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Psychology and Forensic Biology

The techniques involved in solving crimes are becoming ever more advanced, and analysing why they are committed in the first place is vitally important. Knowledge of both areas will make you a highly sought after graduate.

Next Start Date: September

Degree type: BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code: C8F4

Duration: 4 years (full-time)


Why choose this course?  

  • The mix of modules that make up the degree is very different to most Psychology or Forensic Science degrees. The core Psychology content is the same as the other Psychology courses at Abertay, but the supporting subjects are drawn from Biology and Forensic Science.
  • Our translational approach to psychology focuses on training you to apply knowledge gained to real-world problems to enhance employability.
  • We encourage student engagement with psychology research through research-active staff and links with potential employers
  • The programme is professionally accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), conferring eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC), provided a minimum Second Class Honours is obtained.

This course combines Psychology, Biology and Forensic Science modules. It is designed for people who want to study Psychology, but with a particular focus on areas relevant to the criminal justice system and forensic and biological sciences.

Compared to most Psychology degrees in the UK, this degree has a different blend of supporting subjects, but still has all the core elements of Psychology that make it one of the most popular areas of undergraduate study in the UK. Because of the supporting subjects, the range of teaching styles is particularly large, leading to a rich and varied student experience. This programme is designed to help you facilitate and interact with people from a wide variety of backgrounds in your future careers. It is particularly designed to make you an adaptable, thoughtful and analytical scientist.

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

Abertay University has been recognised for research in Psychology and is the highest rated Modern University for Psychology research in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014.


What you study

What you study

The course offers a comprehensive selection of topics on human behaviour. The core areas follow the curriculum set by the British Psychological Society, including biological and evolutionary psychology, cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, personality and individual differences, research methods, and conceptual and historical issues in psychology.

In addition, you will be offered specialised modules covering the biological and forensic expertise of the wider University community of academics. These include the basic principles of biology, biological forensic methods - such as DNA profiling and fingerprinting - evolutionary pressures of human behaviour, law and forensic interviewing and psychology.

Because of the unique range of science subjects, the entry requirements for this degree differ to other psychology programmes.

Our students said:

“Interesting course at a University that has a great sense of community.” Lynne, Livingstone

"The course content had a combination of subjects that really appealed to me."  Marissa, Glasgow

For more information on the course content, download the Programme information - BSc with Honours in Psychology and Forensic Biology

How you learn and are assessed

The programme is a mixture of lectures, practical laboratory classes, seminars/tutorials and independent study.

The practical laboratory 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 are assessed using a variety of assessment types. These include examinations and class tests, laboratory reports, essays, presentations (both oral and posters), research projects and writing scientific articles and case studies.

Examination techniques

Assessment is through a range of methods including exams, tests, practical laboratory reports and student presentations. 

Entry routes

Minimum Entrance Requirements

English and Maths: 
All applicants must have passes in English and Maths in one of the following: National 5 grade C and GCSE grade C/4

 ABBB; A Level BCC; Irish Highers H2H3H3H3; BTEC Extended Diploma DMM; International Baccalaureate 29 Points
Essential subjects: to include a literate subject and Biology or Chemistry or Physics
AHEAD - successful completion of the relevant stream of our AHEAD programme
SWAP - our Coming from College pages list approved SWAP courses
HNC/HND - our Coming from College pages list approved HNC/HND courses

Not sure if you are 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 know that some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university and that 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 3 Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have:

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

We encourage you to submit an application.

International Applicants
You must provide certified proof of your English language level (minimum requirements are listed here).  Our British Council accredited International English Foundation Course can help you reach that level or, if you would like further develop your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your full potential.

EU applicants:  Entry requirements can be found on our Europe pages.  Overseas (non-EU) applicants:  We're currently developing your country pages, so please email us details of your entry requirements.

Alternative Entrance Requirements
Please email us if you have other qualifications/experience not listed here.

Fees and scholarships

Fee Category Tuition Fees
Scholarships & Bursaries
Scottish and other EU students

Current fees

Other forms of support
English, Welsh and Northern Irish

Current fees

Bursaries & Scholarships
Overseas (non EU) students

Current fees

Overseas Scholarships

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

Additional costs
Students must purchase a laboratory coat (cost around £15) and a laboratory notebook.

Further info

Career prospects

As the programme includes additional forensic and biological science topics in addition to psychology, the choice of careers include research, management training, customer relations, police work, drug rehabilitation as well as all the opportunities open to psychology graduates.

Some students continue their studies and apply to train as a professional Forensic Psychologist. Graduates of this course also have transferable skills, which are in high demand in the general graduate job market, such as numeracy, statistics and information technology skills, communication skills and analytical thinking.

“It is a course that’s interesting and opens up a number of career opportunities" Laura, Selkirk

"I couldn't find a course like this anywhere else"  Shona, Dublin

Industry links

Abertay has strong links with the Scottish Institute for Policing Research, and many of the lecturing staff are members of professional societies.

Abertay is a leading institution in the computer games industry, and there is an opportunity to explore the issues relating to games, human behaviour and learning.

We also have good links with local health services and local education authorities.


The degree is professionally accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), conferring eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) provided a minimum Second Class Honours is obtained. This is the first step to becoming a chartered psychologist.

Want to know more?

Student Recruitment Office
T:  +44 (0) 1382 308080
F:  +44 (0) 1382 308081

"The course content had a combination of subjects that really appealed to me."

Marissa, Glasgow

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