Course at a glance


This course is accepted by ACCPH at Level 3 and allows you join as a professional member after graduation.

Modern day Forensic psychologists are concerned with the application of psychology to the criminal justice system, and with understanding the psychological processes related to criminal behaviour. They are sometimes known as ‘criminal psychologists’ or ‘investigative psychologists’. This is a growing and popular career especially with the rise in Police-related drama on television. Forensic psychology is often perceived as concerning criminal investigation and profiling, and to the assessment and treatment of criminal behaviour. Forensic psychologists work not only with prisoners, but examine the psychology of violent crime, theories of crime and juvenile offender behaviour and offenders but also other professionals involved in the judicial and penal systems. In addition the course explores the psychology of policing and how eyewitness testimony and confessions are integrated into the offence profile through guided activities, knowledge checklists, concept boxes to facilitate and test learning.

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above to enrol into our Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma course.

Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit.


Optional coursework and final examination.


Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.

Course Length

1 Year.

Endorsed By

Students at the college have the option to choose the awarding body of their course.

This course has been endorsed by :

Quality Licence Scheme:


Accord :

This courses’ awarding bodies are recognised for their high-quality, non-regulated provision and training programmes. This course is not regulated by Ofqual and is not an accredited qualification. Your training provider will be able to advise you on any further recognition, for example progression routes into further and/or higher education. For further information please visit Quality Licence Scheme website or Accord website

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Course Content

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Unit 1: Defining Forensic and Criminal Psychology

This course starts by exploring the history and popularity of Forensic and Criminal Psychology, and how it has developed into modern practices and approaches. The extent, moral, public and the social implications of crime associated to theories and analysis of crime is investigated critically. How does crime impact upon different individuals, are the general public manipulated by propaganda or are their fears real is questioned? Its use in criminal prosecution is addressed alongside issues such as how to incorporate mental conditions upon law, differentiate and assess the use of e.g. the insanity plea.

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Unit 2: Theories of Crime

How did the theories that underpin the basis of forensic and criminal psychology practice form? Studies show that they sit on Neuropsychology (how the brain of function), Intelligence and learning of criminal behaviour. Issues such as crime addiction and social learning theory (do we learn how to commit crime from our place in society?) related to criminal behaviour is explored. The Biological theory of crime and how it affects social construction (linking societal norms and values to crime) is discussed.

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Unit 3: Violent Offenders and Offences

The nature of crime is changing, so for example we now have the first serial female knife crime user. Studies have shown that when people are given power, it can easily be abused. Often the abused become the aggressors. Theories related to violent offences are addressed in an environment where questions are asked about how the Media influences violent crimes. In-depth look is carried out on Domestic violence and sexual offences which are now being taken more seriously. The social and cultural factors which influences and controls of crimes is investigated. Criminals with no perpetual influence such as poverty are on the increase and the reasons why people who have everything commit violent crime is discussed.

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Unit 4: Juvenile Offenders

Crime is often linked to childhood development and to the psychology of the offending behaviour. The factors which contribute to antisocial behaviour, such as family, peer pressure and the environment of child development is addressed since two siblings having the same opportunities may decide on differing pathways to life. There is clear correlation to increased crime with wider reporting and access to the variety of crime on the television, cinema, computer, newspapers and books. Thoughts, values and morals underpinning possible delinquency, youth offending, the rise in young sex offenders to recidivism and becoming an adult offender is explored.

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Unit 5: The Psychology of Policing

Policing has changed radically in the last 50 years in terms of make-up, recruitment and how they do their jobs. Personality is assessed within the guise of the Police organisational culture, psychological impact of crime on the Police and to determine what makes a person successful in a particular career. Selection continued to be representative only of those in power choosing employees like themselves. It was accused of being monocultural with bias towards minority cultures, e.g. a transvestite officer committed suicide when his private life was discovered. The need for cultural change, the identification of bias and interviewing techniques, Police as witnesses and the use of force is discussed in a changing UK culture. Dimension of crime such as cyber-crime, hostage taking and terrorism are explored. The Caution (UK) is briefly discussed in its use as a warnings being given before prosecution arise [Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974].

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Unit 6: Eyewitness Testimony

Convictions happen when there is evidence, often from eyewitness testimony, EWT, and its use within trial preparation is normal. The psychology of memory and how people remember, when/ how/ why they are asked to re-live and communicate what happened in a previous incident is based on many issues. There is an exploration of the skills involved in the taking of EWT, memory and the use of it in identification parades, and the pros and cons relating to validity and accuracy. In addition, the role of the expert witness and how their testimony is used is discussed since with the advent of the use of DNA techniques in crime, many people have been found innocent in recent times of crimes they were accused by the use of EWT.

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Unit 7: Correctional Settings

Once a person is found guilty In the judicial system, there are several course of action and punishment from psychological support to incarceration. Historical models and approaches of incarceration towards punishment and rehabilitation are given. The effectiveness of prison as risks can be present within, profiling, sex offender therapy and cognitive programmes for offenders are discussed.

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Unit 8: Research and Statistics

Most forensic and criminal psychology practice is based on evidence from research and statistical information. This is often why psychology is not seen as a pure science, since it is thought to be too dependent on interpretations of an elite minority. How data is collected and critically analysed determines findings. The types of research methods and methodology, data analysis and how statistics are used is discussed. The relevance of statistics to forensic and criminal psychology is particularly relevant so how research has to be honest, fair and ethical is discussed.

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Unit 9: Risk Assessment and Reoffending

A commonly held perception is that people who commit crime are mentally unwell or have some in-balance. This unit looks at how criminals and crimes are defined through assessment of risk to victims and of offenders, mental health and danger, and also the evidence associated with reoffending and risk. Mental well-being, fitness to stand for trial and what or who is the criminally insane is assessed. Issues to educate and support offenders concern the welfare of criminals and clinical judgements made by a complex model that is the judiciary system.

Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma Unit 10: False Allegations and False Confessions

Presently topical are victims of crime who have made false allegations or being forced to retract their statements from abusive partners have been prosecuted. This may make victims afraid to report crime. Cases of false allegation, such as the Cleveland Affair and its subsequent report is used as a case study. Mistakes are not always malicious but can arise from poor memory, abuse and bad interview techniques used by the Police. Some issues covered are the types and consequence of false allegations, false memory syndrome and repressed memories. The principles and practice of obtaining confessions to use as evidence are explored.


This Level 3 Forensic and Criminal Psychology Diploma course can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.

Further information on our Level 4 Diplomas can be found here: