School of Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies

Some people commit crime while others lead law abiding lives. Why? On this course you’ll examine the nature of crime, investigating the impact it has on society – and what we can do about it. Choose to study at Plymouth and you’ll get the extra benefit of a course that covers the same topics we’ve developed for community justice professionals – providing you with a perfect start to your future career in a wide range of areas, from psychology to community justice.

UCAS tariff
UCAS course code
Institution code
3 years
(+ optional placement)
Start date
September 2014
Course type

Key features

  • Gain insight into life as a community justice professional – you’ll study the same topics as professionals working in probation, policing, youth justice, community safety and victim services.
  • Kick start your career – as a successful graduate, you’ll be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society, putting you on track to a career in professional psychology.
  • Expand your horizons and gain invaluable experience with opportunities for international exchange.
  • Enhance your employability and grow your professional network by applying for an optional placement year.
  • Develop your skills as a scientist working alongside leading researchers with the Research Apprentice Scheme.
  • Draw on cutting edge research across the social sciences to examine the nature of crime and explore the workings of the criminal justice system.
  • Shape your own study path with an exciting range of topics available through lectures, optional courses and project supervision.
  • Benefit from studying on a course that the Research Assessment Exercise rates as excellent for research and the Quality Assurance Agency praises for its quality of education.
  • Make the most of our specialist facilities – we’ve got 22 labs to choose from, including a virtual reality laboratory with 3D modelling software, sound-proof cubicles with a range of stimulus equipment and computer laboratories. You'll be able to get your hands on everything you need for your own research.
  • Receive outstanding student support with our award-winning Psychology eBooks scheme – we’ll give you free eBooks when you start, saving you over £1,500 in printed copies. Our Psychology eBooks scheme won the award for Teaching Excellence in The Guardian University Awards (2013).

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll study the basic theories of psychology, covering learning, social, developmental, clinical, cognitive and physiological psychology. From methods of psychological research, to information technology, communication and critical thinking, you’ll begin developing important skills for the workplace. And you’ll investigate criminology, learning about the criminal justice sentencing process in England and Wales.
    Core modules
    • CCJS1102 An Introduction to the Criminal Justice Process in England and Wales

      This module describes the roles and practices of the main criminal justice institutions in England and Wales and uses a basic theoretical framework to analyse these institutions and practices. It introduces students to the sentencing process, describing sentencing objectives and philosophy, sentencing options and sentencing patterns.

    • PSY148 Cognitive Psychology, Psychobiology and Neuropsychology

      This module is an introduction to cognitive psychology, psychobiology and neuropsychology. It introduces the basic methodologies, key findings and concepts of cognitive psychology, the structure and organisation of the brain, and the neural basis of perception, motor behaviour and cognition.

    • CCJS1101 Criminology and Crime Problems

      This module introduces students to the subject of criminology. It emphasises criminology's multi-disciplinarity and the different perspectives, methods and sources of information that it draws upon in developing theories about the different causes and problematizations of crime and deviance.

    • PSY147 Learning, Clinical, Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module introduces students to theories of conditioning and their application, key concepts and models of clinical psychology, core disorders and their treatment, major theoretical perspectives and studies in social psychology, and the perspectives and methodologies of developmental psychology.

    • PSY154 Practical Psychological Research and Tutorials

      By engaging students in a series of practical exercises, small scale research projects, and tutorials, this module provides an opportunity to integrate a developing knowledge of psychological topics with basic skills in research design, computer analysis, verbal presentations, and report and essay writing.

    • PSY145 Psychological Research Methods and Critical Thinking

      This module introduces two elements. The first develops the concept of psychology as a research-based science, and covers design issues and analytical techniquqes essential to quantitative research. The second element develops critical thinking and analytical skills in the context of psychological issues and constructs.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you’ll develop a greater critical understanding of psychology and how it can be applied in practical settings, building your confidence to use more sophisticated research methods. You’ll put your understanding into practice by developing a psychological skill such as clinical interviewing. In criminology and criminal justice you’ll explore theories of crime and culture, expanding your knowledge by choosing from a selection of modules, from victimology to youth justice.
    Core modules
    • PSY248 Biological and Cognitive Psychology

      This module covers several core areas of psychology: psychobiology (basic neurophysiology and neurochemistry of brain function); neuropsychology (the functional architecture of the brain); perception (visual and auditory processing) and language (language comprehension and production).

    • CCJS2108 Crime, Theory and Culture

      This module examines contemporary criminological theory and scholarship, providing a critical analysis of new directions at the forefront of the discipline. The module covers the intersections of criminology with contemporary social theory, communications theory, urban studies, international relations, cultural theory and zemiology.

    • PSY247 Individual Differences, Clinical, Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module examines four areas of psychology: individual differences in abilities and personality and their influence on behaviour, clinical approaches to psychological disorders and their treatment, contemporary approaches to social cognition, social interaction, and group bevaviour, and the development of cognitive and social abilities in infants and children.

    • PSY259 Practical Psychological Research and Case Study

      This module extends training in research methods and gives students practice in translating research questions into feasible studies and their design, execution, analysis and interpretation. Other elements develop students' understanding of psychological scale construction and give practice in relating psychological theory to applied problems.

    • CPIE200 Preparation for Work Placement

      This module is designed to assist students in their search and preparation for a work placement. It is aimed at students who would like to undertake a placement year to enhance both programme specific and personal, employment-related skills during Stage 3 of their degree programme.

    • PSY245 Psychological Research Methods and History and Philosophy of Psychology

      This module extends the treatment of research methods and statistics to more advanced topics and introduces the student to the principal concepts in the history and philosophy of psychology.

    Optional modules
    • CCJS2109 Penal Theory and Responses to Adult Offenders

      This module draws on theories of penality to analyse and evaluate penal policy and practice. In particular it critically examines contemporary issues, developments and debates relating to the use of imprisonment and community sentences for adult offenders.

    • CCJS2102 Policing and Community Safety

      This module affords students an opportunity to explore, in depth, the structures, practices and key issues facing modern policing and community safety in the UK. It focuses particularly upon the police service, but also upon developments in plural policing, including the expansion of partnership policing.

    • CCJS2110 Professional Knowledge of Policing I

      This module provides students with a practical knowledge and understanding of policing and police law, situated within the relevant contemporary social context of England and Wales.

    • CCJS2112 Victims, Victimology and Restorative Justice

      The module examines criminal victimisation and the policies and practices that have been developed to aid them in the aftermath of crime. As well as a range of support approaches which are directed specifically to victims, the module also focuses upon restorative justice and the way in which victims may benefit from such practices.

    • CCJS2114 Youth Justice

      This module begins by tracing the main socio-political controversies and debates which have shaped contemporary youth justice. The module then moves on to critically examine current developments in youth justice, particularly attempts to promote restorative justice and reduce first-time entry, reoffending and the use of custody.

  • Year 3
  • You’ll have the opportunity to take an optional work placement after your second year, where you can apply your knowledge of psychology in a real world context. You’ll spend a year of study honing your skills on a psychological professional/work placement, gaining invaluable experience and making professional contacts. And you’ll receive a Certificate of Professional/Industrial Placement.
    Optional modules
    • CPIE301 Placement: Psychology

      Sorry no description available at present.

  • Final year
  • In your final year you’ll have the opportunity to shape your own pathway, incorporating the particular areas of psychology that reflect your specialist interests. You’ll develop an advanced understanding of the central areas of psychology through academic debates and carry out a comprehensive piece of research with the support of your academic supervisor. In addition you’ll choose from a diverse range of modules to enhance your expertise in criminology and criminal justice.
    Core modules
    • PSYC378 Psychobiology and Cognition

      This module provides advanced coverage in the core areas of psychobiology and cognition. In Psychobiology, the module deals with evolutionary and comparative approaches to understanding human behaviour, and a psychobiological approach to mental disorders. In Cognition, the module deals with three topics in higher cognition: language anhd thought, memory, and reasoning.

    • PSYC388 Psychology Project A

      This module provides students with an opportunity to design, carry out, and report an original research project under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

    • PSYC389 Psychology Project B

      This module provides students with an opportunity to design, carry out, and report an original research project under the supervision of a member of academic staff

    • PSYC377 Social and Developmental Psychology

      This module has two elements. In the social psychology element, students will study advanced topics in social cognition, group behaviour and discursive social psychology. In the developmental psychology element, students will focus on language development, theories of children's mind and the development of socialisation.

    Optional modules
    • CCJS3126 Anti-Social Behaviour

    • CCJS3128 Comparative Youth Justice

    • CCJS3133 Contemporary Issues in Criminal Justice

      This module focuses upon a contemporary criminal justice-related issue that has received attention in the media and in official reports but may not be well covered yet in an established academic literature. The purpose of the module is for students to collect data on the issue and to subject it to a thorough criminological analysis, using the variety of concepts and perspectives covered throughout the degree programme.

    • CCJS3135 Crime and the City

      Crime and deviance are intrinsic to life in the city. Most crimes are experienced and reported within the city, while urban areas provide unique social and cultural conditions under which criminal activity and disorder are able to flourish. Our mediatised experience of cities, if not our reality, is often of cities as alien and dangerous spaces, in which the threat and fear of violence and criminal activity is constant. This module attempts to view the urban from a number of different perspectives, examining how the socioeconomic changes which have shaped urban areas, not just in the UK, but globally, affect life at the nexus of crime and the city.

    • CCJS3136 Crimes of the Powerful

      Criminology has tended to ignore crimes of the powerful instead focusing on everyday street crimes and the crimes of lower status individuals. This module rebalances this bias by focusing on the crimes that power makes possible. It introduces students to theory, research, and case-studies on corporate and white-collar crimes, as well as state crimes.

    • CCJS3132 Innovations in Justice: International Perspectives

      This module analyses a number of core innovations in justice philosophy and practice in recent years from an international perspective. Forms of innovation examined will include: Sentencing circles, family conferencing, 'peace-keeping, truth commissions in jurisdictions such as the UK, Europe, USA & Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa.

    • LAW3083 Law, Literature and Film

    • CCJS3134 National Police Pre-join Award

      This module offers practical knowledge and understanding of policing, police law, and the contemporary social context in which policing operates in England and Wales. Candidates passing the exam at or above 60% will be awarded a Certificate in Knowledge of Policing which will be accepted by all police forces in England and Wales as recognised prior learning. Recent national developments suggest this is likely to become a necessary pre-join requirement for police recruits.

    • CCJS3125 Organised Deviance: Cultures of Resistance

    • CCJS3127 Racism and Criminal Justice

    • LAW3076 Sex, Power and Legal Control

      This module examines how law and society controls and regulates sexual behaviour and conduct and why and how it criminalises and punishes certain activities and sexual expression. In particular it will focus on the enactment and implementation of laws relating to sexual autonomy and sex crime.

    • CCJS3130 Surveillance, Crime and Control

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

300 points from three A levels.

Typical A level offer BBB. Other combinations and non-A level qualifications considered. International Baccalaureate 28 points. All relevant international qualifications will be considered - please contact
Candidates concerned about meeting this offer are encouraged to contact the Institution direct.

Fees & funding

Home/EU £9,000 International £11,500
For more information please see

How to apply

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UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

Apply for this course on the UCAS website.

For more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.


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A number of open day events are held each year, welcoming you to the campus to find out more about the University, accommodation, facilities and study opportunities.

Find out more from our open days section or register to come and see us using a short open day registration form.

Psychology at Plymouth - find out what it's like to study with us

Plymouth stood out from the rest. It's got a really good vibe - there's so much going on!

Join Abi for a tour of the School of Psychology

More about School of Psychology facilities

School of Psychology - ask a student!

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Dr Phil Gee - Psychology Programme Lead says:

BSc Psychology at Plymouth is an excellent foundation for a career in psychology and many other fields. Our visits programme, research apprenticeship scheme and placements allow students to work with professional psychologists throughout their studies.

Dr Phil Gee's teaching and research interests

Free e-Books

To give you a great start, if you are studying psychology as your only or major subject, we'll give you a free set of 12 eBooks when you start your first year. That's your main recommended reading for your core psychology lectures covered!

Free eBooks from the School of Psychology

Study abroad year

Expand your horizons and gain invaluable experience by choosing to spend year two of your degree studying at a university abroad

"I can proudly say that it has been one of the best and wisest choices I could have ever made!"

A challenge year in​ the USA by Simge Engelkiran

Psychology Research Apprenticeship Scheme

One of the experiments I was helping with got published in the scientific journal and... my name got mentioned!

Every year around 60-70 first and second year students volunteer to work with a member of staff as a 'Research Apprentice'

School of Psychology Research Apprentice Scheme

Sporting Excellence Scholars

Learn how Plymouth University is inspiring and enabling BSc (Hons) Psychology student and Team GB Olympic Swimmer Antony James to achieve his sporting and academic goals

Sporting Excellence Scholars

Learn how Plymouth University is inspiring and enabling BSc (Hons) Psychology student and Welsh rugby player Molly Humphreys to achieve her sporting and academic goals

Teaching and learning

Your experience will be enriched by a variety of teaching methods and you'll have your own personal tutor who will provide academic and personal support during your time at Plymouth

Teaching and learning in the School of Psychology

Facilities in the School of Psychology

Make the most of our specialist facilities – we’re a well equipped department ready to support your research.

Read more about our facilities