Forensic Psychology BSc (Hons)Study level: Undergraduate
This distinctive course demonstrates applications of forensic psychology in a global context, providing a holistic understanding of psychological explanations and their applications using real-life examples (for example, mental-health) across different contexts.
Year of entry
Coventry University (Coventry)
3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
The course engages with theory, research and applications of psychological perspectives and methods/techniques in a global context to develop professional levels of transferable, practical and cognitive skills.
This aims to enable you to attain the qualities to confidently progress in an international arena.
- You will develop critical awareness and understanding of core BPS (British Psychological Society) curriculum and specialised and contemporary content using a thematic approach for example psychology and popular culture, cybercrime, international perspectives of crime, mental health and wellbeing, culture, gender and sexuality.
- The course provides a broad and varied educational experience within which learning occurs, engaging you in experiential learning and a wide range of international contexts.
- The course should equip you with the appropriate methodological and analytical skills to undertake research in the field of forensic psychology whilst adhering to discipline-defined ethical standards.
Joint Top Modern University for Career ProspectsGuardian University Guide 2021 and 2022
5 QS Stars for Teaching and FacilitiesQS Stars University Ratings
Top 5 UK Student City (Coventry)QS Best Student Cities Index 2023
Why you should study this course
- You will have the opportunity to gain a critical appreciation of how forensic psychology can be applied to real-world questions and cross-cultural and diverse situations across global contexts
- We focus on your employability: developing transferable, practical and cognitive skills (for example, critical analysis, problem-solving, and leadership) with the aim of putting you in an excellent position to secure postgraduate education or employment in an increasingly competitive market.
- Our collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) projects can enhance your international awareness through multicultural communication and peer interaction at participating institutions (subject to availability).
- We are top 300 in the World Rankings for Psychology - Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022.
- Opportunities to participate in exciting field trips2 to a range of overseas destinations, which have previously included the United States.
Accreditation and professional recognition
The degree is accredited1 and recognised by the following bodies:
The British Psychological Society
This course is accredited1 and recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) for the 2023/2024 intake. If the accreditation of this course changes, we would seek to notify applicants and students as soon as possible. Current accreditation by the British Psychological Society means that as a graduate, provided you achieve at least a 2:2, you will be eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). Additional costs may apply. Please check with the membership body for details.
What you'll study
This course has a common first year.
The common first year enables you to work alongside students doing similar courses to you, to widen your knowledge and exposure to other subject areas and professions. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, so you can share your insights and experience which will help you to develop and learn.
If you discover an interest in a specific subject you have studied, upon successful completion of your first year, you could swap degrees with another course in your common first year (subject to meeting progression requirements).
Common first year courses:
- Forensic Psychology BSc (Hons)
- Psychology BSc (Hons)
- Sport and Exercise Psychology BSc (Hons)
In the first year, the curriculum is shared across related courses allowing you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline before going on, in the second and third years, to specialist modules in your chosen field.
Professional Practice in Psychology - 20 Credits
This module is designed to equip you with a range of essential academic and professional skills that are required to be a successful student and graduate employee. The module aims to develop your transferable skills, professional identity and understanding of reflective practice to facilitate your professional development.
Fundamental concepts in Psychology - 20 Credits
This module aims to provide a thematic based approach to key concepts and theories within psychology. Themes, for example, include social identity, perceptual and cognitive development, context and culture, emotional development, interpersonal relationships and maladaptive behaviour.
Introducing Quantitative Research Methods - 20 Credits
This module aims to provide an introduction to the various experimental and non-experimental research methodologies utilised by psychologists, as well as the basic descriptive and inferential statistics commonly used in psychological research. The module focuses on the skills and knowledge required to design, conduct, summarise, evaluate, and present psychological research.
Psychology and Popular Culture - 20 Credits
This module aims to investigate how psychological research informs and is represented within popular culture. Content will be drawn from diverse contemporary topics such as politics, immigration, celebrity, criminal behaviours, public health campaigns, consumerism, racism, and ageing.
Psychology of Mental Health and Wellbeing - 20 Credits
The broad aim of this module is to provide you with an overview of key topics in the area of mental health and wellbeing, from a biological, psychological and cultural perspective. It will explore the different factors that contribute to poor mental health, by broadening your knowledge and understanding of mental health (e.g. stress, anxiety, depression, psychosis), and the interventions designed to treat them. It will also explore different aspects of wellbeing, (positive affect/mood, resilience, happiness and self-esteem), and interventions designed to promote it amongst the respective applied populations.
Introducing Qualitative Research Methods - 20 Credits
This module aims to introduce you to qualitative research methods and their application across applied areas of Psychology, Forensic and Sports and Exercise. You will have the opportunity to develop your understanding of how to design, conduct and report qualitative research using a variety of data collection methods and analytical techniques.
In year two, you will develop more advanced knowledge and skills related to forensic psychology in practice; research methodologies and theoretical underpinnings around contemporary topic areas such as cybercrime, international perspectives on crime, among others. You will also advance in your understanding of research methodologies and experimental research paradigms.
Perspectives in Forensic Psychology - 20 Credits
This module will provide students with an understanding of key theoretical explanations embedded across the four core perspectives of psychology (i.e. developmental, social, biological and cognitive) which aims to explain aspects of human criminal behaviour. This will span both theoretical and applied applications and provide an insight into explaining motivations and antecedents of individual behaviour within different stages on the Criminal Justice System; incorporating the importance of mental health with forensic settings; and highlighting the importance of identity both as victims and perpetrators.
Psychology of Culture, Gender and Sexuality - 20 Credits
This module takes a critical and international perspective examining how culture, gender and sexuality are understood across different historical and cultural contexts within forensic psychology. The module will introduce you to topics, debates, theories, qualitative methodologies and research evidence across diverse contexts (e.g. gender violence, debates in trans issues in the Criminal Justice System).
Theories and Applications of Cybercrime - 20 Credits
This module aims to introduce you to theoretical explanations for cybercrimes, from deviant harmful behaviours (e.g., online bullying) to very extreme crimes (e.g. online grooming & sexual exploitation/technology-mediated sexual violence). You will get the opportunity to explore the differences between overt forms of criminal tendencies and online offending, such as real-life stalking verses online stalking.
Forensic Psychology in context - 20 Credits
This module aims to build on existing knowledge of psychological theories across the four main perspectives (i.e., developmental, social, biological and cognitive) and how they have informed Practice. Throughout this module, you will gain an understanding of how forensic psychologists have contributed to the development of effective models and framework to better understand, support and interact with both victims and offenders across different points in Criminal Justice System.
International Perspectives on Crime - 20 Credits
The module examines global crime issues with a focus on how psychology can explain the underlying reasons for crime and support tackling such challenges. You will be introduced to a range of national and international crime types (e.g. terrorism, hate crimes, and child maltreatment) which represent significant challenges to law enforcement. You will be encouraged to develop and apply their critical evaluation skills and their critical understanding of contemporary crimes using relevant psychological theories and literature.
Research Methods and Project Planning - 20 Credits
This module provides you with the opportunity to gain an understanding of how to conduct, report, and interpret a range of statistical tests using data associated with complex experimental and correlational designs. This module also aims to develop your ability to plan psychological research projects and guide them through the fundamental processes involved in developing and disseminating a research proposal (e.g. conceptual, methodological, and ethical considerations; quantitative and/or qualitative methods application).
There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They are a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.
If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time, you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.
UK Work Placement– 0 credits
This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
International Study/Work Placement – 0 credits
This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.
Year three aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from year one and two. You could also work on a research project in an area of your interest, under the supervision of a research-active member of staff.
Project Design and Ethics - 20 Credits
This module starts the dissertation process where you use their knowledge of research methods and theory to design a supervised independent research project to address an appropriate psychological research question. You will develop an understanding of CU, HCPC and BPS Ethics and complete an online Coventry University research ethics application.
Independent Research Project - 20 Credits
This module develops professional standards that equip you with key skills to conduct and report an independent piece of empirical research. This module also enables you to develop a critical understanding of psychological research methodology.
Becoming a Forensic Psychologist - 20 Credits
This module is designed to equip you with a range of essential personal and professional skills that are required to be a successful student and graduate employee within the field of forensic psychology. You will engage with activities which will help you gain skills linked to research, communication and problem solving which can be applied to future employment. The module aims to develop your critical awareness of their own psychology skills and develop and enhance their employability skills.
Choose three modules from the below (two in semester one and one in semester two)
- Addictive Behaviours (20 Credits)
This module aims to further your knowledge of key topic areas in the domain of psychopharmacology. The module will draw upon several areas of psychology (e.g. cognitive, social, biological approaches) to explain the aetiology of addictive behaviour (e.g. gambling addiction, exercise addiction, internet addiction, and substance misuse) in different contexts (e.g. clinical, health, forensic, sport).
- Child and Educational Psychology (20 Credits)
The module introduces you to disorders affecting development in pre-school and childhood through to adolescence and early adulthood. You are introduced to both assessment and remediation of difficulties within a classroom context. You are also introduced to broader theoretical and practical issues relating to special educational needs such as comorbidity, labelling, stigma and inclusion, across psychological, forensic and sports and exercise contexts.
- Criminal Behaviour and its Contexts (20 Credits)
This module aims to explore the contribution psychology can make to our understanding of criminal behaviour across different contexts in society. By applying psychological theories and empirical research, various types of crimes will be critiqued including violent and sexual offences. At an applied level it will enable you to critically evaluate the impact psychology has made in specific areas of the criminal justice system, for example, the prevention of crimes related to the contexts examined and offender treatment and rehabilitation programmes.
- Aggression and Violent Behaviour (20 Credits)
This module will introduce key theoretical explanations of aggression and violence within different contexts (e.g. mental health hospitals; prisons; intimate relationships). You will integrate mainstream psychological theories across the core areas of psychology (i.e. developmental, social, biological, cognitive) to build an understanding of how aggression and violence can explain deviant/criminal behaviours and interpersonal conflict within different situations and professional relationships.
- Counselling Psychology (20 Credits)
The module aims to introduce you to the broader concepts within Counselling Psychology and specifically you will gain an understanding of the key theoretical explanations and how to implement these in practice with diverse clients (e.g. Cross-Cultural Counselling, Sports Performers, Former Athletes, Victims and Ex-offenders).
- Clinical Neuroscience (20 Credits)
The module aims to develop an appreciation of neurological mechanisms underlying human thinking and behaviour (e.g. executive functioning in offending behaviour) and the clinical pictures that arise when the mechanisms are disrupted (e.g. impaired impulse control).
*Optional module choices are subject to change in any given year
- Addictive Behaviours (20 Credits)
We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.
How you'll learn
This course is taught using a mixture of lectures, group seminars and practical, ‘hands-on’ skills workshops. Core course content will be delivered during the lectures, while seminars and workshops offer opportunities for you to explore topics more independently, receive guidance on coursework assignments, begin to apply your knowledge and develop your academic and transferable skills.
You will have the opportunity to take part in the design, conduct and analysis of psychological experiments, and spend time working collaboratively on group projects with other students. In addition, your Professional and Personal Tutor (PPT) will be available for one-to-one bookable meetings throughout every semester (subject to availability) and will review and discuss your progress and continual personal development. Outside of contact time, your personal study hours will be guided by materials posted on your module web pages.
Work experience and field trip opportunities2 are also an integral part of the course. We aim to arrange international field trips each year for students at all levels of our undergraduate Psychology courses.
Teaching contact hours
In year one, students will receive a minimum of 12 hours on campus synchronous hours and a minimum of 3 hours of online synchronous hours per week. This delivery pattern is mirrored in year two. During the final year, students will receive a minimum of 9 on-campus hours and 3 online synchronous hours. Within these contact hours across the levels there will be approximately a minimum of 5 hours lectures and 5 hours of seminars/workshops.
Part of university life is undertaking self-directed learning. During a typical week you will have time that allows you to work independently to apply the skills and knowledge you have learnt in taught or facilitated sessions to your projects or assignment briefs. This self-directed learning allows you to use your research skills, consolidate your knowledge or undertake collaborative group work. You will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study which will vary depending on the demands of individual modules. During year one this is approximately 125 hours per module. Year two is approximately 114 hours per module, and the final year is approximately 156 hours per module.
As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.
This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.
Assessment methods include coursework and phase tests.
The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.
International experience opportunities
As well as offering a range of short international field trips, you also have the opportunity to complete the course over four years with a year spent studying abroad2. The university has links with over 20 institutions in Cyprus, France, Malta, Spain, Sweden and Turkey, as well as several other countries around the world. Courses are largely taught in English, but there are opportunities to learn and attend courses in a foreign language.
You may also have the opportunity to present at international conferences and/or collaborate with students from other institutions within the international arena on specified COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) projects (subject to availability).
I always have had a deep interest in psychology and criminology. We have had very interesting and inspiring seminars where we got more in depth understanding of mental health and critical thinking.
Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.
Not got the required grades? We offer this degree with an integrated foundation year.
Fees and funding
2023/24 tuition fees.
|UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man||£9,250 per year||Not available|
|EU|| £9,250 per year with EU support bursary**
£18,300 per year without EU support bursary**
|International||£18,300 per year||Not available|
If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.
For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.
We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.
The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:
- Any optional overseas ﬁeld trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
- Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad)
*Irish student fees
The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.
**EU support bursary
Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in-line with that of UK students. Students studying a Degree with a Foundation Year with us are not eligible for the bursary.
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.
If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.
This course is taught at Coventry University’s main campus.
- Specialist teaching facilities4 include light and dark multisensory laboratories, ‘mock’ prison cells, an observation suite, counselling rooms which allows you to experience the application of psychology in different contexts.
- Specialist software, such as Gorilla, Opensesame experiment builder, E-Prime, SPSS statistical analysis, Pinnacle Studio and NVIVO to develop your digital fluency.
- EEG, eye tracking and Virtual Reality Headsets which allows you to understand and experience the neuro cognitive aspects of human behaviour in different situations.
Careers and opportunities
Our courses aim to equip you with a range of skills and competencies that could set you apart from other graduates and make you attractive to potential employers (e.g., critical thinking, communication skills, leadership and creativity). In addition, employability skills are embedded within the course and students work to identify those skills and are supported to gain voluntary and professional experience. This should enable you to submit competitive, professional applications and perform well in interview situations.
The course provides the necessary grounding to enable you to progress and be eligible to undertake further training to become a qualified psychologist pursuing a career in the community, for example, as an occupational, forensic or social psychologist; in mental wellbeing as a clinical or counselling psychologist; in physical wellbeing as a health, sport or neuropsychologist; working with children as a developmental or educational psychologist.
Our graduates are equipped with highly sought-after employability skills (e.g. transferable skills, analytical thinking, presentation skills) to embark on a career in applied psychological settings (e.g., mental health secure settings, rehabilitation centres); or complete one of our postgraduate degrees. However, the transferable skills you gain from your degree opens several options for career pathways. Our students have also gone on to become researchers, lecturers, teachers, administrators, managers and health and care professionals.
Where our graduates work
Many of our graduates have gone on to pursue postgraduate study (e.g., MSc, PhD, DClinPsy) and continued their work as practising psychologists (e.g., becoming Clinical, Forensic, Sport, Educational psychologists etc). Previous graduates have secured employment in applied and research institutions such as: St Andrew’s Health Care, Victim Support and the NHS. Other graduates have also been successful in gaining positions as teaching assistants, working in human resources, becoming research assistants and using their digital literacy skills to support in meaningful interventions in hospitals and start-up companies looking for innovative thinking.
Students who successfully complete their BSc (Hons) Psychology degree with a minimum 2:2 award will normally be eligible for most MSc Applied Psychology programmes at Coventry University (e.g., MSc Forensic Psychology, MSc Health Psychology, MSc Applied Psychology, MSc Business and Organisational Psychology) and other institutions with related courses.
The work placement was very important for me to help me understand in practice what is taught in my course. I leave this experience with more communication, thinking and decision-making skills and above all with ideas that I can now use in my thesis writing. Through this experience I met fantastic people who guided me and opened my mind to my professional future.
How to apply
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 can apply for this course through UCAS from 6 September 2022. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.
Part-time students should apply directly to the university.
If you'd like further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 should apply directly to the university.How to apply
For further support for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree view our International hub.
You can also download our International guide which contains lots of useful information about our courses, accommodation and tips for travel.
Get in touch with us today for further advice and guidance.
Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.
The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
2UK and international opportunities
Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.
The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.
For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.
Due to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2023/24 contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.