School of Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies

Some people commit crime while others lead law abiding lives. Why? On this course you’ll examine the nature of crime, investigating the impact it has on society – and what we can do about it. Choose to study at Plymouth and you’ll get the extra benefit of a course that covers the same topics we’ve developed for community justice professionals – providing you with a perfect start to your future career in a wide range of areas, from psychology to community justice.

You will kick start your career. As a successful graduate, you’ll be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society, putting you on track to a career in professional psychology. You’ll expand your horizons and gain invaluable experience with opportunities for international exchange. You’ll also enhance your employability and grow your professional network by applying for an optional placement year.

Key features

  • Gain insight into life as a community justice professional – you’ll study the same topics as professionals working in probation, policing, youth justice, community safety and victim services.
  • Kick start your career – as a successful graduate, you’ll be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society, putting you on track to a career in professional psychology.
  • Expand your horizons and gain invaluable experience with opportunities for international exchange.
  • Enhance your employability and grow your professional network by applying for an optional placement year.
  • Develop your skills as a scientist working alongside leading researchers with the Research Apprentice Scheme.
  • Draw on cutting edge research across the social sciences to examine the nature of crime and explore the workings of the criminal justice system.
  • Shape your own study path with an exciting range of topics available through lectures, optional courses and project supervision.
  • Benefit from studying on a course that the Research Assessment Exercise rates as excellent for research and the Quality Assurance Agency praises for its quality of education.
  • Make the most of our specialist facilities – we’ve got 22 labs to choose from, including a virtual reality laboratory with 3D modelling software, sound-proof cubicles with a range of stimulus equipment and computer laboratories. You'll be able to get your hands on everything you need for your own research.
  • Receive outstanding student support with our award-winning Psychology eBooks scheme – we’ll give you free eBooks when you start, saving you over £1,500 in printed copies. Our Psychology eBooks scheme won the award for Teaching Excellence in The Guardian University Awards (2013).
  • To complement your formal learning we offer regular PALS sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment. Find out more about the Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS).


Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll study the basic theories of psychology, covering learning, social, developmental, clinical, cognitive and physiological psychology. From methods of psychological research, to information technology, communication and critical thinking, you’ll begin developing important skills for the workplace. And you’ll investigate criminology, learning about the criminal justice sentencing process in England and Wales.
    Core modules
    • PSYC103 Cognitive and Biological Psychology

      This module is an introduction to Cognitive Psychology, Biopsychology and Neuropsychology. The Cognitive Psychology lectures introduce the basic methodologies, key findings and concepts of cognitive psychology. The Neuropsychology and Biopsychology lectures describe the basic structure of the brain, how it controls everyday experience, and how its breakdown can give rise to psychological disorders. Lectures will be supported by practicals/workshops and tutorials.

    • CCJS1112 Criminology and Crime Problems

      This module introduces students to the subject of criminology. It emphasises criminology's multi-disciplinary and the different perspectives, methods and sources of information that it draws upon in developing theories about the different causes and problematizations of crime and deviance.

    • PSYC101 Psychology: An Introduction

      This module is an introduction to Psychology as a science. It includes elements which expose students to the full scope and richness of psychology as a discipline, including pure and applied content, methodology, and practical work

    • PSYC102 Learning, Clinical, Social and Developmental Psychology

      PSYC102 introduces students to theories and applications of conditioning, core disorders of clinical psychology and their treatment, as well as major theoretical perspectives and studies in social and developmental psychology.

    • PSYC107PP Communicating Effectively

      This module covers work-skills, including written and oral presentation, group working, interviewing and communicating effectively with others. Lecture material will cover relevant psychological research, which will be followed up by group-work and peer-review activities

    • CCJS1110 Introduction to the Criminal Justice Process in England and Wales

      This module describes the roles and practices of the main criminal justice institutions in England and Wales and uses a basic theoretical framework to analyse these institutions and practices. It introduces students to the sentencing process, describing sentencing objectives and philosophy, sentencing options and sentencing patterns.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you’ll develop a greater critical understanding of psychology and how it can be applied in practical settings, building your confidence to use more sophisticated research methods. You’ll put your understanding into practice by developing a psychological skill such as clinical interviewing. In criminology and criminal justice you’ll explore theories of crime and culture, expanding your knowledge by choosing from a selection of modules, from victimology to youth justice.
    Core modules
    • CPIE200 Preparation for Work Placement

      This module is designed to assist students in their search and preparation for a work placement. It is aimed at students who would like to undertake a placement year to enhance both programme specific and personal, employment-related skills during Stage 3 of their degree programme.

    • PSYC206 Conducting Psychological Research B

      This module extends training in research methods and gives students practice in translating research questions into feasible studies and their design, execution, analysis and interpretation. Other elements develop students¿ understanding of statistical methods and give practice in relating psychological theory to applied problems

    • PSYC202 Individual Differences, Clinical, Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module examines four areas of psychology: individual differences in abilities and personality and their influence on behaviour, clinical approaches to psychological disorders and their treatment, contemporary approaches to social cognition, social interaction, and group behaviour, and the development of cognitive and social abilities in infants and children.

    • PSYC201 Conducting Psychological Research A

      This module extends the treatment of research methods and statistics to more advanced topics and introduces the student to the principal concepts in the history and philosophy of psychology.

    • PSYC203 Biological and Cognitive Psychology

      This module covers several core areas of psychology: psychobiology (basic neurophysiology and neurochemistry of brain function); neuropsychology (the functional architecture of the brain); perception (visual and auditory processing) and language (language comprehension and production).

    • CCJS2115 Crime, Theory and Culture

      This module examines contemporary criminological theory and scholarship, providing a critical analysis of new directions at the forefront of the discipline. The module covers the intersections of criminology with contemporary social theory, communications theory, urban studies, international relations, cultural theory and zemiology.

    Optional modules
    • CCJS2118 Victims, Victimology and Restorative Justice

      The module examines criminal victimisation and the policies and practices that have been developed to aid them in the aftermath of crime. As well as a range of support approaches which are directed specifically to victims, the module also focuses upon restorative justice and the way in which victims may benefit from such practices.

    • CCJS2121 Policing and Community Safety

      This module affords students an opportunity to explore, in depth, the structures, practices and key issues facing modern policing and community safety in the UK. It focuses particularly upon the police service, but also upon developments in plural policing, including the expansion of partnership policing.

  • Year 3
  • You’ll have the opportunity to take an optional work placement after your second year, where you can apply your knowledge of psychology in a real world context. You’ll spend a year of study honing your skills on a psychological professional/work placement, gaining invaluable experience and making professional contacts. And you’ll receive a Certificate of Professional/Industrial Placement. Please note some placements may require Occupation Health and/or Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.
    Core modules
    • CPIE301 Placement: Psychology

      Sorry no description available at present.

  • Final year
  • In your final year you’ll have the opportunity to shape your own pathway, incorporating the particular areas of psychology that reflect your specialist interests. You’ll develop an advanced understanding of the central areas of psychology through academic debates and carry out a comprehensive piece of research with the support of your academic supervisor. In addition you’ll choose from a diverse range of modules to enhance your expertise in criminology and criminal justice.
    Core modules
    • PSYC401 Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module has two elements. In the social psychology element, students will examine advanced topics in social cognition, social influence and persuasion, group behaviour, intergroup behaviour and sociological social psychology. In the developmental psychology element, students will focus on language development, theories of children's mind and the development of socialisation.

    • PSYC402 Psychobiology and Cognition

      This module provides advanced coverage in the core areas of psychobiology and cognition. In psychobiology, the module deals with evolutionary and comparative approaches to understanding human perception, emotion and self-awareness, goal-directed behaviour and social engagement. In cognition, the module deals with three key topics in higher cognition: language, memory, and thinking and reasoning

    • PSYC405 Psychology Dissertation

      This module aims to consolidate and put into practice the research training carried out in earlier stages by exploring a particular research problem. Students are required to conduct a complete piece of research, from establishing a research area, formulating a research question, conducting a literature search, designing and conducting the study, analysing the data, through to writing up a report of the project

    Optional modules
    • CCJS3143 Professional Knowledge of Policing I

      This module provides students with a practical knowledge and understanding of policing and police law, situated within the relevant contemporary social context of England and Wales.

    • CCJS3158 Drugs, Crime and Society

      This module critically examines the social construction of drug use and control in the UK and internationally, analysing the relationship between drugs, crime and society. A comparative approach will be utilized to explore the contextual dimensions of illicit drug use and control. Students will read criminological texts, engage with works from other disciplines and critically analyse non-academic sources, including popular journalism, internet sites and postings, and films.

    • CCJS3144 Professional Knowledge of Policing II

      This module provides students with a practical knowledge and understanding of policing and police law, situated within the relevant contemporary social context of England and Wales

    • LAW3238 Sex, Power and Legal Control

      This module examines how law and society controls and regulates sexual behaviour and conduct and why and how it criminalises and punishes certain activities and sexual expression. In particular it will focus on the enactment and implementation of laws relating to sexual autonomy and sex crime and examine how these are practically operationalized within the criminal justice process. Within this context the impact upon those affected by such legal regulation is also examined.

    • CCJS3161 Visual Criminology

      This module focuses upon the pervasiveness of the late modern 'mediascape', and the role and significance of images of crime and deviance in popular culture. The module will offer the usual analysis of images in media and news reporting of crime, but it will also examine the role of the visual and images in popular culture more broadly. It will take a critical look at violent images and symbols in marketing, advertising, and forms of entertainment to consider the relationship between images and criminality; the role of images in the lives of criminal or 'deviant' actors themselves in the production and reproduction of crime; and the visual as a research method for a comprehensive study of the relationship between crime and the image.

    • CCJS3162 Victims, Violence and the Criminal Justice System

      This module examines women's experiences of victimisation as victims of sexual violence, domestic violence and workplace violence.

    • CCJS3164 History of Crime and Punishment

      Criminology has tended to ignore crimes of the powerful instead focusing on everyday street crimes and the crimes of lower status individuals. This module rebalances this bias by focusing on the crimes that power makes possible. It introduces students to theory, research, and case-studies on corporate and white-collar crimes, as well as state crimes.

    • CCJS3148 Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice

      This module focuses upon a contemporary criminal justice-related issue that has received attention in the media and in official reports but may not be well covered yet in an established academic literature. The purpose of the module is for students to collect data on the issue and to subject it to a thorough criminological analysis, using the variety of concepts and perspectives covered throughout the degree programme.

    • CCJS3150 Crimes of the Powerful

      Criminology has tended to ignore crimes of the powerful instead focusing on everyday street crimes and the crimes of lower status individuals. This module rebalances this bias by focusing on the crimes that power makes possible. It introduces students to theory, research, and case-studies on corporate and white-collar crimes, as well as state crimes.

    • CCJS3154 Women, Crime and Criminal Justice

      This module examines the relevance of gender in understanding the experiences and treatment of women offenders within the criminal justice system. This gendered perspective draws on theoretical and empirical insights to engage critically with malestream criminology and to review the important issues in relation to policy and practice that arise from this.

    • CCJS3145 Comparative Youth Justice

      This module compares and contrasts youth justice policies and processes in a range of different countries. In particular, it analyses the impact of socio-political and cultural factors on youth justice debates from a comparative international perspective.

    • LAW3235 Immigration, Nationality and Refugee Law

      This module focuses on the key and topical issues in Immigration, Nationality and Refugee law in the UK. The UK¿s system of immigration control is fully considered and there is some emphasis on the application of decision making to those entering the UK both for immigration purposes and as refugees. There is consideration of the global and European context and of the influence of policy, politics and the media in the field.

    • CCJS3156 Criminology of War

      This module explores the issue of crime in the context of war and conflict. Theoretical and conceptual understandings of crime, violence, victimisation and justice will be used to interrogate acts considered as war crimes. The module will address the history of crimes committed in war and will critically explore international criminal justice responses.

    • LAW3236 Law, Literature and Film

      To introduce students to fictional representations of the legal order in prose and film, and to examine the inter-connections between law, literature and film.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Hons Psychology Criminology Criminal Justice Studies 3370

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

300 points from three A levels. Typical A level offer BBB. Other combinations and non-A level qualifications considered.

International Baccalaureate: 28 points. All relevant international qualifications will be considered - please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM.

12 Unit BTEC National Certificate/QCF Diploma: DM plus a B grade from one A level or DM plus an A grade from one A level.                                                                                                           
Access courses: pass an Access to HE course in a relevant subject (science, humanities, combined, social sciences) with at least 33 credits units at merit.

Candidates concerned about meeting this offer are encouraged to contact the Institution direct.

English language requirements


Fees, costs and funding

New students 2016-17

Full time Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £9000 £12,250 £9000
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £9000 £12,500 £9000
Science and Engineering - Year Zero £9000 £12,500 £9000
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero £7500 £10,300 £9,000
2 year fast-track (Business only) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £9000 £12,250 £9000
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £9000 £12,500 £9000
Master of Architecture (MArch) £9000 £12,250 £9000
PGCE £9000 £12,250 £9000
Management Practice (Online) (First year - part time) tbc £3,996 tbc

Part time (per 10 credits) Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £750 £1,025 £750
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £750 £1,045 £750
Science and Engineering - Year Zero £750 £1,045 £750
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero £625 £860 £625
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £750 £1,025 £750
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £750 £1,045 £750
PGCE £750 £1,025 £750


*The tuition fee for students transferring to Plymouth University from a partner institution is £9,000.
**Please refer to the policy for capping of international student tuition fees.

***‘Islands’ refers to fees for both the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Continuing students

Please note some fees for continuing students may differ slightly.

For a full listing please visit our fees for continuing students 2016-17 page.

Further information

Download our fees brochure

Read our Student Fee Policy for the Ordinary Degree route


For more information please see www.plymouth.ac.uk/money

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



School of Psychology - ask a student!

Want to know more about living in Plymouth and studying with us in the School of Psychology?

Ask a current student a question

Psychology at Plymouth - find out what it's like to study with us

Plymouth stood out from the rest. It's got a really good vibe - there's so much going on!

Join Abi for a tour of the School of Psychology.

Find out about the Psychology course

Staff insight - Dr Caroline Floccia

...I was in my twenties, and I went to a party and I met somebody who told me for the first time about the existence of a field called cognitive psychology… a field in which people study how the brain and mind work… it was a revelation…

Find out why Dr Caroline Floccia is passionate about cognitive psychology.

Read more about Dr Caroline Floccia’s teaching and research interests

Dr Phil Gee - Psychology Programme Lead says:

BSc Psychology at Plymouth is an excellent foundation for a career in psychology and many other fields. Our visits programme, research apprenticeship scheme and placements allow students to work with professional psychologists throughout their studies.

Dr Phil Gee's teaching and research interests

Free e-Books

To give you a great start, if you are studying psychology as your only or major subject, we'll give you a free set of 12 eBooks when you start your first year. That's your main recommended reading for your core psychology lectures covered!

Free eBooks from the School of Psychology

Study abroad year

Expand your horizons and gain invaluable experience by choosing to spend year two of your degree studying at a university abroad

"I can proudly say that it has been one of the best and wisest choices I could have ever made!"

A challenge year in​ the USA by Simge Engelkiran

Psychology Research Apprenticeship Scheme

One of the experiments I was helping with got published in the scientific journal and... my name got mentioned!

Every year around 60-70 first and second year students volunteer to work with a member of staff as a 'Research Apprentice'

School of Psychology Research Apprentice Scheme

Sporting Excellence Scholars

Learn how Plymouth University is inspiring and enabling BSc (Hons) Psychology student and Team GB Olympic Swimmer Antony James to achieve his sporting and academic goals

Sporting Excellence Scholars

Learn how Plymouth University is inspiring and enabling BSc (Hons) Psychology student and Welsh rugby player Molly Humphreys to achieve her sporting and academic goals

Teaching and learning

Your experience will be enriched by a variety of teaching methods and you'll have your own personal tutor who will provide academic and personal support during your time at Plymouth

Teaching and learning in the School of Psychology

Facilities in the School of Psychology

Make the most of our specialist facilities – we’re a well equipped department ready to support your research.

Read more about our facilities