Forensic Psychology BSc (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: CM82
International Code: HLSU189

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Start date

September 2022

Available through Clearing

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Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

This BPS-accredited course aims to explore what makes people commit crime and to identify the factors which may predict criminal behaviour.

  • Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) meaning 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.
  • You will have the opportunity to engage with both the theories and application of psychological perspectives, methods and techniques, with a particular focus on forensic settings.
  • Work experience* is a key part of the course, designed to help to ensure that you graduate not only with academic qualifications, but with relevant work experience and a host of transferable skills, including critical analysis, problem solving, and leadership.
  • Coventry is a global top 200 university for Psychology according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021.
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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

This course aims to provide a comprehensive grounding in the major psychological approaches to the study of human behaviour. Covering psychological theory, research and practical skills, it aims to help you understand how psychology is applied to real-life, with a focus on criminal behaviour, and how to select, use and report appropriate psychological methods and research techniques. 

You will have the opportunity to study a broad range of psychological theory and interventions in the context of crime, including those used in relation to perpetrators and victims of crime, and society at large. On successful completion of this course you should have an understanding of forensic psychology across a range of criminal behaviours including violent, sexual and economic crime in family, workplace and sports contexts, and have developed employability skills in relation to working in the field. You will also examine the depictions of forensic psychology in popular culture.

Work experience* is a key part of the course, designed to help to ensure that you graduate not only with academic qualifications, but with relevant work experience and a host of transferable skills, including critical analysis, problem solving, and leadership. 

The Faculty of Health and Life Sciences currently has links with the Local Education Authority (LEA), local schools and numerous healthcare providers, including Coventry and Warwickshire Mind, Entrust Care Partnership, and Grapevine. Organisations such as these can offer services to young people and adults with mental health difficulties and learning disabilities and their carers. In the past, previous students have taken up roles involving socialising and supporting members of the community, volunteering in a buddying service, planning and organising resources to set up events to help raise awareness of young people’s needs or mobilise individuals who need support.  

You’ll be allocated a personal tutor and taught by experienced teachers, many of whom are currently active researchers. You will have access to facilities, such as eye-tracking and brain monitoring, the latter using an electroencephalogram (EEG). You’ll also have the opportunity to join our active and vibrant student-led Psychology Society, which seeks to arrange a variety of social excursions and activities. Past destinations have included Sigmund Freud’s house, now the Sigmund Freud Museum, in London. 

200

A global top 200 university for Psychology.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021

Accredited by:

The British Psychological Society logo

The British Psychological Society

This course is accredited and recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) for the 2022/23 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 (BPS) meaning 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

In year one you will have the opportunity to focus on the fundamentals of forensic psychology, including the methods used to undertake and interpret research. You will also have the opportunity to study an overview of key themes in psychology and forensic psychology from historical, theoretical, and applied perspectives which should provide the framework required to explore how different theoretical and methodological approaches in psychology link together.

Modules

  • Successful completion of this module will provide you with an overview of key themes in psychology and forensic psychology from historical, theoretical, and applied perspectives. The expertise you develop in this module should provide the framework required to understand how different theoretical and methodological approaches in psychology link together. The module will enable you to explore how these approaches contribute to understanding human behaviour in the context of a range of criminal activities and events.

    It aims to provide a theme-based approach to key concepts and theories relating to psychology and crime. Themes, for example, could include emotional development; self-regulation; social identity; cognitive development; context and culture; interpersonal relationships; maladaptive behaviour; and aggression. Sub-themes included within each of these overarching categories will reflect the contemporary subjects relating psychology and crime.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module will aim to explore important questions such as ‘How does forensic psychology work as a scientific discipline?’ and ‘How can we draw reliable inferences about the human mind by observing human behaviour?’ It seeks 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. You will be encouraged to focus on the skills and knowledge required to design, conduct, summarise, evaluate, and present psychological research. This should develop your understanding of literature searching, referencing, scientific report writing, interpretation of statistical analyses and critiquing of research designs. The module will aim to draw upon three of the contemporary topic areas introduced in the Psychological Approaches to Crime module and explore these further by giving you the opportunity to conduct and write-up a series of experiments.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework and Test

  • The focus of this module is to investigate the perception of psychology and crime, using a range of portrayals of psychology and crime in the popular media. The module demonstrates how psychological ideas are used to explain crime and how it is portrayed in media such as film, TV, on the internet, and in newspapers and magazines. Subject matter is drawn from different areas of psychology and forensic psychology. The module aims to highlight how psychology and criminology have been viewed when applied to explaining crime. The module will also aim to investigate the more complex reality behind these “pop” portrayals of psychology in explaining crime.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • The aim of this module is to introduce you to the skills and knowledge required to be a professional Forensic Psychologist. Upon completing this module, you will have the foundation upon which later modules will build to support you to develop your skills and professional identity throughout the course. Through the Professional and Personal Tutor system and employability focus, the module aims to develop your academic and transferable skills and principles of reflective practice to facilitate your development.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module explores 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 (such as mass market fraud and human trafficking).. Relevant psychological theory and literature will be used to explain the prevalence and motivations for this offending. Mechanisms by which offenders operate internationally will also be discussed. Attention will be paid to national and international criminal justice systems and how they work together (or not) to prevent, investigate, and prosecute offenders. Historical and contemporary themes will be considered and individual topics may change each year as new global issues emerge.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module aims to provide an overview of key topics in the area of mental health and wellbeing, from a biological, psychological and cultural perspective. You will have the opportunity to explore the psychological theories and concepts that underpin mental health and wellbeing and develop an understanding of what mental health is in contemporary context. You will consider factors that contribute to poor mental health, interventions designed to treat various disorders and the promotion of wellbeing.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Poster presentation

  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn’t have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework, exam

Year two is designed to build on your experience and knowledge gained in year one and includes a professional experience module where you have the opportunity to apply your skills in a real-world context. You will have the opportunity to complete work experience with an external organisation.* Past students have undertaken a wide variety of roles, including working in women’s refuges, with the police, sports centres, prisons and schools.

Modules

  • This module aims to enable you to build skills relevant to employability in a career as a Forensic Psychologist. Successful completion of the module should provide you with the practical skills (e.g. time management, CV writing, cover letters and interviewing techniques) that could assist you when you apply for work experience opportunities in the field of Forensic Psychology. You will be introduced to resources such as the Talent Team to aid in identifying a forensic psychology related work placement**. It is designed to build upon the academic skills you have learned in previous psychology and criminology related modules, and explores how best to showcase these skills to promote your career. This module is designed to help enable you to market yourself creatively and effectively to consider a diverse range of employment opportunities, thereby giving you the opportunity to create your own career narrative and shape the future direction of the profession. The module aims to provide you with the chance to develop and enhance skills relating to employability in the field of forensic psychology.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module takes a thematic approach to understanding core psychological perspectives on crime. On successful completion you will have gained knowledge of psychological theory and perspectives on crime and have the opportunity to integrate and apply your knowledge of British Psychological Society (BPS) core areas. Themes explored will be contemporary, of global significance (e.g. addiction) and may change in any given year to remain relevant to current issues.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework and test

  • This module aims to integrate knowledge gained in the psychological perspectives of crime 1 module with the application of quantitative research methods. You will have 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.

    Compulsory

  • This module seeks to enhance your understanding of core psychological perspectives on crime from the module psychological perspectives on crime 1. You will be offered the opportunity to consider a variety of topics under the core domains and through theoretical exploration you should learn to integrate key psychological perspectives on crime and integrate and apply your knowledge of British Psychological Society (BPS) core areas. The consideration of how this knowledge could contribute to solving a community focused issue will be explored.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework and test

  • This module aims to integrate knowledge gained in theory focused modules with the application of qualitative research methods. After successfully completing the module you will have developed your understanding of how to design, conduct, and report qualitative research using a variety of data collection methods and analytical techniques. This module also aims to develop your ability to plan psychological research projects and guide you through the fundamental processes involved in developing and disseminating a research proposal (e.g. conceptual, methodological, and ethical considerations).

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module is designed to provide you with the opportunity to gain work experience in an organisation relevant to your future career aspirations, which could be a valuable addition to your CV. Work experience in an applied area or related domain may be in the form of paid employment or voluntary work. You will have the opportunity to gain experience of researching and sourcing your own work experience. You will be able to draw upon the module Developing as a Forensic Psychologist 1 to help prepare you for sourcing, negotiating, and carrying out approved work experience. The work experience in turn could provide you with an opportunity to reflect on your personal and professional growth as part of developing as a forensic psychologist.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn’t have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework, exam

Following year two there is the opportunity to complete the course over four years by applying for an optional year of work placement or to study abroad.*

Modules

  • Optional

  • Optional

By your final year you will have been taught how to design and conduct your own research. You will then be required to undertake research, analyse the findings and present your results in the form of an independent project in an area of your choice. You will also have the opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules in areas of greatest interest to you.

Modules

  • In this module you will have the opportunity to design a suitable empirical research project that should incorporate an appropriately expressed psychological research question. You will be supported to identify and propose suitable research methods to address the proposed research question, within an ethical framework, and to develop a research ethics application.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • This module is designed to be the focal point of your psychological training: knowledge of research methods and theory should combine in order to pursue an in-depth supervised independent piece of empirical research. You will have an opportunity to enhance and demonstrate skills in report writing to meet the professional standards of psychology and should also develop an understanding of psychological research methodology.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • During this module you will have the opportunity to develop a range of essential personal and professional skills that are required to be a successful graduate employee in forensic psychology. This module will support the development of a number of skills such as: researching the forensic psychological field; writing and speaking fluently; working in groups; reflecting upon your work; and presenting your work both orally and in writing. You will also be assigned tasks which aims to encourage you to solve problems and handle and analyse factual information.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework

  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn’t have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: Coursework, exam

  • Choose two from the following:

    Criminal behaviour and its contexts - 20 credits

    How does psychology contribute to how we view criminal behaviour? By studying this module you will explore the development of explanations of crime across different contexts in society, and will have the chance to apply psychological theories in relation to three types of crimes which include violent, sexual and economic in family, workplace and sports contexts. By the end of the module you will be able to demonstrate the impact psychology has made in specific areas of the criminal process, and the prevention of crimes related to the contexts examined.

    Assessment: Coursework

    Educational Psychology and Psychology of Special Needs - 20 credits

    By choosing this module you will have the chance to study key theories and research that relate to the psychology of development, teaching and learning and the application of those theories to applied educational and judicial contexts. By examining issues of assessment, labelling, intervention and remediation you should have greater awareness of the special educational needs experienced by children and adults and how these difficulties impact on their experiences growing up.

    Assessment: Coursework

    Drug Use and Addiction - 20 credits

    The subject of psychopharmacology focuses on the interrelationship between drugs, psychology and behaviour, drawing on several areas of psychology, in particular cognitive and biological approaches to develop models of, for example, addictive processes. These principles will be considered in relation to crime; the effects of addiction and the motivations to sustain substance abuse will explored from the point of view of the abuser and the victims affected. Throughout this module you will be asked to explore findings from psychophysics, psychopharmacology and molecular biology.

    Assessment: Coursework

    Optional

  • Choose one from the following:

    Mindfulness and Meditation - 20 credits

    In this module you will be introduced to the western secular-based mindfulness interventions and explore their essential theoretical, applied and empirical bases. The interventions you will study include Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Focusing Oriented Psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Compassion Focused Therapy.

    You will have the opportunity to engage in either a criminologically-focused academic critique of interventions, or a critical self-analysis of your own experiential engagement with mindfulness and related practices throughout the module.

    Assessment: Coursework

    Psychology of Gender and Sexuality - 20 credits

    Taking an international perspective, in this module you will have the opportunity to examine how gender and sexuality are understood across different historical and cultural contexts. You will draw upon many areas of psychology including social psychology (e.g. sexual prejudice), developmental psychology (sexual and gender identity development across the lifespan); and biopsychology (e.g. biology of sex and sexual orientation) to consider how the psychology of gender and sexualities intersects with applied areas such as educational, clinical, health, forensic and sports psychology.

    Assessment: Coursework

    Clinical Neuroscience - 20 credits

    This module seeks to introduce contemporary and complex neural mechanisms of human behaviour in typical and clinical populations. It seeks to develop your ability to critically evaluate published scientific reports of current research in the area of clinical neuroscience, with a particular focus on criminal behaviour. The module aims to develop an appreciation of neurological mechanisms underlying human thinking and behaviour and the clinical pictures that arise when the mechanisms are disrupted. You will have the opportunity to engage with the emerging critical issues within clinical neuroscience, and recognise a range of factors that influence human behaviour, particularly in light of criminal behaviour. 

    Assessment: Portfolio and presentation

    Optional

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

All of our psychology degrees are taught using a mixture of lectures, small group seminars and practical, ‘hands-on’ skills workshops. Core course content is typically 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 chance to take part in, design, conduct and analyse the results of psychological experiments, using specialist equipment and computer software, and spend time working collaboratively on group projects with other students.  

In addition, you could contact your Professional and Personal Tutor to arrange one-to-one bookable meetings throughout every semester and 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.

In a typical teaching week, you will have around approximately 14 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching/one to one supervision: meetings are arranged on a mutual basis as necessary.
  • Medium group teaching: up to 6 hours of practical workshops or seminars each week.
  • Large group teaching: up to 8 hours of lectures each week.

Contact hours will vary by stage and semester of course and any options chosen.

Some ‘contact’ hours may take the form of synchronous online learning (e.g. live online lectures, meeting tutors via video calling etc)


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which could vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include

  • Coursework
  • Phase tests

This course is predominantly assessed by coursework.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.


Job ready

Our courses have been designed to provide practical work experience and aim to equip you with a range of skills and competencies that should make you attractive to potential employers, such as group work, literature reviewing, critical analysis and the delivery of oral presentations.

As well as the work experience module delivered in year two and option to spend a year on placement*, we offer a module developing professional skills to our final year students. This aims to help you learn how to identify suitable employment and training opportunities after graduation, submit competitive, professional applications and perform well in interview situations.


International experience opportunities

We aim to arrange international field trips each year for students at all levels of our undergraduate psychology courses.* In previous years, our first year students have visited Amsterdam, a group of second years have been to San Francisco and some of our final-year students have visited Tokyo.

You may have the opportunity to study abroad* for a year in a European university, in between year two and the final year of your course. This would be additional study and would provide you with an international experience opportunity, which can be viewed favourably by potential employers. There are also faculty-wide field trips* which are also open to students on this course.


Entry requirements

Clearing places available on this course

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Additional requirements may apply

Haven't met the entry requirements or don’t have the right qualifications? You may still be able to progress onto a degree you’d love by studying a foundation or access course.

View our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page. You can also explore our International foundation year courses.


Fees and funding

2022/23 Tuition fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £16,650 per year Not available

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.


Facilities

Our Forensic Psychology students can use our mock cells to experience the practical aspects of life in prison.

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Specialist facilities

Specialist teaching facilities include an observation suite, counselling rooms and specialist software, such as OpenSesame experiment builder, E-Prime, SPSS statistical analysis, Pinnacle Studio and NVIVO.

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The Library

The library provides you with access to subject-specific databases. These are full of journal articles related to Psychology, and guidance on how to find and access to psychological tests and measures.

 

Student observing prisoner inside mock prison cell

Prison cells

Our Criminology and Psychology students can use our mock cells to experience the practical aspects of life in prison.

 

 


Careers and opportunities

In order to use the title Forensic Psychologist, you will need to be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This will involve completing a post degree Stage Two BPS qualification in Forensic Psychology or an equivalent qualification that has been approved by the HCPC (additional costs and application process apply).

Successful completion of our degree can provide a route into many careers, both within and outside the field of psychology. With further training, you may choose to become a qualified psychologist, pursuing a career in the community as, for example, 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. The interpersonal and analytical skills of psychologists are in demand by employers in the private sector, police, military and charitable organisations, among others.

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The university’s Talent Team are accessible and you could take advantage of the wide range of support services to help and support you to plan and prepare for your future career.

Where our graduates work

Many of our graduates have gone on to pursue postgraduate qualifications and work as practising psychologists, others have become researchers, lecturers, teachers, administrators, managers, or health and care professionals.

Further study

Alternatively, you may decide to pursue postgraduate study opportunities by studying courses such as Forensic Psychology MSc. You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.


How to apply

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  • Student Contract

    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 2021/22 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.

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we 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. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

    For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.

    Accreditations

    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. 

    Facilities

    Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating 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.

    Placements and study abroad opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

    Additional costs

    This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas).