.

As a psychology and criminology student, you cover all the core modules included in the BSc (Hons) Psychology programme, in addition to specific modules in criminology.

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Up to 5 years

More part-time details

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

Contact details

Further information

  • Facilities

    Psychology facilities

    Studying Psychology at the School of Social Sciences, Business & Law gives you access to outstanding facilities, including eye-trackers, EEG and Near-infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). You also get to use specialist interviewing labs and our replica courtroom.

  • Student profile
 

By studying psychology and criminology you consider the impact that society and the media have on crime rates and public perceptions of crime. Like our other psychology degree programmes, the analytical and communication skills you develop on the course are prized by employers in a wide range of careers. This degree provides an excellent academic background for a variety of stimulating careers in psychology and criminal justice agencies as well as in research, education and in a wider variety of voluntary and statutory organisations.

This is a joint honours programme accredited by the British Psychological Society and can be your first step towards becoming a chartered psychologist.

Professional accreditation

The British Psycholigical Society Accredited This is a joint honours programme accredited by the British Psychological Society

Course structure

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.

Crime and Society

This introduction to criminological theories, media representations of crime and the way in which we understand crime and deviance in contemporary society serves as a foundation to further criminological theory modules at levels 5 and 6.

You gain the solid basis of knowledge needed to explore debates about who commits crime, why crime is committed and why crime is seen as a social problem. You are introduced to a range of classic and traditional theoretical perspectives which provide the foundations for more complex and contemporary theoretical perspectives later in the programme.

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.

Study Skills for Social Scientists

Develop and strengthen the skills needed to study social sciences in a higher education learning environment.

Skills include operating effectively within the University’s formal framework, time management, organisation of academic work, analytical thinking, writing, referencing and the use of basic research and data presentation techniques.

You also develop employability skills such as CV building and learn how best to seek work experience through volunteering and placements.

 

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.

Criminal Justice

This module examines the development of the criminal justice system. It covers courts, sentencing, legislation, the police, the National Offender Management Service 2003 (combining probation and prisons), the creation of the Ministry of Justice in 2007 and the Transforming Rehabilitation agenda of 2010-2015.

You gain an understanding of the impact of social change and shifting attitudes to crime and disorder. The module also explores some of the major transformations taking place in various parts of the system. The issues covered are critical for understanding criminal justice in a broader historical, political, social, and economic context.

You are introduced to the historical foundations of criminal justice in the 19th century, the role of the state, material and ideological conditions of Victorian penality. After the historical foundations have been established (lectures one to ten), you explore specific themes including probation, police, prisons, restorative justice, victims, media, race and gender.

Links are made throughout the module to theory, the perception of who commits crime, why we punish and how we develop crime prevention strategies. You are encouraged to engage with comparative and contemporary issues relating to crime, justice and punishment and the relationship between the changing nature of society in the context of social and economic change and de-industrialisation.

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.

Psychology Dissertation Preparation

The module commences with a series of lectures that introduce you to research management, supervision protocol, research ethics, personal development and career planning.
You are then introduced to specific psychological research studies that 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 help develop ideas for your degree-relevant honours project.
Lectures are themed into general disciplines of psychology (i.e. cognitive, social, biological, developmental, individual differences) and are delivered by experts from within the subject group.

 

and one optional modules (one must be a criminology module)

Criminological Theory

This module builds on the theoretical material covered in Year 1 and you develop a more detailed analysis of key ideas in historical and contemporary criminology. The first half of the term deals with the history of ideas in criminology. The second half applies those ideas to contemporary patterns in crime and disorder.

Gender, Crime and Justice

An introduction to how gender shapes male and female experiences of crime and the criminal justice system, highlighting gendered identity, victimisation, justice and the way men and women are portrayed as victims and offenders.

You explore theoretical perspectives and conceptual questions, considering the place of women in criminological analysis. You also question gender in the understanding of crime, focusing on the feminist contribution to criminology and theories of masculinity.

As the module progresses, you consider how gender shapes legal outcomes, punishment, fear of crime and experiences of victimisation and criminalisation.

 

Final-year core modules

Dissertation

Your dissertation is based around the investigation of a topic linked to your programme of study, selected by you in consultation with a dissertation supervisor. It represents a core compulsory element for British Psychological Society membership accreditation.

The dissertation involves a poster presentation, a pass/fail ethical approval and a written project report. It also includes a PDP element which involves you creating a personal statement and a CV written to address the person specifications of a graduate job.

Explaining Punishment

This module explores the emergence and development of modern institutions of punishment with specific reference to wider currents of sociological thought, and explanations of formal social control and punishment.

Areas covered include the transition from pre-modern corporal and brutal punishment to more rationalised and intensive modes of punishment under capitalism as well as theoretical interrogations of the economic, political and ideological processes that shape institutions of punishment in contemporary society.

The module involves a thorough discussion of Marxist, functionalist, institutionalist and postmodernist approaches towards the subject matter, offering ample opportunity for the application and critical evaluation of the explanatory potential of such approaches on specific characteristics and functions of the penal system today.

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 criminology module)

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.

Are We Doing Youth Justice?

This module is divided into four core elements, each delivered in a block of six lectures, of which the final lecture focuses on key themes and contents. The first block provides a comprehensive picture of the youth justice system, as established post 1997 by New Labour.

Block two explores criminological, sociological and psychological explanations of youth offending.

Block three examines the idea of unruly youth from a historical perspective of the regulation of (gendered) childhood and the relevance of social class in identifying and explaining youth offending.

Block four examines key questions and themes of block one, two and three in relation to their implicit implications and underlying ideologies in terms of how young offenders are conceptualised and dealt with in England and Wales’ youth justice system today.

Critical Social Psychology

This module aims to contextualise global, societal and political issues in terms of the impact of differing social psychological perspectives. In particular you will consider the political and ideological uses of social psychological research and theory in areas including operational psychology and intelligence gathering. Focus is also given to the social psychological theories and research which contribute to cross cultural and societal processes, including collective remembering and social krypto amnesia.

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.

Moral Economy of Criminal Justice

Explore the moral economy of criminal justice, and gain an original, analytical perspective on the discipline.

The first part of the module introduces intellectual and moral resources which draw on western philosophical heritage, theology, personalism, symbolic ethics, and moral conditions before and after the Industrial Age.

The second part of the module puts these intellectual and moral resources to work to analyse developments in criminal justice, including penal policy and probation, from 1979 into the present.

Particular reference is made to the conservative period of criminal justice between 1979 and 1997; New Labour between 1997 and 2010; and the coalition government from 2010 to 2015 and beyond.

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.

Race, Crime and Social Exclusion

An exploration of the ways the categories of race, ethnicity and social class are constructed and represented by the various forms and institutions that constitute the criminal justice system and wider systems of social control.

You examine the ideological, historical, economic and socio-political context of how race and class came to be associated with crime and criminal justice. We discuss how this association has been generated in part through early criminological discourse and through contemporary academic assessment of evidence and explanations about whether, and to what extent, minority ethnic criminality and victimisation is constructed through racism.

Case studies of criminality and victimisation, policing, stop and search, the courts, penality, genocide, and racial violence are used. You are asked to acquaint yourself with relevant theoretical and policy perspectives and debates about minority ethnic groups in relation to the criminal justice system, and to ask yourself whether theories of racism can enhance a criminological understanding of this area.

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.

The Psychology of Everyday Self

This module provides an arena for you to study in depth one of the most intriguing and misunderstood aspects of psychological experience – that of selfhood.
It brings together a number of sub-disciplines that throw light on selfhood and subjective experience. Perspectives from social, developmental, and clinical psychology are combined in this module to offer you the opportunity to explore what selfhood means to you and how different constructs of selfhood can be enriching to the human experience.

Understanding Domestic and Sexual Violence

Critically examine the nature, extent and impact of sexual and domestic violence from a range of academic, theoretical, research, policy and practitioner perspectives. Explore the links between the various aspects of domestic and sexual violence, including rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, honour based violence and sexual exploitation.

You engage with the conceptual, methodological and ethical issues which characterise historically hidden problems – and we focus on the continued need for sensitivity in exploring and addressing these issues. The module traces the emergence of sexual and domestic violence as criminological problems, and critically examines the changing legal, policing, criminal justice and community responses.

 

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. Our range of assessments include essays, research reports, exams, group and individual projects and presentations, poster presentations, portfolios and a dissertation.


Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

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 careers in health and social welfare, the probation service, the prison service, the police and voluntary organisations.

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.

You are encouraged to develop your employability through volunteering which can help you develop new skills, improve networking and enhance your CV. Teesside University has a dedicated service, Volun-tees, which aims to engage students in relevant volunteering activities both within the local community and on University-led programmes. Projects can include working with offenders, supporting victims and witnesses of crime, facilitating activities for clients with mental health issues, working with children and more.

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


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

Part-time

What is KIS?

How to understand the Key Information Set

Course information

Full-time

  • Length: 3 years

More full-time details

Part-time

  • Up to 5 years

More part-time details

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

Contact details

Further information