September 2020

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Forensic Psychology BSc (Hons)

Honours Degree, Undergraduate, September 2020

Key Details

  • C816 Course Code
  • 3 Years
  • 104 Typical UCAS Tariff
psychology lecture

Overview

Forensic Psychology is located at the intersection between Psychology and Criminology.  The discipline involves applying evidence-based practice underpinned by psychological theories to improve the experience and outcomes of individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice and penal systems.

Students on this course will explore core psychological areas, such as Biopsychology, Cognitive psychology, Developmental Psychology, Individual differences, Social psychology, and research methods alongside carefully curated criminology courses which link psychological theory to the criminal justice environment, offender behaviours and issues of forensic investigation.

Why study this course?

  • This degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)*
  • Blending strengths of Newman in Psychology and criminology
  • Forensic content threaded throughout all three years of study.
  • Learn about broader societal and psychological factors which affect criminal behaviours.

Forensic psychology is the study of human behaviour, with a particular focus on the behaviour of professionals, offenders and victims of crime. It explores a wide range of fascinating areas from how we think and how we see other people, to how children develop, how relationships are formed, and how we can help people in distress. Students will be given opportunity to apply this psychological knowledge and understanding to work within criminal contexts.  Forensic psychology offers many potential career paths, and in addition to the career opportunities usually offered by psychology, graduates from this course may expect to work in areas relating to the criminal justice system as practitioners, administrators, policy makers or researchers.  Studying forensic psychology at Newman provides you with a solid grounding in all core areas of psychology, but with particular strengths in considering how psychology is applied to the ‘real world’. Many of our lecturers have particular specialisms in applied psychology or criminology, and this gives this degree programme its distinctive approach and appeal.

*This programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), such that students gaining at least a Lower Second Class Honours Degree are eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS, which means you will have taken your first step towards becoming a professional psychologist.

What does the course cover?

During your first year of study students will be introduced to the foundations of psychology, providing an overview of the main areas of study within the discipline.  Students will also be introduced to the core skills required to succeed in studying psychology, as well as an overview of research methods and some key literature within the discipline of psychology.  Alongside this, students will learn about how psychological theory can inform our understanding of criminal behaviours.

In the second year, students will deepen their understanding of psychological research methods, as well as exploring in more depth the core core areas of social psychology, individual differences, cognitive psychology and developmental psychology while deepening their understanding of the criminal justice system.

In the final year students will conduct their own research project, exploring an area of specific interest to themselves.  Alongside this, students will explore the meta-theoretical underpinnings of the discipline, and will be offered the choice between further strengthening their understanding of forensic aspects of the discipline of psychology, or to pursue other aspects of psychology in depth.

How will I be assessed?

The forensic psychology degree programme uses a wide variety of forms of assessment, designed to help you develop a range of skills that will be invaluable in the modern professional work place. The assessment strategy for the degree includes traditional essays, exams, short notes and multiple ­choice tests. Also included in the strategy are less traditional assessments, such as designing a web page, Power Point presentations, writing dialogues and presenting portfolios. Finally, there are a variety of assessments linked to research, which include writing reports, giving conference style presentations, and writing a dissertation.

What careers could I consider?

The forensic psychology degree programme at Newman University is specifically aimed at preparing students to work with professionals, offenders and victims of crime.  However, as this programme covers all core BPS content, graduates from this course may also enter various psychological professions, including forensic, clinical, occupational, educational, counselling, health and sport psychology. Students can also pursue an academic career, and may progress into a PhD. Psychology graduates can also progress into a variety of careers, typically in people-orientated and caring roles; for example, nursing, teaching, social work, human resources, marketing, software design, health research, risk assessment, treatment, or rehabilitation. Psychology graduates must be both literate and numerate and these are skills that employers demand in the modern professional work place.

GBC

This programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), such that students gaining at least a Lower Second Class Honours Degree are eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS, which means you will have taken your first step towards becoming a professional psychologist.

Studying and living in Birmingham

Newman University is located in Britain’s second city – Birmingham. With one of the youngest city populations in Europe, it is a vibrant and dynamic place to study.

Studying at Newman University, you have the advantage of being near to the city, but living in, or commuting to peaceful and comfortable surroundings on campus.

Dining out

Birmingham has lots of wonderful places to dine out with a range of different cuisines. Places where you can dine out include; Brindley Place, Mailbox and Hagley Road (just 10 minutes’ from Newman).

Entertainment

Whether you like to go to; the theatre, gigs or clubs, or enjoy: sports, shopping visiting art galleries or exhibitions – Birmingham will not disappoint and you will be spoilt for choice!

Location

Getting around Birmingham is easy via train, bus or by car. Birmingham has excellent transport links to the rest of Britain, making it easy for those weekend getaways!

Why not explore the city for yourself by visiting one of our Open Days?

Want to find out more about Birmingham? Then take a look at some Birmingham City Secrets.

Applications are open for September entry

Thinking of starting your studies this September? We are currently accepting new applications. Applications to full-time courses must be made via UCAS, applications to part-time courses are made directly to Newman. For help with the application process please contact our friendly and helpful admission teams via admissions@newman.ac.uk or via 0121 476 1181 ext. 3662.

Apply Now

Contact Details

for course specific enquiries

Entry Requirements

You must achieve at least 104 UCAS points including a minimum of CC at A level or equivalent (e.g.MM at BTEC Diploma; MPP at BTEC Extended Diploma) towards the total tariff.

As it is not possible to achieve 104 UCAS points through an Access course, Access Students will need 106 UCAS points. You can reach this with the following combination of Distinction, Merit and/ or Pass grades at level 3 achieved from a completed Access course. 106 UCAS Points: D27-M0-P18; D124-M6-P15; D21-M12-P12; D18-M18-P9; D15-M24-P6; D12-M24-P3; D9-M36-P0.

Five GCSEs at grade 4 (or C) or above (or recognised equivalents), including English Language and Mathematics, are also required.

For applicants who are unsure that they will achieve the above UCAS tariff, Newman University offers Forensic Psychology (with Foundation Year) which enables such applicants to access a university degree via a four year route. Upon successful completion of their foundation year, students will progress to Year 1 of a named degree. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, students wishing to follow particular named routes with additional entry requirements, will need to meet these requirements before they make the transition from their foundation year to year 1.

Applying Direct Option

You can apply direct to Newman University for this course if you have not previously applied to Newman University through UCAS and you are not applying to any other universities.

Simply click on this Direct Application link to do this.

N.B. will need to enter ‘New User’ account details when first accessing this portal.

Course Fees

Fees per academic year:
Full-time UK/EU students: £9,250 *

* Fees shown are for 2020/21 academic year. The University will review tuition fees and increase fees in line with any inflationary uplift as determined by the UK Government, if permitted by law or government policy, on enrolment and in subsequent years of your course. It is anticipated that such increases would be linked to RPI (the Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

Additional Costs

As part of the core dissertation module students are required to produce an A0 poster. The cost of printing AO posters in the academic year 2017-18 is £8. There may also be additional costs associated with data collection depending on the research undertaken for example printing of questionnaires.

Find out more about the other additional costs associated with our undergraduate degrees. 

 

 

Modules

Please be aware that, as with any course, there may be changes to the modules delivered, for information view our Changes to Programmes of Module Changes page.

Timetables: find out when information is available to students

 

  1. This module aims to introduce students to the scientific study of the human mind and behaviour. The core principles and skills within psychology inquiry and learning will be explored.  It aims to define psychology and provide understanding of evidence-based psychological practice, and the implications of research methodology behind the evidence base, for assessing individual sources contribution to developing knowledge. Students will be introduced to key methodologies within psychology research and explore the philosophical stance underpinning these methodologies.
  2. This module provides students with a broad introduction to the history of psychology as a scientific discipline. A number of different psychological perspectives will be introduced, for example, psychobiological, cognitive, behaviourist, psychodynamic, social constructionist, and students will be expected to apply and evaluate the application of such perspectives to important contemporary issues, such as drug addiction, violent behaviour, mental illness, etc. Research skills will be developed through the use of online databases and other library resources.
  3. This module introduces core areas of criminology, focusing on the processes and systems which constitute criminal justice within the UK.  It aims to introduce students to varying ideas and concepts of crime and justice and the way these are socially and legally constructed.  The module will combine tutor led input on theoretical models of criminal justice with a more practice oriented introduction to the different stages, institutions and professional roles within justice systems via input from guest speakers.  Students gain an understanding of issues including prevention and management of crime, deviance and victimisation.
  4. This module offers an introduction to a range of applications in psychology and explores the various professional pathways in psychology practice. It aims to enhance knowledge of the application of psychological theory to the real world and examines the role of evidence-based practice and scientific method in guiding the work of professionals in a range of applied contexts, such as health, legal, organisational and educational settings. This module aims to develop the employability of students through an enhanced awareness of the range of available career pathways open to psychology graduates.
  5. This module aims to equip students with the knowledge and self-management skills to make informed choices in preparing for work placement and the transition to employment or further study on graduation.  Learners will be provided with the opportunities to develop awareness of the workplace, identify different career and study options, recognise and articulate their own experience, accomplishments and talents and plan and implement career management strategies for the short and long term.
  6. This module will introduce students to the strengths, limitations and ethical issues associated with qualitative and quantitative research design. It will enable students to explore in greater depth the underlying principles and epistemological bases of both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Students will examine the key similarities and differences between these approaches, whilst appreciating the strengths and limitations of such approaches in addressing psychological research questions. Students will consider a range of data collection techniques (e.g., observations, interviews, simple experiments, and psychometric instruments) to consolidate their knowledge and experience of such methods.
  7. This module will examine what the field of psychological theory can contribute to the multidisciplinary study of crime. It will enable students to adjust to the demands of learning at degree level, equipping them with a basic understanding of relevant concepts from the field of Psychology, Social Psychology and Developmental Psychology. This will provide students with a theoretical basis for the study of individual dimensions to deviance, criminal behaviour, offending, victimisation and desistance. Students will gain confidence in the use of language and be able to clearly define key concepts, in preparation for later research and work related learning.  
  1. This module will consolidate and extend students’ knowledge and skills relating to quantitative research methods that were developed in PYU416. Students will extend their knowledge of simple experimental designs to more complex factorial designs involving two or more independent variables, and/or multiple dependent variables, whilst undertaking, interpreting, and reporting suitable univariate and multivariate ANOVA-based data analyses. Similarly, simple linear regression will be extended to multiple linear regression, whilst introducing partial and semi-partial correlation, and in addition to undertaking, interpreting, and reporting such analysis, students will consider the role and utility of this approach in addressing research questions. Ideas relating to factor analysis and its influence and role within psychology that were introduced in PYU416 will be extended, and students will undertake and interpret principal component analysis.
  2. This year-long module offers learners the opportunity to apply and explore knowledge within a work-based context, through the mode of work place learning. The placement supervisor in the work place will negotiate the focus for the learner’s role on placement, with the learner. Students complete 100 hours in the work setting. The learner will reflect critically on different dimensions of the work place setting. This module provides an opportunity for students wishing to attain National Professional recognition with the Teaching and Learning Academy (TLA) to complete an AMTLA project. The module will also provide the opportunity for those students interested in going on to the PGCE programme to gain support and guidance with the PGCE application process.  
  3. In this module, students will be introduced to key concepts, issues and studies within the fields of social psychology and individual differences.  Examples of the breadth and depth of issues which students may explore include attitudes, attribution, intelligence, inter-group behaviour, Intelligence, Personality, Prejudice and Discrimination, Personality, and Social Influence. Issues of measurement and testing, including psychometric testing, reliability, validity and usage will be explored.  Students will explore both classic social psychological and individual differences approaches to these phenomenon, as well as looking at recent research, debates, and developments within the field.
  4. This module will develop students’ knowledge and deepen their understanding of the psychological underpinnings of the criminal justice environment and the various actors who come within its ambit. A key theme running through the module will be on the insights that psychology can offer on explaining decision-making in various contexts, on the part of victims, offenders, agencies and professionals associated with criminal justice and its operation in practice. It will also explore the critical importance of public attitudes towards crime, punishment and the Criminal Justice System.
  5. This module will build on foundation level modules to further enhance knowledge and understanding of qualitative methods and analysis. It will focus on various approaches within qualitative psychological research (e.g IPA, Discourse Analysis and Thematic Analysis) appreciating the strengths, limitations and the philosophical assumptions underlying each approach. It will enable students to consider how research questions are developed and how these inform the choice of the method.
  6. This module covers the key processes associated with cognition as well as the biological and neurological underpinnings of such cognitive processes. The module also introduces cognitive psychology as a specific approach to understanding behaviour with its emphasis on theoretically led hypothesis and the experimental testing of these hypotheses to further develop theory. Additionally, consideration will be given to the research methodology underpinning the evidence based explored within this module.
  7. Developmental Psychology is generally viewed as one of several core areas in the discipline. This module, however, suggests that developmental psychology must be viewed as something more important and pervasive: All areas of the study of human existence can only be fully understood if a developmental perspective is adopted in the sense that all behaviour develops either by evolution (phylogeny) or during the lifespan of the organism (ontogeny). Furthermore, this module places developmental psychology in the wider context of studying the human condition by exploring not only the phylogeny and ontogeny of behaviour and thought but also their function (and dysfuction) and mechanism.
  1. This tutored double module provides students with the opportunity to select an area of particular interest to them within the field of Forensic Psychology, and to design, plan and execute an in-depth empirical research project in their chosen area. Students will be required to produce a brief initial research proposal, for discussion with their supervisor. The proposal is then used as a basis for developing an application for Newman University ethical approval, which must be achieved prior to commencing data collection.  The research design should include either quantitative and/or qualitative analyses and draw upon and critically evaluate a range of both classic and contemporary research findings throughout. A poster presentation detailing the research process and findings will also be an assessed element.
  2. This course will introduce students to a number of controversies, conceptual issues, and philosophical debates in contemporary psychology.  Students will be introduced to competing philosophical perspectives within psychology, and will explore how the philosophical stance adopted by psychologists may affect their assumptions about the nature of psychological phenomenon.  Students will explore how this in turn may affect the kinds of knowledge which may be produced or uncovered.
  3. This module will develop students’ knowledge and deepen their understanding of key investigative processes and techniques utilised in various forensic contexts.  It will integrate selected relevant theoretical perspectives from the field of forensic psychology with critical insights from applied criminology and policing studies.  A key reference point for the module will be Smith and Flanagan’s seminal (2000) Home Office research report, The Effective Detective: identifying the skills of an effective SIO.
  4. This module seeks to broaden students’ comparative understanding of criminal justice by locating it in an international context.  Using selected focal topics, it will heighten critical awareness of different models in use in responding to crime, deviance, victims and harm. It will draw on examples from a number of comparator jurisdictions which may include Scotland, The Netherlands, China, Japan and the United States.  Students will be encouraged to access independently international source material in order to prepare a presentation and brief for a Justice Minister on a selected topic.
  5. This module will provide the basis for students to critically examine the relationship between crime, the criminal justice system and the increasingly fluid and intersectional social categories of ‘race’, culture, religion, gender, and sexuality. Using national and international contemporary theoretical perspectives, students will examine how these can aid explanation of crime in late modern Britain. Through their own reflective writing and the use of a range of visual methods/resources, students will be challenged to critically evaluate how they as potential practitioners are situated within structures of power and how their own inhabiting of multiple identities will be implicated in their efforts to challenge the inequalities that persist within the criminal justice system.
  6. This module will engage students in a detailed conceptual analysis of crime, space and place. Crime needs to be understood in relation to the private and public spaces in which it is located, such as the home, urban environments, rural environments, the school, shopping malls, parks, the prison, the street, neighbourhoods, and council estates. The module will explore how (and by whom) spaces are controlled and how this leads to perceptions within communities as to how to behave. Spaces (such as neighbourhoods) can become privatised, gentrified, gendered and racialised, leading to disproportionate policing and criminalisation. Students will critically examine how systems designed to reduce crime and provide safety in certain spaces – e.g. surveillance, affect criminal behaviour and people living in, or travelling through those spaces. Students will be encouraged take an ethnographic approach to understand the interaction between crime, place and space by exploring a real life space and relating this to theoretical frames.
  7. This module critically examines a range of criminological theory, both historical and contemporary, that seeks to explain why young people commit crime and how it has and continues to inform governmental responses to youth crime. This will include some discussion of current policy and legislation and an analysis of structures within the British Criminal Justice System (focusing on England and Wales) such as Youth Offending Teams. Particular focus will be on how young peoples’ criminal behaviour is interpreted and contested in the media and political discourses and how youth crime policy impacts disproportionately on certain groups of young people within society (e.g. black young people, young people who meet on the street, etc.). A recurrent theme will be how current models of work with young people involved in crime and multi-professional efforts to bring about desistance from that behaviour may conflict with the workers reluctance to engage in social control.
  8. Health psychology is an exciting field within psychology that has important contributions to make to our understanding of health, wellbeing and illness, from a biopsychosocial perspective. The module will explore key theoretical models (e.g., TPB HBM, SOC), which attempt to explain and predict health-related behaviour (e.g., smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity & ultra violet radiation rays), and examine the practical applications of these models on health, wellbeing and illness. A multitude of health interventions will be reviewed and critically evaluated. Consideration will be given to the research methodology underpinning the evidence based explored within this module. Implications of the module requirements for student employability will also be reflected on.
  9. This module builds upon the second year module Human Development: An Ethological Approach (PYU516) and applies an understanding of contextualised development in an educational setting. Educational Psychology explores various and seemingly discrete issues associated with the dynamic between teaching and learning. These issues include the qualities of a good teacher, the environment of the classroom, the form and function of assessment, diversity and the use of blended approaches to teaching and learning.

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