BSc (Hons) Psychology with Forensic and Investigative Psychology
Our BPS-accredited Psychology with Forensic and Investigative Psychology degree takes you on a journey to uncover why criminals break the law. Abertay's Psychology degrees are ranked top 10 in the UK for course satisfaction (The Guardian University Guide 2022).
Learn how to analyse the behaviour of offenders, the reasons behind the actions and interactions of criminals, and how we can make the Criminal Justice System fairer for everyone. Our degree with Forensic and Investigative Psychology teaches you how psychological theory and research can be applied to forensic settings like police investigations, the court room, and the prison service.
The first two years of this flexible degree are designed to help you dig deeper into the science behind the way humans think, feel, and behave. In years three and four, you take more advanced options related to your specialist degree pathway. You'll discover just how vital psychology is to criminal investigations.
Evaluating criminal behaviour
Our academic experts will give you a thorough understanding of this fascinating world, including how to:
Analyse offender motives.
Understand offending behaviour.
Evaluate eyewitness testimony.
Profile missing people.
Understand the language of the judicial system.
Support vulnerable witnesses, victims and offenders.
Assess and treat of a variety of criminal behaviours.
An analytical approach is needed to evaluate the different kinds of criminal behaviour involved in investigations. You'll learn how to observe behaviour, tackle literature-based research and develop, test and evaluate theories. This culminates in conducting your own supervised research project in your final year, which is one of the corner stones of your degree.
You'll uncover the psychological issues involved in the management, investigation and prosecution of crime. Along the way you'll master how to provide rigorous research-based evidence which may be used in the criminal justice system.
Alongside this, you will gain skills in report writing, numeracy, statistics and IT, communication, and analytical thinking.
All of which helps you in the world of work and further study, whichever route you decide on after graduation.
About Your Modules
All modules shown are indicative and reflect course content for the current academic year. Modules are reviewed annually and may be subject to change. If you receive an offer to study with us we will send you a Programme document that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay University degree programme. Please see Terms and Conditions for more information.
But if you’re unsure which to choose, don’t worry, apply for the course that appeals most.
This is because you have an opportunity to switch to a different pathway at the start of Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 (conditions apply*). Our academic team will always be available to help if you do decide to switch pathways.
Your degree title will be reflected in the pathway you choose e.g: BSc (Hons) Psychology with Development and Education or BSc (Hons) Psychology with Forensic Scene Investigation.
No other Scottish university is offering these flexible undergraduate degree pathways in psychology. We believe this gives our graduates a distinct edge when it comes to applying for postgraduate study or employment.
*Dependent on the relevant modules being taken. Please check your Student Handbook for full details.
Teaching and Assessment
You'll learn through a combination of lectures, practical laboratory classes, seminars, tutorials, and independent study.
The practical laboratory classes are where you’ll learn relevant scientific techniques first-hand and engage in research by designing experiments then collecting and analysing the data.
You will be assessed using a variety of methods. These include examinations and class tests, practical laboratory reports, essays, oral and poster presentations, research projects, writing scientific articles and case studies.
All students must complete their Honours project on an area of psychological research related to their chosen pathway.
This Psychology with Forensic and Investigative Psychology degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and its core areas follow the curriculum set out by the BPS. This accreditation is essential for students who want to become a Chartered Psychologist, and means that successful graduates are eligible to apply for further professional psychology training.
Please note: All applicants must have passes in English and Maths - National 5 grade C or GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent. National 5 ESOL is accepted in lieu of National 5 English. National 5 Lifeskill Maths and Application of Maths NOT accepted in lieu of Maths.
Higher Application of Maths at grade C accepted.
Below are the literate subjects we accept for entry on this course:
One of the following: Business Management; Classical Studies; Economics; English; ESOL; Geography; History; Media Studies; Modern Studies; Philosophy; Politics; Psychology; Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies; Sociology
If there is a subject that does not appear, please contact our Admissions Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) who will be able to confirm whether or not it would be considered for entry.
Higher (minimum entry) We may make you an offer at the minimum entry grades if you meet the criteria. Find out if you're eligible for minimum entry (see below).
Literate subject at B
To include literate subject at S5 or H4
BTEC Extended Diploma
Health & Social Care
Successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
Access to: University Study/Community, Education & Humanities/Arts & Social Sciences and Primary Teaching/Languages, Arts & Social Sciences/Humanities & Primary Education/Degree Studies/Celtic Studies/Arts & Humanities/Humanities/Humanities (Teaching)
Psychology and one from Modern Studies, English, Sociology, History, Chemistry, Biology, Human Biology, Maths or Physics
Psychology and one from Government & Politics, English, Sociology, History, Chemistry, Biology, Human Biology, Maths or Physics
Psychology and one from Modern Studies, English, Sociology, History, Chemistry, Biology, Human Biology, Maths or Physics plus one other AH
Applied Science plus Higher Psychology at B
Support for Ukrainian students
We're keen to offer help to Ukrainian students who may wish to transfer from their existing institution in Ukraine or to register with us as new students for intake in September. There will be no tuition fees charged for the duration of the degree programme, as those with refugee status are treated as ‘Home/Scottish’ students and will also have access to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland bursary and student loans. Our Recruitment Team can help guide applicants.
We offer a range of scholarships to help support your studies with us.
As well as Abertay scholarships for English, Welsh, Northern Irish and international students, there are a range of corporate and philanthropic scholarships available. Some are course specific, many are not. There are some listed below or you can visit the Undergraduate scholarship pages.
Two £1,000 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.
We are extremely proud of our alumni. Their post-graduation roles are wide and varied, such as:
Drug rehabilitation workers.
Primary/secondary school teachers.
Various positions within the police.
What does this involve?
Investigative forensic psychology means working with the police to help investigate crime scenes and uncover the motivation behind the crimes involved. This means working to understand why criminals behave the way they do, supporting police investigations and wider criminal justice interventions with offenders.
You'll develop techniques to elicit accurate accounts from both witnesses and victims, learn about eyewitness memory and cover investigative interviewing and jury decision making.
Strong Industry Links
Abertay has strong links with the Scottish Institute for Policing Research and many of the lecturing staff are members of professional societies. We have excellent connections with local health services, the games industry and local education authorities. This means you will be learning from industry experts as well as academics.
If you are currently employed, the Workplace Psychology module gives you the opportunity to consider how psychology can be applied within your own organisation.
Meet some of our Psychology graduates and find out what they've gone on to do.
Pauline created over 100 e-learning resources in her first year at Rexel alone.
Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).