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.
Our flexible degree programmes enable you to apply to take a Placement Year, which can be spent studying abroad, working or carrying out voluntary work. You can even do all three if you want to (minimum of three months each)! To recognise the importance of this additional skills development and university experience, your Placement Year will be formally recognised on your degree certificate and will contribute to your overall result. Please note conditions may apply if your degree already includes an integrated year out, please contact the Careers & Employability Service for more information. Find out more
- British Psychological Society accredited degree allowing you to apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership.
- Develop a sound and extensive knowledge base in criminology and psychology.
- Enables a scientific understanding of the mind, brain and behaviour.
- Develop a range of key research skills and techniques.
Core ModulesYear 1
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Research Methods for Psychologists
- Data Analysis for Psychologists
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.
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.
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 enhancing your ability to conduct critical analyses.
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 integrative understanding of personality.
This module will provide you with an introduction 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 relationship between mind and brain, and how psychology became an applied as well as a basic science of mind 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.
There are a number of optional course modules available during your degree studies. The following is a selection of optional course modules that are likely to be available. Please note that although the College will keep changes to a minimum, new modules may be offered or existing modules 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 0
- All modules are core
- All modules are core
- Crime, Media and Culture
- Crime and Literature
- Critical Readings in Criminology
- Race, Crime and Justice
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 19thcentury 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.
This module will introduce you to sentencing, its key principles, 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.
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.
- Language, Communication and Thought
- Advanced Developmental Psychology
- Health Psychology
- Advanced and Applied Social Psychology
- Adult Psychological Problems
- Developmental Disorders
- Occupational and Organisational Psychology
- Criminal and Forensic Psychology
- Educational Psychology
Teaching & assessment
Assessment is both summative (exams and dissertations) and formative (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.
A Levels: AAB-ABB
- At least five GCSEs at grade A*-C or 9-4 including English and Mathematics.
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A - levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. Socio - economic factors which may have impacted an applicant's education will be taken into consideration and alternative offers may be made to these applicants.
Other UK and Ireland Qualifications
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. No subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. No subscore lower than 54.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.
For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, we offer an International Foundation Year, run by Study Group at the Royal Holloway International Study Centre. Upon successful completion, you may progress on to selected undergraduate degree programmes at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Your future career
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 course 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.
Fees & funding
Home and EU students tuition fee per year*: £9,250
International students tuition fee per year**: £20,900
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course