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Psychology & Crime Foundation Degree (FdA) Level 5 (full-time)

  • HE

This foundation degree provides vocational and practical perspectives on the application of both general and criminal psychology to the understanding of human behaviour, offending and society's response to offenders. The overall aim is to foster the development of a knowledge base and a range of skills to enhance your future career aspirations and opportunities.

This course aims to:

  • Provide you with a critical overview of the well-established and emerging theories, principles, concepts, debates, and empirical methods and findings in psychology
  • Create opportunities for you to consider the application of these underlying concepts to real-world contexts that relate to the areas in which you have experience of working, or wish to work in the future
  • Enable you to reach your personal potential by enhancing your knowledge, key transferable skills, and self-awareness, through reflection and critical enquiry
  • Enable you to develop strong academic skills which permit critical enquiry, including the ability to identify and locate appropriate resources for your investigation, to synthesise and analyse different sources of information, and to critically evaluate the reliability and validity of the information found and the conclusions drawn.

Validated by, and leads to an award of, the University of Bedfordshire

The University of Bedfordshire is a registered trademark and its logo is used by The Bedford College Group with full permission in relation to course partnerships.


I studied the part-time Level 3 certificate in Counselling here at the College before moving on to higher education. I chose this Foundation Degree because the flexibility of the course fitted with my family commitments, with one full day of study in College per week.  

I really enjoy the course. Our tutors are very approachable and make the lessons fun. The tutor that teaches the crime part of the course is an ex policeman, so we benefit from his experience. I’ve completed some work experience as part of the course with victims of crime at Victim Support in Bedford and was recently nominated by them for a University of Bedfordshire Student Appreciation Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community. I’m also a student rep for the course, which involves relaying feedback from the class to the College at regular meetings. 

I’m considering teaching as a future career. This would involve topping up my Foundation Degree to a full degree with a third year of study, and then a one year PGCE.

I’d recommend the course to other mature students coming back into education; there are not many other places that offer the subject locally and the fees are cheaper than university. You also get to learn alongside people from all different backgrounds, which enable you to gain others’ perspective on things. 

Leanne - Psychology & Crime Foundation Degree

Entry requirements

You will need:

  • 32-48 UCAS Points from a Level 3 course (e.g. A-Level, Level 3 Diploma, BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma or equivalent).
  • English GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above OR Level 2 equivalent.
  • Maths GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above OR Level 2 equivalent is desirable.
  • We welcome applicants who may not meet the above entry requirements but have relevant work experience within the industry.
  • You may be asked to attend an interview to discuss the requirements of the course.

You will also need to undertake a paid or voluntary placement in a relevant setting related to psychology and crime (minimum one day per week) for the duration of the course. You should ideally arrange your own placement but the course team will also be able to assist you in this.

Course content

During the course you will study the following units:

Year 1

  • Foundations of Psychology
  • Study Skills and Social Research
  • Comparative Youth Justice
  • Work Based Learning 1

Year 2

  • Social and Lifespan Development
  • Professional Development and Research
  • Crime and Social Control
  • Work Based Learning 2

The course has a significant work based learning element (which can be paid or voluntary). You will be required to reflect on your work experiences throughout the year and record your reflections in a journal. As well as recording your development you will reflect on how the rest of the course relates to your work experiences.

Assessment methods

Throughout your course you will encounter a wide variety of assessment types which are collectively designed to suit the diversity of individual learning styles and preferences. Whilst you will be expected to sit some examinations, the overall assessment diet strongly favours different forms of coursework. 

You will receive helpful feedback on each assignment which will help you to develop your own academic and transferable skills and inform the completion of your future assessments.

In the first year, several of the written coursework assignments allow for formative assessment prior to the summative assessment. This means you will have the opportunity to present a first draft of your assignment with the expectation of being given feedback which will offer you guidance for how to develop and refine your assignment. The process of peer reviewing is used for this purpose in both the Contemporary Youth Justice and the Foundations in Psychology units.

Further study and career options

Your future employability is central to the ethos of this course.  In order to enhance your knowledge of the different career options available to you there will be a number of guest speakers from different organisations which have experience within the Criminal Justice System or are involved in psychological research or work.

A number of assessments across the units are directly related to employability which include the production of a professional curriculum vitae and reflective logs, which will encourage you to actively engage in professional development planning and reflective writing.

Additionally, the course will allow you to develop a number of key skills which are highly desirable in the workplace. These include effective team-working, oral and written communication skills, the ability to identity and critically analyse the key information required to answer practical problems and efficient time management.

You can progress on to a third year top-up course, delivered at the University of Bedfordshire, to achieve either a BA degree in either Criminology, Psychological Studies or Psychology and Criminal Behaviour.

If you want to pursue a career as a psychologist and work towards British Psychological Society (BPS) Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) status, you can join the second year of BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology at the University of Bedfordshire on completion of your Foundation Degree. Alternatively, you are able to go onto a BPS conversion course, after completing your top up year.

Additional information

To enrol on this course you must apply through the University & Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) using the institution code BEDF B23 and the course code C990. Visit or call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

A part-time route consisting of studying two units per year (rather than four) is also available in some circumstances.

There is 1 day per week of taught sessions (usually between 9.30am and 6.00pm) held at the College. 2 days per week are designated for placement (students can organise which days to do this themselves) and 2 days per week are designated for independent studying and reading.

Pay by instalments

The College offers an instalment plan for Further Education and Higher Education courses to students where the total amount payable at the point of enrolment is £200 or more. Within the scheme there is an ability to pay up to 7 instalments, depending on the length of the courses and the final payment must be paid at least a month before the end of the course.

For a September 2020 start, this course will run on a Thursday between 9.30am - 6.00pm.

Course Information & How to Apply

You will need to complete a UCAS online application form to apply for this course, available at The codes needed are located in the 'Additional information' section above. Please call the College on 01234 291000 if you have any queries about your application.

LengthStart DateFees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 27/09/2021 £6165 Cauldwell Street BBA2038

Part-time course already started?

Our upcoming 2021-22 part-time courses will be out in May. Get alerted when they're released by selecting your campus of choice below and filling out the relevant form:

Bedford College Enquiry Form

Shuttleworth College Enquiry Form


Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.