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Why choose the School of Psychology

This top-up course allows those with a Foundation degree or other level 5 qualification to achieve an Honours degree.

Developed working with industry professionals from the NHS, mental health support and commercial organisations to ensure it aligns with employer needs.

Career opportunities in the criminal justice system, the police or probation service, and education; you can also progress to our MSc Applied Psychology.

About the course

Build on your previous Foundation degree studies by completing an Honours degree and furthering your knowledge of psychology and criminal behaviour. In doing so you are opening the door to a range of exciting careers.

On this top-up course you explore a range of fascinating topics that will equip you for postgraduate study or a career in a related field. You expand your knowledge and skills around occupational and organisational psychology; atypical child and adolescent development; the psychology of mental health; and forensic psychology.

You also complete an Honours research project in your area of interest.

Why choose this course?

NNECL Quality Mark

  • Examine forensic psychology in practice
  • Explore the assessment and treatment of offenders including offenders with a mental illness
  • Gain a set of valuable transferable skills including IT; communication and presentation; analysis; and problem-solving
  • Benefit from a course relevant to many careers in the public sector care sector and education
Psychology Subject Spotlight

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

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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.


Course Leader - Dr Anastasia Giannakopoulou

I am interested in brain plasticity and its relation to language learning and development in typical and atypical populations.

My background in both psychology and psycholinguistics has sparked my research work in speech perception and auditory perceptual training using specialised computer software programmes and smartphone applications. I use behavioural as well as electroencephalography (EEG) techniques to investigate online brain response to auditory and visual stimuli with experimental designs looking into native and non-native language speakers.

What will you study?

Atypical Child And Adolescent Development: Theories And Applications

The unit addresses the question of what makes a child atypical or exceptional. It therefore looks at the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment or outcomes of atypical development. You will also examine how different issues involved with exceptional children and atypical development affect and are influenced by families, education, and society. The unit aims to:

  • introduce an aetiological developmental framework for understanding exceptional children.
  • examine cognitive and psychosocial aspects of selected difficulties in learning, perception, attention and emotional and social development.
  • introduce key issues in psychological assessment and intervention.
  • develop a critical awareness of the theoretical underpinnings of contemporary research in the field of atypical development.
  • discuss and evaluate the ways in which practice informs theory in our understanding of human development.
  • provide information about research and assessment in developmental psychology and demonstrate how developmental research can be ethically applied in different settings.
  • provide illustrations of the application of developmental theory and research to issues in the real world.


This unit has applications for those with interests in the field of education and welfare (teaching, child and adolescent mental health, educational psychology and social work).

Psychology Of Mental Health

This unit will allow you to familiarise yourself with the main issues relating mental health problems and therefore help you develop a good grounding towards further study and training or employment in role relating to mental health.
The unit aims to:
• introduce you to the main theoretical and therapeutic approaches to mental health problems
• present and evaluate major aspects in the classification of mental health problems
• familiarise you with the clinical symptoms of the most common psychological disorders
• encourage you to critically discuss aetiological models and therapeutic interventions of the major mental health problems in the light of traditional but also recent concepts and empirical findings
• discuss the importance of socio-cultural factors in the causation, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health problems.

Applied Forensic Psychology

In this unit you will study the application of psychology to offenders post-sentencing. This will include the consideration of assessment practices which are necessary in order to determine the appropriateness of particular treatments, level of risk posed by the (ex)offender or the success of an intervention with particular offenders. Additionally, you will investigate and evaluate different treatment and rehabilitation programmes; both those delivered in custodial settings, and those undertaken as part of a community sentence or as relapse prevention following release from custody.
We will cover the main scientific and practical skills needed by psychologists in the field of forensic work including issues related to the evaluation of rehabilitative interventions, the preparation of reports, and assessment techniques. In relation to risk assessment we will also consider how assessment informs the management and amelioration of risk.
Further, you will gain a theoretical understanding of a range of advanced research designs and methods of data analysis that are likely to be employed in these contexts (e.g. meta-analysis, factor analysis, reliability & validity etc.).  We will also cover the research and practical ethical issues and debates in Forensic Psychology, as well as developing an awareness of professional skills that are required in practice for employability.

You will find that the topics in this unit complement those of the previous two units studied as part of the Forensic  Psychology degree. In particular this focuses more on the typical work of most Forensic Psychologists who tend to work within the prison system. However, the skills that you will develop whilst studying this unit will be equally transferable to a range of other occupational positions within or around the criminal justice system.

Occupational And Organisational Psychology

This unit addresses the question “How can psychology contribute to the contemporary workplace and the performance and wellbeing of organisations and employees?”
You will study a wide range of topics that emphasise the application of theory and evidence to improving aspects of the workplace. While the unit will have special interest to those planning a career in occupational psychology, you should be able to apply your learning to your future career regardless of your chosen field.
The unit syllabus is based upon research evidence, with material being updated by the teaching team.

Ba Psychology And Criminal Behaviour Honours Project

The Research Project is designed to enhance your pre-existing literature review skills and further develop independent learning abilities and critical thinking.

You will engage in an independent critical evaluation of your own learning and professional practices along with autonomous academic research under supervision.

This unit allows you to enhance your knowledge of a specific research topic in contemporary psychology and criminal behaviour, your professional and transferable skills, and your ability to reflect upon your learner development, framing these using key psychological theories.

How will you be assessed?

The assessments are designed to test your academic knowledge oral and written skills use of literature using primary and secondary sources critical analysis of ideas connections made between theory practice real life situations and the understanding and application of professional values including ethical issues.

Throughout your course you will be required to take a variety of types of assessment to assess your progression and success. These include self-reflection regarding your employability skills cases studies practical assignments such as developing a pack to help explain conditions such as autism to parents and children group presentations essays and exams. Feedback is given to students for each assessment point and it is expected that you will use this feedback for your own development and to inform your completion of future assessments.


As a graduate of this course you will be able to progress into the following areas: police work; public services (such as the Home Office Ministry of Justice or health service); market research; business and personnel; education; and charity work.

There are also a range of postgraduate study opportunities open to you for career paths in for example counselling police; charity work; business and personnel; and teaching.

At the University of Bedfordshire you can also progress on to our BPS-accredited Applied Psychology (Conversion) MSc to put you on the path to becoming a chartered psychologist.

Entry Requirements

Related Foundation Degree/HND

Entry Requirements

Related Foundation Degree/HND

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