Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Psychology


Online Enrolment

Available Options:

Course Material Format: 

Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Psychology

Why Oxford Learning College

This course is accredited 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.


Course content

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.


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.


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.


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.


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].


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above.

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

Assessment Method

Final online multiple choice examination.

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


Diploma in Forensic and Criminal Psychology

This course is Quality Assured by the Quality Licence Scheme
Quality Assured by QLS

At the end of this course successful learners will receive an e-Certificate from Oxford Learning College. There is also the option to purchase an Embossed Certificate and also a certificate from ABC Awards for the qualification.

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners' and/or employers' requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers. Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

How can I progress

For more information on how to progress after completing this course, please click here

Additional Information

You will receive a certificate from the College. A digital version is included in the price and will be emailed to you within 5 days of taking your online exam.

Should you require an embossed hard copy of your certificate to be sent to you by Special Delivery post, you can order this separately after taking your exam.

The course can be enrolled upon by students Internationally. There are no deadlines for enrolments.

To view the differences between our qualifications, please click HERE

What's Included

Online study materials to enable the student to successfully complete the Diploma. Support is provided by the tutor department for the duration of the course (1 year). Certification upon completion. All examination fees.

Course Fee


Payment by Instalments

Students are able to pay course fees in monthly instalments. Click here to download our instalment plan.

Further Information

The Quality Assured Diploma is a Level 3 equivalent on the National Qualifications Framework. The Diploma is a 1 year course which is self study and is examined by online examination. The Diploma is awarded by Oxford College. Upon completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College.

The Level 3 Diplomas require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order to for students to manage study and the assumed knowledge within course content.

They provide an ability to gain and apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding in a specific subject at a detailed level. Level 3 qualifications such as A levels, NVQ3, BTEC Diplomas etc. are appropriate if you plan to progress to university study.

Level 3 Diploma courses can assist you in career development, continued professional development, personal development, and provision of a basis for further study.

Progression from Level 3 is to specialist learning and detailed analysis of a higher level of information (for example university level study, Diploma Level 5 study).

Your course is delivered online via the Oxford Learning On Campus website.

This is a flexible learning course, so the more time you have to commit to your studies, the sooner you are able to complete.

In the student 'On Campus' you are also able to take part in the student chat room and forums as part of our online student community.

After enrolling online you will receive your username and password to access the On Campus area within 3 working days.

Materials and support provided by Oxford Learning. Oxford Learning

For more information please visit our FAQ page.

Overall rating 5 out of 5 based on 1 student reviews

The course I had started mid of the last year, it was so huge and thoroughly berifley, I truly enjoyed taking the full course, as I go in a police department, this course helped me a good deal in my line of work. There were many things I did not know during working in a police department, but since I had studied forensic and criminal psychology, things became changed in my daily role, I had found out how to handle the different sort of offenders and what are the primary causes behind the offending. This course was completely different than criminology because it was based the psychological effects behind the crimes, and I truly wanted to study to know the causes behind and treatment of it. Thank you very much to provide such a very informatics and briefly described the course. It was challenging but really enjoyable track, because as far as you meditate on different module you would discover many new things which would definitely facilitate you on the job and in your daily life from home to every anywhere.

Rating: 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]

Result Pages:  1 

Displaying 1 to 1 (of 1 reviews)

Write Review


This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 04 January, 2012.

Customers who bought this product also purchased
iGCSE Mathematics (Non UK Students Only)
iGCSE Mathematics (Non UK Students Only)
eBook Version of Course Materials
eBook Version of Course Materials