BA (Hons) Criminology and Psychology with Foundation Year

Criminology and Psychology

BA (Hons) & Foundation Year


Study level
Full time
4 years
Part time
4 years+
London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds or Online
Faculty of Social Science

What makes Arden University special?

Education for everyone, everywhere
Whether you're constrained by location, cost, time, or other life commitments, we're passionate about giving you access to higher education that fits into your busy, modern life.
Where to study
You decide how and where to study
We offer a wide range of flexible undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in both our online and blended study modes.
Full support both online and on-site
We're also proud to offer non-standard entry, meaning your work experience and previous qualifications are taken into account when assessing your application.
Strong focus on employability
You will gain in-depth subject knowledge and transferable skills that employers from a huge range of industries will value. Many of our courses at Arden are also accredited by leading professional bodies in the UK.

Course Overview

Explore criminological issues through a psychological lens with our BA (Hons) Criminology and Psychology with Foundation Year joint degree. The foundation year equips you with the academic skills and subject knowledge needed for success at the university level, ensuring you’re ready to tackle your degree with confidence.

The programme equally integrates both disciplines, providing you with a profound understanding of deviant and criminal behaviour. As you delve into the influences and management of such conduct, you will acquire modern skills crucial for fulfilling roles within the criminal justice field.

Studying criminology and psychology offers a unique perspective on crime, allowing you to explore the psychological underpinnings of why people offend. This multidisciplinary approach provides fresh insights into the motivations and behaviours of offenders.

During the course, you'll explore the ins and outs of the criminal justice system and what motivated notorious serial killers like Ian Huntley and Peter Sutcliffe, taking an in-depth look at crime, punishment, and prevention.

Career focussed skills

  • Gain expertise in crime, state power, and criminal justice, alongside factors influencing behaviour, building your ability to provide interventions and support.
  • Gain insights into human behaviour through examination of personality, development, and social psychology theories, developing analytical skills.
  • Investigate causes and consequences of crime, and examine high-profile cases through a forensic psychologist's lens, refining your operational and strategic decision-making abilities.
  • Look at global criminal justice processes whilst exploring key theories and research that shape policy and practice, fostering critical evaluation skills.

Studying Social Sciences at Arden
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Course details and modules

Arden's foundation year modules have been designed to give you a tailored and fully supportive introduction to university study. This first year of study will prepare you for success in higher education by introducing you to the academic skills and subject-specific knowledge required to excel in your chosen degree subject.

Your course modules will then cover the latest developments and best practices in global criminology and psychology, providing a broad range of knowledge and understanding from various international perspectives so that your degree is relevant across the globe.

Just some of the fascinating modules you’ll study on this course include:

Social Psychology

Explore how social elements shape personal choices and behaviours. Apply these insights to real-world scenarios, like understanding bystanders in crimes, the dynamics of joining extremist groups, and the role of attitudes and personality as prerequisites to criminal behaviour.

Crimes of the Powerful

Examine state-driven and state-corporate illegal activities, from police brutality to corporate corruption. Investigate hidden aspects of criminology through cases like genocide and white-collar crime, shedding light on the dynamics of power.

Forensic Psychology

Apply psychological theories to criminal investigations and understand the problems and processes related to criminal offending behaviours and rehabilitation. Analyse high-profile cases like Ted Bundy through the lens of a forensic psychologist, evaluating the factors that led to such crimes.

Crime, Media, and Culture​

Examine how contemporary media has influenced true crime, giving new levels of visibility to crime through ‘citizen journalism’ and ‘trial by media.’ Analyse the digital era’s impact on crime, covering online sex crimes, image-based sexual abuse, and internet activism.

Ryan-Jay Walsh

Having flexible study is so important to me… I’ve had to do last-minute school runs to drop my nephews off, but Arden has been so understanding and the flexibility of study suits my life perfectly.

Ryan-Jay Walsh
BA (Hons) Criminology and Psychology

Meet our expert team

The team behind the course comprises academics, practitioners, and researchers with diverse experiences spanning victim support, crime prevention, case management, social care, forensics, occasional psychologists, and much more. This dynamic blend of expertise ensures that you will gain the competencies necessary not only to address the current challenges of the sector but also to anticipate its future demands.


  • Preparing for University Success
  • Exploring the Social World
  • Advancing your Academic Skills
  • Examining Social Justice
  • Planning for Your Future Success
  • Investigation & Innovation Project
  • Becoming a Criminologist (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Studying Psychology (20 credits)
  • Social Psychology (20 credits)
  • Crime, Media, Culture (20 credits)
  • Working within the Criminal Justice System (20 credits)
  • Developmental Psychology (20 credits)
  • The Prison (20 credits)
  • Personality and Intelligence (20 credits)
  • Youth Crime and Justice (20 credits)
  • Crimes of the Powerful (20 credits)
  • Researching the Field (20 credits)
  • Forensic Psychology (20 credits)
  • Counselling Psychology, Mental Health and Illness (20 credits)
  • Victimology (20 credits)
  • Cyberpsychology (20 credits)
  • Professional Practice: A Case Study (20 credits)
  • Research Project  (40 credits)

Study support

Custom-made support for your criminology degree studies

Alongside the extensive support available to all students studying with Arden, this course features its own personalised support system to help you succeed with your studies. This includes:

  • Engagement checks to ensure you have the tools and support for assignment submissions.
  • Academic personal tutor scheme for personalised support and guidance.
  • Weekly virtual programme team lead drop-ins for any questions you have.
  • Assessment workshops to clarify assessment requirements, marking criteria, and learning objectives.
  • Formative submission opportunities and feedback across all modules.
  • Office hours with module leaders, including a booking system for 1:1 support.
  • Additional academic support workshops in collaboration with our library and academic skills tutors.

Gain real-world experience while you study

Through unique Arden initiatives, this degree gives you the chance to gain all-important experience to help you stand out from the crowd.

  • Virtual Programme Group (VPG): Through VPG, students have the chance to collaborate with the Programme Development Team in the school to shape our programmes. Selected students will provide invaluable feedback to the team, playing a crucial role in shaping new degrees.
  • Volunteer Lecturing Assistant (VLA): As a VLA, you will work alongside our teaching staff, gaining valuable teaching experience at the higher education level, building confidence, and contributing to the vibrant learning community here at Arden. You’ll be supported by academics who will offer guidance, training, and support.
  • Volunteer Research Assistant (VRA): As a VRA, you will assist Arden teaching staff or our partner organisations with ongoing projects, developing your skills in research design and application with the support of a member of our staff. This will also help you build your network within the research environment.

Authentic assessments. No exams.

No exams in sight! Our innovative assessments are based on the skills needed by employers in the real world and are therefore 100% focused on getting you ready for your career. Each assessment aims to provide you with transferable skills for your future and can include:

  • Assignments
  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Presentations
  • Case studies
  • Portfolios of work
  • Roleplay
  • Interactive decision-making
  • Research proposal

Study options

This course is available to study through Arden’s blended learning study mode at our campuses in London Ealing, London Tower Hill, London Holborn, ManchesterBirmingham and Leeds

The course is also available to students via online learning. This gives you the convenience of being able to study from anywhere in the UK or worldwide, providing you with the same high standards of teaching but with lower tuition fees.

Cynthia Blow

I chose online learning because I do not currently have the capacity to attend classes as my days are full with running my household, my elderly parents’ household and tending to the needs of my 3-year-old. Online studying has been extremely helpful because it provides the flexibility I need in order to study at random times during the day or night.

Cynthia Blow
BSc (Hons) Psychology

Full-time blended learning

How does it work?

When you choose our blended learning study mode, each week you’ll have eight hours of timetabled classes spread over two days at the Arden campus of your choice. This is combined with around 25 hours of independent study, which takes place through ilearn, our university campus in the cloud. ilearn contains all the resources you need to study successfully. As a blended learning student you’ll also have access to our Library Portal, an extensive digital library with thousands of journal titles, eBooks, and a range of academic and industry databases that you can use to research and gain in-depth information on your area of study. At Arden, all of your course materials are provided free of charge, removing the need for you to buy expensive textbooks to study your degree successfully. 

Blended learning is the best option for students who prefer the structure of regular face-to-face classes with their tutor and fellow classmates, and is particularly suited to students who live within commuting or driving distance of one of our UK campuses. 

If you're a student from England who is enrolling on a blended learning course with Arden (based in one of our UK campuses) then you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan and Maintenance Loan to help pay for your living expenses. You can find more information on our fees and funding page. If you're a student from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland you can find information about obtaining a student loan to cover your costs from your student finance body.

This course is also available to study full-time at our campus in Berlin, Germany, where you’ll have the opportunity to experience life as an international student in the heart of one of Europe’s most dynamic and historic cities.

Learn more about blended learning

Part-time online learning

How does it work? 

Studying this course online gives you the ultimate in convenience. You can enrol with Arden from anywhere in the world and study your degree from the comfort of home, without the requirement to attend classes in a physical location. 

Our online students study their degree through ilearn, Arden’s university campus in the cloud. ilearn provides everything you need to study at University. It offers an integrated virtual learning experience, including your virtual classroom, lecture theatre, and access to our Library Portal. The portal includes an extensive digital library including thousands of journal titles, eBooks, and academic and industry databases which you can use to research your assignments and projects. All of these materials are provided to you free of charge, and contain all the research information you’ll need to complete your degree with us.

ilearn is also integrated with Zoom, making it easier to chat with your course tutor during your scheduled seminar sessions. You can even integrate our study materials into your Kindle, making it possible to study wherever you have your Kindle handy. 

Studying online doesn’t mean studying alone. As well as receiving regular feedback and guidance from your course tutor, you’ll be studying with like-minded students who you can meet with through our Unitu community, and you’ll have access to community message boards to discuss your course and the topics being raised within it. We’ve even set up community boards embedded into each of the course modules so you can have discussions with your tutor and classmates on the topics you’re currently learning.

Online learning students resident in the UK can apply for a Maintenance Loan if they cannot attend their course in person because of a disability. Please find more information on our fees and funding page. If you're a student from Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland you can find information on Living Cost Loans from your student finance body.

Learn more about online learning

Introducing your Digital Backpack

Once you’ve enrolled on your Criminology and Psychology with Foundation Year degree with Arden you’ll get access to your Digital Backpack, a toolkit of digital resources we’ve put together to help you succeed during your time studying with us.

Here are some of the digital resources you’ll have available throughout your course:

  • Office 365 subscription
  • Integrated zoom video conferencing
  • Careers support in-person and online available through Arden Futures, your careers platform, to help you throughout your career journey whether you are a Career Starter, Changer or Developer
  • Free online access to our Library Portal, which includes thousands of eBooks and journals, as well as industry databases which we’ve carefully hand-picked to support your studies – all yours for free while you study with us
  • Subscription to Togetherall for an abundance of mental health support

Entry requirements

At Arden University we consider applications on a case by case basis. If you have significant work experience, have qualifications you have gained elsewhere, or a degree or qualification that isn't a clear pathway to this degree - we are more than happy to discuss your application.

What do you need to study with us?

Our aim is to make learning as accessible as possible by ensuring that you can study your degree in a flexible and convenient way. That's why we keep our requirements simple. All you need is a laptop or desktop PC (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good internet connection. Through ilearn, our online university campus in the cloud, you'll be able to access your course calendar, support services, learning materials, and our online library containing almost half a million texts, as well as creating assignments, keeping notes, and collaborating with other students on your course. 


Standard entry requirements

To be eligible for our BA (Hons) Criminology and Psychology with Foundation Year, you should normally have:

  • At least 3 x GCSEs or 45 credits at Level 2 or equivalent. If your qualifications are older than 3 years, we will also ask to see a professional CV.

Non standard entry requirements

We’re also happy to consider an application from you if you can show us that you have relevant work experience that required critical thinking and analysis skills. We’ll ask you for a personal statement that demonstrates your motivation and ability to study this degree, along with references and evidence of your previous work experience.

English proficiency

  • IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element); or TOEFL iBT 80; or equivalent
  • Alternatively, evidence you have previously studied in English, such as a letter to show that the Medium of Instruction was in English, can be accepted.

We also offer an internal English test for applicants who are unable to provide the above evidence of English proficiency. More information can be found here.

Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smart phone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Course fees and funding

Find your country

Use the dropdown above to find course fees and funding information for your country. If you can’t find information for your country in the dropdown, visit our International support page.

Meet the faculty

Dr Emma Winlow

Dr. Emma Winlow obtained her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Criminology and Crime & Justice from the University of Chester and completed her PhD at the University of Gloucestershire. A public criminologist, Emma has extensive leadership and management experience in higher education and is passionate about accessibility, inclusion, and employability in teaching and learning. She established the School of Criminal Justice with these practices in mind. Emma is also a member of the British Society of Criminology and the British Society of Criminology's Teaching and Learning Network.

Dr Emma Winlow
Head of School - Criminal Justice

Career prospects

The interdisciplinary nature of this degree will equip you with transferable skills you can apply to a range of exciting career paths in areas directly linked to criminology and psychology, leaving your career options wide open. So whether you already have a career path in mind or are still figuring things out, we’re here to support you on your journey.

What will the BA (Hons) Criminology and Psychology with Foundation Year do for me?

This degree has been designed to provide you with in-depth knowledge of the interrelated fields of criminology and psychology alongside the practical skills needed to meet the current and future demands of the sector. While studying, you will:

  • Develop your knowledge of criminological theory and psychological studies
  • Acquire a solid grounding in criminological thinking and principles
  • Adopt an enquiring and critical appreciation of criminology and psychology 
  • Develop an appreciation of the national and international contexts of criminology
  • Become an analytical social scientist who can handle both criminological and psychological issues of the modern world
  • Reflect on what works and what doesn’t in the justice and legal system
  • Apply your knowledge and experience to real-life scenarios 

During your Foundation Year, you'll get comprehensive support and preparation for your university journey, including:

Introduction and preparation: our Foundation Year courses introduce you to university-level teaching, learning, and assessment methods. You'll develop essential study skills, research techniques, and critical thinking abilities, laying a strong foundation for your degree studies.

Personalised support: our academic staff will guide you throughout your Foundation Year. They'll ensure a smooth transition into your degree programme, providing the support you need every step of the way.

Direct relevance to your future degree: your programme content is carefully designed to align with Arden's degree courses. Studying a Foundation Year will equip you with subject-specific knowledge and interdisciplinary exploration, establishing a solid base for your chosen degree.

Improved degree outcomes: we prioritise not only your academic preparation but also your success. By boosting your confidence, academic skills, and understanding of the subjects, we empower you to achieve the best possible degree outcomes and expand your career opportunities.

What can I do after Arden University?

Completing a criminology and psychology course can open up a world of opportunity - both in the specific fields of criminology and psychology, but also further afield into other industries you might not have even considered! With that in mind, a few career options for you could include:

  • Police
  • Prison service
  • Probation
  • Social Research
  • Voluntary sector 
  • Charities or NGOs
  • Work in the government, home office, or education and more

You can also go on to study at master’s degree level. Arden University offers a variety of master’s programmes and we are developing many more. Keep looking for further developments!

Industry skills



The course stands out in that the topics you’ll study have a global focus that is relevant anywhere in the world. Avoiding the Western-centric focus of many undergraduate criminology courses, your course content will give you experience and knowledge you can apply to careers both at home and internationally. 

Campaign for Social Science

Arden University is a member of the Campaign for Social Science. 

The Campaign demonstrates how social science improves public policy, society, and all our lives. It highlights the value of applied social science research and advocates for its greater use in decision-making and in government. It is supported by a coalition of universities, social science societies, and publishers.

As a member, Arden receives access to case studies, research into the value provided by social sciences, and insights into the employability of social science graduates. Through this, you will gain a better understanding of the skills you are learning and their value to employers.

LinkedIn Learning

All Arden students will have free access to LinkedIn Learning through the Library Portal. LinkedIn Learning is a video-based online learning platform offering over 16,500 expert-led courses across a wide range of subjects including business, technology, and creative skills.

With LinkedIn Learning, you can:

  • Pursue curated learning pathways aligned with our curriculum and your career goals.
  • Add value to your LinkedIn profile by showcasing your newly acquired skills.
  • Personalise content based on skills relevant to your chosen career path, interests and prior learning.