Forensic Psychology BSc (Hons)

Forensic psychology student uses heat vision camera in interview
UCAS Code
C810
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019
Accredited
Yes

Overview

Ever wondered how the science of psychology is used to inform practice in forensic and legal settings?

This BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology, which is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), is one of only a few undergraduate courses in the country specialising in this field. You’ll learn skills such as investigative interviewing and deception detection, and cover topics such as eye witness identification and burglar selection strategy.

You'll be eligible for graduate membership of the BPS when you complete the course, which is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. The skills you learn will also be useful in careers like police work, social welfare, the probation service and teaching. 

What you'll experience

On this degree course you’ll:

  • Be taught by academic researchers, who are conducting pioneering research in forensic psychology
  • Have the opportunity to put your investigative techniques to the test in our Forensic Interviewing Suite, which features thermal imaging cameras and advanced digital and video analysis
  • Develop transferable skills in communication, numeracy, teamwork, critical thinking, computing and independent learning
  • Be able to use eye-tracking equipment and test minority influencing scenarios in our Observation Suite
  • Take advantage of our connections with the local justice sector, offering opportunities for work placements and research with organisations such as the police and prison service
  • Enjoy the benefits of studying in a department hosting one of the UK’s largest forensic psychology research groups

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies and build links in the industry.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the field.

Previous students have completed work placements in organisations such as the police and probation service.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Careers and opportunities

When you complete the course, you'll be eligible for graduate membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS), which is an essential first step to becoming a professional forensic psychologist. To become a professional forensic psychologist, you'll need to do further academic training for up to 6 years.

Many graduates go on to do an MSc in Forensic Psychology after the course. You could also start a career in areas such as:

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

Roles previous graduates have gone on to include:

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

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job or further training that puts your skills to work. After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.

Professional accreditations

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). This makes you eligible for Graduate Membership of the BPS when you achieve at least a 2:2 in your degree. It's the first step to becoming a fully Chartered Psychologist.

This accreditation also lets employers know that this course gives you the relevant skills and abilities you need to work in the industry.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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

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.

If you do an optional placement unit during your study, you’ll need to pay additional costs.

These costs will vary depending on the location and length of the placement. You’ll normally pay £50–£2000 to cover travel, accommodation and living costs.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, in the first 2 years, you'll study 6 units, each worth 20 credits. In the final year of your degree, you'll study 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

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

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Biological and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social and Developmental Psychology
  • Individual Differences and Psychometrics
  • Professional Development and Employability
  • Research Methods and Analysis 1 and 2

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Psychology Research Project

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology
  • Disability: Theory, Research and Practice
  • Educational Psychology
  • Exploring Data
  • Issues in Clinical and Health Psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology of Human Sexuality
  • Psychology of Investigations
  • Psychology of Offending Behaviour
  • Psychology of Security
  • Psychology Research Project
  • Psychology Work Placement
  • Self and Subjectivity
  • Trauma, Memory, and Law

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

Teaching​

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • tutorial groups
  • practical lab and studio sessions

There’s a priority on integrating research into all of our teaching. This ensures you'll learn about the most important and current issues in forensic psychology that effect real-life practice.

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Your workload

The time you spend in teaching activities such as lectures and seminars varies year on year and will depend on which optional units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 22% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 78% studying independently
  • Year 2 students: 23% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 77% studying independently
  • Year 3 students: 16% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, and 84% studying independently

How you're assessed​

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written examinations
  • practical reports and essays
  • poster presentations
  • oral presentations
  • self-led research project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 25% by written exams, 22% by practical exams and 53% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 38% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 54% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 33% by written exams, 13% by practical exams and 54% by coursework 
  • Apply

    How to apply

    If you want to start this course in 2019, you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 5 September. You’ll need:

    • the UCAS course code – C810
    • our institution code – P80

    Not quite ready to apply? Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

    If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

    How to apply from outside the UK

    If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

    To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

    Admissions terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

    Contact information
    Programme specification
    Subject area
    Criminology and forensic studies
    Psychology
    Come to our 1 December Open Day
    Student in front of colourful wall smiling
    Reasons to choose us
    students bicycle old portsmouth