BA (Hons)

Forensic Investigative Psychology


Are you intrigued by human behaviour and fascinated by the way crimes are investigated and solved? We offer a stimulating programme which gives you all the benefits of a full Psychology degree while allowing you to focus on the rapidly developing and popular field of Forensic and Investigative Psychology. 

Room of students in lab coats looking at bags of evidence

Course overview

On this programme you will build a wide knowledge of psychological theory to help you understand the behaviour of offenders and the psychological aspects of criminal investigations. 

Our versatile and innovative programme is one of one of only a handful of undergraduate courses in the country specialising in Forensic Investigative Psychology. The focus is on giving you a strong understanding of the nature and development of Forensic Investigative Psychology while gaining vital employment related and academic skills. 

Delivered by high calibre, research-active experts in their fields, it’s an ideal degree if you aspire to work in the courts or the wider criminal justice system. 

In Year 1 you complete introductory modules in Psychology, including Introduction to Psychology and Introduction to Psychological Research Methods. Alongside these, you take Psychology in Contemporary Society, Introduction to Psychopathology and Clinical Disorders, and Applied Skills for Learning and Development.  

In Year 2, amongst other modules, you will study Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods, Social Psychology, Personality and Individual Differences, Brain and Behaviour, Developmental Psychology, as well as Applied Skills for Research and Practice. 

As well as your psychology research project, your final year features compulsory modules in Eyewitness Psychology and Psychology, Crime and the Criminal Justice System. Also in Year 3, you can choose from a wide range of optional modules available for you to explore your special interests. These may include Health Psychology, Psychology in the Workplace and Computational Skills in Psychology. 

There is also an option for you to undertake a volunteering module in Year 3, which may involve working in forensic related settings such as charities supporting families of prisoners or the witness service. 
Find out more about the Psychology department. 


This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS); those wishing to pursue professional careers in psychology - such as clinical, forensic, educational, or occupational psychology - need to undertake further study and training to gain professional recognition as a Chartered Psychologist. Graduates 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. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.  

Pre-approved for a Masters 

If you study a Bachelors Honours degree with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. 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. 

What you need to know

Course start date



Winchester campus

Course length

  • 3 years
  • 4 years sandwich
  • 5 years part-time



Typical offer

112-120 points


From £9,250 pa

Course features

  • Benefit from dedicated laboratories and computer rooms where you can learn a variety of psychological research methods
  • Gain hands-on experience of experiments, issues and research at the forefront of forensic psychology today
  • Study in a supportive environment with your own personal tutor, plus one-to-one supervision for your extended project
  • Gain a specialist degree in a rapidly growing field
  • Benefit from a team of research-active academics and experts who work at the forefront of the field and who use interactive and practical teaching approaches to bring theory and practice to life
  • Access to talks delivered by experts in the field, through the University of Winchester’s Forensic Investigative Psychology Research Centre
  • Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)

Course details

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 take places 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)*: 

72% coursework
• 26% 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. 


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors. 

Further information 

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures. 


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).

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.

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.


Final Year Project and Future Directions

The project takes the form of an original independent empirical investigation in a psychological topic area.

You are required to select your topic/research question and produce a research proposal before the end of Semester 2 of Level 5. Supervisors are allocated according to research topic. Data collection may only commence once ethical approval has been granted by the ethics committee.  The indicative length of the project is 5,000 words for quantitative and 7,000 for qualitative projects. Additionally, this module will facilitate future employability through one-to-one tutorials between students and their FYP supervisor; providing individualised support concerning 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)
  • Advanced Psychopathology and Clinical Psychology (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)
  • Advanced Social Psychology - (15 credits)

Entry requirements

112-120 points

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, 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 

In addition to the above, 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 GCSE’s are required: 

  • GCSEs in Mathematics and 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 emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023 

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. 


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 confined 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 - graduates from this programme are well-suited to postgraduate study in Forensic Psychology. 

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 2021, HESA. 


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