BA (Honours) in Criminology and Psychology

The Open University

Program Description

BA (Honours) in Criminology and Psychology

The Open University

How and why do different societies define specific acts as ‘crimes’ and certain people as ‘criminals’? Why do some people develop addictions, not others? Why do less equal societies have more crime? What is happening when a person tells a lie? Is crime best understood as the product of individual choices or social conditions?

This qualification explores questions like these about how people behave and examines how societies determine what they will and won’t tolerate, and why.

Key features of the course

  • Understand how criminology helps us to make sense of crime, harm, social conflict, criminal justice and criminalisation
  • Understand the uses of psychology and how it can be applied in practical and professional contexts
  • Appreciate the insights provided by different perspectives within criminology and psychology
  • Increase your employability across a diverse range of careers

Course details

This degree has three stages, each comprising two 60-credit modules.

  • At Stage 1 you’ll study two introductory modules – one with a focus on the social sciences and one on psychology.
  • Next, at Stage 2, you’ll take a more focused look at psychology and criminology.
  • Finally, at Stage 3, you’ll further your studies with a module which takes an applied approach to the study of counselling and forensic psychology and conclude your studies in criminology.


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BA (Honours) Criminology and Psychology uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • working in a group with other students
  • finding external/third party material online.

All qualifications require you to complete learning and assessment activities within a required timescale and according to pre-determined deadlines. You will, therefore, need to manage your time effectively during your studies and the University will help you to develop this skill throughout your degree. Information on assessment will be available to you at the start of each module.

If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our disability page to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increase as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.

This qualification begins with the module Investigating the social world (DD103) which builds a solid foundation for further study. Although it’s an introductory module, to get the best from it you’ll need some basic study skills at higher education level.

You can use our online diagnostic quiz Are you ready for DD103? to help you decide if you’re ready, or if you need some extra preparation.

Skills for career development

You’ll be introduced to skills that will enable you to critically analyse everyday understandings of crime and the criminal justice system. You will also develop the skills needed to critically analyse aspects of human behaviour, and some of the principles of forensic psychology and counselling. Alongside these, you will build on a wide range of transferable general skills which may further help your work or career prospects, including:
  • identifying and understanding data and information
  • analysing and assessing evidence
  • applying your learning to practical problems and issues
  • working independently
  • reflecting on your own learning
  • developing strategies to update your knowledge
  • communicating and presenting coherent arguments.

Career relevance

This degree is relevant to a wide range of career paths, some of which are listed below. Some relate directly to criminology and psychology, others draw upon the graduate skills that you’ll acquire. Successful graduates may also progress to specialist masters courses.

This degree does not provide direct entry to the career fields listed, but it may ease access and increase your employability in relation to them, and it enhances prospects for progression once you are qualified to enter them. Successful completion does not make you eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) conferred by the British Psychological Society.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated September 20, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
4 - 16 years
Part time
Full time