BSc in Forensic Psychology (Honours)

The Open University

Program Description

BSc in Forensic Psychology (Honours)

The Open University

What makes people do harm to others? What is a psychopath? How do you conduct an intervention with someone convicted of a violent crime, or help someone who has been the victim of a crime?

This degree explores these and many other important questions to do with psychology, crime and justice. You’ll also cover the field of psychology more broadly, gaining a window into the workings of the mind and insights into why people behave the way they do.

Key features of the course

  • Investigates how psychology is critical to understanding education, employment, mental health and relationships
  • Explores how forensic psychologists contribute to debates on crime, policing, criminal justice and rehabilitation
  • Builds advanced analytical and communication skills, and enhances your employability

This degree is excellent preparation for the further study needed to qualify to practice as a forensic psychologist, but you will not be qualified for this degree alone.

Course details

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

  • At Stage 1 you’ll be introduced to the social sciences and psychology.
  • At Stage 2 you’ll expand on the core areas of psychology introduced previously, along with the methods psychologists engage with in order to explore psychological theories and research.
  • Finally, at Stage 3, your studies will focus on counselling and forensic psychology.


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Honours) Forensic 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
  • using mathematical and scientific expressions, notations and associated techniques
  • working in a group with other students
  • using and producing diagrams or screenshots
  • undertaking practical work
  • finding external/third party material online
  • using specialist software (for example SPSS software for statistical analysis).

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.

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 for this qualification.

At The Open University we believe education should be open to all, so we provide a high-quality university education to anyone who wishes to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Even though there are no entry requirements, there are some skills that you'll need to succeed. If you're not quite ready for OU study we can guide you to resources that prepare you, many of which are free.

Skills for career development

As well as specific knowledge about forensic psychology, this degree course will help you to develop many transferable and work-related skills that are highly valued by employers. These include:

  • communication
  • numeracy
  • effective team-working
  • independent and critical thinking
  • IT and data handling
  • analysing and evaluating diverse sources of information, including qualitative and quantitative data
  • designing and carrying out research projects, and presenting their findings
  • problem-solving and reasoning
  • application of learning to real-world problems and situations
  • independent learning.

Career relevance

This degree is relevant to a broad range of careers, including those within the criminal justice system, such as the prison and probation services, and organisations concerned with the care and resettlement of offenders, victim support, crime prevention, social care and social justice.

Please note that this degree does not qualify you to practise as a forensic psychologist – although it provides ideal preparation for the additional training required.

A career as a professional psychologist in the applied areas of psychology will require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree – for which this degree course provides useful preparation.

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) regulated titles include:

  • clinical psychologist
  • counselling psychologist
  • educational psychologist
  • forensic psychologist
  • health psychologist
  • occupational psychologist
  • sports and exercise psychologist.


This degree is designed to deliver the requirements for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the British Psychological Society (BPS). To be eligible for GBC you must achieve a 2.2 or higher for this qualification.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
The Open University

Last updated January 19, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online
Start Date
Start date
3 - 16 years
Part time
Full time