Although criminology and psychology as individual disciplines can help to make sense of many popular fears and fascinations about crime, criminals and criminalisation, when studied together they can reveal much more through the ways they speak to and challenge each other. At The Open University we take a critical approach to each of these disciplines, which will enable students to question much of what they ‘know’ about crime, and confront many taken-for-granted assumptions about pressing contemporary issues.
The Diploma of Higher Education in Criminology and Psychology, and the modules that it comprises, involves a broad-based approach across both subjects. This includes considering the nature of criminal acts and human motivations that lead to them, but it also goes some way beyond this focus. Criminology is also concerned with social conditions and structures of social organisation and of power, for example, and as a result takes an holistic view of crime and of 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.
This diploma maintains a focus on these broad approaches, allowing for a diverse range of fascinating topics to be covered, including antisocial behaviour, surveillance, security, corporate crimes, inequality, social justice and social welfare, justice and miscarriages of justice, human attachment and friendship, television violence, traumatic experiences, interpersonal and social harms, counselling and forensic science. The qualification offers a rich, innovative and highly stimulating subject matter. It also provides opportunities for the development of a wide range of skills that are of practical relevance – many of them to diverse employment settings.
The diploma therefore aims to provide students with:
- an understanding of the 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
- an understanding of the application of psychology to a range of contexts
- support and guidance to improve learning and performance and to develop skills of learning independently
- the ability to acquire the employability skills and knowledge appropriate to diploma status for use in further learning and the world of work.
Teaching, learning and assessment methods
You will learn independently, using the following types of study material, provided by us:
- printed teaching materials
- online materials (including textual, multimedia assets, and interactive resources).
We will support your learning with:
- self-assessment questions and exercises, included in the teaching texts and online materials
- feedback and guidance from a tutor
- tutorials and/or day-schools
- email and online discussion forums
- online 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 one module.