BSc (Hons) Psychology with Applied Forensic Investigation

Course summary

OverviewForensic lab

Would you like to know what makes people behave and think in the way that they do? If you are interested in understanding the processes influencing how people think, behave, feel and interact as well as having a grounding in forensic investigation, then this is the course for you.

Why choose this course?
We are the best University in London for Forensic Science according to the Complete University Guide 2017 and rank in the top 15 for this subject in the whole of the UK. We’ve achieved this by combining excellent facilities with an innovative range of learning methods, including newly refurbished crime scene rooms.

This course pathway is based on one of the longest established psychology courses in the UK which has been accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) since 1986. This well-established course, with its long-standing experience in teaching core BPS content, offers a fresh and contemporary insight into the study of human behaviour. 

You will have the opportunity to gain a firm understanding of forensic investigation in a lab context, for example examining: 
  • blood spatter
  • DNA evidence 
  • the investigative process. 
Teaching on the course is informed by staff expertise and research ensuring that the course remains contemporary and relevant to real world issues. We also regularly invite experts from the field of psychology and forensic investigation to contribute to the teaching on the course, providing expertise from multiple applied areas of the disciplines.

Girl holding a forensic swab

We have your careers in mind and aim to assist you in obtaining your goals by inviting a range of practicing psychologists to offer insight and advice on careers in psychology and related areas.

During the course you will undertake work experience, learning to relate the theoretical knowledge gained on the course and applying it to the world of work and real life experiences.



Past students have completed their work experience in a range of settings including:
  • victim support schemes
  • drug support schemes
  • after school clubs
  • market research.
We pride ourselves on providing a highly supportive environment. You will be assigned a personal tutor who will work with you and support you during your time at UWL.  We have an open-door policy and there will be someone on hand to offer academic and pastoral support when needed. 

Career and study progression
On successful completion of the course employment opportunities are wide-ranging, encompassing both the field of psychology and forensics.

Graduates from this course go on to careers in a wide range of public and private sector professions, including positions in social and welfare organisations, business and finance, education, marketing and advertising to name but a few.

You may wish to undertake postgraduate study in your subject or even explore something new.

For more details please see the Career and study progression section.

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)

Course detail

Studying with us
The course is taught by a multidisciplinary team of experts from areas of Psychology, Policing and Forensic Science many of whom have a background in applied areas of practice as well as teaching and research.

Our experienced teaching staff are well informed by their research interests on a range of current issues such as:

  • cyber-bullying
  • binge drinking
  • honour based violence.

What modules will I study as part of my course?

Year one (Level 4) 

  • Behaviour and Mind
  • Criminal Minds
  • Growing Up
  • History of Psychology
  • Introduction to Forensic Science*
  • Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology

Year two (Level 5)

  • Cognition in Action
  • Forensic Investigation of Crime*
  • Further Research Methods
  • Individual Differences
  • Lifespan Development
  • Biological and Atypical Psychology 

Year three (Level 6)

  • Experiential Learning
  • Dissertation
  • The Individual in the Social World 
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Forensic Investigation Techniques*

Students take *one option from a range that includes:

  • Gender Psychology
  • Health Psychology
  • Introduction to Theories of Counselling
  • Neuropsychology and the Broken Brain
  • Occupational Psychology
  • Psychology of Mental Health
  • Violent Relationships
*Option modules will run subject to staff availability and viable student numbers opting to take the module 

Module details

Year one (Level 4)

Behaviour and Mind
This module will examine the contribution that behaviourist, biopsychological and cognitive perspectives have made to our understanding of behaviour, including maladaptive behaviour and drug addiction. Consideration will be given to how we experience the world through memory, attentional and perceptual processes.

Criminal Minds
This module will explore a range of perspectives in psychology that strive to explain patterns of thinking that lead certain individuals to commit crimes whilst others do not.  This module will consider the possible neural underpinning that may suggest whether criminals are born ‘pre-wired’. This will be contrasted with social perspectives on crime, that is, the nature vs. nurture debate will be contemplated.  Furthermore, the module will explore whether the lack of an attachment figure can lead to the development of criminal modes of thinking.

Growing Up
This module looks at the extent to which social context and culture (or 'nurture') influence human development and behaviour throughout life, and examines cross-cultural and intra-cultural influences on development and behaviour.

History of Psychology
This module is an introduction to conceptual and historical issues in psychology. It covers the history of scientific psychology, from its earliest beginnings up to the present day.

Introduction to Forensic Science
This module introduces the concepts of forensic science, and examines the types of evidence found at crime scenes, which are vitally important for investigations.

Research Methods one
This module provides the first stage in an introduction to research methods and statistics in psychology.  It aims to introduce some basic concepts in research design, data analysis, and research reporting. This module explores a range of methods of psychological research, including:

  • Experimentation
  • survey methodology
  • statistics
  • sampling.

Research Methods two
This module provides the second stage in an introduction to research methods and statistics in psychology.  It aims to further develop your understanding of some basic concepts in research design, data analysis, and research reporting. This module introduces qualitative methods employed in psychological research. 

Year two (Level 5)

Cognition in Action
This module explores how the mind works - how our brains process, store and modify information through our senses. It examines how we process sensory signals, what role attention plays in dealing with information from our senses, and how we store and transform this information. It also investigates theories of memory and memory loss, and how our brain organises knowledge. Finally, it looks at thinking, reasoning and language.

Forensic Investigation of Crime
This module explores key aspects of evidential material, using case studies.

Further Research Methods
This module further extends knowledge gained from Research Methods one and two. Further research methods considers elements of research methods and design.  Students use the statistical package SPSS to carry out statistical analyses and apply findings to real-world research issues.

Individual Differences
This module examines the concepts, theories, methods and findings in the psychology of personality and intelligence. Principles of measurement are a key component of this module, as is psychometric testing in the study of the similarities and differences between people.

Lifespan Development
This module examines concepts, theories, methods and findings in developmental psychology. We take a lifespan perspective, focusing on human development from early childhood through to adolescence, adulthood and old age.

Biological and Atypical Psychology
This module provides students with a comprehensive understanding of biological psychology with specific focus on brain and behaviour and an introduction to atypical psychology from a biological perspective.

Year three (Level 6)


Dissertation
This module requires an original piece of empirical quantitative or qualitative research in a recognised sub-area of the discipline

Experiencing Psychology in Practice
This module looks at how psychological theory, concepts and research can be applied in real life. You will do at least 30 hours of experiential learning in an organisation relevant to your course and career plans.

The individual in the social world
This module focuses on various issues concerning the social and interactive aspects of human behaviour. It provides an overview of the main areas of study and introduces the diversity of social psychology - presenting findings on a variety of topics central to social psychological enquiry.

Forensic Assessment and Examination Techniques

Using real case studies, this module examines the role of forensic science in securing evidence obtained from crime scenes, and analysing and interpreting it.

Forensic Psychology
This module provides an overview of key topics in forensic and criminological psychology. We look at theories of crime, domestic and sexual violence, crime and mental health, eyewitness testimony, investigative interviewing, and interrogations and confessions.

You can choose from *one of the following options:

Gender Psychology
This module explores (among other things): theories of gender development; socialisation of gender by parents, teachers and peers; gender in the media in things like Disney and pornography; and particular problem issues that come from gender such as body image, the sex industry, gender relations at work, and how gender attitudes could potentially lead to rape. 

Health Psychology
This module covers key theoretical themes and issues and highlights the link between theory and practice in psychology. It focuses on factors that promote or inhibit psychological wellbeing and health-related behaviour, and will help you develop critical analytical skills when reviewing literature. It also provides a forum for discussing a broad range of health psychology topics.

Introduction to Theories of Counselling
This module provides a brief overview of psychodynamic, cognitive behavioural and humanistic approaches in counselling, with a look at two therapies associated with each approach. We also examine the integrative approach and how it brings together ideas and practices from the three main approaches to create new forms of therapy.

Neuropsychology and the Broken Brain
In this module, we examine the relationship between the brain, behaviour and cognitive abilities. We focus on specific brain functions, such as memory, visual perception and language, using comparisons between brain injury patients and healthy individuals.

Occupational Psychology
This module introduces a variety of issues related to work, and how psychological principles may be applied to enhance people's wellbeing and productivity in the workplace. We address the application of psychological theory and research methods in the context of work, at individual and organisational levels.

Psychology of Mental Health
This is an introduction to psychological disorders. Initially, lectures look at historical perspectives in abnormal psychology, classification and assessment, and different perspectives and treatment methods. We then focus on specific disorders, such as schizophrenia, mood disorders, anxiety and phobias, eating disorders and substance use disorders.

Violent Relationships
We examine violence and abuse in the context of relationships, from a range of perspectives. Psychological understanding and its implications are increasingly relevant, and we look at aspects of violence that most affect the psychology of relationships.

Entry requirements

You will need 112-120 UCAS tariff points at level 3, which would normally include at least two subject areas. We also require GCSE Grade C or above in English language and mathematics or equivalent Level 2 qualifications.

Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of 60 credits, 45 of which must be at Level 3 and 15 can be at Level 2. Access to HE must contain Level 2 Numeracy and Literacy; alternatively you must hold GCSE Grade C or above in English language and mathematics.

If you are a mature student without the above qualifications and have relevant work experience you are invited to apply. Such applications will be considered on an individual basis and attending an interview may be a requirement.

International entry criteria

International students need to meet our English language requirement at either IELTS at 6.0 or above and a minimum of 5.5 for each of the 4 individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).

In some countries where teaching is in English, we may accept local qualifications. Please visit http://www.uwl.ac.uk/international/your-country to check for local equivalencies.

We offer pre-sessional English language courses if you do not meet these requirements. Find out more about our English Language courses

Fees

Fees for home and EU students

Main fee
£9,250

Fees for overseas students

Main fee
£11,500
Find out if you are a home or overseas student.

Funding

Help with funding is available to a range of students, whether you are studying full or part-time, in your home country or overseas.

You may be eligible for a student loan to cover the cost of tuition fees or a maintenance loan to support you during your studies. Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as those with dependants, disabled students and more. Find out more about applying for student loans and other funding options.

We also offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help you. Scholarships in the 2017 - 18 academic year included:

  • Full Time Undergraduate Bursary: a £3,000 award for new undergraduate students.
  • Path to Success Scholarship: a £4,000 award for students on a four-year degree course with a foundation year. 

Other scholarships are also available, including awards for specific subjects. Find out more and check your eligibility.

* Please note that scholarships and bursaries described in the video above were available at the time of filming in autumn 2017. Full details of scholarships for the 2018 - 19 academic year will be published shortly.

Please note fees are paid for each year of study unless otherwise stated. You will be required to re-enrol and pay fees at the beginning of each academic year. Fees may be subject to government regulations on fee increases. Future inflationary increases will be applied to each subsequent year of the course, subject to government regulations on fee increases.

How to apply

As Psychology is not offered as a subject area at A Level at all schools and colleges it is not a prerequisite for admission to the course.  However, we do view favourably applicants who have taken Psychology, other science subjects and related topics such as sociology.  Other factors that make an applicant stand out is some relevant work or voluntary experience that further demonstrate engagement in the area of psychology.

Apply for this course

UK and EU students

Apply for this course at www.ucas.com when UCAS applications are open, from the previous September until June (see dates). You will need our institution code W05 and the UCAS code given on the right hand side of this page.

If the UCAS deadline has passed, you can apply through Clearing by calling our hotline on 0800 036 8888 (or +44 8231 2468). Clearing takes place over the summer months (July to September).

If you are making an early application, before UCAS has opened, you can apply directly to the University by clicking the red 'apply now' button above. You should also use this button to receive specialist information if you are applying for Nursing and Midwifery courses.

More about how to apply to the University of West London.

International students

Apply at www.ucas.com or complete our application form for international students. We have an online application form or you can download the print version.

You can also review the relevant information about the qualifications we accept from your country and our English language requirements, as well as details about your visa application.

More about the application process for international students.

During the course

Notable aspects

Five Reasons to Study Psychology at UWL

1. Course Variety
The Psychology courses at UWL are designed and delivered in ways that give students the best possible learning experience, beginning with the course content. The long-standing, BPS-accredited straight BSc Psychology course covers the core psychological content required at undergraduate level, as well as providing exciting optional module choices to stimulate engage and inspire students. In addition, there are a range of pathways for students to choose from that add that extra bit of direction and flavour to the core content.

2. High Employability
Employability is a high priority at UWL and we are proud that 97% of graduates are in employment within six months of graduating. In Psychology our unique ‘Experiencing Psychology in Practice’ module provides placements in the third year. When our graduates leave us, they not only feel prepared, they are eager to continue putting their skills into practice.

3. Student Support
Psychology staff are dedicated to providing a quality student experience. From designing and delivering engaging, interesting, and challenging lectures and seminars, to providing unparalleled levels of student support, the team at UWL Psychology are there to make sure that you fulfil your true potential as an undergraduate.

4. Research and Innovation
We are also dedicated to conducting innovative research in a variety of psychological disciplines for example, investigating the effect of psycho-social intervention in helping quiet, withdrawn school children, attitudes behind sexual violence, binge drinking and how this might link with impulsivity and social networking sites. The team are conducting research that has very real and dramatic implications for psychological theory and social policy.

5. Location
Where does all this happen? Based in the heart of West London, the University is situated close to the capital. This location provides ample opportunity for students to gain access to real world experience and skills at a number of organisations and charities that are within easy reach of UWL.

Special resources

We have a range of specialised equipment and software as well as dedicated rooms available to supports students when undertaking their dissertation projects and are used during teaching where appropriate.

We have computer experiment generator software such as SuperLab and EPrime. We also have specialised equipment, for example Biopacs and an eye-tracker. Alongside this we hold a range of questionnaires as well as validated cognitive abilities test batteries.

You will also have access to our crime scene rooms. These have been created so students can apply their theoretical knowledge of forensic science and evidence-gathering techniques within a practical crime scene context.

Teaching methods

Teaching methods you will encounter include:
• lectures
• seminars
• workshops
• tutorials (small groups and one-to-one)
• experiential
• supported on-line tasks
• self-directed.

Assessment

Exams

Many of our assessments are designed to help students develop important transferable skills.

The types of assessment you will encounter include:
• exams (unseen, seen and open book)
• essays
• literature reviews
• critical reviews
• report writing
• posters
• oral Presentations
• case studies
• wikis
• group work.

Student support

Our staff are dedicated to providing a quality student experience. From designing and delivering engaging, thought-provoking, and challenging lectures and seminars, to providing unparalleled levels of student support, our staff are here to make sure that you fulfil your true potential as an undergraduate.

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will be able to offer academic and pastoral support throughout your time at UWL.

This support also extends to the wider university community where the mentoring team are always on hand to help.

What our students say

Jobs and placements

Due to the changing landscape of higher education, employability within university education is more important than ever before, and at UWL employability is a priority. As part of UWL's 'Ambition 2018' strategy – 'linking learning to the world of work' – the Psychology courses at UWL focus on employability at all levels. This involves not only equipping undergraduates with the firm theoretical foundation they need for their chosen careers, but by encouraging application of that knowledge throughout their degree.

You will have access to practitioners from all areas of psychology who will give you advice and information on their fields of study and work. In addition, our unique and highly successful ‘Experiencing Psychology in Practice’ module will provide you with an opportunity to get out into the community to practice and apply the theory you have learned, all whilst gaining valuable experience skills.

We have 20 years of experience in running this work-based module so we have extensive links and opportunities to offer. Work experience makes a big difference to the jobs opportunities open to you.

Many of these work experiences represent our ambition to help students connect with our community. You could gain work in organisations such as:

  • after schools' clubs
  • drug and alcohol projects
  • eating disorders units
  • hospitals
  • human resources departments
  • mental health support lines
  • mental health drop-in centres
  • play schemes for children with special needs
  • police support
  • reading schemes
  • schools
  • youth offending teams

These placements represent examples of the eighth theme in the universities Ambition 2018 plan of 'connect with our community'.

Due to the changing landscape of higher education, employability within university education is more important than ever before, and at UWL employability is a priority. As part of UWL’s “Ambition 2018” strategy – 'linking learning to the world of work' – the Psychology courses at UWL focus on employability at all levels. This involves not only equipping undergraduates with the firm theoretical foundation they need for their chosen careers, but by encouraging application of that knowledge throughout their degree.

 

You will have access to practitioners from all areas of psychology who will give you advice and information on their fields of study and work. In addition, our unique and highly successful ‘Experiencing Psychology in Practice’ module will provide you with an opportunity to get out into the community to practice and apply the theory you have learned, all whilst gaining valuable experience skills.

 

We have 20 years of experience in running this work-based module so we have extensive links and opportunities to offer. Work experience makes a big difference to the jobs opportunities open to you.

Many of these work experiences represent our ambition to help students connect with our community. You could gain work in organisations such as:

  • after schools’ clubs
  • drug and alcohol projects
  • eating disorders units
  • hospitals
  • human resources departments
  • mental health support lines
  • mental health drop-in centres
  • play schemes for children with special needs
  • police support
  • reading schemes
  • schools
  • youth offending teams

These placements represent examples of the eighth theme in the universities Ambition 2018 plan of 'connect with our community'.

Students are expected to undertake a placement that reflects the pathway that they have undertaken.

Career and study progression

A psychology degree opens up a wide range of opportunities as it demands high standards of numeracy and literacy, as well as skills in research, communication, teamwork and problem solving - all highly regarded attributes that are sought after by employers.

Successful completion of this course should make you an attractive proposition in the job market. The University of West London's emphasis on employability, will enable you to show that you can apply your knowledge to real-life situations making you and attractive candidate for potential employers.

Career pathways include:

  • business and finance
  • caring professions
  • charitable organisations
  • education
  • industry
  • marketing and advertising
  • management
  • mental health settings
  • research
  • social and welfare organisations
  • youth offending

Study progression

This course provides Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society that gives options for further study towards a range of Psychology professions.

Our MSc Health Psychology is a step further towards achieving Chartered status. If you do not have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) status before you apply to study the MSc, we recommend you consider the Graduate Diploma in Psychology, available as a full or part-time course.

In order to be eligible for GBC, students must pass the empirical psychology project (the final year dissertation project) and achieve a minimum Lower Second Class Honours degree, or equivalent.

Careers support
Our degrees are designed to help you find the career that's right for you. 96% of our graduates are in work within 6 months of graduating.

With our desirable West London location, we have strong links with many national and multinational organisations such as the BBC, Hewlett-Packard (HP) Ltd, Middlesex Law society and the Savoy Education Trust. We have a strong track record of providing valuable work placements and we also provide hands-on experience at the University through our Student Ambassadors' scheme.

Many of our staff have successful backgrounds in relevant industries and can advise you on how to kick-start your career. Our careers service will also help you realise your potential by offering specialist advice and guidance on a wide range of careers issues, including:

  • CVs
  • job hunting
  • recruitment and selection procedures
  • further study.

We are The Career University.

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