Criminology and Criminal Psychology

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You are viewing this course for September start 2022

The BSc degree in Criminology and Criminal Psychology at Aberystwyth University focuses on the fundamental aspects of Criminology but places special emphasis on the psychological approaches to understanding human behaviour and criminality.

The degree addresses crime causation and the impact of crime on individuals, communities and societies, and explores psychological explanations of criminal behaviour and the management of offenders. Modules in criminology research methods will also provide you with key technical and analytical skills necessary to engage in contemporary debates surrounding policies and practices designed to prevent crime.

On completion of your degree, you will possess a repertoire of skills essential for pursuing a professional career in areas such as policing, prisons and youth justice.

Course Overview

Why study Criminology & Criminal Psychology at Aberystwyth University?

  • The degree provides a balanced coverage of theory, policy and practice issues in criminology and criminal justice studies.
  • The current teaching team comprises staff with expertise in the main disciplines that inform criminological study, such as psychology, sociology and law.
  • A number of key modules are dedicated to illustrating how psychological theory, methods and techniques can be used to understand criminal behaviour.
  • Our modules are continually revised and updated to reflect recent changes in patterns of criminal behaviour and crime policy responses.
  • You will be taught by criminologists who are actively engaged in research.
  • There are opportunities to undertake a criminal justice placement.
  • Students can undertake supervised independent criminological research.
  • We have an excellent working relationship with local criminal justice agencies.
Our Staff

Department of Law and Criminology lecturers are mostly either qualified to PHD level or have professional experience and qualifications as practicing lawyers. Many staff also have a PGCE (Higher Education).

Modules September start - 2022

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Crime Control and Prevention LC10320 20
Criminology in Action LC14120 20
Essential Skills for Criminologists LC13120 20
Foundations of Psychology LC13620 20
Introduction to Criminology LC12220 20
Legal and Criminal Justice Systems LC10120 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


On completion of your degree you will be in a strong position to apply for roles in:

  • Police and Prison Services
  • National Probation Services
  • UK Border Agency
  • Intelligence Analysis for Security.

Your future is important to us and our degrees will equip you with the following:

  • an ability to communicate clearly and concisely written and oral form
  • effective problem solving and creative thinking skills
  • an ability to work independently and as a team
  • time management and organisation skills
  • self-motivation and self-reliance
  • research skills.

What opportunities are there as a student in the Department of Law & Criminology?

Course Content

The teaching programme is designed to provide you with a detailed insight into the nature and causes of crime and help you develop a critical understanding of the role of psychology in the study of crime and the treatment of offenders.

The breakdown below will provide you with an illustration of what you may study during the three year degree scheme.

In your first year you will be introduced to:

  • sociological and psychological approaches to the study of criminal behaviour
  • criminal law and the workings of the criminal justice system
  • basic research skills in criminology.

In your second and third years you will have the opportunity to:

  • develop your understanding of the relationship between theory, research and criminal justice practice
  • enhance your criminology research skills
  • further your understanding of the role of psychology in explaining criminal behaviour
  • conduct independent research on a topic of your own choosing
  • undertake a voluntary work placement in a criminal justice setting
  • choose from a long list of elective modules including Psychological Explanations of Criminal Behaviour, Psychopathology, Psychology and Crime, and Treatment and Rehabilitation of Offenders.

How will I be taught?

A wide variety of teaching methods are used. You will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops and practical classes. High quality teaching and supervision will enable you to realise your full potential. You will be encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning and work on projects both individually and in groups.

A number of different types of assessment are used throughout the undergraduate programme. In addition to essays and written exams, you will undertake practical exercises (eg conducting a qualitative interview) and give individual and group presentations. You will receive constructive feedback on all coursework assignments.

You will be assigned a personal tutor, who will be the key contact when you have issues or queries.

Student Testimonials

I love how Criminology makes you question everything around you. It opens your mind to new ideas, concepts and theories which challenge the very foundations of previously held beliefs. It also ignites a passion for obtaining justice and bettering our current criminal justice system. The relevance of the subject within the rhetoric of the political climate highlights the role of criminologists and the reality of the impact that these individuals can make to society.

Jenaya Smith

What do I love about Criminology? Well, I really do love it! It is amazing! The modules we are studying are great. Everything we study is so intriguing. At times it makes me puzzled because there are so many things and I just keep questioning what the correct ones are. However – and this is the biggest thrill about the course – it makes me keep reading and thinking, just to find the correct ones for myself. Moreover, there are the lecturers who are just so enthusiastic about what they are doing and I believe they succeed in passing this enthusiasm to us.

Violeta Kunovska

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 96

A Levels BBB-CCC

GCSE requirements (minimum grade C/4):
English or Welsh

BTEC National Diploma:

International Baccalaureate:

European Baccalaureate:
75%-65% overall

English Language Requirements:
See our Undergraduate English Language Requirements for this course. Pre-sessional English Programmes are also available for students who do not meet our English Language Requirements.

Country Specific Entry Requirements:
International students whose qualification is not listed on this page, can check our Country Specific Entry Requirements for further information.

The University welcomes undergraduate applications from students studying the Access to Higher Education Diploma or T-level qualifications, provided that relevant subject content and learning outcomes are met. We are not able to accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas or T-levels as a general qualification for every undergraduate degree course.
Our inclusive admissions policy values breadth as well as depth of study. Applicants are selected on their own individual merits and offers can vary. If you would like to check the eligibility of your qualifications before submitting an application, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for advice and guidance.

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