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Psychology and Criminology

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Psychology and Public Health

UCAS Code: CM89

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time
Six years part-time


UK - £9,250 per year

Part-time - Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Teaching staff have a wide range of expertise and a strong research base
  • This course will provide training for careers in health, social care, criminal justice, and other public and social services
  • Part-time study option
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

Crime is one of the major problems facing society today. To understand the complex issues surrounding it, we have brought together two areas of study that have a natural affinity, giving you a degree that will help you make a real difference.

Psychology is about people and focuses on the study of the human mind and behaviour. Criminology involves analysing crime and deviance, exploring a wide range of issues from the nature of criminal justice systems to the role of the media in representing and influencing crime.  Together these two areas will provide you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a number of careers.

The Psychology and Criminology course will equip you with a theoretical understanding of human behaviour and you will apply the skills you learn to a varied range of innovative assessments. The course has been designed with a clear emphasis on employability and incorporates valuable practical activities (e.g. courtroom observation, museum visit, police station visit), core skills (e.g. writing skills, presentations, group collaboration), and workshops from experts in the field (e.g., Forensic, Educational, and Occupational Psychologists).

"Upon finishing my first year studying Psychology and Criminology at The University of Salford, I can honestly say I can't wait to go back after the summer! The University is both friendly and diverse, meaning that settling into university life was really comfortable, and the levels of teaching and support given by all the tutors on the Psychology and Criminology course has made me feel like a valued member of my cohort. I would highly recommend coming here to study, and I'm pleased that when I graduate, it will be from the University of Salford."

Laura Nicholson – Level 4 Student Representative

Awards and Accreditation

Course Details

By relating a psychological understanding of human behaviour and development to an analysis of crime and deviance, you will be able to gain a comprehensive grasp of the ways in which crime can be analysed, understood and addressed. The degree has a hands-on approach to developing research skills and encourages you to apply the theory you have learned to everyday situations.

Year 1                    

An introduction to statistics and research methods used in psychology, including basic quantitative and qualitative research methods.                              
You will be introduced to key factors in human development including social, emotional, cognitive and biological foundations. Within social psychology you will look at how individuals perceive, influence and interact with others.                              
You will be introduced to the form, key features, and purpose of the institutions of the contemporary criminal justice system in England and Wales and begin an exploration of the issues relating to justice and civil liberties.                              
An introduction to the psychological differences in the study of personality, intelligence, gender, and mental health.                              
You will be introduced to the basic biological processes and cognitive principles necessary for understanding human psychology.                              
You will be introduced to the key foundational issues, ideas, and ways of thinking within criminology. You will explore the various relationships between crime and society drawing upon contemporary, historical, and comparative evidence and demonstrate links between particular theories and concepts and their implications for research methodology and crime policy.                              

Year Two Core Modules                    

Extends quantitative and qualitative research methods training to more complex designs and forms of analysis. You will build on the skills developed in Year One; designing, carrying out research, and analyzing your results.                              
You will explore the links between biological and cognitive processes and examine how this relationship influences performance in real-world contexts.                              
You will develop an understanding of the range of theories of crime and criminal justice and locate the key issues of criminology within their socio-political and historical contexts.                              
This module offers you the opportunity to explore how personality affects criminal behaviour and offending as well as how the criminal justice system responds to these individual differences.                              
This module covers the influences of nature and nurture on human development. You will gain practical experience of conducting social psychological research, and examine the implications of research for education, policy, and clinical practice.                              

Year Two Optional Modules                    

In addition to the core modules, in your second year you will choose one Criminology option module from a selection that includes:                    

This module examines the strategies used to construct guilt and innocence, paying particular attention to their sociological underpinnings.                              
Introduces a range of issues and theories in relation to the policing and social control in the past, in contemporary society, and in the future.                              
Using a number of case studies this module examines issues such as the definition of violence, the role of perpetrator and victim, and violence prevention.                              
Provides an understanding of the evolution of the modern prison and its policies, practices, and regimes. In this module you will develop an  understanding of the relationship between prisons, probation, and the courts; and  of the use and impacts of punishment with regard to age, gender, and ethnicity.                              

Year Three Core Module                    

You will carry out a large-scale empirical research project on a topic of your choice. The range of skills you develop as you navigate the process of research design, applying for ethical approval, recruiting participants and carrying out your research, performing appropriate analysis, and writing up your work will be invaluable in any workplace.                              

Year Three Optional Modules                    

In your final year you will choose two Psychology options and two Criminology options. The choices available can vary each year as we always deliver modules that are informed by current research in the field.                    

Psychology option modules include:

You will explore conceptualizations of mental health, explanations of mental health, legal and social ramifications of mental ill health, the range of conditions treated within psychiatry, and therapeutic modalities and agencies.                              
Examines the effects which exposure to media has on people as well as how people process information from media. This module covers a range of topics such as advertisement, persuasion, news journalism, social media, and internet use.                              
Aimed at students interested in a career in education or a clinical setting. You will learn about the conditions and environments of children in need (autistic spectrum, poverty, Down Syndrome, ADHD, blindness). You will examine theories and the psychological impact of interventions.                              
During this module, you will learn to apply theories and methodologies from cognitive psychology to real-world behaviour. You will explore the influence of emotional processing on human cognition and performance and reflect on the optimal conditions for thinking and decision-making.                              
A practitioner-based module which will provide you with a tour of relevant theories and topics (including stress, selection techniques, and change at work), as well as an assessment opportunity to apply these in real-world settings, including your own experience in the workplace.                              
This module examines in detail the relationships between behaviour and the nervous system. You will explore these relationships through the consideration of key topics in the field of neuroscience including learning, psychopharmacology, brain damage, organic brain disorder, and mental health.                              
This module considers the role of psychology in a global context.  You will have the opportunity to use your psychological knowledge to explore the issues of the day.                              
An applied module which will introduce you to offender profiling, lie detection techniques, and psychological theories of criminal behavior. The module features guest speakers such as a serving Chief Investigating Officer, a Forensic Psychologist, and a Probation Officer.                              
This module introduces you to the concepts, theory, methods, and applications of health psychology. It is concerned with the psychological aspects of physical illness; their treatment and management as well as what keeps people healthy and well.                              
Develops your understanding of the relevance of psychology to education and provides opportunities to apply psychological theory and principles in the field of education and professional practice.                              
Explore positive models of ageing and lifespan development in the 21st Century including: identity, physical and mental health, and the psycho-social implications of ageing.      
The psychology of serial homicide, mass shooting, and terrorism. The module also explores the neurodevelopmental and psychosocial risk factors in serial killers and mass shooters, the pathway to intended violence in such extreme cases of violence and the neuropsychodynamics of individuals who commit serial homicide and single homicide.      
You will have the opportunity to put what you've learnt into practice by undertaking a work placement.                              

Criminology option modules include the four modules that are available in Year Two (Constructing Guilt and Innocence, Policing and Social Control, Violence in Society, and Prisons and Punishment: Responses to Crime) in addition to:

You will explore how ethnicity, gender, and youth intersect with crime and shape the response of the criminal justice institutions; and what difference these categories make to our understanding of the offenders and victims.                              
This module explores the role of media in crime and justice. You will identify the ways in which news media report crime and the fictional representation of crime and criminal justice.                              
This module is jointly delivered by academic staff and partners from the criminal justice system. It takes you through the criminal justice process, from the initial investigation, through arrest, charging, sentencing and sanctions to post-release supervision.                              
You will define and analyse state violence and transitional justice to understand the meanings of ‘terror,’ ‘truth’, and ‘justice’. This module explores the explanations and effects of state violence using examples such as The Nuremberg Trials and the emergence of Truth Commissions in Argentina and South Africa.                        
You will develop an understanding of how and why people become victims and of the relationship between victimisation and social and cultural variables. You will critically explore the place of the victim in the criminal justice system, and how they are processed.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
Access to HE 112 points
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
Five GCSE subjects at grade C or above preferred. Must include GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C. If you are in England and are taking GCSEs that are awarded from 2017 onwards, grade 4 will be required.
UCAS tariff points 112 points
BTEC National Diploma DMM
Foundation Degree 60% pass mark
Scottish Highers 112 points BBBCC
Irish Leaving Certificate 112 points
International Baccalaureate 31 points

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

The University offers two routes for entry under the scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course.  As this course is part of the School of Health Sciences you will only be considered under Entry Route 1.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

An ideal student will have:

  • A good understanding of the disciplines of psychology and criminology
  • The desire to explore all areas of psychology
  • An interest in crime and its occurrence, especially how it is explained, and how 'criminals' are processed by the criminal justice system
  • Strong written skills and an aptitude for research.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year


Throughout your course you will be taught by an experienced and enthusiastic staff team who are research active and are recognized at both international and national levels for their work on a variety of topics.

Research specialisms of the Psychology staff include clinical and health psychology, occupational stress, emotional intelligence, visual attention, terrorism, media and social media, child development, and the inclusion of digital technologies within the psychotherapeutic field. Research specialisms of the Criminology staff include research into prisons and policing, youth justice, human rights, ethnicity and crime, racist and gendered violence, and urban criminology. We are proud of the quality of the Psychology and Criminology course and we are committed to providing a stimulating and rewarding environment in which to study.

We adopt a range of teaching methods including:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Presentations from external speakers
  • Self-directed study
  • Group work
  • Online lectures
  • Online discussion groups
  • Study skills workshops

In addition, all students are allocated a personal tutor. Your personal tutor will be an academic member of staff who can offer one to one support for any queries or difficulties that you may encounter, either personally or academically.


Assessment methods will vary depending on the modules you choose to study, you can expect:

  • Exams 25%
  • Research reports 25%
  • Essays 25%

The remaining 25% will be split between:

  • Assignments
  • Practical reports
  • Group work
  • Presentations


Career Prospects

You will be equipped to work in a number of environments such as health and social care, criminal justice institutions, and the prison service. You could also continue your study at postgraduate level. If you go on to become a chartered psychologist, you may specialise in forensic, clinical, educational, health, or occupational psychology.

Our graduates have taken a range of jobs within a variety of fields. Some graduates have gained employment as an assistant psychologist, mental health support worker, within drug and alcohol services, or have gone on to pursue a career as a chartered psychologist. Alternatively you may take a role within policing or probation services, education, advertising, marketing, or retail.

Following graduation you may decide to continue your studies with us on the MSc Applied Psychology (Addictions), MSc Applied Psychology (Therapies) or MA Terrorism and Security, or a complete a vocational course such as the MA Social Work. Whatever direction you choose, the key skills within this degree ensure that you will be both accomplished and imaginative in your career.

Alumni Profile

"The combination of excellent teaching and continued support from academic staff and my own commitment and desire to succeed has resulted in achievements that have surpassed my own expectations. Not only did I graduate with a first class honours degree, but I was also awarded Best Student Prizes from the School of Health Sciences and the British Psychological Society. The Psychology and Criminology programme provides an excellent knowledge base for both disciplines whilst simultaneously providing a good grounding into research methods. Studying at Salford has equipped me with the skills required for academic success and I am now looking forward to starting an MSc in Social Research Methods and Statistics."

Rachel Gribbin, BSc Psychology and Criminology graduate 2014

“I chose to study at Salford due to its close proximity to Manchester without there being a necessity to contend with the chaos of the city centre on my regular commute. Since completing the first year, I am extremely pleased with my decision of Salford. My decision to study psychology and criminology developed from a passion to improve the treatment and understanding of mental health sufferers, and I feel studying both subjects provides a wider perspective than one alone can.”

Marie Lisa Campbell, BSc (Hons) Psychology and Criminology, second year student

Links with Industry

The British Psychological Society accredits this course – if you achieve a lower second class degree or above, Graduate Basis for Chartership is awarded. This is the first step to becoming a chartered psychologist.

Further Study


We provide a comfortable and friendly environment for you to carry out a wide range of psychological testing. These include:

  • Eye-tracker laboratory – we have Tobii T120 and Tobii X2-60 eye-trackers to monitor conscious and unconscious gaze movements from a range of displays including smartphones and tablets
  • Observation suite - with a two-way mirror, this laboratory allows for observation of behavior in adults and children
  • Psychophysiology laboratory – includes functional near-infrared spectroscopy brain imaging equipment, heart rate monitors, and galvanic skin response recorders
  • A dedicated computer suite that allows access to a range of psychological programs such as ERTSLab and E-Prime.
  • You will also have access to Psychology laboratory cubicles, Private interview rooms and a Social learning space



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