This course integrates the core areas of psychology. This approach is especially beneficial for forensic psychology where all aspects of the discipline are relevant to the profession.
In addition to the British Psychological Society (BPS) core areas that you will study, you will also take an integrated perspective to examine criminality and legal issues. You will develop vital skills for forensic psychology such as using psychometric tests and working with other disciplines.
Year 1 (national level 4):
- Being a Psychologist (40 credits)
Learn the essential skills needed to study psychology at degree level including academic skills, personal development and research studies. Broaden academic and psychological literacy via a series of research projects and practicals supported by personal tutors.
Connect the twin themes of research methods/statistics and academic development and appreciate how research and statistics are designed, performed and interpreted in light of the complex theories that are created by the researcher with an emphasis on the process of becoming an ethical co-creator of knowledge alongside academic staff.
- Genes to Mind (20 credits)
Consider the relationship between biology and the human mind. Examine how DNA ultimately gives rise to thinking, conscious and complex human beings. Explore genetics and evolution, as well as the core areas of biological psychology, cognitive psychology and individual differences across topics as diverse as addiction, altruism, and sexuality.
- Mind to World (20 credits)
Learn the story of how single units of personhood (or ‘minds’) interact with one another and come together to create societies. Focus on the way in which humans communicate with each other and operate in their social world. Explore the core areas of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology and social psychology across topics such as perception, language, interpersonal relationships, emotion, autism, and psychopathy.
- Introduction to Mental Health (20 credits)
Examine biological, cognitive, and social models of mental illness and mental health. Consider a number of mental health problems including mood disorders (such as depression and anxiety), psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia), eating disorders, and personality disorders. Analyse behaviours that pose a risk to physical and mental health, including alcohol and drug use, poor diet, and a lack of physical activity. Discuss public health approaches to mental health and wellbeing and how we can aim to improve the mental health of the general population and/or lower risk of mental illness, by considering social networks, social inequality, and happiness.
- Introduction to Forensic Psychology (20 credits)
Learn about key theoretical concepts relevant to forensic psychology. Develop an understanding of what forensic psychology is as well as the relative contribution of psychology to the study of criminal behaviour. Study how crime, offender treatment, and the legal system have been conceptualised and approached. Examine different types of crime, including cyber bullying and trolling, juvenile offending and gangs. Examine real-life crimes and apply psychological theories to understanding these crimes and the impact on the victims.
Year 2 (national level 5):
- Psychological Research Design and Analysis (20 credits)
Work on a number of research projects across core areas of psychology. Develop more advanced skills in research methods, and gain opportunities to have input into research design as you become more skilled. Learn more advanced data analysis skills and apply these in the research projects.
- Future Selves (20 credits)
Explore your own potential as a lifelong learner and leader. Develop your understanding of the importance of agency and self-advocacy in relation to life and career transitions and how lifelong learning can enhance social inclusion, active citizenship and personal development, but also self-sustainability and employability.
Use research techniques that include psychometric measures, narrative and storytelling. Undertake volunteering opportunities to provide an additional context in which to consider your lifelong learning and leadership characteristics – and to develop a sense of your future professional self.
- Cradle to Grave: Integrated Perspectives on Development (20 credits)
Meet a fictional family as you learn about the psychology of the human journey through the lifespan, from parent-offspring conflict in the womb to explanations for ageing and death. Explore topics including attachment, the 'teenage brain' and challenges in adolescence, personality development and cognitive change.
- Twenty-Four, Seven: Everyday Motivations and Biases (20 credits)
Apply social, cognitive and biological psychology to understanding everyday motivations and biases in, for example, perception and memory. Explore topics including vision and sensory perception, social group processes, aggression, eyewitness testimony and eating disorders.
Explore specialist psychology routes such as clinical skills, health and wellbeing, counselling and forensic psychology. Draw on your own knowledge of psychology and apply different perspectives to current, real-world psychological issues in a problem-based learning context. Work in groups with other students to learn from one another about the role of the different specialisms, and how these can be successfully integrated and applied.
Investigate how psychology is used in detecting and interviewing suspects, and collecting evidence for conviction, including eyewitness testimony, expert testimony, and confessions. Study sources of bias in the collection and presentation of forensic evidence, fallibility of eye-witness memory, and how to recognise and decrease the risk of mistakes. Examine the psychology of the courtroom, focusing particularly on jury decision-making. Consider forensic scenarios and case studies which will facilitate the application of knowledge and understanding of theories and research from social, cognitive, biological, and developmental psychology, and individual differences.
Final year (national level 6):
- Empirical Project (40 credits)
Work with a supervisor to apply what you have learned in research methods modules to your own research project. Report your findings in an extensive research report, and present your project in the form of an academic poster at our poster conference.
- The Psychology of Serious and Violent Offending (20 credits)
Apply psychology to understanding offenders and forms of serious and violent offending, such as those a forensic psychologist may encounter in the field. Examine killing, stalking and harassment, fire-setting crimes, corporate crimes, cybercrime and sexual crime.
- Forensic Psychology in Practice (20 credits)
Develop a critical understanding of the applied nature of the Forensic Psychologist role by exploring evidence-based practices of Forensic Psychology within the criminal justice system. Gain analytical, evaluative and transferable skills through interpreting findings from assessment tools when developing and delivering expert witness testimony and other roles within the capacity of a Forensic Psychologist. Consider and debate key professional and ethical issues central to Forensic Psychology and further develop core skills in reflective practice. Utilise and explore a problem-based learning approach within your active learning.
Optional modules (choose two):
Please note, the full list of optional modules may change from year to year.
- Occupational Psychology (20 credits)
Focus on the scope of occupational psychology and its application to work, employees and organisations. Cover topics aligned with the British Psychology Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology such as psychological assessment at work; learning, training, and development; leadership, engagement, and motivation; wellbeing and work.
- Research to Reality (20 credits)
Engage with, and evaluate, some of the ‘big issues’ at the cutting edge of psychology, including free will, the nature of consciousness, the interface between psychology and politics, and cybercrime. This module will encourage you to look beyond your university experience and to engage with psychological aspects of current culture and society.
- Development and Neurodiversity (10 credits)
Learn about the development of our understanding of Neurodiversity and the historical progression of how we have characterised Neurodiverse populations, including Autism Spectrum Conditions and Williams Syndrome, from early diagnostic formulation to current day. Examine biological aspects of Neurodiversity such as brain differences, as well as their relevance to cognition and behaviour. Critically engage with topics of current relevance in Neurodiversity, including relationships, healthcare and education.
- Environmental Psychology (20 credits)
Gain specialist knowledge of Environmental Psychology, an applied sub-discipline of Psychology which bridges a range of core areas and related disciplines such as architecture, planning, and geography. Cover topics which include the role of the environment in social development and relationships, the relationships between environments, health and wellbeing, place attachment, place identity and the importance of home.
- Psychology of Addiction (20 credits)
Take an introductory look at the psychology of both substance and non-substance-related addictive behaviours. Examine a variety of addictive behaviours such as alcoholism, addiction to psychoactive drugs, gambling, and sex addiction, as well as theories relating to the development, persistence, control and treatment of addictive behaviours. Link these behaviours to various areas of psychology such as the biological effects of drug use, how cognition plays a role in addictive behaviours and the social implications of addiction.
Optional modules continued:
- Clinical Neuropsychology (20 credits)
Look at the nature of cognitive and emotional impairments following brain damage in adults. Cover topics including the causes of brain damage in adults, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's Disease, neuropsychological assessment procedures and rehabilitation following brain injury.
- Health Psychology and Behaviour Change (20 credits)
Examine how psychological concepts, principles and theories can be applied to understand and alleviate problems associated with health and health-related behaviours. Cover topics which include personality, health and illness, sociocultural aspects of health and illness, and stress and health. Focus on psychological interventions aimed at changing health-related behaviours.
- Psychology and Story (20 credits)
Consider how neuroscience and psychology are used in storytelling including myths and fairytales and their function in human culture where they are said to define who we are and shape our identities and our character. Map the hero’s journey, consider its features, and apply it to a range of epic stories such as Star Wars and Harry Potter. We will consider the importance of character and compare the hero, the antihero and the superhero - and explore the relationship between hero and self.
- The Psychology of Serious and Violent Offending (20 credits)
Apply psychology to understanding offenders and a number of common forms of serious and violent offending encountered in forensic settings. Draw on approaches from across the discipline of psychology, applying psychological theory and research to aspects of serious and violent offending, for example gang violence and crime, intimate partner violence and other forms of domestic violence, sexual violence, murder, terrorism, financial and corporate crime, cybercrime.
- Digital Humans: The Psychology of Online Behaviour (20 credits)
Study cyberpsychology, the psychology of how humans interact with technology and online environments. Look at the online world and its impact on human behaviour. Explore how humans have adapted to a world with increasing amounts of technology: becoming digital humans in the process. Study the rise of artificial technology, and its impact on human behaviours. Consider how we interact with virtual environments, explore virtual identity, online vs. offline behaviours, and how we approach privacy and self-disclosure in an increasingly digital world.
- Advanced Quantitative Methods (10 credits)
Further develop your research design and data analysis skills, building on the foundations provided at Years 1 and 2. Cover advanced quantitative research design and acquire a number of advanced data analysis techniques.
- Art Psychology (20 credits)
Focus on two main areas: firstly, can psychology help us to understand and explain how and why people create art. Secondly, can psychology help us to understand why (some) humans like art, how art communicates meanings and what humans gain from experiencing art.
- Male Psychology (10 credits)
Examine male psychology supported by the Male Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society. Find out about key psychological issues that affect men and boys, such as physical and mental health issues, grief, suicide, trauma, male stereotypes and archetypes, intimate partner violence, sexual assault and fatherhood. Learn about the impact of acknowledging and understanding sex differences for full understanding of the human condition, and how this may enable us to tailor support and interventions to men facing issues. Critically consider modern conceptualisations of masculinity such as toxic masculinity and positive masculinity.
- Professional Placement (10 credits)
Enhance your employability by completing a placement with a professional organisation, possibly, but not necessarily, related to psychology. Past placements have included conducting research and analysing data for NHS trusts and private clinical organisations or working as psychology teaching and research assistants.
- Dark Personalities (10 credits)
Explore the dark side of the human mind by engaging in the psychological study of dark personality. Learn about the ‘Dark Tetrad’ traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism. Consider why men with dark personality are often attractive to women. Learn about dark personality disorders, focusing on psychopathy. Discuss ethical issues raised by psychopathy, and consider questions such as: Are psychopaths born or made? How are the brains of psychopaths different, and how does this affect how they think and feel? Why do some psychopaths commit violent crimes? Are psychopaths natural leaders? Why are psychopaths so prevalent in popular culture?
- Memory and Life (10 credits)
Study real world issues and problems relating to memory, for example, recovered and false memories, post-traumatic stress disorder and memory, memory closure and expressive writing, childhood amnesia, pregnancy and memory, life stories and post-traumatic growth, mindfulness and memory, role of memory making in mental health after perinatal loss, simulation of future experiences and anxiety.