Forensic Psychology BSc (Hons)
BSc Hons Forensic Psychology
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 about 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.
This degree confers eligibility for Graduate Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and the Graduate Basis for Registration.
95% Graduates in work or further study (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted in 2019)
100% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2020)
BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology degree entry requirements
- A levels – AAB–ABB–
- UCAS points – 128–136 points from 3 A levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDD–DDM
- International Baccalaureate – 30–31
English language requirements
- English Language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
What you'll experience
On this BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology 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 forensic psychology work placements
- Enjoy the benefits of studying in a department hosting one of the UK’s largest forensic psychology research groups
- Use our motion capture studios, which feature the latest Vicon optical system, to explore the mechanics and perception of human movement, looking at how body language influences our appraisal of others and affects interpersonal interactions
Take a tour of King Henry Building at the University of Portsmouth and the specialist psychology equipment and facilities we use in our Forensic Psychology BSc and Psychology BSc courses.
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.
What can you do with a Forensic Psychology degree?
Many graduates go on to do an MSc in Forensic Psychology after the course. You could also start a career in areas such as:
- health associated professions
- social welfare
- police work
- probation service
What jobs can you do with a Forensic Psychology degree?
Roles previous graduates have gone on to include:
- clinical psychologist
- forensic psychologist
- educational psychologist
- health planning analyst
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.
What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology degree
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, in the first 2 years, you'll study 6 modules, each worth 20 credits. In the final year of your degree, you'll study 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.
- Applying Psychological Research Skills (40 credits)
- Exploring Psychology (40 credits)
- Forensic Psychology in Context (20 credits)
- Perspectives in Psychology (20 credits)
There are no optional modules in this year.
All modules listed below are worth 20 credits each.
- Biological & Cognitive Psychology
- Individual Differences & Psychometrics
- Professional Development and Employability
- Psychological Research Methods
- Quantitative Data Analysis
- Social & Developmental Psychology
There are no optional modules in this year.
On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
- Psychology Research Project (Extended) (40 credits)
- Psychology Research Project (20 credits)
All modules listed below are worth 20 credits each.
- Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology
- Educational Psychology
- Exploring Data for Forensic Psychology
- Introduction to Teaching
- Issues in Clinical and Health Psychology
- Psychology of Investigations
- Psychology of Offending Behaviour
- Psychology of Security
- Social Construction of Disability
- Trauma, Memory & 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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
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 prisons and medium secure units.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
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. After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years as you advance in your career.
Academic skills 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
- Working in groups
- Revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Support with English
If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- 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 2 assessment periods:
- Teaching block 1 – October to January
- Assessment period 1 – late January to early February
- Teaching block 2 – February to May
- Assessment period 2 – May to June
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 modules 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
Tuition fees (2021 start)
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £17,600 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.
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.
How to apply
To start this course in 2021, apply through UCAS. You'll need:
- the UCAS course code – C810
- our institution code – P80
If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
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 or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also 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.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.