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BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology

An award of the University of East Anglia and the University of Essex

The information contained within this course specification is correct as at 20thFebruary 2013.

UCAS Course Code / UCS Course Code: CL8H BSc/PsyC

Course Summary

The disciplines of psychology and criminology combine to expand the criminological imagination and to explore the contribution of psychology to an understanding of crime and criminal behaviour. Psychology incorporates a number of distinct approaches, which offer explanations of human behaviour from different perspectives, with different frameworks of analysis and conceptual awareness. Criminology offers the student a foundation developed out of disciplines as diverse as sociology, philosophy and politics. When studied together, psychology and criminology provide a fascinating approach to understanding and tackling offending behaviour, providing the student with knowledge of the sometimes complex relationship between psychology and crime, and its application in practice.

Entry Requirements

In order to satisfy the minimum general requirements for admission candidates must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age on 1 October of the year for which admission is sought

  • Have a minimum of 280 UCAS tariff points

  • GCSE maths and English at C or above or equivalent

An applicant whose first language is not English will be required to produce evidence of their competence in the English language in accordance with the InstitutionsUCS admissions policy. In considering individual applications, evidence will be sought of personal, professional and educational experiences and competencies, as appropriate, to provide indications of an ability to:

  • Meet the demands of the course

  • Benefit from the course

The Head of Department may deem the following to have satisfied the general and course-specific requirements for admission:

  • Candidates above twenty-one years of age and above who do not satisfy the general and specific qualification requirements, but who submit satisfactory evidence of having achieved qualifications which are deemed to be equivalent. Particular attention is to be given to the ability to succeed at a level 3 qualification before entering level 4 of an undergraduate degree

  • Candidates of twenty-one years of age and above who do not satisfy the general and specific qualification requirements, but who submit satisfactory evidence of the capacity and attainments requisite to enable them to pursue the course proposed in the form of a 1000 word essay

Course Aims

The aims of the Psychology and Criminology courses at University Campus Suffolk are:

  • To develop students knowledge, critical understanding and skills in the areas of Psychology and Criminology

  • To cultivate a questioning and critical approach to the understanding of human behaviour and society

  • To encourage cognitive development and autonomous learning

  • To develop subject specific, cognitive and key transferable skills of value in employment, further study and personal development

  • To provide opportunities that facilitate widening participation by local/non-standard entrants to study Psychology and Criminology at degree level

Learning Outcomes

G= Generic, P= Psychology, CJ= Criminology

Upon completion of Level 6 (BSc and BSc Hons) students will be able to demonstrate:

Knowledge and Understanding

G1 - Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of a range of theories and perspectives in the analysis of human behaviour and society

P1 - Demonstrate a good knowledge and critical understanding of a range of influences on psychological functioning, and how they are conceptualised across biological, cognitive, developmental, and social psychology and individual differences (P7.4iii)

P2 - Demonstrate knowledge of a range of research paradigms, research methods and measurement techniques, including statistical analysis. (P7.4v)

CJ1 - Identify and evaluate a range of key concepts and theoretical approaches in Criminology. (C7.3i)

CJ2 - Identify and evaluate political and social processes of victimisation and criminalisation. (C7.3ii)

CJ3 - Analyse the values and processes that underpin developments in youth and criminal justice, together with the practices of agencies which administer criminal justice policy. (C7.3v)

CJ4 - Recognise and appraise complex social problems and how they inform criminological theory and evidence. (C7.3ix)


G2 - Show critical awareness of theoretical developments and ethical issues

G3 - Demonstrate an appreciation of the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge

P3 - Adopt multiple perspectives (P7.5ii)

P4 - Detect meaningful patterns in behaviour and experience (P7.5iii)

CJ5 - Demonstrate an appreciation of competing interpretations of crime and victimisation. (C7.3xi)

CJ6 - Identify and critique the philosophical, political and ethical values including Human Rights that influence the key agencies that respond to crime and deviance. (C7.3xiv)

CJ7 - Identify and critique a range of criminological research and evidence. (C7.3xv)

C8 - Describe competing perspectives within criminology in a logical and coherent manner

Practical Skills

G4 - Manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources

G5 - Undertake and critically evaluate a research project

P5 - Demonstrate competence in research skills through practical activities (P7.5v)

P6 - Initiate, design, conduct and report an empirically-based research project under appropriate supervision (P7.5vii) CJ9 Demonstrate their evaluative and analytical skills through summarising and analysing arguments, reports, documents and other written and verbal data. (C7.3xviii)

C9 - Demonstrate some evaluative and analytical skills through summarising and analysing arguments, reports, documents and other written and verbal data

CJ10 - Apply established theories and concepts within criminology and other social sciences to analyse how social needs, social problems and policies in relation to crime, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance are constructed and understood in both national and international contexts. (C7.3xxiii)

CJ11 - Apply appropriate ethical standards with regards to a range of research strategies and methods to assess the appropriateness of their use. (C7.3xxi)

Key Skills

G6 - Communicate relevant subject knowledge and evidence accurately and reliably with structured and coherent arguments

G7 - Show development of key transferable skills

P7 - Communicate ideas and research findings by written, oral and visual means (P7.8i)

P8 - Interpret and use numerical, statistical and other forms of data (P7.8i)

CJ8 - Assess competing perspectives within criminology in a logical and coherent manner (C7.3xvi)

Key Skills, relate specifically to learning outcome G7, also known as graduate key skills, transferable skills or general skills, comprise communication, information technology, problem solving, numeracy, working with others and improving own learning.

Module Framework

Psychology and Criminology

C= Core research related modules 1 at Level 4, 2 at Level 5 and 2 at Level 6 within PSYC routes
M= Mandatory subject modules within a route (not a core research related module) where there is choice at levels 5 or 6

Level 4

  • Social Science Research Skills (C)

  • Foundations of Biological - Cognitive Psychology

  • Foundations of Social - Developmental Psychology

  • Key Thinkers in Criminology

  • Law for Criminologists

  • Sociology and the Modern World

Level 5

  • Quantitative Data in Social Science (C)

  • Qualitative Data in Social Science (C)

  • Biological - Cognitive Psychology

  • Social - Developmental Psychology

  • Criminological Theory and Social Control (M)

  • Criminal Justice Systems (M)

Level 6

  • Research Dissertation (40 credits) (C)

  • Applied Studies (C)

With a choice of 1 or 2 modules from:

  • Personality and Intelligence

  • Cognition

  • Psychology and Technology

  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology

  • Abnormal Psychology

  • Forensic Psychology

  • Contemporary Issues in Criminology (M)

1 (if only 1 psychology option chosen) from:

  • Penology

  • Human Rights

  • Victims of Crime

  • Forensic Psychology

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The PSYC course team have a commitment to high quality teaching and learning. The course uses a range of different assessment strategies to assess and facilitate student learning and include: unseen examinations; seen, open-book or take-away examinations; essays and reports; critical reviews, book reviews, workshop reports, lab reports, analytical exercises; individual or group presentations; a dissertation; computer-based assessments and informed discussion and debate via module seminars and blogs.


Most modules are delivered in a structured week by week format from September to June. The teaching is divided into three terms and the University year usually finishes for students by later may or early June. A full-time student is expected to take six modules each year. A part-time student will take one to four modules each year.

Lecture and seminar sessions for the modules usually run in the daytime between 9am and 6pm. Students can expect to have to attend university for two to three hours per module per week and to spend at least an equivalent amount of time per week in independent study. This study requirement will often be higher when assessments are due. Students will be provided with timetables when they join the course.

Tutorial and Study Support

There is extensive tutorial support available to students throughout the course both academic advice and personal tutorial support. Information and advice on study skills is always available with frequent learning opportunities to develop and improve. Tutorial support will be in line with the UCSTutorial Policy.

Opportunities on Completion of the Course

Graduates can progress to a wide variety of positions, some to local employment; others look for specialist opportunities further afield. Many graduates opt to pursue further academic qualifications such as MA or MSc degrees in Psychology, Criminology or Research. Each year a number of graduates take PGCE courses to become teachers or lecturers in tertiary education. Recent graduates have begun careers in; Probation, Arrest Support, Legal Aid Counselling, Social Work, Careers Advice, Refugee Council, Behavioural Support, Assistant Psychologist, Health Promotion, Bank Management, Retail Management, and Prison Service.

Employers value the qualities and skills of graduates within the social science framework, and most students find suitable work within a short time of graduation.

Alternative Format

Should you require this course specification in an alternative format, please contact us on 01473 338000.

University Campus Suffolk reserves the right to amend the information in this course specification as and when required.