Criminology with Psychology BA Hons | Middlesex University London
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Criminology with Psychology BA Honours

Get a deeper understanding of how crime affects society and individuals by studying this varied degree with us
October 2020
3 years full-time
4 years full-time with placement
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,400 (INT) *
Course leader
Mia Scally

Working in fields like local government, youth services, criminal and social justice, our BA Criminology with Psychology course offers a challenging and fulfilling career.

Why study Criminology with Psychology* with us

Criminology degrees have risen in popularity in recent years and by choosing to study for a BA Criminology with Psychology with us, you’ll be choosing an established programme from a department that’s been running for over 30 years. This course takes a closer look at the intersection of crime and society, paving the way for varied career opportunities with court services, the police, the Crown Prosecution Service, and the government – among many others. You'll gain deep theoretical knowledge on the problem of crime, institutions of criminal justice, and criminological theory, as well as social psychology. You’ll then use these skills and apply them practically to gain a taste for what you can expect from a career in the field.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2019) places our social sciences degrees in the top 300 in the world.

Get the knowledge needed to succeed

BA Criminology with Psychology integrates the study of both subjects on practical and theoretical levels so you can apply the skills and knowledge gained to the understanding of criminal behaviour. It’s a deeply fascinating intersection of subjects with plenty of real-world applications.

The programme is specifically designed by departmental academics who are active researchers in the Crime and Conflict Research Centre (CSCR), drawing on subject areas like youth crime, crime and deviance, plus many others.

You'll have the option to extend the course by a year through a paid work placement relevant to your studies in the third year. We have excellent links with criminology-focused organisations in London, which means you’ll have access to prestigious placement opportunities throughout your studies. For example, previous graduates have gone on to intern with the Executive Directorate Police Services at Interpol, as well as working as an Operational Support Officer at HMP Bronzefield.

We provide support when you need it

During your course, you’ll get personalised support from your Personal Tutor, Student Learning Assistant, and Graduate Academic Assistant. Their first-hand experience in your subject area means they understand how to best support you.

This course gives you the unique opportunity to make a positive impact in society, directly helping to improve communities and contributing to improving the lives of others.

*Please note this course is subject to review

Find out more

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What will you study on the BA Criminology with Psychology?


  • Year 1

    • Crime and Control in a Social Context (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The objective of this module is to introduce a number of key criminological concepts and issues. More specifically, the key factors that influence official definitions and societal perceptions of crime and deviance, and the differing involvement of identifiable social groups in crime and deviance. You will explore the differing levels of victimisation amongst such groups, and the main reasons behind these differences. Also, it will introduce the sources of information on crime, deviance and victimisation and to a number of specific types of crimes.

    • Explaining Crime (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is designed to introduce the major theoretical perspectives that have emerged in the discipline of Criminology over the past 200 - 300 years and enable you to apply these theories to concrete examples of crime. It considers how historical context, political influence and basic philosophical differences on such questions as what it is to be human have influenced the development of criminological perspectives. It will introduce the academic research that underpins different theories and help you to understand the key arguments and reflect upon the relative merits of each theory through engagement with relevant literature.

    • Researching the City: Skills and Methods in Criminology and Sociology (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to instruct you on the skills required for undertaking an undergraduate degree in either sociology or criminology, and the basic components of social science research through researching the city. This module provides an engaging opportunity to be introduced to different research methods and approaches as well as more generally study skills while exploring from an academic point of view the city where you study in and live in. Many of these skills will have relevance beyond your degree, and will be attractive to future employers. You will also be introduced to a range of critical writing skills that link to other modules across the year. Many of these skills will have relevance beyond your degree, and will be attractive to future employers.

    • Foundation Psychology (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce the five core areas of psychology as set down by the BPS: cognitive, social, biological basis, developmental and individual differences. In addition, you will also explore ideas concerned with definitions of psychology and how psychology developed as a separate discipline by considering its historical and philosophical beginnings and current issues.

  • Year 2

    • Approaches to Research in the Social Sciences (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to develop your evaluative abilities regarding quantitative and qualitative research methodologies as well as to introduce you to the underlying philosophical and ethical principles of social research. It aims to make clear the links between theory, method and data, to define what data is within different research paradigms and the various ways of generating and analysing it, and to understand and critique published research. Emphasis is placed on developing awareness and critique of secondary sources. The module also aims to prepare you for the development of a proposal for the final year dissertation project. Throughout the module, you will apply the various components of research methods to the specific subject of the programme you are studying.

    • Criminology in Late Modernity (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduces the recent developments in criminological theory and research. As well as familiarising you with a substantial range of contemporary theoretical perspectives in criminology, it will introduce the central themes and substantive concerns central to current criminological research. In particular, you will focus on the consequences of globalisation and neoliberal politics on patterns of crime and social control in the Global North, looking at issues such as terrorism, state crime, cybercrime, and environmental crime.

    • Institutions of Criminal Justice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides an introduction to key criminal justice institutions and agencies and an understanding of contemporary criminal justice issues. The main focus of the module is on the criminal justice system in England and Wales, though other material is drawn upon for European and international comparative purposes. At the end of the module, you should be familiar with recent and current policy issues and debates relating to the different criminal justice institutions, such as pluralised policing and the extended police family, contemporary crime investigation, sentencing in the criminal courts, and reform of the prison and probation systems.

    • Developmental Psychology (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides an overview of the current research and core theoretical aspects of developmental psychology. In addition to the main topics, you will have opportunities to learn about extended topics of atypical developments, developments throughout the lifespan and applications to educational issues, as well as contemporary topics in applied developmental psychology. Understanding of these topics is enhanced through a series of interactive seminars.

  • Year 3

    • Applied Social Psychology (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module aims to explore the application of psychology to social problems in the areas of crime, conflict and violence, taking into account individual, group and social factors. It considers how individuals and groups become involved in, and perpetuate, these problematic behaviours, and also considers the consequences for victims, government and justice responses, and approaches to prevention. The module aims to extend your understanding of social psychology through its application to social problems facing modern societies and to develop your aptitudes for identifying pathways for social change through the understanding the psychological processes implicated in social problems.

    • Dissertation (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to synthesise learning from the criminology programmes of study, providing an opportunity for you to study independently and investigate a topic in depth, in accordance with the Criminology Benchmark Statement. It fosters academic curiosity, an inquiry based approach, and the employment and application of research skills thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising. You will select a topic of personal interest on which you wish to undertake an in-depth study and manage your own learning with the support of an allocated supervisor for this period of independent study. Furthermore, those studying criminology will have criminology specific dissertation workshops to support the independent study and formative assessments during the dissertation year to assist with the development and completion of the dissertation.

    • Gangs and Group Offending (30 credits) - Optional

      This module critically examines the concepts of serious group offending and in particular the growing phenomenon of gangs. The existence and prevalence of gangs is contested academically and by practitioners. The module will consider classic and contemporary theories as to why gangs form and thrive in places; the challenges of defining gangs as opposed to street cultures and peer groups will be considered. Issues such as risks and motivations for joining, membership, behaviours, territoriality, recruitment, levels of violence, criminal activity, gender, links to organised crime, deprivation and globalisation are all pertinent topics addressed in the module. Key issues are identified and critically reviewed such as divergent experiences between the USA and the UK, race, gender, and partner/agency involvement. The module takes a left realist approach notably in consideration of recent police and practitioner strategies and initiatives under development regarding desistance, prevention and intervention models.

    • Violent Crime (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to discuss the dynamics of interpersonal violence and its control, with an additional focus on the links between sex and violence. You will learn about the social and spatial parameters of violent crime, the possible causes and explanations for why violent crime happens (are we born violent or do we learn how to be violent?), theoretical and layperson perspectives on violence,  the forms that violence can take, and how violence can be gendered. Current prison forensic psychologists will also help you to understand how violent, and sexually violent, offenders are managed within the prison environment.

    • Justice, Punishment and Human Rights (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will equip you with an understanding of the complex function of punishment as a practice and institution. More specifically, it aims to create a critical awareness of the influence of country specific values and circumstances as well as of global developments on the formulation of criminal justice, its responses to crime, deviance and public insecurity, and on its modes of punishment and their utility. It will also foster an appreciation of the human rights issues that different punishment measures and criminal justice responses can give rise to.

    • Drugs, Crime and Criminal Justice (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to introduce the contemporary debates surrounding drugs, drug use and its control. It will develop your knowledge and understanding of the processes involved in social definitions of drugs and drug users and your skills in applying criminological theories to drug issues. It aims to facilitate critical analysis and evaluation of the laws, policies and institutions of drugs control and their social, economic and political contexts. The module also aims to foster and develop your critical interest in the reform of drugs control policy.

    • Organised and White Collar Crime (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will introduce the critical debates on Organised Crime and Corporate Offenders. You will also become acquainted with the issues of defining these areas of criminality and the problems of conducting meaningful research. The module will begin with explanations of how social, political and economic conditions allowed organised crime to develop and discuss the links with White Collar and Corporate Crime.

    • Special Constabulary (30 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to link academic learning to the MSC training with an opportunity to apply, consolidate and develop skills and knowledge for future employment. This is a practical experience module that provides the means to link academic work with the 'real world' situation in order to conceptualise the meaning of theory in the wider context. This module facilitates the embedding of transferable and graduate skills necessary for future career paths and employment. Pre-requisites: This module relates to your work experience as a member of the MSC. It is a pre-requisite that those taking the MSC Work Based Learning module must be a serving member of the MSC. This means you must have already passed your 23 day MSC Foundation Course, which includes four exams and practical assessments. It is possible to take this module if this element has completed but patrolling has not yet commenced. The MSC are required to undertake a minimum of 200 hours of operational duties every year, spread over a minimum of 16 hours per month. The module requires you to undertake a reflective diary of your volunteering.

    • Forensic Mental Health and Offending (30 credits) - Optional

      Are mentally disordered offenders ‘mad’ or ‘bad’? Should they be ‘treated’ or ‘punished’? What is the relationship between ‘mental health’ and ‘offending’? These are just some of many questions in this exciting new module which aims to introduce you to these key debates as well as exploring key theories and the differing responses surrounding forensic mental health. You will begin by looking at the different ways in which mental health has been classified, understood and responded to – tracing the history of asylums and psychiatry through to the de-institutionalisation of the mentally ill and moves towards ‘care in the community’. Public and political responses to high profile cases are considered. You will be able to critically engage with the development of criminal justice and health responses to mentally disordered offenders and consider the theoretical and practical challenges raised by targeting some people as ‘dangerous’ offenders. Treatment and risk predictions are also explored. The module will use case studies including looking at severe personality disorder and drug misuse.

    • Integrated Learning and Work Placement (30 credits) - Optional

      Placements provide an opportunity for you to apply, consolidate and develop skills and knowledge gained in the classroom to the responsibilities of the placement and future employment. You will be assisted to find an appropriate placement with an organisation relevant to your studies where you will develop and apply critical and reflective capabilities in an employment context.

    • Children as Victims and Offenders (30 credits) - Optional

      This module examines and critically appraises the issue of children as victims and offenders. It explores the functions, roles and responsibilities of a variety of agencies whose task is to protect children and to work with those in trouble  with the law, and enables students to develop a critical understanding of the issues underpinning policy and practice in these fields with particular attention to the importance of and problems associated with multi-agency working.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Criminology with Psychology support your career?

Our degree is an excellent foundation for a career within a wide range organisations, such as the police, the National Offender Management Service, Jural Legal Services, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Court Service, and local government community safety, youth services, housing and environmental services, and drug and alcohol support services. While a degree in Criminology with Psychology will ordinarily lead to employment within the general field of criminal justice, the skills of data research, critical analysis, oral, written and visual communication, reasoned debate, understanding theoretical concepts, and policy analysis can be transferred to many other areas of employment.

Many of our graduates have also gone on to develop careers in a wide range of third sector organisations including those that deal with victim support, offender and drug rehabilitation, and community based private projects often with the young and the elderly.

What support is available?

Our Employability Service will help you to develop skills desired by top employers and gain valuable work experience. We provide workshops, events and one-to-one support with job hunting, writing your CV and cover letters, interview coaching and advice on how to network effectively. We also support you in securing part-time work, placements, internships, and volunteering opportunities, and offer an enterprise support service for those looking to start their own business.

Mia Scally

Mia teaches with a focus on bringing a psychological lens to the study of criminology. Her PhD research on forensic psychology focuses on child custody in the context of intimate partner violence and abuse. Her previous research has included topics such as young people and pornography, online child protection in the EU and MENA region, domestic violence protection orders, suicide and young people who offend.

Dr Julie Trebilcock
Senior Lecturer

Dr Trebilcock has over ten years of experience of working in and conducting research in the field of forensic mental health and imprisonment. Her research has been primarily focused on the management of violent and sexual offenders with personality disorder. Her particular expertise is with the institutional pathways and legal authority by which high risk offenders are detained, Parole Board and Mental Health Tribunal decision-making, and the staffing challenges involved with working with offenders with personality disorder.

Dr Gemma Reynolds
Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Dr Reynolds joined Middlesex University following a post-doctoral research position at Kingston University whereby she remains a member of the CICA Research Lab. Her key research interests lie within atypical childhood development, with a particular focus on associative learning mechanisms.

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Sociology with Psychology BA Honours

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