Psychology with Criminology - BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code:
Part-time: apply direct to the University
Full Time (3 years), Part Time (5 years)
September 2016, September 2017

This course is now full for September 2016.

View other Social Sciences courses or our full list of Clearing courses.

Fully accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), this course offers a fascinating investigation into how individuals behave, think, perceive and interact with the world, with explanations of crime, responses to crime and the relationships of power within which these are produced.

New for 2017/18

Psychology with Criminology - BSc (Hons)*

If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.

*This course is subject to approval.

Summary of our new course

We deliver core psychology and criminology content in a distinct and integrated manner, so that you will be proficient in understanding human behaviour  and, specifically, in comprehending why people commit certain crimes, and why they reoffend.

Our accreditation from the British Psychological Society indicates the high, professional standard of the course which constitutes stage one training for a range of (chartered status) careers in psychology.

Our academic expertise in research and teaching ensures your course remains cutting-edge and relevant.   We encourage voluntary work alongside your studies, with current students working in areas including the special constabulary, prison visiting and more. 

Sign up for course updatesBenefits of our new curriculum

What's covered in the course?

If you’re interested in human behaviour and want to investigate the factors which contribute to general patterns of behaviour, psychological functioning and experience, then the study of psychology could be right for you. Criminology focuses your study on explanations of crime, responses to crime and the relationships of power within which these are produced.

This course will be made up of 70 per cent psychology and 30 per cent criminology. You’ll apply multiple psychology perspectives to issues in contemporary society as well as considering the links with criminology and forensic psychology.

Your psychology modules will cover key areas such as developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, abnormal psychology and social psychology. Criminology modules will provide an in-depth study of crime, punishment and victimisation.

You’ll also address specific questions such as ‘Why do criminals re-offend?’ and ‘Why do people commit crimes?’ You’ll look at how society responds to crime through agencies such as the police and the probation service.

We encourage voluntary work alongside your studies; current students are working in areas including the Special Constabulary, prison visiting, drug treatment schemes, victim support and bail/youth hostels for young offenders.

“Birmingham City University offers a great start to your career. You need to play hard but work even harder as the course is very demanding of your time and effort, but it will all be worth it in the end.” Mandip Kaur Narewal

Why Choose Us?

  • The Psychology and Criminology divisions comprise highly qualified teaching and research staff such as Professor Craig Jackson and Professor David Wilson.
  • Upon graduating, there is the opportunity to apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the Society (GBC) enabling you to train or study in chartered psychology divisional areas.
  • We have excellent facilities, including laboratories, an observation suite, counselling rooms and specialist software, such as E-Prime, SPSS, Pinnacle Studio and NVIVO.
  • We have a strategic partnership with high-security prison HMP Grendon, the only prison in Europe that operates as a therapeutic community. Former Director of Therapeutic Communities at Grendon Michael Brookes is a Professor at the University.
  • You’ll study at a modern City Centre Campus in the heart of the UK’s second city, Birmingham, in the new purpose-built Curzon Building.
  • School of Social Sciences’ research into decency, respect, equality and diversity has impacted on UK prison policy and practice.
  • School of Social Sciences’ research in prisons has helped rehabilitate prisoners, improving their employability and reducing re-offending.
  • School of Social Sciences - Our research is leading the way on how we understand and respond to diverse offenders and prisoners.
Student ambassador helps Open Day visitor

Open Day - 8 October 2016

Our next University-wide Open Day will take place on Saturday 8 October 2016. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now

Please note: we are currently reviewing our entire course provision for 2017/18. Details will be included in your registration email.

This course is open to International students

School of Social Sciences

Discover the School of Social Sciences

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Heartlands Hospital
  • SOVA Metro

And in jobs such as:

  • Support Worker
  • Ex-offender Mentor

This course is accredited by:

The British Psychological Society

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

UK students

At the point of enrolment you must have GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above. Equivalent qualifications will be considered, however Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy are not accepted.

280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels, excluding General Studies.

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2016/17
GCE A Level/ AS Level Minimum of 2 at A2 Level or equivalent, excluding General Studies. Remaining points can be made up with a maximum of 2 AS Levels in different subjects.
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3, of which 18 Level 3 credits are at merit or distinction on a social sciences/Humanities pathway.
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including Early Years or Children’s Care, Learning and Development) D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points. This excludes BTEC Health and Social Care subjects.
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including Early Years or Children’s Care, Learning and Development) DMM - 280 UCAS points. This excludes BTEC Health and Social Care subjects.
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including Early Years or Children’s Care, Learning and Development) Accepted in combination with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points. This excludes BTEC Health and Social Care subjects.
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 280 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 280 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
EU/International students
EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications Requirements 2016/17
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.


International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

The UCAS tariff is changing

If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.

UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.

More about the new tariff

From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels

Unconditional Offers

Unconditional Offers

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for 2016/17, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.

To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

280 points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBC or above)
predicted DMM at BTEC level

You will also be required to attend an interview.

More about unconditional offers

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £9,000 per year
PT 5 years £1,125 per 15-credit module
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS
PT 5 years TBC

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2016 FT 3 years £12,000 per year
Sep 2017 FT 3 years £12,000 per year Apply via UCAS

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

This course is now full for September 2016.

You will be able to apply for 2017/18 via UCAS from 6 September 2016.

Non-EU (International) students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Year one

Introduction to Psychology

This module explores the origins, developments and refinements in the study of modern-day psychology, dating back to early philosophy, thought experiments and the “founding fathers” of the discipline.

Introduction to Psychopathology

This will introduce the key perspectives in psychology which contribute to the explanation of abnormal states and their impact on disordered thinking, functioning and behaviour.

Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice

You’ll explore the origin of criminology, some of the historical debates such as “Are offenders born or made, and what impact does punishment have on changing the level of crime in society?” It will outline what are considered to be core perspectives and theories related to crime and criminality.

Year two

Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology is fundamental in providing key empirical studies and research which explain the mental and cognitive processes involved for particular behaviours, and explain/conceptualise how these processes impact on individuals’ psychological functioning and experience.

Individual Differences

Build your knowledge and understanding of different perspectives in Individual Differences Psychology, including conceptualising and explaining patterns in behaviour, psychological functioning and experience, and their application to contemporary society.

Qualitative Research Methods and Analysis

This provides you with a grounding in the use of qualitative research methods and analysis techniques commonly used in psychology.

Social Psychology

The module will provide you with the relevant skills, knowledge and training to undertake social psychology research and further training. In particular, it will familiarise you with core theoretical social psychology concepts and their explanation and conceptualisation.

Prisons and Punishment

This module will focus on exploring areas such as justifying and explaining punishment, as well as giving an insight into how young people, and women in particular, have had varying experiences of prison. You’ll also look at areas such as mental health and treating sex offenders in prison.

Year three

Biological Psychology

This module covers fundamental areas of biological psychology, exploring competing perspectives, contemporary debates and important areas of application. The module explores comparative approaches to biological psychology.

Developmental Psychology

Developmental Psychology will look at issues across the lifespan which will be considered with inter-relationships across differing perspectives in psychology and cognate disciplines which give rise to theories and specialised areas in their explanation of thinking, functioning and behaviour across the lifespan.

Hate Crime

You’ll be introduced to the issues related to hate crime and how multi-agencies have to deal with such complex issues. You’ll explore and examine the issue of vulnerable groups such as children, those with a learning disability and people who have suffered anti-Muslim hate and Islamophobia as potential victims of religiously motivated hate crimes.

Course Structure

You’ll study the key areas of psychology, such as developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, abnormal psychology and social psychology. This is complemented by an equal number of criminology modules that provide an in-depth study of crime, punishment and victimisation.

The course provides you with:

  • The knowledge and understanding of perspectives in psychology, including their conceptualisation and explanation of patterns in behaviour, psychological functioning, experience, the role of brain function in human behaviour and application to contemporary society.
  • The ability to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of theories and research relating to specific aspects of crime and criminal behaviour.
  • The ability to think critically and creatively about inter-relationships and integration of theoretical and empirical work in psychology and criminology, their inter-relationships across multiple perspectives, research methodologies and applications to chartered and applied areas in psychology and criminology.
  • The understanding and application of research design, data analysis, evaluation and scientific report of findings across both domains.
  • Active learning and transferable skills that are appropriate for a psychology graduate.

You'll be supported by specialist facilities such as psychology computer teaching laboratories, an E-Prime psychology laboratory, individual E-Prime laboratories and a counselling suite. Computers in the psychology laboratories are supported by E-Prime, editing and research packages. Other equipment - such as a two-way mirror - also supports psychology experiments. All these facilities are maintained by dedicated technicians.

In your final year you’ll carry out independent study into an area of psychology of your choice, this is of particular benefit if you wish to go on to further specialist postgraduate study. Staff on the course will be specialists within one of the particular branch areas and will have links with chartered branch psychology divisions.

You’ll study the key areas of psychology, such as developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, abnormal psychology and social psychology. This is complemented by an equal number of criminology modules that provide an in-depth study of crime, punishment and victimisation.

Overseas Opportunities – the Erasmus programme – Andrew Dixon

You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Students have spent a term at a number of major institutions, including the University of San Diego in the USA, as well as destinations in Cyprus and Denmark.

Teaching breakdown

39 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
61 Time in independent study RoyalBlue

Assessment breakdown

27 Written exams DarkOrange
73 Coursework FireBrick

Further Study

Examples of further study opportunities include:

  • MA Criminology
  • PhD research degrees

This course is accredited by the following organisations:

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society, which not only demonstrates the high quality of our teaching provision, but also ensures our course remains cutting-edge, fresh and relevant.

The Society and its members develop, promote and apply psychology for the public good. They enhance the efficiency and usefulness of psychologists by setting high standards of professional education and knowledge, and cover all areas of psychological research and practice.

The British Psychological Society
The British Psychological Society

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society, which not only demonstrates the high quality of our teaching provision, but also ensures our course remains cutting-edge, fresh and relevant.

The Society and its members develop, promote and apply psychology for the public good. They enhance the efficiency and usefulness of psychologists by setting high standards of professional education and knowledge, and cover all areas of psychological research and practice.

Find out more about British Psychological Society accreditation.

Study and work abroad

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more

Trips and Visits

The School of Social Sciences has relationships with a number of criminal justice agencies and non-government organisations, including the local Community Safety Partnership, HMP Grendon and the Howard League. We also regularly have guest lecturers from the Police Force and various regional charities.

You’ll have the opportunity to gain a practical insight into the processes of the criminal justice system through self-organised visits to prisons, courts and police establishments.

We’re the only university in the country to hold an annual debate at high-security prison HMP Grendon. This unique opportunity offers criminology students the chance to gain an exceptional insight into how criminological theory and practice combine, through direct interaction with inmates.

Student stories Ouzma Khan

Having been inspired to join Birmingham City University by a talk given by our Professor of Criminology, Dr David Wilson, Ouzma has benefited from the close relationships the University enjoys with individuals and organisations in her field. She has enjoyed the challenge of the course and now plans to engage in further study before starting her career.

David Wilson at The Future of Murder

The Future of Murder

Crime is changing and social media is altering how killers operate. Our academics, Professor David Wilson and Dr Elizabeth Yardley, debated what murder looks like in the 21st Century during our free Future of Murder talk. They were joined by columnist Erwin James, a convicted murderer, and prison governor Jamie Bennett.

Watch again

Enhancing employability skills

A psychology with criminology degree opens up a wide range of career opportunities both within and outside the psychology field. Within the field you can become a qualified psychologist after postgraduate studies, leading to roles in forensic psychology, clinical psychology, educational psychology, forensic psychology, health psychology and other career paths. You may also wish to pursue careers in the police, legal system or prison system.

A psychology with criminology degree will also equip you with a host of transferable skills which can lead to careers such as human resources, counselling, teaching, research, government and many more.

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society. If you complete this course and obtain a 2:2 or above (including the completion of your empirical piece of work), you’ll also gain GBC (Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership) on graduation. This is a vital first step on the road to becoming a professional psychologist.

You’ll also gain valuable experience through our Employability Challenge Weeks, as well as our Leadership Challenge programme. Both give you the chance to apply your skills to innovative and exciting projects, industry talks and workshops. You’ll also receive guidance on how to complete application forms and write effective CVs.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Graduate Jobs

Our graduates progress into a number of roles, working for companies and charities such as NSPLC Childline, The Island College and West Midlands Ambulance Service, working as specialist tutors, counsellors and house advisors.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Studying in the UK is better

Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.

The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.

So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.

Overall measures: ranked positions
Undergraduate 2014 2014 2014 2013 2014
Recommendation 1 4 3 5 2
Overall satisfaction 1 4 3 5 2
Arrival overall 1 2 4 5 3
Learning overall 1 4 3 5 2
Living overall 1 2 5 3 4
Support overall 1 4 5 3 2

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Popular home countries

Our students come from around the world but our psychology with criminology course is most popular with international students from:

Russia Flag


Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law, business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’re also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.

For those studying on the BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation pathway, you’ll experience simulations of police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis.

Crime investigation files are prepared using computer-based technology, and the crime data analysis requirements of the degree are supported by appropriate statistical and analytical software.

Psychology students can look forward to using state-of-the-art equipment as well, including the latest in eye-tracking software, and our new EEG machine, all geared towards giving you true hands-on experience with tools you’ll be using in your later career.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

David Wilson

Professor David Wilson

Professor of Criminology

David Wilson is a former prison governor and expert on serial killers through his work with various British police forces, academic publications, books, and media appearances. Most recently he appeared on the Channel 5 documentary, Serial Killers.

Imran Awan profile picture

Dr Imran Awan

Associate Professor and Deputy Director of the Centre for Applied Criminology

Imran's areas of expertise are based around the impact of Islamophobia and the effects of counter-terrorism. As well as being a regular face in the media, Imran is a government advisor for the Cross-Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred.

Dr Elle Boag

Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology

After completing her BSc in psychology in 2006 at the University of Southampton, Elle Boag was awarded both the school of psychology prize and the BPS prize for best dissertation in the Wessex region. Subsequently, she continued onto an MSc in research methods in psychology which she completed in 2007.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295