Although as individual disciplines criminology and psychology can help to make sense of many popular fascinations (and fears) about human behaviour, human interaction, crime and criminalisation, when studied together they help to explain more about these subjects by the ways in which the two disciplines complement and challenge each other. This qualification takes a critical approach that enables you to question widely held beliefs and understandings of crime and human behaviour, and to confront taken-for-granted assumptions about some pressing contemporary social issues.
Criminology and Psychology adopts a broad-based approach across both subjects. This includes considering the nature of criminal acts and the human motivations that lead to them, but it also goes some way beyond this focus. Criminology is also concerned with social conditions and the structures of social organisation and of power, for example, and as a result takes an holistic view of crime, what counts as crime, and why. Psychology, too, is fundamentally concerned with a very wide range of influences on human interactions and with the causes of conflicts that arise between nations, races and social groupings as well as between individuals.
The broad focus of the qualification is reflected in its diverse range of fascinating topics. You'll be introduced to many different ways of thinking about crime and criminal justice, and about people’s behaviours and thought processes. In the criminology modules you will learn about a wide range of interpretations of the causes of crime, what counts as crime and why, and about disorder, resistance and state crime and violence, for example. In the psychology modules you will learn about human interaction, how people make sense of the world, how they experience trauma or behave as victims, and much more. You will also have opportunities to think about concepts like labelling, victimisation and harm as they are understood by criminologists and by psychologists. This degree also provides opportunities for the development of a wide range of skills that are of practical relevance.
In all, this degree will give you
- an understanding of key concepts, theories, methods and debates in criminology and psychology
- an appreciation of different perspectives within criminology and psychology, and the ability to evaluate them critically
- an understanding of the uses of criminological theory and analysis for evaluating criminal justice policies and practices
- an understanding of the application of psychology to social, educational, practical and professional issues and contexts
- support and guidance to improve your learning and help you to develop as an independent learner.
The skills you will develop are highly valued by many employers. As noted in more detail above they do not provide you with the qualifications you would need as a professional or practitioner, but they may offer some useful preparation towards aspects of some jobs within the criminal justice system, including the police, prison and probation services, and the care and resettlement of offenders. They are also highly relevant to jobs concerned with civil liberties, human rights, social justice, victim support, crime prevention, community safety, and conflict resolution. Similarly, the psychological skills you develop will be of considerable value to occupations in education, health, human resources, management, social services, advertising, and career counselling.
Teaching, learning and assessment methods
You will learn independently, using the following types of study material, provided by us:
- printed and online teaching texts
- multimedia packages, including the internet, and which may also include audio-casts, CD-ROMs and the internet
- directed readings which may be drawn from a wide variety of printed sources.
We will support your learning with:
- self-assessment questions and exercises, included in the teaching texts and virtual learning environment (VLE)
- feedback and guidance from a tutor
- tutorials and/or day-schools
- email and online discussion forums
- study guides
- tailored support for each form of assessment, via a combination of the above methods.
We will assess your learning with:
- tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
- interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
- a formal examination in at least one module
- end-of-module assessments (EMAs).