BSc (Hons)

Forensic Psychology

Run by one of the UK’s largest forensic psychology research groups

C810UCAS code 3yrsFull Time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

This is one of only a few undergraduate courses in the country specialising in forensic psychology. You can train in investigative interviewing and deception detection, and cover topics such as eye witness identification and burglar selection strategy.

This course combines hands-on experience of practical investigations with issues and research at the forefront of forensic psychology today.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Be taught by high calibre and actively researching academics at the cutting edge of their field in forensic psychology
  • Put your investigative techniques to the test in our Forensic Interviewing Suite
  • Do a work placement to gain real-life experience in an area that interests you

What opportunities might it lead to?

We are a dynamic and growing department, which houses the International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology (ICRFP). We have a very active forensic psychology research group and for those committed to the subject, an MSc in Forensic Psychology. Continuing your studies will ultimately enable you to become a professional forensic psychologist.

Our course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) which provides eligibility for graduate membership of the BPS and the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership – the first step towards becoming a chartered psychologist.

Alternatively, it is an excellent stepping stone for developing a career in any area of psychology as well as a range of other employment areas.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • teaching
  • health associated professions
  • social welfare
  • police work
  • probation service work
  • research

I like the fact that we are able to study forensic topics throughout the course and not only in the final year as was offered at some universities.

Hannah Brock, BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology student 2015

Open Days

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Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement, 6 years part time
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
120 points from 3 A levels, or equivalent, with 40 points from a Science subject. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a* part time: £3,000 p/a*
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a* part time: £3,080 p/a*

International students
2016/17 entry: full time: £13,700 p/a** part time: £6,850 p/a**
2017/18 entry: full time: £14,400 p/a** part time: £7,200 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 5550
Department of Psychology
Programme specification



Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The practical work that backs up the theoretical study
  • The ability to take part in cutting-edge research
  • Friendly lecturers who have worked in the field

Browse all courses in Psychology

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

You will begin by building a broad understanding of the subject through introductory core units. You’ll also learn analysis and research skills which you will continue to apply throughout the course.

Core units in this year include:

  • Forensic Psychology in Context
  • The Psychology of Everyday Life
  • Exploring Psychology
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis for Psychologists
  • Applying Psychological Research Methods 1 and 2

Year two

You will develop your knowledge in a number of the specific fields of psychology as well as study a careers unit to improve your employability skills.

Core units in this year include:

  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social and Developmental Psychology
  • Individual Differences and Psychometrics
  • Employability Skills for Psychologists
  • Research Methods and Analysis 1 and 2

Year three*

This is the year of your Psychology Research Project and the chance for you to take control of your own learning. You can choose to dedicate your research to an area that you find most stimulating while also focusing your learning through some of the optional units below.

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Psychology of Offending Behaviour
  • Psychology of Security
  • Psychology of Investigations
  • Language and Communication
  • Cognitivist and Constructionist Approaches to Disability
  • Issues in Clinical and Health Psychology
  • Self and Subjectivity
  • Exploring Data
  • Ecological Psychology
  • Psychology Work Placement

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)

Teaching and Assessment

We give high priority to integrating our research activities with your teaching programme. This ensures that you learn about the most important and current issues in forensic psychology that effect real-life practice.

Teaching usually takes the form of lectures and small tutorial groups, together with practical sessions in our labs and studios.

How are you assessed?

We assess you in a variety of ways throughout the course. Here’s how:

  • written examinations
  • practical reports and essays
  • poster presentations
  • oral presentations

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Monitor Facilities & Features


You will benefit from our range of modern, high quality facilities. Monitor behaviour using our eye-tracking equipment or test minority influencing scenarios in our Observation Suite. Other labs include:

  • Toddler and Infant Laboratory
  • Psychophysiology Laboratory
  • Digital Analysis and Video Editing Suite
  • Psychology of Applied Cognition Laboratory

Forensic Interviewing Suite

Train in the art of forensic interviewing. Use the suite’s state-of-the-art audio and video-recording facilities to uncover your subjects bluff. Or detect deception using our thermal imaging cameras, specifically looking for the blush reflex around the eyes, cheeks and neck.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Natalie Muchatutu, BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology student 2013

The psychology labs help you to learn theoretical applications in a hands-on manner.

Natalie Muchatutu, BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology student 2013

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

Placements are an optional course component and you will be required to pay for additional costs for you work placement abroad. These will vary depending in the location and length of stay. These costs range from £50 - £2000 to cover travel, accommodation and subsistence.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Our course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) which provides eligibility for graduate membership of the BPS and the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership - the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. To become a professional forensic psychologist, you will need to undergo further academic training for up to six years.

However, this course is well received by a wide range of graduate employers as it provides you with much sought-after, work-relevant abilities. As well as subject-specific knowledge, you will develop skills in communication, numeracy, teamwork, critical thinking, computing and independent learning – all of which are valued by employers. It is a great springboard to a wide range of people-oriented occupations.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • clinical psychologist
  • forensic psychologist
  • educational psychologist
  • counsellor
  • health planning analyst

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Our next Open Day is Saturday 22 October, 2016

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