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Why choose the School of Psychology

Our graduates have chosen a variety of career paths with some working in human resources; running their own coaching consultancies; or employed within the private and public sectors including the NHS, police and probation service

Our courses are reviewed and developed in conjunction with a panel of industry professionals from the NHS, mental health support and commercial organisations to ensure they align with the needs of employers

We organise field trips to a local branch of the charity Headway UK, where students spend time with staff and clients; Forensic Psychology students also spend up to two days observing real-life court cases from the public gallery

About the course

Taking a vocational and practical perspective this Foundation Degree gives you a firm understanding of both general and criminal psychology and how it can be applied to human behaviour offending and society's response to offenders.

The course provides you with a critical overview of both the well-established and emerging theories concepts and debates as well as exploring research methods and findings. It then creates opportunities for you to consider how these underlying theories and concepts can be applied to real-world situations.

The overall aim is to develop a knowledge base and range of skills that will enhance your future career aspirations and opportunities.

This course is delivered in partnership with Bedford College

Why choose this course?

NNECL Quality Mark

  • The taught elements of the course are delivered on just one day a week which makes it ideal for anyone looking to combine study with family and work commitments.
  • It develops the academic skills needed for critical enquiry including the ability to identify and locate resources for your investigation; to pull together and analyse different sources of information; and to evaluate the reliability and validity of the information and its conclusions
  • It helps you develop your personal potential by giving you key transferable skills as well as building confidence and self-awareness

Psychology Subject Spotlight

Take a look at our subject spotlight on Psychology! Dr. Joseph Adonu explores if love at first sight actually exists!

Watch all episodes to find out

with Professional Practice Year

This course has the option to be taken over four years which includes a year placement in industry. Undertaking a year in industry has many benefits. You gain practical experience and build your CV, as well as being a great opportunity to sample a profession and network with potential future employers.

There is no tuition fee for the placement year enabling you to gain an extra year of experience for free.

*Only available to UK/EU students.

with Foundation Year

A Degree with a Foundation Year gives you guaranteed entry to an Undergraduate course.

Whether you’re returning to learning and require additional help and support to up-skill, or if you didn’t quite meet the grades to pursue an Undergraduate course, our Degrees with Foundation Year provide a fantastic entry route for you to work towards a degree level qualification.

With our guidance and support you’ll get up to speed within one year, and will be ready to seamlessly progress on to undergraduate study at Bedfordshire.

The Foundation Year provides an opportunity to build up your academic writing skills and numeracy, and will also cover a range of subject specific content to fully prepare you for entry to an Undergraduate degree.

This is an integrated four-year degree, with the foundation year as a key part of the course. You will need to successfully complete the Foundation Year to progress on to the first year of your bachelor’s degree.

Why study a degree with a Foundation Year?

  • Broad-based yet enough depth to give you credible vocational skills
  • Coverage of a variety of areas typically delivered by an expert in this area
  • Gain an understanding of a subject before choosing which route you wish to specialise in
  • Great introduction to further study, and guaranteed progression on to one of our Undergraduate degrees

The degrees offering a Foundation Year provide excellent preparation for your future studies.

During your Foundation Year you will get the opportunity to talk to tutors about your degree study and future career aspirations, and receive guidance on the most appropriate Undergraduate course to help you achieve this; providing you meet the entry requirements and pass the Foundation Year.


What will you study?

Study Skills And Social Research

This unit will provide you with a critical introduction to study skills and social research.  It will facilitate the development of your own study skills, as well as your understanding of key theories and concepts of

Social research.  Importantly, it will help you to see the connection between theories and research methods.


The principle study skills that will be emphasised in this unit are: reflection on learning, analysis and synthesis of complex and often contradictory information and the critical evaluation of empirical research. These skills will not only assist you in your understanding

of the literature you read, but it will also enable you to design,

manage and develop your own academic writing in all assessments undertaken

Psychology And Crime Work-Based Learning Unit 1

 This unit is designed to integrate the knowledge and understanding knowledge of psychology and criminology that you will be acquiring in your year-one units and relate this to a workplace setting. Studying this unit should allow you to apply the knowledge you are gaining in your first year of study to practical situations in the workplace. You will be given the opportunity to plan a research area of psychology and/or criminology which relates to your workplace.


You will also be expected to reflect on how you have developed professionally and academically whilst taking this unit and to plan your career strategy.

Foundations Of Psychology

 This unit will provide you with an introduction to the study of psychology; including theories and research on human life, behaviour and the mind. The material will enable you to challenge common assumptions about behaviour and the nature of human fallibility. The unit also aims to develop your awareness and understanding of the importance and implications of ethics in psychological research.


The unit introduces many core areas of psychology (as distinguished by the British Psychological Society) including cognitive psychology, biological psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences and social psychology.


We will examine both the development and mature state of human thinking, perception, language, morality and behaviour and explore a variety of perspectives in modern psychology alongside their historical origins.


The knowledge you gain in this unit will provide you with a foundational knowledge of key concepts and issues. We will also consider how each of the topics might inform our understanding of criminal, investigative, legal and/or forensic psychology.


Furthermore we will avoid taking an ethnocentric bias by referring to cross-cultural and international studies.

Comparative Youth Justice: Ideology, Policy And Practice

This unit will start by focusing on children, the issue of youth offending and youth crime and the age of criminal responsibility. There will be a focus on the establishment of a separate youth system in the early 1900s to present day, and will identify the political ideologies, criminal justice and social policies which have shaped the contemporary youth justice system within England and Wales. The unit will introduce you to the legal and administrative framework of the contemporary youth justice systems and the mechanisms for delivery of youth justice services, which will include the roles, functions and responsibilities of different agencies whose task it is to protect children.  Having established the basis of practice within the United Kingdom, the unit seeks to provide you with a knowledge of topics which will include youths in the forensic mental health sector, media and youth crime/offending, group behaviour and youth gangs and race and youth justice. There will also be attention paid to comparative youth justice around the world.   


The unit will be of interest to you if you have experience of, or an interest in youth justice, probation, crime prevention, policing, education and youth work.


Professional Development And Research In Psychology

 The unit will provide you with an overview of the types of employment that are available within this field with an aim to raise your awareness of the aptitudes, skills, qualifications and experience valued by potential employers. The unit will further develop your understanding of the role of a research question and the importance of building strong and clear links with a body of literature and understanding the social and personal context of research endeavours.


You will be supported through the processes of data collection and analyses and the unit will facilitate your understanding of the key features of quantitative and qualitative designs and methods and the outcomes to expect from each. Throughout the unit you will also discuss the ethical implications of carrying out research with specific groups and in particular settings.


Overall the unit will be structured in two parts, the first providing a solid foundation and understanding of research and statistics in psychology and the second, enhancing your awareness of your own professional development and career opportunities in the field with the latter.

Crime And Social Control

 This unit will provide you with a critical introduction to the major theoretical perspectives; informing contemporary debates about the origins of crime, and crime and social control. It will facilitate understanding of theories and ideas from the origins to contemporary expression in policy, politics and practice. In this unit you will explore theories surrounding the causes of crime, controlling crime, and social issues and inequalities. Reasoning of criminal behaviour and types of punishment will be investigated from its origins to its contexts in a contemporary society.

Overall, this unit will provide a theoretical underpinning for the study of criminology from a theoretical perspective, which will enable you to develop and demonstrate the ability to analyse theories of criminality, understand and construct explanations for the social and geographical distribution of crime and victimisation and to critique the various criminal justice responses crime and offenders. This will enable progression onto more advanced studies as well as promote your exploration of career opportunities in the field.

Psychology And Crime Work-Based Learning 2

Like the previous work-based learning unit, this unit is also designed to integrate the knowledge and understanding achieved in the year one units and relate that knowledge of psychology and criminology into a workplace setting. You will again be given the opportunity to research an area of psychology and/or criminology which relates to your workplace. You will also be expected to reflect on how you have developed professionally and academically whilst taking this unit and to plan your career strategy.

Social And Lifespan Development

The unit explores how individuals change and develop throughout the lifespan in the social world. Topics will include aspects of biological, cognitive and social development from the prenatal stage through to old age. We will explore how factors related to culture and other social factors impact on life transitions and social behaviour. You will read and evaluate current research articles and complete your own research projects and the associated reports on a selection of these topics. This unit will build on the topics introduced in the Foundations in Psychology unit and permit you to utilise the research skill you developed in the first year.

How will you be assessed?

Throughout your course you will encounter a wide variety of assessment types which are collectively designed to suit the diversity of individual learning styles and preferences. Whilst you will be expected to sit some examinations the overall assessment diet strongly favours different forms of coursework. You will receive helpful feedback on each assignment which will help you to develop your own academic and transferable skills and inform the completion of your future assessments. In the first year several of the written coursework assignments allow for formative assessment prior to the summative assessment.

This mean you will have the opportunity to present a first draft of your assignment with the expectation of being given feedback which will offer you guidance for how to develop and refine your assignment The process of peer reviewing is used for this purpose in both the Contemporary Youth Justice and the Foundations in Psychology units. Importantly this peer review process in the first year will not only serve to support you in developing your written assignments but it also affords you an opportunity to practice your oral presentation skills in front of the class of your fellow students and tutors. In these first instances your presentation is not actually assessed but again you will received feedback that will be of benefit when you come to undertake formally assessed presentations later in your course (for example on Crime and Social Control.


You may progress to the 3rd year BA (Hons) Psychology and Criminal Behaviour BA (Hons) Psychological Studies or BA (Hons) Criminology or to further training or employment.

Opportunities for Foundation degree graduates include some areas of social work youth work including in youth offender teams prison work working with substance abuse counselling teaching or the police. There may also be opportunities in Human Resources. 

If you wish to gain a British Psychological Society accredited degree you can progress on to the 2nd year Level 5 of the BSc (Hons) Psychology or BSc Psychology and Criminal Behaviour at the University of Bedfordshire.

Graduate Ellie-Jayne Myers says "Following my graduation from the University of Bedfordshire I was offered the position of Research Assistant with the NCCR on a two year project. In this role, I worked alongside Police in a project looking at the management and risk assessment of cyberstalking and harassment. The skills I learned through my time at the University were fundamental in obtaining this position."

Entry Requirements

48 UCAS tariff points including 32 from at least 1 A-level or equivalent

Entry Requirements

48 UCAS tariff points including 32 from at least 1 A-level or equivalent

Virtual Tour


Bedfordshire is a small county with lots to offer.

However you enjoy spending your free time, you won’t have to look far in Bedfordshire to find somewhere to relax, socialise or explore the great outdoors. 

We are also conveniently located around 30 minutes by train from London, offering you the city experience with a homely feel.

Bedfordshire offers:

  • A range of pubs, clubs and restaurants
  • High street and independent shopping
  • Museums, galleries and theatres - and our own University Theatre
  • Entertainment centres
  • Stunning countryside
  • Professional sport and world-class facilities
  • Headquarters of a number of notable UK and international companies
  • Luton International Carnival and Bedford River Festival

Campuses in Buckinghamshire

We also have campuses in Aylesbury and Milton Keynes