Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more
Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.
Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.
About the course
How does criminal behaviour develop? Are psychopaths born or made? Are eyewitnesses accurate? How should we rehabilitate offenders? These are just some of the challenging questions you will explore on our stimulating degree.
We are one of the few universities in the UK to offer an integrated degree dedicated to the intersection between psychology and the criminal justice system. Forensic psychology is increasingly used to inform practice within the justice system and there is a growing demand for professionals who can draw on knowledge of the subject in a wide range of roles and contexts.
Our BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology programme enables you to apply psychological theories, methods and research to some of the critical challenges facing the criminal justice system today.
You will cover all the main areas of psychology and gain a thorough understanding of complex issues such as criminal behaviour and the personal consequences of crime. There is the chance to focus on specialist areas ranging from cybercrime to domestic abuse, hate crime to psychopathy, offenders with mental or intellectual disabilities to substance misuse. Among the latest additions to the portfolio are optional modules in subjects such as addictive behaviours and schizophrenia.
Throughout, we emphasise the importance of evidence-based practice so you will research real-life criminal justice problems and seek pragmatic solutions to address those problems.
Our BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). As long as you achieve at least a second class honours qualification and obtain at least 40% in your Independent Study in Psychology - you will be eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the society. This is the first step to becoming a chartered psychologist.
The next step you will need to complete is a Stage One accredited postgraduate qualification, which we offer in our MSc Forensic Psychology. Following this, you must complete Stage Two towards becoming a Forensic Psychologist, which is the independent training route. Trainees will complete eight pieces of work, taking a minimum of two years, in the following areas: conducting psychological applications and interventions, research, communicating psychological knowledge and advice to other professionals and training other professionals in psychological skills and knowledge. All of these activities are supervised by a registered Forensic Psychologist. Successful submission and HCPC registration leads to qualification as a Forensic Psychologist.
We have strong links with a wide range of criminal and community justice agencies including the police, probation services, prisons, youth justice, courts and victim support organisations. These enrich your learning and open the door for you to undertake independent research projects.
During your second year, as part of the Qualitative Methods module, you will complete a 30-hour volunteering placement. We also encourage you to take up additional volunteering opportunities throughout the degree to add substance to your CV and to ensure you are ‘workplace-ready’ on graduating. Placement hours are subject to change.
The BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology also features field trips to places such as courts and prisons (subject to availability of the facilities).
If you have a particular interest in youth justice, this course gives you the chance to achieve an additional professional qualification – the Youth Justice in Effective Practice Certificate (YJEPC) – alongside your degree studies.
The YJEPC is the most widely held qualification in youth justice and brings together current theory, practice and evidence. It will not only boost your employability in the eyes of potential employers but also help you to make more effective judgements in your future career.
The opportunity to gain the YJEPC is available if you take two specific modules – Working with Young Offenders and Youth Justice.
Supporting you all the way is our team of enthusiastic and experienced lecturers who are experts in their fields, including chartered psychologists. Several are still actively engaged with practice, which helps you keep up to date with the latest developments.
Your learning will be underpinned by the internationally renowned research activities of our staff who are helping to shape understanding and practice across the criminal justice sector. Their expertise spans thought-provoking topics such as psychopathy, dark triad, sex offenders, domestic violence and personality disorders. It all means your modules will feature latest thinking and contemporary materials.
Guest speakers include professionals who have pursued a career in the criminal justice sector and who will share their own experiences of forensic psychology.
Equipment and resources
As a Forensic Psychology student, you’ll be based at the Derby Campus. Offering the perfect environment for innovative and engaging teaching, it includes well-resourced lecture theatres, seminar rooms, computer laboratories and social learning spaces.
You’ll be able to gain practical experience of investigative processes using our facilities which include a mock courtroom and replica police custody suite.
Depending on the modules you select in level 6 you could be working alongside students taking courses in subjects such as law, criminology and policing, so there are many opportunities to share knowledge, expertise and experience.
We will prepare you to become a competent researcher yourself, equipped with the skills to analyse data and policies critically and to contribute to original forensic psychology knowledge.
As part of the course, you will pursue independent research into themes matching your career ambitions and intellectual interests. You may also have the chance to get involved in staff research projects where feasible and to present your work at relevant conferences.
During your foundation year, you will be assessed mainly by coursework and with some in-class tests.
For the rest of your degree, you will be assessed via a wide range of methods including essays, research reports, presentations and case studies.
Supporting you all the way
We offer a high level of support to students, including a unique personal tutor system to help steer your academic and professional development.
Who you will meet
You’ll be taught by our team of engaging, passionate and inspiring subject experts:
Programme Leader Dr Henriette Bergstrøm specialises in the psychology of criminal investigations and psychopathy.
Dr Karin Spenser a Chartered Psychologist, experienced Magistrate, specialising in domestic violence and family matters.
Michael Teague is a qualified Probation Officer and Social Worker. His research interests centre on probation, imprisonment, and the politics of criminal and community justice.
Joanna Adhikari a trustee at the Rosalie Ryrie Foundation in Wakefield, a charity who aims to break the cycle of controlling, abusive and conforming behaviours in families. Joanna's research specalises in perpetration and victimisation in domestic abuse, coercive control, safeguarding, aggression, impulsivity, and risk assessments.
Dr Helen Clarke has an interest in men’s and women's experiences of crime, with a particular focus on the areas of equality and diversity. Her doctoral research explored women's experiences of sexual violence.
Charlotte Hargreaves is a youth justice expert with research interests in young people in the youth justice system, social exclusion, drug and alcohol misuse, mental ill health, school exclusion and disaffection.
Jayne Noor Mohammed specialises in themes of cybercrime, hi-tech crime, international criminology and research methods. Her particular research interests include e-fencing, counterfeiting and copyright infringement.
Nick Howe was formerly a Police Chief Superintendent and is currently undertaking doctoral studies in policing and partnerships but has a research interest in all aspects of policing, investigation and criminal justice.
You will learn through a compelling combination of:
- role plays
We offer a high level of support to students, including a personal tutor system to help steer your academic and professional development throughout your studies.
How you are assessed
You are assessed via a wide range of methods including:
- case studies
- presentations including research-style posters
- group projects
Who you'll meet
Our teaching team for the BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology programme is made up of engaging, passionate and inspiring subject experts. They include:
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|T Level||Pass (C or above in the core)|
|GCSE||GCSE Maths and English are preferred, however if you don't have these qualifications you will be able to undertake Maths and English at Level 2 as part of your course of study|
|Access to HE||Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2|
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each skills area)
The skills and tools you gain on the BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology are valuable for a wide range of careers, including the probation service, the prison service, youth justice and youth offending teams.
You could also consider roles in research and policy-making within the criminal justice system or you could pursue a career in teaching and academia.
Where can a degree in Forensic Psychology take you?
Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a ‘work-ready’ graduate – industry aware, motivated and enterprising. Throughout your studies, you’ll also benefit from working with your personal academic tutor to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions.
The support continues once you’ve completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.
You can go on to postgraduate study at Derby, with MSc qualifications in subjects such as Forensic Psychology, Criminal Investigation, and Criminal Justice and Criminology.
These expand your knowledge into specialist areas and accelerate your progress to more senior and leadership roles. Some of our students also use their experiences on the degree as a springboard into academic research.
As a graduate of the University of Derby, you may benefit from an alumni discount on your postgraduate course fees if you continue to study with us.
Find out more about our alumni discount.
Additional information about your studies
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
- DBS check if required for research purposes
- International trips if appropriate. Local trips to visit criminal justice organisations (e.g. courts, police stations)
- Youth Justice Effective Practitioner Certifcate (YJEPC)
- Access to online learning materials
- Access to essential software (SPSS and NVivo)
Optional costs not included in your fees
- You may wish to purchase optional textbooks or e-books to support your studies - costs for these are dependent on your choice
- Printing costs of course materials if hard copy desired - approximate cost is 5p per sheet
- Student membership of the British Psychological Society - approximate cost is £30
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.
Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.