BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice
Why study Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University?
- 91% of our students agreed they were satisfied with their degree in the 2019 National Student Survey
- Accredited by the British Psychological Society
- Teaching in two state-of-the-art buildings
- Fascinating insight into the criminal mind and the criminal justice system
- Diverse range of careers in forensic psychology, the police, probation and prison services, drug and alcohol support, victim and witness support, and youth work
- International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more
About your course
Completing the professionally-accredited BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice at Liverpool John Moores University will give you vital insights into the criminal mind and criminal justice system, opening up a wide range of exciting career opportunities.
In recent decades the psychological and criminological spheres have become inseparable and this course is designed to reflect this. It is aimed at people who want a BPS recognised psychology degree but who have a keen interest in the sphere of criminal justice and criminal behaviour.
The interdisciplinary approach of this programme allows you to draw links between the two subjects and apply psychological issues to real-life situations so that you get a true understanding of how the human mind works in relation to criminal activity.
Throughout the programme you will study the core foundations of psychology such as developmental, cognitive and social psychology whilst also studying modules such as 'an Introduction to Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice' and criminological theory which aim to develop your understanding of the relationship between the disciplines of psychology and criminal justice. You will also study criminal justice modules every year which will develop your knowledge of the relevant systems, processes and agencies involved in this sphere.
In your final year you will study modules specialising in forensic psychology at all three levels of the programme, and in your final year, you will be able to choose from a suite of optional modules which allows you to tailor your studies around your personal academic and vocational interests. Work-related learning and practical experiences are incorporated across the programme allowing you to develop transferable skills that are essential in the workplace.
This extremely popular course is taught across the Schools of Natural Science and Psychology and Law, so teaching takes place across two locations - the Tom Reilly Building and the 38million Redmonds Building.
"LJMU ticks all the boxes. Liverpool is fantastic, the Criminal Justice team are brilliant and the course content is super. From the moment I read the about the course I was hooked and I've not been disappointed. The volunteering opportunities available to help link practical experience to academic achievement offers the best prospects to succeed it your chosen career."
This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society, making you eligible for graduate membership of the BPS and the Graduate Basis for Registration - this is crucial for moving into careers in psychology or postgraduate study and the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
Examples of careers secured by recent graduates include trainee forensic psychologist, clinical support worker, police officer, trainee probation officer, probation service assistant, arrest referral and bail support team worker, drug and alcohol support worker, victim support worker, witness support worker, youth worker and cognitive behavioural programme facilitator for the prison service.
Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.
Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.
One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.
LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.
Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?
Find out more about the opportunities we have available via our Instagram @ljmuglobalopps or email us at: email@example.com.
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What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules may also be included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Criminal Justice System
The module aims to explore the criminal justice process in England and Wales. You will learn about: police powers, including the power to stop and search; crime control and due process models of policing; sentencing and punishment.
This module will provide you with an understanding of historical and contemporary criminological theories and highlight how these have shaped and influenced the modern day criminal justice system and responses to crime and deviance.
Introduction to Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice
The aim of this module is to identify the interactions between Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice, including an overview of the historical developments of forensic and legal psychology.
Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology 1: Relationships and Associations
This module will introduce the tools needed for carrying out a literature search. It will provide you with a practical introduction on how to design an experiment, collect data in an ethical manner, perform statistical analysis and write up findings in a manner consistent with published material.
Introduction to Developmental Psychology and Individual Differences
The aim of this module is to present a range of topics in developmental psychology and individual differences research. You will be introduced to methods applied to understanding key issues in developmental psychology and individual differences research to enable you to consult and summarise appropriate sources to explain key issues.
Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology 2: Testing for Differences
This module will introduce the tools needed for carrying out a literature search. It will provide you with a practical introduction on how to design an experiment, collect data in an ethical manner, perform statistical analysis and write up findings in a manner consistent with published material. Building on from Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology 1: Relationships and Associations, you will learn more complex statistical tests.
Introduction to Biological and Cognitive Psychology
This module introduces you to biological and cognitive psychology. You will examine fundamental issues in cognitive psychology and will consider theoretical models of memory, as well as examining attention and perception. You will introduced to fundamental issues in biological psychology.
Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology 4: Advanced Quantitative Research Methods
This module enables you to examine the use of advanced tests of differences and relationships in psychological research. You will develop an understanding of factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA), multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), simple regression and multiple regression.
Cognitive and Biological Psychology
This module covers key topics in the area of cognitive and biological psychology. This module builds on the biological and cognitive psychology materials introduced in level 4. You will explore current research relating to biological underpinnings that account for commonalities and individual differences in vision, touch, sleep, motivation, learning and consciousness.
Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, and Individual Differences
In this module you will explore psychological development through the life span, covering key areas of development such as cognitive development, identity development and developmental disorders. The module will cover key concepts from individual differences research: intelligence, gender commonalities and differences, and personality and subjective wellbeing. You will also gain an understanding of social psychological concepts such as interpersonal relationships, group processes and intergroup relations.
Professional Development in Criminal Justice
The aim of this module is to provide you with the ability to develop self-awareness and identify skills to improve their employability in criminal justice and allied areas. You will also gain an understanding of the relationship between theory, policy and the experience of practice in various criminal justice agencies.
Exploring Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice
Within this module, you will explore in-depth the relationship between Forensic psychology and Criminal Justice. You will also explore key concepts in modern psychological research, and their influence on key contemporary issues in Crime and Criminal Justice.
Decision Making in Criminal Justice
This module will build on your knowledge of the decision making process in criminal justice in England and Wales.
An Introduction to Penology
This module allows you to pursue a more in-depth study of two of the main criminal justice institutions, Prison and Probation services. The design and delivery surrounding their administration has remained the subject of intense debate and controversy throughout their history. Therefore, you will be encouraged to critically engage with these debates taking into consideration the theory, policy, and practice which surrounds community and custodial interventions.
Study Year Abroad - Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice
The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.
The overall aim of this module is to develop a more meaningful understanding of victims of crime and to critically explore their role and experiences within the criminal justice system. You will develop a critical appreciation of the conceptual development of victims and victimology as an academic discipline and also evaluate the notions of victimhood and explore challenges for victim service provision.
Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice Dissertation
The aim of this module is to enable you to conduct independent research in a forensic psychology and criminal justice related topic and apply to existing literature to provide a set of arguments and relevant conclusion.
Forensic and Investigative Psychology
This module aims to allow you to critically evaluate and apply psychological theories and knowledge in relation to real-world forensic problems. You will work in cross-disciplinary groups to critically explore and evaluate a range of potential solutions to real-world problems.
Contemporary Issues in Prisons and Probation
The aim of this module is to enable you to develop your learning and understanding of penology building on the introductory course at level 5. You will be given the opportunity to critically evaluate and consider contemporary issues in penology with a clear focus on the theory, policy and practice which surrounds community and custodial interventions.
The overall aim of the course is to develop a more meaningful understanding of the police as an organisation and to critically explore the role policing plays within wider understandings of crime and criminology.
This module will provide you with a critical understanding of the position of youth in society today, the relationship between youth and crime, and the range of ways in which criminal justice responds to youth crime in England and Wales. It will provide you with knowledge of the past and current policy and legislation relating to young people. You will have the opportunity to develop practice skills of assessing seriousness, suitability and risk assessment in relation to offences and sentences for young people, as well as oral presentation skills by preparing and completing the module's assessed presentation.
Substance Use, Society and Criminal Justice
This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of the sociocultural place of substance use. It will investigate different paradigms and perspectives on substance (mis)use and explore relevant drug policy. The module will also seek to provide a comprehension of how we practically respond to substance use via treatment interventions.
Regulation, Harm and Victimisation
Within this module, you will be introduced to the area of governance, regulation and regulatory bodies in the context of non-conventional harm and victimisation. You will also be able to critically investigate non-conventional harm and victimisation and explore and apply concepts such as regulation, accountability and justice.
Comparative Criminal Justice
The overall aim of this module is to examine the practices, policies, and philosophies of criminal justice in different cultural and geographical contexts and provide an overview of different types of criminal justice systems around the globe. This module will therefore provide a critical understanding of the development of alternative justice processes across the globe.
Green Criminology and Environmental Crime
This module aims to raise student awareness of issues relating to the nature, extent and typology of environmental crime. The module also aims to stimulate critical evaluation of the current responses to environmental crime, and of green criminology's contributions to the debate about the most effective responses.
Cybercrime and the AI World
This module aims to develop student knowledge of academic ideas and evidence relating to cybercrime - its definition, what we know and don't know about its extent, how we respond to it, and how we should respond to it. The development of AI in the response to crime will also be investigated.
Violence and Society
This module aims to develop advanced and theoretically-informed knowledge of the range of typologies of violence that exist in society, the nature and extent of different forms of violence, and the challenges of regulating violence
Terrorism and Counter Terrorism
In this module you will examine the key concepts in relation to terrorism and explore a number of key issues including definitions of terrorism, ideologies, typology, group structures, tactics, methods of operation, target selection, state response, use of technologies, funding and media impact. You will also explore the concept of, and delivery of, counter terrorism initiatives with a focus on the measures being adopted within the United Kingdom, drawing on comparative counter-terrorism strategies from the US and Canada.
This module will explore psychological theory, as it relates to public health care. It will also examine some of the major threats to public health, including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. You will explore in-depth the major concepts and research methods used in the field of health psychology.
Cognitive Neuroscience addresses the question how the brain enables human cognition and behaviour by employing a variety of different methodologies. The module will examine how methodologies as for example lesion studies, functional brain imaging, electrophysiological studies and behavioural experiments contribute to our understanding of a variety of cognitive functions such as memory, attention and perception.
The aim of this module is to explore in-depth the major concepts and research methods used in the field of positive psychology. You learn in-depth discussions of the psychology science associated with human strengths, flourishing and positive emotions. You will also explore the position of Positive Psychology in relation to other branches of Psychology.
Psychopharmacology and Addictive Behaviour
This module will introduce you to popular drugs of abuse, their mechanisms of action and their effects. You will learn how the effects of drugs can be harmful and are related to many factors including purity, dose and route of administration.
Face Perception: Processes and Disorders
The aim of this module is to introduce you to theory and research relating to the processes of attending to, categorising and recognising human faces. You will also be able to examine the forensic applications of research in face perception.
The aim of this module is to introduce you to theory and research concerning social cognition and to analyse and evaluate key models and theories within the field of social cognition. You will also be able to explore contemporary applied issues in social cognition.
The module is designed to provide a clear introduction to work psychology by covering contemporary research material to enable students to develop a critical understanding of some of the key themes in work psychology.
Psychology of Sexual Violence
This module aims to provide criminal justice practitioners of the future a basic understanding of sexual violence and sexual offenders, providing you with an understanding of the different types of sexual violence and an understanding of the psychological theories and motivational explanations which underpin our current understanding of why offenders commit such offences.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.Teaching is delivered via a combination of lectures, smaller student-led tutorials, hands-on laboratory work, online activities and private study. You are also expected to actively seek out voluntary work with relevant agencies to build up your experience out in the field.
During your studies, you will be encouraged to seek out voluntary work with a range of local agencies during your course. We work very closely with partners in criminal justice to help students get relevant voluntary experience while they study, which is more beneficial to those who want to go on and work in the sector or take a further forensic qualification. All hands-on experience will prove invaluable once you start to apply for jobs, as you will be able to demonstrate to potential employers that you have professional skills as well as the drive and initiative to succeed.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
You will be assigned a personal tutor who will provide one-to-one support and guidance. As well as discussing day-to-day course-related issues with you, they will help you to monitor your progress and start planning for your future career.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
We acknowledge that all students perform differently depending on how they are assessed, which is why we use a number of different assessment methods and continually develop new ones. They may include:
- group presentations (some pre-recorded and edited by students)
- student-led lectures
- exams (seen/unseen)
- online multiple-choice exams
- literature reviews
Throughout the assessment process you will have support from your module leaders and personal tutor in addition to written guidelines, hints and tips, plus revision and recap sessions and study support classes.
Your tutors will provide individual feedback on assessments within three weeks, allowing you to quickly identify your successes and the areas where you may need to put in more work.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Rachael Steele
Dr Rachael Steele
What you can expect from your School
Based within the John Foster Building, in the Mount Pleasant Campus, the School of Justice Studies is a leading provider of education in Policing Studies, Criminology and Criminal Justice. We provide specific training for policing students wishing to enter the service as a graduate recruit. The John Foster Building has many outstanding facilities, including well-equipped IT Suites, a light-filled Student Common Room and dedicated study areas. At the back of the John Foster Building is the Aldham Robarts Library, which gives 24 hour access to an exceptional range of materials to support your studies.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Minimum points required from qualifications:
GCSEs and equivalents
Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below:
- Key Skills Level 2 in English/Maths
- NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
- Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
- Higher Diploma in Maths/English
- Functional Skills Level 2 in Maths/English
- Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Welsh GCSE in Maths or Numeracy
- Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Minimum number of A Levels required: 2
- Is general studies acceptable? Yes
- Average A Level offer: ABB
- Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20
- National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma subjects / grades required: DDM if studied on its own or to the total of 128 UCAS points if combined with other qualifications.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Further information: At least 30 Distinctions and 15 Merits, or any other combination that equates to 128 UCAS Tariff points in a relevant subject
- International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Additional information: 128 UCAS Tariff points from IB Composite parts, or in combination with other Level 3 qualifications
- Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Grades / subjects required: 128 UCAS Tariff points with a maximum 20 UCAS Tariff points from Ordinary Level
- Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- T Level requirements:
128 UCAS Tariff points in a related subject
- Are Level 3 NVQs acceptable? Acceptable when combined with other qualifications
Alternative qualifications considered
Applications are welcomed from mature and non-standard applicants, who will be considered on an individual basis. These applicants may be required to submit an essay and/or attend an interview, and should demonstrate potential and motivation and/or have relevant experience.
International applicants will be considered in line with UK qualifications.
6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.
Reduced offer scheme
As part of LJMU’s commitment to widening access we offer eligible students entry to their chosen course at a reduced threshold of up to 16/8 UCAS points. This applies if you are a student who has been in local authority care or if you have participated in one of LJMU’s sustained outreach initiatives, e.g. Summer University. Please contact the admission office for further details.
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.
We are looking for students who are keen to learn more around issues of Criminal Justice and Psychology. This course is designed to relate relevant theory to practical knowledge and experience in order to provide the skills for future employment in both criminal justice and psychological related fields.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.
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