Criminology and Criminal Psychology

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

Taught in the oldest Law department in Wales, BSc Criminology and Criminal Psychology at Aberystwyth University is a fascinating subject that focuses on the fundamental aspects of Criminology but places special emphasis on the psychological approaches to understanding human behaviour and criminality. You will examine crime causation and the impact of crime on individuals, communities and societies, and explore 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 BSc Criminology and Criminal Psychology 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

The BSc Criminology and Criminal Psychology degree provides a balanced coverage of theory, policy and practice issues in criminology and criminal justice studies. The course draws upon sociological, psychological and legal theories and real-world examples to explore the causes of crime, how crime is defined, and why certain behaviours are regarded as criminal. It explores a wide variety of criminological perspectives, ranging from the emergence of Classical Criminology, all the way up to new and ever-growing fields at the forefront of criminology, such as green crime and wildlife crime. 

The current teaching team comprises staff with expertise in the main disciplines that inform criminological study, such as psychology, sociology and law, and you will be taught by criminologists who are actively engaged in research. We have an excellent working relationship with local criminal justice agencies and there are opportunities to undertake a criminal justice placement. You can also undertake supervised independent criminological research. 

Our modules are continually revised and updated to reflect recent changes in patterns of criminal behaviour and crime policy responses. A number of key modules are dedicated to illustrating how psychological theory, methods and techniques can be used to understand criminal behaviour. 

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 - 2024

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
Essential Skills for Criminologists * LC13120 20
Foundations of Psychology LC13620 20
Introduction to Criminology LC12220 20
Legal and Criminal Justice Systems * LC10120 20


Module Name Module Code Credit Value
Criminal Law * LC10520 20
Criminology in Action LC14120 20

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


BSc Criminology and Criminal Psychology provides an excellent academic foundation for careers in the criminal justice sector, including the Police and Prison Service, National Probation Services, UK Border Agency, and 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. 

 Career development opportunities while you study 

Discover more about the various opportunities that our Aberystwyth University Careers Service offers. 

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and our Year in Employment Scheme (YES) which are both managed by our Careers Service.  

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn? 

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. 

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; and basic research skills in criminology. 

In your second and final year 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; and undertake a voluntary work placement in a criminal justice setting. 

You will also 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? 

You will be taught through a combination of innovative and high-quality lectures, tutorials and seminars. 

Our lectures will introduce you to key concepts and relevant up-to-date information. You will also have access to recorded versions of lectures. 

Our tutorials and seminars are an opportunity for you to discuss specific legal themes or topics, and to evaluate and obtain feedback on your individual learning while at the same time improving your construction of legal arguments. 

How will I be assessed? 

You will be assessed through essays, exams, study logs or portfolios and oral presentations including mooting exercises. 

A personal tutor will be assigned to you for the duration of your degree course. Your personal tutor will be your key contact if you have any 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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