About This Course
Alongside general psychology modules, you’ll specialise in understanding the psychological factors behind why people may commit criminal or deviant behaviour. You’ll use critical skills and evidence, based on research, to explore how forensic psychologists may contribute to debates on policing, crime, the criminal justice system, and rehabilitation. As well as understanding some of the reasons why people may commit offending behaviours, you will also explore the ways in which forensic psychologists can work to treat and rehabilitate offenders.
On this course, as well as gaining a thorough understanding of the broad range of topics relevant to modern-day psychology, you’ll learn in-depth about why people engage in behaviour that is harmful to others and what makes a psychopath. In addition, you’ll explore what happens to victims of crime or deviant behaviour and how we, as psychologists, can support them. You’ll also gain a real understanding of offenders and learn about developing interventions for people convicted of crime and how these people might be rehabilitated and supported. You’ll be introduced to how forensic psychologists use evidence from research to inform policies on crime, policing, criminal justice, and rehabilitation. Some examples of the factors influencing criminal behaviour that you may explore include; substance abuse issues and mental health disorders, as well as exploring the incidence of offending behaviours in different populations, e.g. children and youth. As well as being taught by staff from psychology you’ll also be taught by staff from areas such as social sciences and education with expertise in the criminal justice system, policing, and serial killers alongside students on courses such as Criminology and Criminal Justice and Childhood and Youth Studies.
Psychology at Bangor University was founded in 1963 and is one of the UK's oldest and largest psychology departments. We regularly rank among the top 10 in the National Student Survey for overall student satisfaction and with over 1,000 students we're also one of the largest departments in the UK. Not only are we highly ranked for our teaching but we also have a global reputation for the quality of our research. In the most recent Research Exercise Framework, we ranked in the top 20 in the UK with 85% of our research considered either 'Internationally Excellent' or 'World leading'. This research feeds directly into our teaching ensuring a fresh, vibrant learning experience and a large and varied range of modules studied with academics who have an international reputation in their specialist area.
We have a cosmopolitan feel and a global outlook that attracts staff and students from all over the world to work and study with us. A key aspect of our success is our focus on both the academic and pastoral sides of the student experience and this effort is led by academics in the teaching team who provide high levels of support to our students. All of this combines to provide you with what we believe is a uniquely supportive, exciting, and rewarding environment in which to study Psychology with Forensic Psychology.
Why choose Bangor University for this course?
- Specialist research labs include an MRI scanner, TMS, ERP, EEG, and a Brain Anatomy lab.
- Academic expertise in forensic psychology, criminology, and criminal justice and an exciting array of dissertation topics.
Additional Course Options
This course is available with a Placement Year option where you will study for 1 additional year. The Placement Year is undertaken at the end of the second year and students are away for the whole of the academic year.
The Placement Year provides you with a fantastic opportunity to broaden your horizons and develop valuable skills and contacts through working with a self-sourced organisation relevant to your degree subject. The minimum period in placement (at one or more locations) is seven calendar months; more usually you would spend 10-12 months with a placement provider. You would normally start sometime in the period June to September of your second year and finish between June and September the following year. Placements can be UK-based or overseas and you will work with staff to plan and finalise the placement arrangements.
You will be expected to find and arrange a suitable placement to complement your degree and will be fully supported throughout by a dedicated member of staff at your academic School and the University’s Skills and Employability Services.
You will have the opportunity to fully consider this option when you have started your course at Bangor and can make an application for a transfer onto this pathway at the appropriate time. Read more about the work experience opportunities that may be available to you or, if you have any questions, please get in touch.
This course is available with an International Experience Year option where you will study or work abroad for 1 additional year. You will have ‘with International Experience’ added to your degree title on graduating.
Studying abroad is a great opportunity to see a different way of life, learn about new cultures and broaden your horizons. With international experience of this kind, you’ll really improve your career prospects. There are a wide variety of destinations and partner universities to choose from. If you plan to study in a country where English is not spoken natively, there may be language courses available for you at Bangor and in your host university to improve your language skills.
You will have the opportunity to fully consider this option at any time during your degree at Bangor and make your application. If you have any questions in the meantime, please get in touch.
Read more about the International Experience Year programme and see the studying or working abroad options on the Student Exchanges section of our website.
You’ll learn through a variety of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and practicals as well as self-guided learning taught by staff with expertise in psychology, criminology, and social sciences. As an undergraduate student, you’ll gain an excellent grounding in various research methodologies used in the field by participating in current cutting-edge research being conducted in the school. We make extensive use of technology in order to enhance the learning experience including recording podcasts, and an innovative range of online assessments that, amongst other advantages, provide instant feedback. An increasing number of our modules can be followed through the medium of Welsh and students can choose to have a Welsh-speaking tutor and complete their project in Welsh.
There is a wide range of continuous assessments on offer across the modules including essays, weekly homework, multiple-choice tests, presentations, blogs, quizzes, etc. throughout each semester and many modules include end-of-semester examinations.
What will you study on this course?
In your third year, you’ll carry out a major research project in the area of forensic psychology. The project will be individually supervised by a staff member who is a specialist in the appropriate research field; you will thus have the opportunity to exercise your knowledge and skills alongside an expert. Our students regard the project as one of the most challenging, but also one of the most rewarding, elements of their course and our graduates have amongst the most highly developed research skills of any UK psychology graduate.
In years 1 and 2 you will take compulsory modules for the BSc Psychology degree. These will give you a strong foundation in the wide-ranging reach of psychology before you go on to specialise in your third year where you will take at least half of your taught credits in Forensic Psychology-specific modules. Each year you study a total of 120 credits and the modules build over the years to provide both breadth and depth of understanding with a focus on Forensic Psychology.
All graduates who achieve at least a 2:2 will be eligible for Graduate Based Chartered Membership (GBC) of the BPS.
We put great emphasis on developing your research skills. Right from the start of your course, you’ll begin to build up an understanding of how to undertake research and you’ll also act as a participant in our ongoing research programmes. In this way, you'll gradually acquire the skills you need to design and conduct your own research project in year 3. Your project will be related to Forensic Psychology in an area that fits with the research strengths of our staff. Recent projects include studies of personality characteristics and how they contribute to criminal or deviant behaviour, the accuracy with which humans are able to detect deception in other individuals, and some of the childhood experiences that may contribute towards criminal behaviour. We have a wide range of specialist research laboratories including MRI, ERP, TMS, Eye tracking, etc.
Modules for the current academic year
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Psychology with Forensic Psychology BSc (Hons) Modules page.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
Throughout your degree you’ll have the opportunity to access these facilities as participants in research projects, and you’ll be involved in some of these facilities as researchers during your project in the third year.
Bangor Imaging Unit
Psychology has its own research dedicated MRI/fMRI Philips Elition 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner. Our new research-dedicated scanner was installed in summer 2019 in the main psychology building. This scanner offers cutting-edge MR imaging technique and includes MRI-compatible eye-tracking and capacity for in-scanner EEG recordings, and a nearby mock scanner to support training studies and work with children. The scanner is also equipped for 4D cardiac, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). As an example of how you may experience the scanner, apart from as a research participant, is that 3rd-year undergraduate students doing their project within Dr Koldewyn’s lab have been involved in studies involving the brain response to observed social interactions, including data collection and analysis of developmental data from primary-aged children.
Psychology Open-Access Electrophysiology and Topographic (POET) Lab
Expertise in electrophysiological methods (EEG/ERP) is a particular strength in the School. The Psychology Open-access Electroencephalography and Topography (POET) lab consists of a fully shielded sound-attenuated testing booth, 128 channel BioSemi EEG system, and all equipment necessary for auditory and visual EEG/ERP experiments, with synchronized remote eye-tracking. Apart from opportunities to be involved as a research participant, undergraduate students in the 3rd year have had the opportunity to be actively involved in EEG/ERP lab for their 3rd year project.
Currently, the POET lab is used to investigate a diverse range of topics such as:
- machine learning to predict motor sequences from EEG activity
- social development and self-perception in infants
- development of single EEG trial analyses to compare language processing in typical and developmentally challenged groups.
Brain Stimulation Lab
The Brain Stimulation Lab is equipped with two different types of stimulation equipment, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive technique that uses strong magnetic fields to briefly interrupt the processing of nerve cells in a small area of the underlying surface of the brain. An electrical current is passed very briefly through the stimulator device - a coil of copper wires (encased in plastic) held on the surface of the scalp. This current induces a magnetic field around the coil that, in turn, induces an electrical current in the underlying nerve cells on the surface of the brain. While the nerve cells are being stimulated, and for a few 10ths of a second afterward, they cannot perform their normal functions. This does not cause damage or injury to the nerve cells.
The second type of stimulation is called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), and like the TMS, it is non-invasive and painless, and uses low-intensity electrical currents to excite or inhibit neuronal activity in specific parts of the brain. Both of these systems have been interfaced in experiments with equipment for eye-tracking, electromyography (EMG), electroencephalography (EEG), and for kinematic recording
Motion Capture Labs
Psychology houses a number of motion capture labs for capturing of complex full body and limb motion for research with equipment including a Polhemus motion capture system (16-channels) that enables us to study skilled actions with high spatio-temporal precision.
Some recent examples of activity within these labs include Prof. Robert Ward investigating how body motion information is perceived by observers, and to what extent this information is reliable or deceptive. Dr. Koldewyn has used the systems to record search patterns during a physical search task designed to explore how quickly children learn where a target object is likely to be, and how that learning is influenced by observing others. 3rd-year project students were involved in designing the study and in collecting data from primary-aged children.
In addition to open-access shared facilities, the school has highly specialised facilities dedicated to specific academics such as:
- several dedicated EEG labs in addition to our open-access facility
- two sound-proofed labs for auditory studies
- virtual-reality (VR) and augmented-reality (AR) robotically controlled force-feedback systems
- mobile eye and pen tracking for studies of literacy development in schools and the lab
- a food and psychopharmacology lab including hardware and software for specialised food dispensing machine
- video analysis suite for children’s cardio-respiratory fitness and fundamental movement skills
- MRI-compatible force transducer keyboard (10-channels) to record bimanual finger presses continuously including preparatory and mirror movements
- Transcranial Doppler Sonography lab to allow for measurement of blood flow into each half of the brain.
The School shares University and College-wide licensing for Qualtrics and Pavlovia platforms to facilitate online research.
Several participant panels are available to help researchers in the School of Psychology recruit participants. As a psychology student you’ll be involved in the student panel (SONA) and in total our students participate in about 4000 hours of research overall each year.
We also maintain specialised participant panels which may form part of your third-year project:
- Neurological patient panel, in collaboration with the NHS.
- Learning disorders panel: focused on Dyslexia (in cooperation with our Miles Dyslexia Centre) and including other learning disorders in adult participants
- Community Participant Panel: These are helpful for identifying Bilinguals, People with Dyslexia, and the Elderly, and particularly for recruiting matched controls for patient case studies, and for providing a pool of bilingual Welsh/English participants.
- Infant/ Child Development Database
Tír na nÓg Nursery
Psychology researchers studying child development benefit from a close relationship with Bangor’s Tír na nÓg Nursery. The nursery provides a unique resource for researchers in the Clinical, Health, and Behavioural Psychology and Language, Bilingualism, and Cognitive Development Research groups. Tír na nÓg is equipped with special facilities, such as an observation lounge and video cameras. Subject to the consent of the children’s parents or guardians, observations can be made to further understanding of language, learning, and development.
General University Facilities
Library and Archive Services
Our four libraries provide a range of attractive study environments including collaborative work areas, meeting rooms and silent study spaces.
We have an extensive collection of books and journals and many of the journals are available online in full-text format.
We house one of the largest university-based archives not only in Wales, but also the UK. Allied to the Archives is the Special Collections of rare printed books.
There is a range of learning resources available, supported by experienced staff, to help you in your studies.
The University’s IT Services provides computing, media and reprographics facilities and services including:
- Over 1,150 computers for students, with some PC rooms open 24 hours a day
- Blackboard, a commercial Virtual Learning Environment, that makes learning materials available on-line.
General University Costs
Home (UK) students
- The cost of a full-time undergraduate course is £9,000 per year (2021/22 entry and 2022/23 entry).
- The fee for all placement, international, and sandwich years is £1,350 (2021/22 and 2022/23).
- More information on fees and finance for Home (UK) students.
International (including EU) students
There are also some common additional costs that are likely to arise for students on all courses, for example:
- If you choose to study abroad or take the International Experience Year as part of your course.
- If you attend your Graduation Ceremony, there will be a cost for gown hire (£25-£75) and cost for additional guest tickets (c.£12 each).
Course-specific additional costs
Depending on the course you are studying, there may be additional course-specific costs that you will be required to meet. These fall into three categories:
- Mandatory Costs: these are related to a particular core or compulsory module that you’ll be required to complete to achieve your qualification e.g. compulsory field trips, uniforms for students on placement, DBS Check.
- Necessarily Incurred Costs: these may not be experienced by all students, and will vary depending on the course e.g. professional body membership, travel to placements, specialist software, personal safety equipment.
- Optional Costs: these depend on your choice of modules or activity and they are shown to give you an indication of the optional costs that may arise to make sure your choice is as informed as possible. These can include graduation events for your course, optional field trips, Welcome Week trips.
Offers are tariff-based, 104 - 136 tariff points from a Level 3 qualification* e.g.:
- A Levels (applicants are strongly preferred to have at least one relevant science - Maths, Biology, Human Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Statistics, Psychology, and Science). General Studies and Key Skills are not accepted
- BTEC National/Extended Diploma: DMM-DDD
- Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: DMM-DDD
- International Baccalaureate Diploma
- Welsh Baccalaureate
- Extended Project Qualification is accepted in a relevant subject.
International Candidates: school-leaving qualifications and college diplomas are accepted from countries worldwide (subject to minimum English Language requirements). More information can be found on our International pages.
We also welcome applications from mature applicants.
*For a full list of accepted Level 3 qualifications, go to www.ucas.com.
General University Requirements
To study for a degree, you’ll be asked for a minimum of UCAS Tariff points. For a fuller explanation of the UCAS Tariff Points, please see www.ucas.com.
We accept students with a wide range of qualifications and backgrounds and consider each application individually.
All students need to have good basic skills and the University also values IT and communication skills.
As part of the University’s policy, we consider applications from prospective disabled students on the same grounds as all other students.
We also consider applications from mature students who can demonstrate the motivation and commitment to study a university programme. Each year we enrol a significant number of mature students. For more information about studying as a mature student, see our Studying at Bangor section of the website.
EU and International Students' Entry Requirements
For detailed guidance on the entry requirements for EU and International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages. International applicants can also visit the International Education Centre section of our website for further details.
Bangor University offers International Incorporated Bachelor Degrees for International students whose High School qualification is not equivalent to the UK school leaving qualification. The first year (or Year 0) is studied at Bangor University International College, an embedded College on our University campus and delivered by Oxford International Education Group.
BSc Psychology with Forensic Psychology focuses on forensic psychology and other related areas (e.g. criminology) so is particularly relevant if you want to forge a career in that area or related professions such as the prison service, probation service or the Police. It is also suitable for students who want to follow any of the main psychological professions (clinical psychology, educational psychology, counselling psychology, health psychology etc). In addition, there are careers open to graduates and postgraduates from any discipline. These include, for example, careers in management training, accountancy, teaching, nursing, social work and the armed forces. Employers are usually looking for general or transferable skills, and a psychology degree provides a unique combination of these as it is both a literate and numerate discipline. Employability is a key theme of all the psychology programmes you can follow at Bangor and we have embedded a large number of opportunities within our degrees that provide you with as strong a CV as possible and equip you with a host of transferable skills that are relevant to both psychology and non-psychology related careers. The simple fact that you’ll graduate from an internationally renowned, research intensive psychology department adds additional value to your degree and improves your employability Further details on the exciting careers open to graduates of this course can be found on the BPS website.
Opportunities at Bangor
The University’s Skills and Employability Service provides a wide range of resources to help you achieve your graduate ambitions.
The Bangor Employability Award (BEA)
The BEA is a comprehensive online course that you can work through at your own pace, taking you through all the steps you need to take to explore, prepare and apply for your dream career.
Bangor University runs a paid internship scheme within the university’s academic and service departments.
Volunteering widens your experience and improves your employability. Find out more about volunteering on the Students’ Union’s website.
A 'with Foundation Year' option is available for this course. Apply for Psychology (with Foundation Year).
What is a Foundation Year course?
If you don’t have the required qualifications for the degree-level course or are looking to re-enter education after time away from study, then a Foundation Year Programme might be the right choice for you.
The Foundation Year is an excellent introduction to studying this subject at university and will provide you with the knowledge, skills and confidence required to go on to study this course at degree-level.
When you have successfully completed the Foundation Year, you can progress on to the first year of this degree-level course.