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.

Key information


BSc (Hons)

Mode of Study:



4.5 years


The University of Bolton

UCAS points:


Start date:

25/01/2021, 20/09/2021

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

  • Our psychology courses are ranked top in the UK for teaching quality by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020, as well as top in the UK for student satisfaction by The Complete University Guide 2020.
  • 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.
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.

  • 112 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • 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.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

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

Criminological and Forensic Psychology graduates can also progress to graduate schemes which are long term employment contracts usually with a large corporate company offering advanced training packages. Alternatively, the career options available to someone with this degree include roles in:

  • 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

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £6,000 for the academic year 2020/21.

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 2021/2022.

For 2021/2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021/2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

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.

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!

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 modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown 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
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 50%, Written exams 50%
Level twoCoursework 50%, Written exams 50%
Level threeCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 67%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 33%
Level twoGuided independent study 76%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 24%
Level threeGuided independent study 73%, Placement/study abroad 5%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 22%


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. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. 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.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Gill Brown
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903686

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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