This degree has three stages, each comprising 120 credits.
- At Stage 1 you’ll study two 60-credit introductory modules – one with a focus on law and one with a focus on psychology.
- Next, in Stage 2, you’ll study two further 60-credit modules exploring psychological theories and research, and important aspects of public and criminal law.
- Finally, in Stage 3, you’ll take a 60-credit psychology module, which takes an applied approach to the study of counselling and forensic psychology, and conclude your degree choosing two from three 30-credit law modules.
Optional Access module – visit Am I ready? to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.
In Stage 1, you’ll start by exploring why laws exist; how they’re applied and interpreted; key concepts such as legal personality, culpability and liability; and the role played by the legal system. You’ll then study how psychologists investigate thinking and behaviour, why people harm others, and how ‘false’ memories occur.
In Stage 2 you’ll learn how psychology has been applied to a wide range of both everyday and extraordinary situations, explore core academic areas of psychology and applied aspects of professional practice. You will also learn about criminal law and public law, covering important aspects of the relationship between the state and the individual in the UK.
At Stage 3 you’ll explore the fascinating relationship between counselling and forensic psychology and have the opportunity to concentrate on other aspects of the law that most interest you. You can gain an intensive knowledge of different areas of European Union law; explore the relationships between law, society and culture; research a legal topic of your own choice or work on pro bono legal projects.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Honours) Psychology and Law 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
- using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
- working in a group with other students
- using and/or producing diagrams and/or screenshots
- undertaking practical work
- finding external/third party material online.
If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our disability page to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.
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
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 BSc (Honours) Psychology and Law degree. You'll have the opportunity to attend a degree ceremony.
The class of degree (first, upper second, lower second or third class honours) depends on your grades at Stages 2 and 3.
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 Essential Documents website.
Skills for career development
Employers value the diverse skills of psychology and law graduates very highly. Combining psychology with law in this degree course will provide you with a broad set of transferable skills. These include the ability to:
- identify, gather, analyse and assess evidence
- present reasoned and coherent arguments
- understand and analyse data and information
- apply your learning to real world problems and to resolve issues
- conduct independent work and research
- reflect on your own learning and developing strategies to update your knowledge.
Please note that this degree will:
- not make you eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
- not provide you with a Qualifying Law Degree (QLD).
This degree is relevant to a very broad range of careers including those within the criminal justice system, such as the police, prison and probation services, and organisations concerned with:
- the law
- the care and resettlement of offenders
- civil liberties
- human rights
- social justice
- victim support
- crime prevention
- community safety
- conflict resolution.
The psychological and legal skills you’ll develop will also be valuable to occupations in many other sectors, including education, health, human resources, management, social services, advertising, and career counselling.
To enter a professional psychology career, e.g. forensic psychology, you need a BPS accredited degree such as our BSc (Hons) Psychology followed by an accredited postgraduate qualification.
Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.
In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills.
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 – including 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 (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):
- health worker
- case manager
- police officer
- human resource adviser
- staff training and development
- crime prevention coordinator
- advice worker
- civil servant
- outreach worker
- marketing executive
- market research analyst.
Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, Prospects and Plan IT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.