Psychology and Criminology

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You are viewing this course for September start 2024

BSc Psychology and Criminology at Aberystwyth University provides an opportunity to combine two of the most fascinating and popular areas of social science. On this course, you will gain insights into the social and psychological perspectives of crime. You will study the brain, mind and behaviour to discover people’s motivation to commit crime, the sociocultural repercussions of their actions, and the things that make them more likely to reoffend. 

During this three-year BSc Psychology and Criminology degree course, you will acquire a wide range of skills and knowledge that are highly valued by employers and there will be a range of rewarding career paths open to you. 

Course Overview

Through scientific study and taught by staff who have expertise in both disciplines, you will study crime, victims, societal structures and the criminal justice system.You will study why people commit crime and the social cultural repercussions of crime, with close reference to the psychological mind to gain and develop the crucial skills needed to enter this field of work.

You will examine current debates and learn how to apply theoretical knowledge to practical, real-world issues and controversies. At Aberystwyth, we work with you to help you become informed and curious thinkers. You will develop research and analysis skills, allowing you to conduct your own research. We use our teaching and research experience to inspire you and to give you the skills and confidence to do whatever you wish to do in the future. 

All our degree schemes are designed with employability in mind and the Psychology parts of this degree are accredited by the British Psychological Society. You will develop advanced critical, analytical and communication skills, and further develop your intellectual and transferable employability skills, such as critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and problem solving. This will enhance your employability in vocational areas, such as the criminal justice system and various settings within social services. 

We believe it is important that you study in a supportive, student-focused environment, and our modern research facilities and outstanding student learning spaces for both Psychology and Criminology are in addition to excellent central university facilities. These resources allow us to provide you with an innovative approach to learning and teaching. 

Our Staff

Department of Psychology’s teaching staff are all research active and all permanent staff are qualified to PhD level with most having either a PGCTHE or are fellows/senior fellow of the higher education academy. Over half of the staff also have the qualification CPsychol; an indicator of the BPS’ highest standard of psychological knowledge and expertise.

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.

* Also available partially or entirely through the medium of Welsh


Our BSc Psychology and Criminology degree is an excellent foundation if you are considering a career in the social and youth work professions, and will also provide specialist skills and knowledge relevant to a career in a criminal justice setting (eg police, probation or prison service). Our graduates have followed other career options including clinical, educational, occupational, sports and exercise psychology; psychotherapy and counselling; social work; health care; human resources; careers advisory service; marketing; publishing and advertising.

What work experience opportunities are there while I study? 

The Psychology department offers a variant of its joint and single honours degrees. Students interested in undertaking a work experience placement in a relative industry might be interested in the course Psychology and Criminology with integrated year in industry (A1C6), which is identical to this CM89 course, but with an additional year of student finance to undertake the placement. Find out what our Aberystwyth University Careers Service offers.

Enhance your employability prospects with GO Wales and YES (Year in Employment Scheme) - one of the options managed by our Careers Service. 

Teaching & Learning

What will I learn? 

The interdisciplinary nature of Psychology and Criminology work in partnership so that you gain the theoretical perspectives of crime with sociology and philosophy, whilst gaining necessary psychological principles. You will study why people commit crime and the social cultural repercussions of crime, with a close reference to the psychological mind, to gain and develop the crucial skills needed to enter this field of work. Your British Psychological Society accredited degree is built around essential core topics in psychology, which work alongside your specialised Criminology focused modules. 

During your first year you will begin to transform yourself into a Psychologist, by developing core knowledge in areas such as social and individual behaviour, Brain and cognition and historical issues in psychology. You will also start to develop a wide range of skills by using methods and techniques that will enable you to investigate psychological phenomena whilst exploring the key criminological theory which underpin many current penal policies. 

In your second and final year you will: shape your degree by choosing from our distinctive range of criminology optional modules. These modules are designed to develop critical thinking skills, paying close attention to causes of deviant behaviour, treatment options, and social policy intended to reduce criminality. You will also apply skills learnt throughout your degree by constructing your own research dissertation built around your personal ideas and interests within a psychological context. 

How will I be taught? 

Your academic and intellectual development are at the heart of the Aberystwyth Psychology and Criminology experience. Our staff are committed to a student focused approach to teaching, making your learning needs a priority in both what we teach and how we teach you. When you join us, you will be assigned a personal tutor who will support you throughout your degree and is there to advise and guide you on a range of academic and personal matters. 

From traditional lectures to small group work, we deliver inspirational teaching through a wide variety of different formats. You will also get to apply your knowledge in lab-based workshops and practicals, where you will be able to benefit from our wide range of specialist research equipment and facilities. 

At Aberystwyth you can be confident that you will receive the best learning experience at the very forefront of the discipline. 

How will I be assessed? 

Your development will be assessed in a broad variety of ways including: traditional exams, essays, wikis, blogs, observations and presentations. 

Student Testimonials

The good thing about Psychology and Criminology is that both subjects complement one another; for example, psychology modules broaden your knowledge meaning you can go more in-depth when studying criminology modules, which in my opinion gives you an advantage over straight criminology students. Psychology modules focus more on theories and explanations, while criminology modules help you to use those theories and explanations to focus on the reasons for crime, almost like putting the theories and explanations into practice. Again I believe this gives you an advantage over straight psychology by using what you've learned in another context. Joshua Lyons

Criminology is amazing. All the lecturers are extremely helpful and enthusiastic, which makes the course a lot more interesting for me to want to succeed at it. Criminology sets out guidelines that are straightforward and easy to follow. The criminology lectures are fun and keep you entertained so you are never bored in them and you are constantly wide awake and ready to learn what the lecturer has to offer. Also in Criminology the lecturers seem more keen to get you involved with the university. Leah Rossiter

I'm taking the course for a joint honours degree in Psychology and Criminology. It's a great way to learn both subjects and to receive the attention and possibilities from both departments. It's great that we can always ask our lecturers/tutors about anything and they always help us find the answer or the person who can give it. Our teachers are our friends - students can feel that from the attitudes in the classroom and even out of it! One of the best things is that we are able to access and use articles, books and files on our computers thanks to Primo Central. It is really easy and helpful, and I miss it every time I'm away from the campus. Long live Aberystwyth University! Karina Djokova

Typical Entry Requirements

UCAS Tariff 120 - 96

A Levels BBB-CCC

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

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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