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Psychology and Forensic Biology
BSc (Hons)

Explore key issues and uncover the realities of working in the criminal justice system during this unique BPS-accredited degree.

Course detail

Start Date

September

Duration

4 years (full-time)

Degree Classification

BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code

C8F4

Why Study Psychology and Forensic Biology?

Explore key issues and uncover the realities of working in the criminal justice system during this unique BPS-accredited Psychology and Forensic Biology Degree – the only course of its type in Scotland. Learn from staff at the forefront of research in psychology and contemporary forensic science.

Use your inquisitive mind and interest in biology to learn the techniques involved in solving crimes. Analyse the economic, emotional and psychological reasons behind crime, and gain the knowledge you need to become a highly sought after graduate.

Get your teeth into a comprehensive selection of topics on human behaviour, with the core areas of this course following the curriculum set by the British Psychological Society. You’ll also be offered specialised modules taught by Abertay’s biological and forensic experts.

This programme benefits from lots of external industry speakers and is designed to help you facilitate and interact with people from diverse backgrounds in your future career. It has a particular focus on making you an adaptable, thoughtful and analytical scientist.

 

Register Interest

An undergraduate  qualification can help develop you into a confident, independent thinker who's ready to face the challenges of the modern world. 

Information and advice is key to making sure you make the right decision for you. Thankfully, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about stepping into the world of undergraduate study.

Register your interest and find out the fantastic options available to you.

 

Register Interest

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Your Journey Starts Here

Modern careers require flexible graduates, familiar with different ways of dealing with data and communicating with both specialists and non-specialists. By including subjects beyond traditional social sciences, this degree gives you exposure to a variety of forms of scientific discourse.

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Entry Requirements

Please note:  All applicants must have passes in English and Maths in one of the following - National 5 grade C and GCSE grade C/4. Lifeskills Maths is not accepted in lieu of Maths.

Below are the literate subjects we accept for entry on this course:

  • Business Management
  • Classical Studies
  • Economics
  • English
  • English for speakers of other languages
  • Geography
  • History
  • Media Studies
  • Modern Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychology
  • Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies
  • Sociology

If there is a subject that does not appear, please contact our Admissions Office (admissions@abertay.ac.uk) who will be able to confirm whether or not it would be considered for entry.

Please visit our Entry from College pages for suitable College courses.

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Higher ABBB To include Biology, Chemistry or Physics AND a literate subject
A-Level BCC To include Biology, Chemistry or Physics AND a literate subject
Irish Highers H2H3H3H3 To include Biology, Chemistry or Physics AND a literate subject
International Baccalaureate 29 Points To include Biology, Chemistry or Physics AND a literate subject
BTEC Extended Diploma DMM Applied Science
AHEAD - Successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
SWAP ABB Access to: Life Sciences, Health & Life Sciences, Science, Biological Sciences, Biological & Biomedical Sciences, University Study (to include all Human Biology options)
HNC/HND - Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses

Not sure if you're eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We understand some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university, which is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer.

If you expect to receive passes in three Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have either ...

  • been in care
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university
  • attended a school or lived in an area where not many people go to university

... we encourage you to submit an application.

English Language Requirements and Visa Information

Explore English language requirements, English language courses and important visa information.

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

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English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

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Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

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About Your Modules

The module information shown here describes the modules our students are taking this year. The modules do change over time to keep our programmes up-to-date and relevant. This means the exact modules you take could be different. If you receive an offer to study with us, you will receive a Programme Information document that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay University degree programme.

Please note: As well as Key Modules outlined below, you may also be required to choose Elective Modules. 

Key Modules (2017/18)

Introductory Psychology (PSY101)

An introduction to the key areas of psychology that align with the BPS curriculum (conceptual and historical issues in psychology, cognitive psychology and social psychology) and to the research methods used in the scientific study of behaviour. The theoretical underpinnings of core areas are explored and set in an applied framework to help students understand how psychology research can be used to address real-world problems facing modern societies.

Biology 1: Biology Principles and Practice (LSC101)

A broad introduction to the theory and practice of biology. Module content includes: the principles of cell biology; an overview of the major forms of life and their taxonomic relationships; introductory microbiology; basic laboratory techniques; health and safety in the laboratory; data handling and numeracy skills for laboratory work.

Introduction to Forensic Science, Practice and Techniques (FOR103)

A broad overview of the concepts of scientific literacy skills, some of the main principles, practices and techniques used in forensic science and the roles of forensic scientists. Includes basic forensic practical skills involved in investigation, searching and examination of crime scenes.

Human Physiology (LSC102)

Provides students with fundamental knowledge of the main physiological processes necessary for life and for maintaining whole body homeostasis. Module content includes: cardiovascular physiology; respiratory physiology; reproductive physiology; neuro and sensory physiology; skeletomuscular system.

Introductory Psychology 2 (PSY102)

An introduction to key areas of psychology that align with the BPS curriculum (individual differences, developmental psychology, and biological psychology) that continues education in research methods used in the scientific study of behaviour. The theoretical underpinnings of core areas are explored and set in an applied framework to help students understand how psychology research can be used to address real-world problems facing modern societies.

Cognitive Psychology and Research Methods (PSY204)

An introduction to the cognitive aspects of the BPS curriculum. Students will be introduced to research methodologies, theories and models of how cognitive psychology works as a science. They will also be introduced to the statistical concepts and methodologies that underpin research in psychology.

Cell Biology & Immunology (LSC202)

Provides students with a holistic understanding of how cells in the body function to defend against injury and disease. Module content includes: immune system; antibodies as molecular probes; cell biology.

Forensic Psychology (PSY203)

An examination of the key issues in forensic psychology integrating information from clinical, biological, developmental, personality, social and cognitive psychology.

Social Psychology and Research Methods (PSY201)

An introduction to the social psychology content of the BPS curriculum that will provide students with a critical and comprehensive understanding of the major topics, empirical research and theoretical approaches in social psychology. Building on the content of PSY204, students will be trained in the research methods that underpin the scientific study of social cognition and behaviour.

Molecular Biology and Genetics (LSC201)

An introduction to the fundamental concepts in both medical and forensic genetics. Module content includes: genes and gene expression; human genomics and bioinformatic analysis; genetic engineering and other analytical techniques.

Biological Psychology and PID (BPS Core) (PSY301)

The core BPS curriculum is covered in this module. Students are provided with knowledge of how biology affects behaviour and introduced to the evolutionary mechanisms that shape our minds. This module will also investigate how biology, experience and personality produce individuality in humans.

Special Topics in Forensic Biology (FOR301)

Provides an understanding of examination strategies for the range of body fluids encountered in forensic biology case work and the scientific interpretation of blood stain patterns. Also provides an awareness of the contribution of specific biological sciences to specialised forensic science studies.

Developmental Psychology (BPS Core) (PSY302)

An examination of the theories, methods and empirical data relevant to psychological development throughout the lifespan. Module content includes: biological basis of development; designs and approaches of studying development; infancy; early and middle childhood; adolescence; adulthood; ageing.

Research Methods on Psychology (BPS core) (PSY303)

Building on the psychological research methods, techniques and analyses covered in years 1 and 2, this module will provide students with the ability to design and conduct independent research projects at honours level using the appropriate research methodology.

Scene Examination and Management (FOR312)

An exploration of some of the advanced principles and techniques used in Forensic Science as well as the role of Forensic Scientists. Includes higher level forensic practical skills involved in the investigation, searching and examination of crime scenes and evidence types.

Psychology Honours Project (PSY410)

Students are required to design, conduct and analyse their own independent piece of research and to present their research findings. This module provides guidance and support for the honours project process.

Forensic Applications of DNA (FOR401)

An overview of the various techniques and research used in a forensic DNA laboratory from sample receipt, extraction and replication to analysis and interpretation. Students use their own samples to work their way through DNA analysis.

Advanced Social and Cognitive Psychology (PSY408)

Designed to develop students' understanding of social psychology and cognition, building on their Cognition and Social Psychology modules in year 2. This module develops a deeper understanding of cognitive processes such as attention, perception and memory and explores how these processes underpin social processing.

How the Course Works

 

Learning and Assessment 

The programme has a good mix of practical and textbook learning, with a combination of lectures, practical laboratory classes, seminars/tutorials and independent study.

The practical lab classes offer the chance to learn relevant scientific techniques first hand, and an opportunity to engage in research by designing experiments and collecting and analysing data.

You’re assessed using a variety of methods. These include examinations and class tests, laboratory reports, essays, presentations (both oral and posters), research projects and writing scientific articles and case studies.

For more information on the course content, please download the Programme Information - BSc (Honours) Psychology and Forensic Biology

Accreditation

Programme Fees for 2018

Scottish & EU students

£1,820

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students

£9,250

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

International Students

£13,800

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

Scholarships

Rest of UK Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

International Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from international countries (outside of the EU) to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

In addition, we offer a range of corporate/philanthropic scholarships shown below, which are available to all students to support your studies with us. 

The Lothian Family

A £5,000 award for undergraduate students with financial or social difficulties which may prevent them from studying at Abertay.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £500 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Career opportunities

Some students continue their studies and apply to train as a professional forensic psychologist.

Graduates of this course also boast a number of transferable skills, which are in high demand in the general graduate job market. These skills include numeracy, statistics, IT, communication skills and analytical thinking.

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Occupations

As the programme includes additional forensic and biological science topics in addition to psychology, the choice of careers open to you include:

  • Intelligence analyst
  • Crime analyst
  • Roles within the Police Service
  • Ministry of Defence roles
  • MI5
  • Psychologists
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Industry Links

We have strong links with Police Scotland, the National Crime Agency and the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, and many of the lecturing staff are accredited members of professional societies and act as practitioners in their areas of expertise.

We’re a leading institution in the computer games industry, which means there’s an opportunity to explore the issues relating to games, human behaviour and learning.

We also enjoy excellent links with local health services and local education authorities.

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Unistats

Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).

Programme Leader - Psychology and Forensic Biology

Dr Penny Woolnough

Dr Penny Woolnough

School of Social and Health Sciences | Senior Lecturer

View profile

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