Search for courses or information

BA (Hons) Criminology and Psychology

Course overview

Start date

September 2017

Subject area

Business and Law





On campus

Course summary

On our popular combined course we’ll give you an expert insight into the causes and consequences of crime – and how it is dealt with by the criminal justice system.

You’ll gain a thorough understanding of core criminological theories, and we’ll help you develop the psychological knowledge you’ll need to apply your insights to real-world issues and problems.

You’ll take a social sciences approach to criminology by studying and classifying crime, and you’ll also learn how society responds to criminal behaviour by examining institutions and roles such as the police, courts, prisons and probation service.

In the psychology part of the course, you’ll study behaviour and its causes in biology, social contexts, mental processing and development. And you’ll use your knowledge to explore how criminal behaviour might be explained by understanding the factors that motivate people to commit crime.

UCAS points


Course options


UCAS code


Contact us

If you have any questions, talk to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0) 20 8223 3333 or email

Get in touch


graduate employability

of Criminology and Psychology students were in employment or further study six months after graduating (DLHE 2016)

Learn from the best

You’ll be taught by world-renowned experts in criminology who are regularly called upon by governments and the media to provide skilled analysis, comment and advice.

Superb facilities

You’ll be joining one of the biggest and most respected psychology departments in the country, giving you access to superb specialist equipment and laboratories and an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and expertise.

Enquire Visit UEL

Besnik Vrapil

Criminology and Law, BA (Hons)

It was fantastic - a really good course. I learned a huge amount and this backed up my practical work experience as a special constable. My degree was essential in helping me to get a full-time job with the Met and I’d encourage anyone to volunteer in the community early on as it really backs up your theoretical learning.

Entry requirements


New UCAS Points

A Level
Must include passes at A2 in at least two subjects.
Extended Diploma (QCF) or Diploma (QCF)
International Baccalaureate
Diploma with 25 points including a minimum of 15 points at Higher Level.
We would normally expect you to have Grade C in GCSE English and maths (See below for accepted equivalences)


(Including European Union)

We accept a range of qualifications from across the world. Please see our country pages for information on specific entry requirements for your country.


Access to HE Diploma (QAA approved) with 60 credits overall and 45 credits at Level 3

We will also consider the UEL Introduction to Law and Criminology short course 

Overall IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in Writing and Speaking; minimum 5.5 in Reading and Listening (or recognised equivalent).

Level 2 equivalences such as Level 2 Functional Skills in English / Maths, Level 2 Key Skills in Communication / Application of Number and Level 2 Adult Literacy / Adult Numeracy

As an inclusive university we recognise that applicants who have been out of education for some time may not have the formal qualifications usually required for entry to a course. We welcome applications from those who can demonstrate their enthusiasm and commitment to study and have relevant life/work experience that equips them to succeed on the course. We will assess this from the information provided in your application (particularly your personal statement) and may ask you to attend an interview or submit a piece of work to help us decide on your eligibility for the course. Our pre-entry Information Advice and Guidance Team are able to provide further advice on entry requirements and suitability for study.

You can speak to a member of our Applicant Enquiries team on +44 (0)20 8223 3333, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can visit our Information, Advice and Guidance centre. Please click here for details.

What you'll learn

In the first two years you’ll gain a solid grounding in both subjects, with introductions to the main aspects of criminology, criminal justice and psychology.

For the criminology part of the course, your studies will include contemporary issues in criminology, key theories, the legal framework, the characteristics of the criminal justice system and the historical context of crime and punishment.

In psychology, you’ll gain knowledge and understanding of key and highly relevant areas such as developmental psychology, social psychology and forensic psychology, which is the study of criminal conduct.
As you progress into your final year you’ll have a huge choice of around 27 options across both subjects to tailor your degree to areas of particular interest to you.

The modules you can choose from include Mentally Disordered Defendants and Suspects, Psychological Criminology, Preventing and Correcting Offending Behaviour and Mental Distress in Context. You’ll also work on an in-depth project, carrying out your own research on a topic of your choosing.

What you'll study and when

  • Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice (core)
  • Contemporary Issues of Youth Justice and Criminology (core)
  • Perspectives on Behaviour: Biological, Social and Differential (core)
  • Introduction to Cognitive and Developmental Psychology (core)
  • Research Methods in Criminology (core)
  • Applied Criminology & Professional Practice (core)
  • Applications of psychobiology, individual differences and social psychology (core)
  • Topics in Cognitive and Developmental Psychology (core)
  • Forensic Psychology: Criminal Conduct (optional)
  • Project (optional)
  • Global Illicit Drug Trafficking (optional)
  • Mentally-disordered Defendants & Suspects (optional)
  • Preventing and Correcting Offending Behaviour (optional)
  • Prison Studies (optional)       
  • Terrorism Studies (optional)
  • Psychological Criminology (optional)
  • Race, Ethnicity, Crime and Justice (optional)
  • Youth Crime and Sub-culture (optional)
  • Work-based learning (optional)
  • Football Hooliganism (optional)
  • Surveillance, Technology and Society (optional)
  • Psychosocial Perspectives on Criminal Behaviour (optional)
  • Occupational Psychology (optional)
  • Health Psychology (optional)
  • Psychological Perspective on Power Politics and Political Violence (optional)
  • Psychology of Choice: Decision Making and Risk Perception (optional)
  • Applied Child Psychology (optional)
  • Applied Child Psychology with Placement (optional)
  • Drugs and Addictive Behaviours (optional)
  • Psychoneuroimmunology (optional)
  • Psychology of Emotions (optional)
  • Mental Distress in Context (optional)
  • Evolutionary Psychology (optional)
  • Frontiers in Cognitive Science: Issues in the study of mind, embodiment, and consciousness (optional)
  • Psychology, Identity and Society (optional)
  • Wellbeing and Resilience in the face of conflict disaster (optional)
  • Psychology of Belief (optional)
  • Anomalistic Psychology (optional)

How you'll be assessed

We’ll assess you with a mixture of coursework and exams. Coursework includes essays, reflective reports, group and seminar presentations; you’ll be given plenty of feedback to help you improve.

You will also have the chance to complete a work-based learning module, where you’ll be assessed on your practical work, and in your final year you’ll complete a project based on independent research.

Course specification

How you'll learn

Throughout this combined course you’ll be taught by specialists through a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and group work. You’ll find this variety of approaches, backed by your own independent study, to be stimulating and challenging as you get to grips with the key concepts of each subject.

We also offer a work-based learning module, which offers you the chance to make a contribution to a local community organisation or business and learn lessons that you can apply to your academic studies.

For psychology, you will have the chance to use the specialist facilities to conduct experiments and in both subjects you’ll also learn from a programme of leading guest speakers who are at the top of their professions.

You’ll also attend conferences and events off-campus to build your knowledge, understanding and experience, and benefit from the chance to extend your professional network.

Senior Lecturer Dr John Morrison says: “By embarking on a degree in Criminology and Psychology here at UEL you'll be learning about some of the most fascinating debates about human behavior, personality and decision-making in relation to the broad psychology of individuals and groups while also specifically applying it to understand why and how people engage in criminal activity.“

This degree aims to develop your critical analysis of some of the central issues in the two fields, while also allowing you to specialise in your final year.

By combining the two subjects, you will gain not just an understanding of crime and criminal behaviour. You will also achieve an understanding of criminals and what might lead them to criminal activity.”

Your future career

UEL Criminology and Psychology graduates have found work in a wide variety of stimulating roles. Some build their careers in directly related fields while others use the transferable skills they’ve learnt to pursue other opportunities.

We place a strong emphasis on preparing you for employment, with a specific employability module in year two geared towards providing you with the best advice on how to prepare for the job market and apply for positions.

Whether you decide to pursue a directly relevant career or not, you’ll learn skills such as writing and presenting, the ability to make a case, meet deadlines and work independently – all skills that will appeal to employers in any sector.

Students have found jobs in a number of related areas, such as:

• The police, prison and probation services
• Central and local government
• Social work
• Voluntary organisations such as Victim Support
• The NHS

Our graduates have also found roles in other fields such as market research, journalism, and jobs in the public sector. Others have gone on to postgraduate study, either at UEL or elsewhere.

To enhance your career prospects, we run a dedicated employability programme for students in the School of Business and Law. Called 'Employ', it includes employability workshops, skills training sessions, guest speaker events, voluntary work, student ambassador roles and work experience opportunities.

You may also be interested in

  • Why study at UEL?

  • Student finance

  • Introduction to Law and Criminology

Related courses

Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

Visit Country Pages