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Criminology and Psychology BSc

UCAS code CL83
Year of entry 2017
  View 2018 entry »
Course Length 3 years full time
Department Law »
Psychology »

This degree is jointly delivered by the School of Law and the Department of Psychology.  It is accredited by the British Psychological Society so that graduates have the opportunity to gain Graduate and/or Chartered Membership of the Society. Studying Criminology and Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London means that you will gain an understanding of crime, criminality, and the criminal justice system alongside the biological, social, clinical and cognitive factors that influence behaviour. You will learn from internationally renowned experts who will share their research and experience so that you gain current, relevant and transferable skills and knowledge which are highly sought after by employers. 

The degree develops students' understanding of psychological problems and interventions, how social and cognitive factors influence behaviour, and how behaviour can be modified. It also examines the underpinnings of criminal behaviour (including violent crime, terrorism, race and hate crime), and how society reacts to, controls, and is affected by crime and deviance.

Our balanced approach to research and teaching guarantees high quality teaching from subject leaders, cutting edge materials and intellectually challenging debates.  Throughout your course you will receive individual attention and flexibility to acquire expertise within a specialist field.

  • Excellent position for a career in and out of the criminology and psychology-related fields, including criminal justice agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service, police, probation service, youth justice agencies and the prison service. 
  • An established international reputation for quality research and teaching, and for our engagement in policy and practice, through active involvement with government bodies and voluntary and statutory agencies.  The Department of Psychology is consistently highly ranked for student satisfaction (National Student Survey).
  • Opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research in both criminology and psychology, for example 93% of Psychology research is rated 4* and 3* (Research Excellence Framework, 2014).
  • One of the best-equipped Psychology departments in the country, where you will benefit from the experimental set-up.  
  • Take advantage of studying in the School of Law  with its links to legal and government bodies and agencies, charitable organisations, policy makers and service providers.

Core modules

Year 1

Criminology: Introduction to Criminology

This module provides you with a general introduction to criminology and forensic psychology. You will explore official, populist, sociological and psychological meanings of crime through study of the development of criminology as a distinctive field of research and scholarship. You will develop sociological understandings of crime and the history of punishment, before turning to forensic psychology and its contribution to understanding offending behaviours, punishment and rehabilitation. 

Criminology: Criminal Justice System

This module introduces you to the development, role, function and operation of the criminal justice system in England and Wales. You will examine the stages of the criminal justice process, and in doing so develop an understanding of the key debates around the punishment of offenders, the process of achieving justice for victims and the theoretical positions on the purpose of punishment. You will also be encouraged to think critically about the treatment of different social groups within the criminal justice process, such as youth offenders, those with mental disorders and white collar criminals. The module comprises of weekly lectures and seminars, where you will have the opportunity to discuss key debates and apply your knowledge of the criminal justice process to case studies.

Psychology: Learning and Memory

This module will introduce you to the key components and processes of learning and memory. You will consider evidence suggesting that memory can be partitioned into different sub-systems, particularly short- and long-term memory. You will also look at the detailed processes that govern retrieval and forgetting, the nature of autobiographical memory, mnemonic techniques, and memory disorders. You will learn how memory is studied experimentally and how cognitive theories of memory may be developed or challenged based on empirical data.

Psychology: Self and Society

In this module, you will be introduced to the basics of personality and social psychology. You will look at the key dynamic personality theories of Freud and Jung, and develop an understanding of the theories and research on aggression, pro-social behaviour and conformity. You will also examine fundamental topics in social psychology, attitudes and values, as well as cross-cultural psychology and leadership.

Psychology: Biological Foundations of Psychology

This module will introduce you to the key biological concepts and research techniques relevant to psychology. Topics include the basics of neural function, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and the research methods used.

Psychology: Introduction to Abnormal Psychology

In this module, you will be introduced to the concept of psychological abnormality. You will develop an understanding of how abnormality is defined in psychology and how its definition has developed and changed through history. You will look at different approaches to understanding abnormal psychology, including the biomedical model, social and cultural approaches to abnormality, and psychodynamic, behavioural and cognitive approaches.

Year 2

Criminology: Research Methods for Social Scientists

This module provides you with an introduction to the philosophical issues in social research. You will look at ethics in social research and theory, quantitative versus qualitative methods, sampling, observation, interviewing, media analysis, and questionnaire design. You will be given the opportunity to work through the research process on a topic of independent study of your choosing.

Criminology: Data Analysis

This module introduces you to techniques of quantitative and qualitative data analysis and will equip you with the skills to design and carry out your own analyses.

Criminology: Key Perspectives and Debates in Criminology

This module will enable you to develop detailed and more critical understandings of core criminological theory and key issues within the discipline. Drawing on sociological, biological and psychological perspectives as a way of understanding criminal behaviour, you will consider key issues such as drug use, organised crime, white collar crime and terrorism. Lectures and seminars promote the application of these theoretical perspectives through case studies and empirical research.

Psychology: Social Psychology

In this module, you will develop an understanding of the key topics in social psychology, with a particular focus on topics that highlight over-arching debates within this area of study. You will look at how social psychology can be applied to real-world issues, examining the social psychology of relationships, the self-concept, prejudice and group conflict, attribution theory, group decision-making, situational perspectives on evil, and non-verbal behaviour and social cognition.

Psychology: Developmental Psychology

In this module you will develop an understanding of cognitive development, including intelligence across the lifespan, language development, and number representation, and the development of social understanding, including social cognition, emotional development, prejudice, and adolescence. You will look in depth at the research techniques used in developmental psychology, as well as enchancing your ability to conduct critical analyses.

Psychology: Personality and Individual Differences

In this module you will examine theory and research in key areas of personality and individual differences. You will explore the difference between these two areas of study, and become equipped with methods of evaluating theories of personality. You will review key topics in personality and individual differences, with consideration for the relations between them in order to develop your intergrative understanding of personality.

Psychology: Conceptual Issues in Psychology

This module will provide you with an introdution to the philosophical, conceptual, and historical underpinnings of the ways in which psychology is studied today. You will cover broad conceptual issues such as 'what is science?' and how psychology fits in, what makes a good scientific theory, and the philosophies of how sciences develop. You will look at the rise of behaviourism and cognitive psychology, the historical development of cognitive neuroscience and debates regarding the relation between mind and brain, and how psychology became an applied as well as a basic science of mind and behaviour.

Year 3

Criminology: Dissertation

In this module you will carry out a piece of independent research on a topic of your choosing, in detail, to a higher level. You will submit a substantial piece of written work, of 10,000 words in length, demonstrating your ability to critically reflect on established literature and indications of original thought.

Psychology: Brain and Behaviour

In this module you will develop an understanding of why modern psychology requires an understanding of neuroscience. You will look at neuronal structure, function and information transmission, and the organisation of the nervous system and how this reflects the principles of information processing. You will examine the methods used to study structure and information processing in the brain, becoming familiar with the brain's functional architectures and the neural basis of learning. You will also consider brain evolution, and the biology and psychopharmacology of reward, reinforcement and psychological disorders.

Optional modules

In addition to these mandatory course units there are a number of optional course units available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course units that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new units may be offered or existing units may be withdrawn, for example, in response to a change in staff. Applicants will be informed if any significant changes need to be made.

Year 1

Only core modules are taken

Year 2

Only core modules are taken

Year 3

Criminology: Crime, Media and Culture
Criminology: Crime and Literature
Criminology: Critical Readings in Criminology
Criminology: Race, Crime and Justice
Criminology: Risk, Insecurity and Terrorism Part 1

In this module you will develop an understanding of the different criminological, sociological and psychological appraoches to the study of terrorism. You will gain an oversight of terrorism within the content of current policy and global governance, with specific reference to international law and human rights. You will examine debates on the threats posed by terrorism, considering the emergence of the new terrorism in Britain.

Criminology: Risk, Insecurity and Terrorism Part 2

In this module you will develop an understanding of terrorism on the global stage, examining different perspectives on its history and development, starting with the emergence of new terrorism in the post 9/11 era. You will analyse global repsonses to terrorism, considering the differentiated impact of terrorism on a global scale, and the way in which fear of terrorism can be used as an instrument of political power by various state agencies. 

Criminology: Prisons

In this module you will develop an understanding of the role, function and operation of prisons in England and Wales. You will think critically about the nature of imprisonment and the effectiveness of the prison system, using research, government reports, prisoners' account and other relevant sources to analyse recent policy initiatives.

Criminology: Drugs, Crime and Society

In this module you will develop a knowledge of illicit drugs, their effects and how they have been used cross-culturally through time. You will gain an insight into the sociological and psychological theories that seeks to explain addiction and problem drug use, with practical knowledge of how drug users and drug markets have been controlled through policy, enforcement and legislation.

Criminology: Gender, Sexuality and Crime

In this module you will develop an understanding of key sociological, psychological and criminal-legal approaches to gender and sexuality. You will think critically about how theories of gender and sexuality have informed the study of crime and shaped our understanding of sexual offences, and the relationship between gender, sexuality and criminal justice, from the 19th century to the present day. You will look at case studies that have shaped the study of gender, sexuality, and crime hisotrically and in the present day, such as the violations perpetrated against women through the diagnosis of 'hysteria', the development of the law of rape, sociological and psychological appraoches to sex offenders, and debates about the crimialisation of pornography.

Criminology: Sentencing and Penal Policy

This module will introduce you to sentencing, its key principes, and current issues, such as the need for a defensible penal policy, the effects of expansionism, the need for reductionism and the desire to abolish. You gain an overview of the different types of sentences currently available, considering the potential for discrimination in sentencing, and the role of victims in the sentencing process. You will look at penal
policy and the current penal crisis, critically evaluating a particular area of sentencing and developing a policy paper to propose reform to the current penal policy.

Criminology: Victims and Witnesses

This module explores the current procedures in the UK surrounding the treatment of witnesses and victims of crime. You will examine issues surrounding vulnerable people, children, adults, and older people with respect to the different professional responses required. You will look at victims and witnesses in a historical context, identifying milestones that highlight key development. You will consider the long term consequences of involvement in the legal system, and look at research on victims and witnesses from a wide range of disciplines.

Psychology: Language, Communication and Thought

Psychology: Advanced Developmental Psychology

Psychology: Health Psychology

Psychology: Advanced and Applied Social Psychology

Psychology: Adult Psychological Problems

Psychology: Developmental Disorders

Psychology: Occupational and Organisational Psychology

Psychology: Criminal and Forensic Psychology

Psychology: Educational Psychology

We use a variety of different methods of assessment. These might include an essay about a controversial issue, an analysis of a DVD with a witness of victim of crime, or a critical analysis of recently published research. Some course units involve oral presentations.

Assessment is both summative (e.g exams and dissertations) and formative (e.g essays which provide ongoing assessment and feedback), and you will receive detailed feedback on essays and other coursework. Many course units also have a written examination in May or June. Progression to the next year is dependent on passing the compulsory course units. In combination, the quality and range of assessments helps students to both develop a wide portfolio of skills as well as provide them with the optimum means through which to achieve the best grades possible.

Typical offers

Typical offers
A-levels

AAB-ABB

The offer will take into consideration the educational context in which academic achievements have been gained and whether the Extended Project Qualification is being taken

 

Required/preferred subjects Required: GCSE English and Maths GCSE grade B
Other UK Qualifications
International Baccalaureate 32 points overall including 6,6,5 in Higher Level subjects 5 in Standard Level Maths or GCSE Maths at grade B
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction*, Distinction, DistinctionRequired subjects Health and Social Care or Applied Science (Forensic Science) Maths GCSE grade B
BTEC National Diploma Distinction, Distinction plus A-Level grade ARequired subjects Health and Social Care or Applied Science (Forensic Science) Maths GCSE grade B
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Distinction plus A-Level grades AB plus GCSE Maths grade B
Welsh Baccalaureate Requirements are as for A-levels where one non-subject-specified A-level can be replaced by the same grade in the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Level Core.
Scottish Advanced Highers

AAABB at Higher including Maths plus AA at Advanced Higher

Scottish Highers AAABB at Higher including Maths plus AA at Advanced Higher 
Irish Leaving Certificate AAABB at Higher Level including Maths at Higher Level or grade B in Maths at Ordinary Level
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass with at least 30 level 3 credits at Distinction and 15 level 3 credits at Merit in a relevant subject plus GCSE Maths at grade B.

Other UK qualifications

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International and EU entry requirements

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English language
requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall including a minimum of 5.5 in each subscore.

For equivalencies please see here.

For more information about entry requirements for your country please visit our International pages. Royal Holloway offers an International Foundation Programme and pre-sessional English language courses, allowing students to further develop their study skills and English language before starting their undergraduate degree.

A Criminology and Psychology degree at Royal Holloway, University of London can lead into a variety of career paths. Within six months of graduation, 95% of sociology graduates and 90% of psychology graduates (Unistats 2015) have gone onto full time employment or further studies. As well as careers directly linked to criminology and psychology, the transferable skills gained will form an excellent basis for potential careers in criminal justice agencies. As such, graduates have found employment with criminal justice agencies such as the Crown Prosecution Service, the police, probation service, youth custody and the prison service. Others have pursued careers in banking, publishing, media, management, youth work or other support work. For those interested in continuing onto postgraduate study, as this programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society, graduates have the opportunity to gain Graduate and/or Chartered Membership of the Society, and eligibility to apply to our MSc in Forensic Psychology.

Home and EU students tuition fee per year 2017/18*: £9,250

International students tuition fee per year 2017/18**: £15,600

Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course

How do I pay for it? Find out more.

*Tuition fees for UK and EU nationals starting a degree in the academic year 2017/18 will be £9,250 for that year. This amount is subject to the UK Parliament approving a change to fee and loan regulations that has been proposed by the UK Government. In the future, should the proposed changes to fee and loan regulations allow it, Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for UK and EU nationals annually. If relevant UK legislation continues to permit it, Royal Holloway will maintain parity between the tuition fees charged to UK and EU students for the duration of their degree studies.

**Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees for international fee paying students annually. Tuition fees are unlikely to rise more than 5 per cent each year. For further information on tuition fees please see Royal Holloway’s Terms & Conditions.

***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree programme at Royal Holloway. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.

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