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Bristol University Psychology And Criminology Personal Statement


The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year one

You will study:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Research Design and Analysis 1
  • Introduction to Criminological Theory
  • Introduction to Criminal Justice.

Year two

You will study:

  • Research Design and Analysis 2
  • Identities in Psychology
  • Mind, Brain and Development.

Plus one optional module from:

  • Criminal Psychology
  • Angels and Demons: Understanding and Managing Youth Offending
  • Drugs, Crime and Society
  • Prisons
  • Crime, Media and Society
  • 'Difference' Race, Ethnicity and Diversity in Contemporary Society
  • Contemporary Issues in Policing.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after Year two.

Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete a placement learning or learning and development module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You will study:

Plus four optional modules from:

  • Advanced Developmental Psychology: Theory and Practice
  • Applied Developmental Psychology
  • Clinical Aspects of Mental Health
  • Cognitive Neuropsychology
  • Constructing Gender in Society
  • Health Psychology in Practice
  • Human Sexuality
  • Methods in Neuroscience
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Neurophysiology and Brain Imaging
  • Principles of Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Psychological Perspectives on Political Violence
  • Psychology and Social Justice
  • Psychology in the Community
  • Psychology of Addiction
  • Psychology of Appearance and Embodiment
  • Psychology of Consciousness
  • Psychology of Sport and Exercise
  • Psychology of Work, Business and Organisations
  • Psychopharmacology
  • The Arts and Mental Health.

Plus up to two optional criminology modules from (the number depending on credit requirements):

  • Victims and Victiminology
  • Terrorism
  • Protest, Policing and Public Order
  • Punishment and Human Rights
  • Risk and Risk Management
  • Hate Crime:Offending, Victimisation and Policing
  • Gender, Sex and Control.

You can study psychology at UWE Bristol as either a major or minor accredited course, with criminology, sociology or law. If psychology is the major subject, you'll receive the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC).

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The course covers the core British Psychological Society content areas in psychology. You'll study social, developmental and cognitive psychology, individual differences, biological psychology, conceptual and historical issues, statistical analysis and research design.

The course is taught by internationally acclaimed psychologists and researchers. Over 40 members of academic staff will be available to you for questions and support.   

Learn through a mix of traditional lectures, seminars, and online learning in our virtual learning environment, Blackboard. Gain hands-on experience with psychological topics and approaches through regular practical sessions in our psychology labs. 

Engage with learning materials, and other students and staff, through this online system - submitting assignments online, taking quizzes, and accessing blogs, videos, podcasts and discussion boards. 

Our lecturers incorporate their research into their teaching. Participate in student and staff research projects through our faculty research centres such as the Psychological Sciences Research Group and the internationally- renowned Centre for Appearance Research.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities, each year:

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check


We'll assess you using coursework, such as essays, journal articles, book reviews, research reports, literature reviews, computer-based tests, personal reflective journals and group presentations. We'll also use controlled assessments such as unseen and seen examinations, timed assignments, and group and individual presentations.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time you'll spend on different assessment methods, each year:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check

I have often thought myself to be a lucky individual: My Grandfather was a detective in the Lancashire constabulary many years ago, and when I was a child I was often graced with countless stories from his crime fighting days.

From this; I became fascinated in crime particularly from that of a Psychological viewpoint. I am intrigued by human behaviour and how this applies to the criminal justice system. I have always been especially interested in youth offenders and sex crimes.

My passion for psychology and criminal behaviour has opened me up to a world of literature in this genre. I am particularly interested in the true crime books penned by Ann Rule, amongst others.

I have encountered, and was captivated by, the controversial and unethical 'Stanford Prison Experiment' administered by Philip G. Zimbardo. I have enjoyed studying that of Little Albert, it was a great insight into the fear response, and, although unethical, it has benefited us right up to the present day.

I initially studied Psychology at A level in college. I learnt about the various Psychological approaches such as the Behaviourist approach and Psychodynamics, I gained extensive knowledge of Freud and his theory of The Stages, and studied various other topics. I fell pregnant half way through the course and unfortunately could not continue.

However, this brief period of study gave me a taste of the subject; I knew I would pursue it further and eventually aim for a career in forensic psychology.

Therefore in 2003 I decided that as soon as circumstances prevailed; I would follow my overall aspiration of studying at University; and this year I chose to enrol onto a QAA Access to Higher Education course. I am also studying an optional course in Mathematics which, once completed, will result in 6 open college network credits at level 3, and 3 credits at level 2.

I believe that as well as aiding me, this also proves my ability to be self motivated.

Whilst I appreciate that I do not have a massive amount of qualifications (this is due to an extreme case of bullying and a change of school at a very crucial time), I believe I have lived through a lot; I am now settled, mature and more than determined to do this course, and; since leaving secondary education I have gained a wide array of skills.

These have developed from various occupations: from my bar job; I have experience of team work and liaising with people, from Human Resources I have analytical skills, and for my Customer Service Administrator job there is researching (people and events). In the last 5 years I have raised 3 children, thus enhancing certain abilities, such as: time management and organisation.

In my spare time I frequent the local book club; which is held in Wallasey Library, and I am currently awaiting a volunteer placement within the Youth Justice system.

I enjoy writing short stories and poems for my children and generally spending time with them. I am computer literate to a high degree of competency; this is due to working with varied systems throughout employment, and also from being a keen user at home.

I believe that as a mature student with vast life experience; my input to the course will be invaluable.

My experience in the Human Resources department of a national bank proves that I am highly numerate and used to copious amounts of responsibility; both as an individual and as part of a team.

I am keen, conscientious and hard working and I am hugely enthusiastic about my choice of course. I am also quick to adapt to any given situation and I sincerely believe that I will be an asset, not just in the classroom, but to the University as a whole.

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