BSc (Hons) Criminological and Forensic Psychology

Interested in the psychological aspects of criminology and forensics? Our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Criminological and Forensic Psychology degree is a dynamic course that reflects contemporary approaches to offending behaviour. During the final year of this award-winning course you’ll engage with professional settings, providing valuable work experience for your CV.

BSc (Hons) Criminological and Forensic Psychology

Course details

Studying in our well-respected, vibrant learning and research culture, the University of Bolton’s BSc (Hons) Criminological and Forensic Psychology degree gives you the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of offending behaviour from the perspectives of both offender and victim. This course was awarded the 2017 Award for Innovation in Psychology Programmes by the British Psychological Society*, demonstrating our commitment to bringing criminological and forensic psychology to life away from the classroom by offering you an array of innovative and practical learning opportunities.

Our supportive and experienced team will help you gain a strong foundation in the theories and practice of psychology, focusing on forensic theories including aggression, sexual offending, terrorism and delinquent behaviour. We’ll also lead you in an exploration of legal and court psychology, including interviewing techniques used by the police and issues around court testimony.

The course can lead to a range of careers including the prison service, health, police, probation service, victim support and services targeting families of offenders or victims, or on to further study. Accredited by the British Psychological Society, the course enables you, on achievement of the required grade, to progress to further professional qualifications and employment as a registered psychologist.

* accessed on 1 October 2018

  • UCAS points: 112
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Duration: 4.5 years

Course highlights:

  • Our Psychology courses are ranked Top in the UK for Teaching Quality by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019.
  • This course is one of only a few Criminological and Forensic Psychology degrees in the country accredited by the British Psychological Society. Accredited as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC), this degree is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.
  • The University of Bolton has invested in the creation of a learning environment that offers innovative methods of teaching and assessment using top-class facilities, such as our observation and psychophysiology laboratories.
  • We work hard to ensure the course evolves in response to current issues in psychology. For example, our curriculum includes up-to-date teaching around the themes of honour-based violence and terrorism.
  • Course content is delivered by our highly-qualified staff who have substantial experience in the field. By offering personal supervision throughout the course we aim to give you the best possible opportunity to achieve your true potential.
  • We’ll encourage you to complete the British Psychological Society accredited Occupational Testing Level A Certificate, which is highly recommended for a career in this field.

Key features:

  • You’ll explore the theories and principles of forensic psychology and how these are applied in legal and other offender settings. You’ll also discuss the social and psychological context of offending and examine methods for collating, assessing, and analysing data.
  • To help you learn how psychological theories are applied to the activities of psychology staff when they’re working with offenders or victims of crime, you’ll have the chance to take part in a variety of workshops where you can practise and receive feedback on core skills.
  • Your personal tutor will be on hand to support you throughout your degree; one of our team of helpful and approachable psychology staff with a diverse range of research interests and professional experience.
  • We focus strongly on employability skills and the practical application of your studies as well as academic success. Workshops include leading group therapy and conducting a risk assessment with opportunities for placements in a relevant work setting.
  • The applied nature of criminological and forensic psychology is stressed throughout the course and you’ll carry out a criminal justice-related work placement in your final year.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 112
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Duration: 4.5 years

Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3.

You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics.

You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

Career opportunities

This degree will encourage you to develop a deep understanding of how psychology can be applied to explain certain aspects of crime and criminal behaviour. On completing the course you’ll be able to demonstrate graduate skills such as analysing complex information and data, investigating problems and formulating plans to solve them, deductive reasoning, conducting research independently, reflective skills, producing and presenting information accurately, and understanding social and legal issues.

What can I do with this qualification?

By undertaking this qualification you’ll have the opportunity to develop a broad range of skills relevant to careers such as work in prisons and secure units, the police force, specialist hospitals, court systems, forensic services, immigration, education and private practice. The scientific and research elements of this course also support roles in research and academia.

Psychology graduates with British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation will also be able to progress onto professional qualifications in applied psychology. Studying applied criminology and forensic psychology at postgraduate level will allow you to develop a range of analytical and practical skills benefitting you as a practitioner or researcher.

Alternative career options

  • Youth justice
  • Mental health
  • Probation
  • Child protection
  • Crime reduction
  • Social work
  • Family support and mediation
  • Counselling
  • Nursing
  • Advice work
  • Training
  • Market research
  • Careers advice and guidance
  • Human resources
  • Retail management

Professional recognition

Successful completion of the degree course is approved as conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society, provided the minimum standard of qualification of second class honours is achieved.

The British Psychological Society is the professional body for psychologists.

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply


You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or


International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology
  • Understanding the Person
  • Cognitive and Biopsychological Perspectives
  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology
  • Application of Psychology
  • Psychology and Crime
  • Research Methods in Psychology
  • Social and Critical Psychology
  • Personality and Developmental Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Biopsychology
  • Psychology of Law and Justice
  • The Honours Project
  • Psychology of Loss and Trauma
  • Applied Experience
  • Applications in Forensic Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Cyber Psychology and New Media
  • Psychology in the Workplace

Teaching, learning and assessment

The overall teaching and learning strategy for Criminological and Forensic Psychology is student-centred. We use a blended approach meaning you’ll have face-to-face sessions, sometimes one-to-one, and take part in online learning. You can expect a mix of seminars, lectures and tutorials, practical workshop demonstrations, critiques, study visits, self-directed study, IT and library sessions, and guided study. The University’s e-learning portal Moodle will support your online learning and provides a convenient way for you to communicate with fellow students who are studying the same modules. We’ll also encourage you to use the internet for research.

Guest lectures and presentations by a variety of visiting speakers from relevant employment areas offer you the chance to further develop your knowledge and understanding.

Our assessment strategy is designed to help you organise and develop your learning as well as evaluate your achievements. You can expect time-constrained exams, as well as coursework, such as essays, reports, presentations, portfolios, and others. These contribute to your module marks and allow you to demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes. Much of your assessed work is submitted online via Moodle with feedback also given through this portal.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (50%), Written exams (50%)
Level Two Coursework (50%), Written exams (50%)
Level Three Coursework (100%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (67%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (33%)
Level Two Guided independent study (76%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (24%)
Level Three Guided independent study (73%), Placement/study abroad (5%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (22%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    4.5 years

Contact us

Gill Brown
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903686

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903