BSc (Hons)

Forensic Investigative Psychology


Are you intrigued by the human mind? Are you keen to learn how psychologists can use scientific research methods to contribute to the investigative process of the police and the wider criminal justice system? Within our popular Forensic Investigative Psychology degree, you will explore topics such as eyewitness memory, mental disorder in crime, and juror decision making. 



Footprint in the sand

Course overview

Within the Forensic Investigative Psychology degree at Winchester, our focus is on the latest research and theory that is informing both police practice and decisions within the criminal justice system. Students on this degree can draw on our specialist research labs and equipment as well as potential volunteering opportunities within local forensic related settings to develop a thorough understanding of psychology’s valuable role within the criminal justice system. 

In Year 1, you will be introduced to the main psychological sub-disciplines and practice the scientific research methods psychologists employ to study these. You will consider how psychology can contribute to contemporary society and our understanding of clinical disorders. Year 1 also sees you embark on the Psychology department’s successful 3-year award-winning graduate employability path.

In Year 2, you will examine the core British Psychology Society required subjects such as child development, personality and individual differences, social, biological, and cognitive psychology as well as quantitative and qualitative research methods. There will also be a focus on your development, not only as an ethical forensic Investigative psychology researcher, but also as a future employable graduate.

In Year 3, supported by one of our high-calibre research active experts, you will develop, conduct, and write-up your own piece of independent forensic investigative psychology research. Your 3rd year features not only modules exploring eyewitness psychology and psychology, crime and the criminal justice system but also your selection from a range of optional modules to further explore your specialist interests within the wider field of psychology.

What you need to know

Course start date



On campus

Course length

  • 3 years full-time
  • 6 years part-time



Typical offer

112-120 points


From £9,250 pa

Course features

  •  A degree accredited by the British Psychology Society that explores psychology with a focus on real-world applications.
  •  An award-winning employability programme designed by our chartered occupational psychologist to develop your bespoke professional and personal competencies.
  • Study in a friendly and inclusive learning community. You will be supported by a dedicated team of lecturers, and with your own personal tutor and final year project supervisor who is research active within the field of forensic investigative psychology.
  • Access to talks delivered by experts in the field through the University of Winchester’s Centre for Forensic and Investigative Psychology Research. 
  • Pre-approval for a Master’s degree at Winchester such as our MSc Forensic Psychology which provides the academic component (Stage 1) of the route to becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologists. 

Course details

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market. 

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc., you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.

While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
Teaching, learning and assessment: 252 hours
Independent learning: 948 hours

Year 2 (Level 5): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
Teaching, learning and assessment: 276 hours
Independent learning: 924 hours

Year 3 (Level 6): Timetabled teaching and learning activity*
Teaching, learning and assessment: 192 hours
Independent learning: 1008 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course. 

Students on the Forensic Investigative Psychology programme undertake many different learning and teaching activities including lectures, practical classes, seminar discussions, group discussions and debates, guided study exercises, independent learning, problem solving exercises, guest speakers, individual tutorials, and project supervision. Teaching activities are designed to help students relate theory to practice and draw relevant connections with the contemporary context of forensic science.


Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester.

Teaching hours

All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during term time. Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that takes place outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.


Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams or practical exams.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*:

• 60% coursework
• 39% written exams
• 1% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*:

• 79% coursework
• 19% written exams
• 2% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*:

• 83% coursework
• 13% written exams
• 4% practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.


Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing. The University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed. For further information please refer to


Introduction to Psychological Research Methods

In this module, you are introduced to the principles of research design, and to basic techniques of qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Key conceptual and historical issues relating to the philosophy of science are addressed, and ethical issues are covered. Students will carry out practical investigations in small groups to develop key skills in research design, data collection, analysis, and report writing. In these practical sessions, you will be required to collect, interpret and communicate quantitative and quantitative data across a variety of methods. Students are also encouraged to see how data analysis relates to research design, and hence to understand and value the insights that can be gained by a competent knowledge of quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques. The practical investigations are selected to illustrate particular aspects of design or analysis, with a progression towards more complex designs and more emphasis on theoretical issues.

Introduction to Psychology

This module introduces students to the main sub-disciplines of psychology: biological psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, individual differences, and social psychology, as outlined in the British Psychological Society’s required curriculum. You will look at core topics within each of these sub-discipline areas, gaining an understanding of how psychology (and its sub-disciplines) developed over time and an understanding of key conceptual and historical issues that are relevant to the discipline as a whole. Seminars will further develop this understanding by fostering discussion and debate on key concepts and studies, helping you to better understand the relationship between theory and research.

Psychology in Contemporary Society

This module will introduce you to the way psychology can be both used and misused in contemporary society. Sessions will be delivered through lectures and discussion in small groups. The content covers a range of current issues that draw upon psychological theory and research. The occasional misinterpretation of research findings by groups including the media, business and even law enforcement will be discussed.  By the end of the module you should understand the importance of scientific research and communication to the public.  Students will study one topic in further depth (e.g. by conducting independent research) and write an overview of the topic in the style of an article intended for a science publication aimed at the lay public. You will be assessed on your critical analysis of empirical evidence, your ability to present scientific research and complex ideas in an engaging yet accessible style, and your ability to write concisely.

Applied Skills for Learning and Development

This module aims to help students to develop and improve the key academic skills expected from psychology students during their studies, and to understand the transferability of these into the workplace, using the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Benchmark for Psychology as a foundation. You will have the opportunity to develop reflective skills, cognitive flexibility, communication skills and resilience. In addition, you will be provided with a greater awareness of your strengths, values and areas for personal development that will help inform a more holistic and self-based understanding of potential future career paths. You will engage with psychological literature related to identity, learning and careers, and will be helped to reflect on this literature in relation to your own personal development and career aspirations.

Introduction to Psychopathology and Clinical Disorders

This module introduces students to theories and perspectives that underpin individual differences, clinical disorders and psychopathology. You will be introduced to the history of psychological disorders, from the origins of the asylum to the present-day diagnostic system of the DSM. The module will explore some of the theories and perspectives to psychopathology, such as the biopsychosocial model and the psychoanalytical perspective, as well as theories that explore the journey from unusual behaviour and individual differences, through to clinical disorders and approaches to treatment.


Developmental Psychology

This module aims to introduce students to both developmental theory and developmental methods. Developmental psychology covers a considerable number of historical and conceptual issues and current theories, as well as applied issues. The focus is on the child's/adolescent from a wide perspective, including among others social, cognitive, biological and cultural perspectives. Typical and atypical development across the lifespan (childhood, adolescence) will be considered in areas such as attachment, social relations, cognition, language, moral and cultural development. Students will also gain critical understanding and practical experience of the observation research methods applied to an aspect of child development.

Applied Skills for Research and Practice

This module aims to help you to evolve your career goals and aspired professional identities, to encourage active career exploration, and to develop tangible career tools (e.g. employability audit, Personal Action Plan). You will also be prepared for conducting independent psychological research, through developing a proposal for an appropriate empirical research project that you can pursue at Level 6. You will gain an awareness of the Psychology related career pathways available to you upon graduation, and will be encouraged to reflect on how your final year project subject area can align to your career aims.

Qualitative Methods in Psychology

The aim of this module is to introduce students to qualitative research methods in psychology, building on knowledge and experience gained at Level 4. The module will cover the historical development of qualitative methods, key conceptual debates (e.g. the philosophy of science), theoretical approaches to qualitative research, qualitative research designs and procedures, qualitative data collection methods (e.g. interviews and focus groups, qualitative surveys, vignettes and story completion tasks) and qualitative analytic methods (e.g. thematic analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis and discourse analysis). Students will be given a chance to collect and analyse qualitative data, and write these up in a report. The module will emphasise the acquisition of practical research skills (in relation to key methods of data collection and analysis) as well as the development of critical analytic skills and a broad awareness of ethical issues relating to qualitative research methods in psychology.

Social Psychology

This module aims to build on the coverage of social psychology at Level 4 by exploring some of the key approaches and topics in Social Psychology in greater depth. Students will be introduced to key conceptual and historical issues and debates in social psychology, as well as some of the traditional areas of the discipline such as social identity, the self, social cognition and prejudice. The module will  examine both ‘classic’ studies and theories, as well as contemporary treatments of these topics. The module will also cover critical approaches to social psychology and traditions emerging from these, such as social constructionism and discursive psychology. 

Brain and Behaviour

This module provides you with an insight into the biological basis of human and non-human behaviour, including comparative and evolutionary psychology, typical and atypical neuropsychology, neuroscience, behavioural genetics, and the effect of hormones on behaviour. You will learn how our conceptual models of biological psychology have developed through history as new methods of investigation were developed. You will also gain critical understanding and practical experience of research methods used by biological psychologists.

Quantitative Methods in Psychology

This module introduces you to quantitative approaches to psychological research methods. It will comprise weekly statistics lectures and workshops, in which you will go through a number of set work questions using a statistical software package (SPSS). The module will emphasise the acquisition of practical research skills (in relation to key methods of data collection, management, and analysis), critical skills (e.g. through evaluating research papers and methods), and a broad awareness of issues concerning ethics in quantitative methods in psychology and conceptual and historical development of research methods (e.g., philosophy of science).

Cognition and Behaviour

This module provides you with a broad overview of fundamental topics in Cognitive Psychology, such as sensation and perception, attention, language, learning, memory, thinking, problem solving, decision making, metacognition, consciousness and cognitive neuropsychology. Conceptual and historical issues relevant to cognitive psychology are also covered. You will gain critical understanding and practical experience of research methods used by cognitive psychologists.

Personality and Individual Differences

This module aims to extend your understanding of the spectrum of individual differences and draws on content from a range of areas of psychology. This module covers key issues of contemporary significance using core areas of individual difference psychology such as personality, motivation, emotion & well-being. Topics are focused on in-depth within the module by examining different theoretical approaches to these concepts which allows you to understand how conceptual and historical issues inform our understanding and application of individual differences. The application of individual difference theory and research will be considered within the module in a number of contexts, for example clinical, educational or organisational contexts.


Final Year Project and Future Directions

This module provides students with the opportunity to conduct an independent empirical investigation in a psychological topic area, following on from the research proposal produced at the end of Level 5. The psychology project is a substantial piece of research and involves the collection of original empirical data from participants using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. Students will be supported by their supervisors to develop and demonstrate a range of research skills including planning, considering and resolving ethical issues, data analysis, and dissemination of findings through a scientific poster presentation and a project report. Additionally, the module facilitates future employability through one-to-one tutorials where supervisors provide individualised support in relation to students’ post graduate aims and specific job searches.

Psychology, Crime and the Criminal Justice System

This module will provide you with the opportunity to study topics related to psychology, crime and the criminal justice system. You will be introduced to a small number of key topics in the area such as theories of criminal behaviour, mental illness and crime, detection of deception, domestic abuse, and jury decision making. A number of issues relating to each key topic will be covered and relevant research critically examined. The module will draw on knowledge you gained from first and second year modules regarding cognitive, social and developmental psychology and demonstrate how these areas relate to real world issues relating to crime and the Criminal Justice System. The aim is to give you a flavour of a potential area of subsequent professional practice in Forensic Psychology. 

Eyewitness Psychology

This module will provide you with the opportunity to study topics related to the psychology of eyewitness performance. You will be introduced to a small number of key topics such as eyewitness testimony and suggestibility, interviewing witnesses and the Cognitive Interview, eyewitness identification evidence, and vulnerable witnesses, for example child and older witnesses. A number of issues relating to each key topic will be covered and relevant research critically examined. The module will draw on knowledge you gained in first and second year modules regarding cognitive, social and developmental psychology, and demonstrates how these areas relate to the real world issue of accuracy of eyewitness evidence within the Criminal Justice System.

Optional modules
  • Advanced Issues in Developmental Psychology 15 credits
  • Advanced Statistics and Applied Statistics 15 credits
  • Topics in Educational Psychology 15 credits
  • Cognitive Neuroscience 15 credits
  • Conceptual Debates in Psychology 15 credits
  • Media Psychology 15 credits
  • The Psychology of Creativity 15 credits
  • Psychology in the Workplace 15 credits
  • Health Psychology 15 credits
  • Advanced Critical Thinking for Psychologists 15 credits
  • Computational Skills in Psychology 15 credits
  • Embodied Cognition and Contemplative Practice Studies 15 credits
  • Psychology of Consumer Behaviour (Optional)
  • Topics in Mental Health (Optional)
  • Behaviour Change  15 credits
  • The Psychology of Music  15 credits
  • Statistical Programming with R  15 credits
  • Traffic and Transportation Psychology  15 credits
  • Volunteering for Psychology 15 credits
  • Psychology Placement 15 credits
  • Critical and Applied Research Design - 15 credits

Entry requirements

112-120 points

Our offers are typically made using UCAS tariff points to allow you to include a range of level 3 qualifications and as a guide, the requirements for this course are equivalent to:

A-Levels: BBC-BBB from 3 A Levels or equivalent grade combinations (e.g. BBB is comparable to ABC in terms of tariff points)

BTEC/CTEC: DMM from BTEC or Cambridge Technical (CTEC) qualifications

International Baccalaureate: To include a minimum of 2 Higher Level certificates at grade H4

T Level: Merit in a T Level

Additionally, we accept tariff points achieved for many other qualifications, such as the Access to Higher Education Diploma, Scottish Highers, UAL Diploma/Extended Diploma and WJEC Applied Certificate/Diploma, to name a few. We also accept tariff points from smaller level 3 qualifications, up to a maximum of 32, from qualifications like the Extended Project (EP/EPQ), music or dance qualifications. To find out more about UCAS tariff points, including what your qualifications are worth, please visit UCAS.

In addition to level 3 study, the following GCSEs are required:

GCSE English Language at grade 4 or C, or higher. Functional Skills at level 2 is accepted as an alternative, however Key Skills qualifications are not. If you hold another qualification, please get in touch and we will advise further.

If you will be over the age of 21 years of age at the beginning of your undergraduate study, you will be considered as a mature student. This means our offer may be different and any work or life experiences you have will be considered together with any qualifications you hold. UCAS have further information about studying as a mature student on their website which may be of interest.


If English is not your first language, a formal English language test will most likely be required and you will need to achieve the following:

  • IELTS Academic at 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components (for year 1 entry)
  • We also accept other English language qualifications, such as IELTS Indicator, Pearson PTE Academic, Cambridge C1 Advanced and TOEFL iBT

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by contacting our International Recruitment Team via our International Apply Pages.

2024 Course Tuition Fees

  UK / Channel Islands /
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland 


Year 1 £9,250 £16,700
Year 2 £9,250 £16,700
Year 3 £9,250 £16,700
Total £27,750 £50,100
Optional Sandwich Year* £1,850 £3,340
Total with Sandwich Year £29,600 £53,440

Additional tuition fee information

If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2024, the first year will cost you £9,250**. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK students.

Remember, you don’t have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year.

UK Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,935.

International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £139.14 and a 15 credit module is £2,087.

* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year.

**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.

Additional costs

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:

Core texts

Core texts are available from the University Library. However some students prefer to purchase their own copies. Some core texts can be bought second-hand or as an ebook which can often reduce this cost. Indicative cost is £400 for whole course.

Printing and binding

The University is pleased to offer our students a printing allowance of £5 each academic year. This will print around 125 A4 (black and white) pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing.


We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.


In addition to subject knowledge, Forensic Investigative Psychology graduates also develop skills in communication; numeracy; analysis; teamwork; critical thinking; computing; independent learning; project management and many others, all of which are highly valued by employers.

Due to the wide range of skills and the rigour with which they are taught, training in psychology is widely accepted as providing an excellent preparation for many careers. These include but are not limited to forensic mental health services (either in the NHS or private sector), probation service, the courts, police service, prison service, security services/agencies, charities, or further education.

The University of Winchester ranks in the top 10 in the UK for graduates in employment or further study according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2023, HESA.


The Forensic Investigative Psychology programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society. For those wishing to pursue professional careers in psychology - such as forensic, clinical, educational, or occupational psychology undertaking further study and training to gain professional recognition as a Chartered Psychologist is needed. Graduates of this degree with a 2:2 honours or above will be eligible to apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) status, which is an entry requirement for many accredited postgraduate training courses in psychology, including Forensic Psychology, and is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist. 

Pre-approved for a Masters

On completion of your BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigative Psychology degree with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester, such as our MSc Forensic Psychology which provides the academic component (Stage 1) of the route to becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.

Student with careers staff member
"On this course, I have learnt many ways in which Psychology interacts with our everyday life. The impacts of Psychology can be seen around us and this course is a great mixture of psychological and forensic topics." Hannah, BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigative Psychology

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