You are viewing information for England.  Change country or region.
Mysterious running man photo

BA (Honours) Criminology and Psychology

Criminology and psychology help make sense of crime, criminalisation, criminals and victims. Studying this qualification provides you with a critical understanding of both subjects. You'll be able to question and develop your own beliefs and understandings about crime and harm. You'll consider criminal acts and human motivations, and then look beyond them to examine the social conditions in which crime occurs. You'll relate this to the exercise of power in response to crimes, the nature of conflicts when people interact (individually, in groups or as nations) and how and why societies determine what they will and won’t tolerate. 

Key features of the course

  • Helps you understand how criminology makes sense of crime, harm, conflict, victimisation, criminal justice and criminalisation.
  • Shows how psychology explains human interaction and conflict and how this helps interpret crime, criminalisation and victimisation.
  • Builds advanced critical, analytical and communication skills, and takes an original approach to teaching criminology and psychology.
  • Enhances your employability in vocational areas, such as the criminal justice system and various social services.  

We also offer a Diploma of Higher Education in Criminology and Psychology (W57) that is the same in structure as the first two-thirds of this degree.

Course Summary

+Shortlist Course

Degree

Degree

  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code
Q98
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
360
How long it takes
Part time – 6 years
Full time – 3 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising two 60-credit modules. 

  • At Stage 1 you’ll study two introductory modules – one with a focus on criminology and one on psychology. 
  • Next, at Stage 2, you’ll look at criminology and psychology in greater depth. 
  • Finally, at Stage 3, you’ll draw your studies together through applied approach to counselling and forensic psychology and an investigation of crime, harm and the state.

Prepare for OU study with an Access module

We offer two starting points depending on how confident you are or how long it’s been since you last studied. Choose to dive straight in with an OU level 1 module, or if you’d prefer some extra preparation, you can get started with an optional Access module. See Entry requirements for more details.

Stage 1 (120 credits)

At Stage 1 you'll study a wide range of social science issues and topics including the theme of justice in relation to immigration and criminalisation, and how psychologists investigate thinking and behaviour, including topics such as why people harm others, and how ‘false’ memories occur.
ModulesCredits
You'll start your degree with:
Introduction to criminology (DD105)60
You'll complete this stage with:
Investigating psychology 1 (DE100)60

Stage 2 (120 credits)

At Stage 2 you'll study two compulsory modules. You will learn how psychologists have studied both practical and theoretical issues, such as nationalism and sexuality, with a particular emphasis on understanding and solving problems that directly affect people’s lives. You'll also explore ways in which criminology seeks to explain problems of crime, and understands the role of criminal justice and experiences of victimisation.

Stage 3 (120 credits)

You’ll complete your degree with two further compulsory modules. You'll explore the fascinating relationship between counselling and forensic psychology as well as crime and harm in both global and local contexts, and in particular the role of states in shaping understandings of, and responses to, crime and harm. 

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 14 August 2020.


Accessibility

We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) Criminology and Psychology uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • online tutorials 
  • working in a group with other students
  • finding external/third party material online.

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit Disability support to find more about what we offer.


Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; elearning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.

It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


Classification of your degree

On successfully completing this undergraduate course, you'll be awarded the BA (Honours) Criminology and Psychology degree. The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third-class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.

You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 


Compare this course

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Preparing for study with an Access module

Students who start their study with an Access module are more likely to be successful when they advance to an OU level 1 module. They’re specially designed to give you a gentle introduction to OU study, boost confidence in your study skills, and help you gain a broad overview of your chosen subject area.

You'll also benefit from:

  • feedback from your tutor through regular one-to-one phone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback on your work.
The Access module we’d recommend studying in preparation for this qualification is our:

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This multidisciplinary module provides an excellent introduction to studying with The Open University; you'll get to cover a wide range of subject areas, including childhood and youth studies, social science, psychology, health, business and law.

View full details of People, work and society Access module

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £3,096*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £6,192*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £18,576*.
  • .

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2021. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.


Skills for career development

You’ll be introduced to skills that will enable you to analyse everyday understandings of crime and the criminal justice system. You will also develop the skills needed to critically assess aspects of human behaviour, and some of the principles of forensic psychology and counselling. Alongside these you will build on a wide range of transferable general skills which may further help your work or career prospects, including:

  • identifying and understanding data and information
  • analysing and assessing evidence
  • applying your learning to practical problems and issues
  • working independently
  • reflecting on your own learning
  • developing strategies to update your knowledge
  • communicating and presenting coherent arguments.

Career relevance

This degree is relevant to a wide range of career paths, some of which are listed below. Some relate directly to criminology and psychology, others draw upon the graduate skills that you’ll acquire. Successful graduates may also progress to specialist masters courses. This degree does not provide direct entry to the career fields listed, but it may ease access and increase your employability in relation to them, and it enhances prospects for progression once you are qualified to enter them. Successful completion does not make you eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) conferred by the British Psychological Society.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This includes online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some of the careers listed below will require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree:

  • civil servant
  • crime analyst
  • crime prevention worker
  • community development worker
  • local government officer
  • police officer
  • prison officer
  • probation officer
  • public sector/third sector advice worker
  • social researcher
  • social services worker
  • social worker
  • victim support worker
  • youth justice worker
  • youth worker.

Register for this course

Start dates
Credit transfer: apply by 17/12/2020

Request your Social Sciences prospectus

Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

Request prospectus