Students attend a lecture in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine.

BSc (Hons) Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behaviour

Develop an integrated understanding of offending behaviour, from exploring the contributory factors to crime and offending, to the impact of crime on individuals, and the rehabilitation and wellbeing of offenders.

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      • Sandwich Year Option Available
      • International Students Can Apply
      • Work Placement Opportunity


      UCAS Code: C816
      Course Length: 3 Years Full-Time, 5 Years Part-Time
      Start Dates: September 2022, September 2023
      Subjects: Criminology and Offending
      Health and Social Care
      Location: Edge Hill University
      Example Offers: BCC-BBC (A Level) or DMM (BTEC)
      View full entry criteria

      Integrating the disciplines of forensic psychology and applied criminology, this degree enables progression towards a comprehensive understanding of offending, its impact on individuals and communities, current criminal justice practice and a range of careers across the criminal justice sector. You will study concepts such as risk and dangerousness, while also examining offending behaviour across the lifespan, from children who offend through to older adults. Analysing complex offending behaviour, such as that encountered when working with mentally disordered offenders and those who present a significant risk of serious reoffending, you will explore the wider social, economic and political context of offending and the impact this has on contemporary crime. Your studies will have a national and global focus, from low level nuisance crime to terror, corporate crime and crimes against humanity, and include a work placement option in your final year.

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      In Depth

      What will I study?

      In Year 1 you will be introduced to the health and social care and justice sector contexts, where psychosocial and legal perspectives will be explored to provide a broad overview of the legal frameworks and impact of offending on individuals and communities. The wellbeing needs of offenders will be explored with an emphasis on the key issues around mental health and the care, treatment and management of mentally disordered offenders in hospitals and prisons. Wider issues related to the impact of offending behaviour will be introduced, with consideration given to the role of substance misuse and alcohol.

      During Year 2 you will build on the key issues previously studied and develop your knowledge related to more specific groups of offenders, such as women and children in trouble with the law. Healthcare, treatment and rehabilitation approaches will be explored to consider how psychosocial and political influences can determine the focus of treatment, alongside approaches to reducing recidivism.

      Year 3 provides an opportunity for a practical work-based placement within your identified area of interest and you will complete an independent dissertation module. This year of study prepares you to build upon your existing knowledge and critical analysis skills to consider the international, legal, ethical and political perspectives of offending.

      How will I study?

      The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars and workshops to more independent technology enhanced learning and personal development planning. The practical work placement in Year 3 of the programme provides a unique and stimulating opportunity for experiential learning. Some flexibility may be necessary due to the variable working hours of many placement agencies.

      How will I be assessed?

      A range of assessment methods will be used throughout the programme including written theoretical assignments, presentations, examinations, case studies and reflective assignments.

      Who will be teaching me?

      The programme team comprises a range of clinically qualified, research active professionals with extensive experience of working in applied forensic settings. These include high security psychiatric hospitals, the prison service and community services, with both adult and young offenders. The core teaching team will be enhanced by the contribution of guest lecturers from across the criminal justice sector.


      The £6million Law and Psychology building provides contemporary teaching and learning facilities for students in the Department of Law and Criminology and the Department of Psychology.

      The Department of Law and Criminology is located on the first floor of the three-storey building which includes a 250-seat lecture theatre, seminar and tutorial rooms, and social learning areas which encourage a more informal and interactive style of learning.


      Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.


      Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

      Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.


      Expand All

      Year 1

      Compulsory modules:

      HUG1198Alcohol, Drugs and Offending (20 credits)

      Alcohol, Drugs and Offending centres on how the impact of alcohol and substance misuse on disorderly behaviour and more serious offending is increasingly recognised. The module explores the interconnectedness of addictive behaviour and the cycles of offending in detail.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HUG1137Introduction to Professional and Academic Skills (20 credits)

      Introduction to Professional and Academic Skills enables you to acquire key academic and professional skills on your journey to becoming an independent learner. Your academic skills will be enhanced to include note-taking, presentation skills, IT skills, the reading of academic articles and the development of a personal portfolio. You will also explore effective and ineffective communication strategies, self-awareness, resilience and transferable life skills such as time management, assertiveness, negotiation, active listening and problem solving.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HUG1196Introducing the Justice Sector Context (30 credits)

      Introducing the Justice Sector Context offers an evolutionary exploration of the wider mechanics of justice, exploring both historical and contemporary debates within the various professions that make up the justice community. This module places the contemporary debates on crime and the treatment of offenders in a broader societal context. It will incorporate historical, sociological, economic and philosophical explorations that will enable you to place your area of practice, and the responses towards the client group you work with, within a broader context.

      Assessment: Written Exam(s): 100%.

      HUG1138Introduction to Research Skills (20 credits)

      Introduction to Research Skills provides an overview of research methods. The module equips you with a broad knowledge and understanding of the function and application of research relevant to those working in applied health and social care, including the effectiveness of different models, client issues and groupwork. You will be introduced to both the theoretical and practical aspects of research skills including research terminology, numeric and non-numeric data handling, statistical analysis and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HUG1197Mentally Disordered Offenders (30 credits)

      Mentally Disordered Offenders provides an opportunity to comprehensively explore the relationship between mental ill health and offending behaviour. Subjects such as schizophrenia, psychosis, dangerous severe personality disorder and the relationship between treatment and containment will be explored. The use of case scenarios, research and best practice will underpin interactive lectures and seminars.

      Assessment: Coursework: 70%, Practical(s): 30%.

      Year 2

      Compulsory modules:

      FDH2100Legal and Ethical Perspectives (20 credits)

      Legal and Ethical Perspectives is a module designed to develop awareness of accountability and accountable practice within the legal, professional and ethical frameworks pertinent to a potential future client base. In addition, the module will encourage you to reflect upon your personal and professional abilities and boundaries and consider the importance of the multi-professional team.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HUG2309Offending Across the Lifespan (20 credits)

      Offending Across the Lifespan recognises that there are few issues less emotive than the subject of children who offend and in particular children and young people who seriously offend. Debate continues about whether or not the current judicial processes are appropriate and uncertainty remains about appropriate treatment and management strategies. At the opposite end of the scale, older people are increasingly being convicted of crimes that they committed when younger due to the developments in forensics and DNA profiling. Increasingly, people of pensionable age are finding themselves in prison as a result of historic offences. This spectrum is explored in detail.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HUG2311Rehabilitation and Treatment of Offenders (30 credits)

      Rehabilitation and Treatment of Offenders focuses on the debate surrounding the concepts of punishment and treatment in the UK and the wider world. The module enables you to acquire a detailed understanding of the key theoretical and practical arguments in the contemporary fields of criminal justice and health and social care.

      Assessment: Coursework: 70%, Practical(s): 30%.

      HUG2213Understanding Research (30 credits)

      Understanding Research familiarises you with the nature and variety of research methods and data collection techniques, together with the need for an evidence-base to guide the decision-making process. You will evaluate qualitative and quantitative methods, examining the positive and negative aspects of both approaches in a comparative analysis. A key aspect of this module is the literature review. You will be shown how to develop a literature search strategy, learn how to find relevant literature using electronic databases and understand how to appraise the literature you find to identify key themes. Ethical considerations in relation to the development and undertaking of research will also be considered.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HUG2310Women, Girls and Offending (20 credits)

      Women, Girls and Offending is a complex subject area and this is particularly the case with women who seriously offend. Societal expectations and perceptions of how women should behave can become something of a barrier when understanding women who offend. A comprehensive exploration of society’s view of women, motherhood, sexuality, violence and offending is the focus of this module.

      Assessment: Coursework: 70%, Practical(s): 30%.

      Year 3

      Compulsory modules:

      HUG3254Experiential Placement (30 credits)

      Experiential Placement is a unique module that provides an opportunity for you to experience working life on a placement in a specialist area of practice of your choice. A key focus of the module is to closely align theoretical understanding with practical delivery of services to provide a platform to transfer the knowledge gained into a real working life experience. This placement can significantly enhance your future employability prospects.

      Assessment: Coursework: 70%, Practical(s): 30%.

      HUG3256International Perspectives on Crime and Offending Behaviour (20 credits)

      International Perspectives on Crime and Offending Behaviour recognises that there are a wide range of views in the world about what constitutes an appropriate response to offending behaviour. Such responses can range from electronic tagging through to capital punishment. Furthermore, the emergence of the World Wide Web has introduced the concept of new technologies into offending behaviour – e.g. online paedophile activity, computer hacking and the use of video cameras on mobile phones to record violent offences. The wide range of responses from the international community, in a world which is becoming increasingly small online, is explored and debated in considerable detail.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HUG3169Psychological Explanations of Crime (20 credits)

      Psychological Explanations of Crime critically explores how psychology can inform our knowledge of offenders and offending. The module will critically assess the relationship between offending and mental and personality disorders, with reference to culpability and risk.  Drawing upon investigative, forensic and social psychological frameworks, you will critically consider how psychological investigations can inform our knowledge of risk and offending behaviour beyond traditional offender profiling. It will critically evaluate how the methods employed by investigators can influence false confessions. The module will also investigate some of the psychological techniques employed by criminals in the form of grooming and criminal exploitation.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HUG3255The Political Context of Offending in the United Kingdom (20 credits)

      The Political Context of Offending in the United Kingdom acknowledges that the contemporary leading political power will always be a key stakeholder in policy and practice development. Central Government may take into account advice from selected experts but will always have an ear to what the electorate has to say. Subsequently policy and practice can change in line with a change in Government. Currently the UK imprisons over 80,000 people which is the highest number in Europe. What this might say about contemporary views about offending in the UK in the 21st century will be comprehensively explored.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      You will select one of the following optional modules:

      HUG3100Dissertation (30 credits)

      Dissertation enables you to focus on an area of vocational interest, or concern, which is identified by yourself and agreed with your supervisor. You will engage in a structured review of the literature related to the specific area of study, apply critical analysis to the literature and make recommendations that could improve service provision.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      HUG3240Primary Research Dissertation (30 credits)

      Primary Research Dissertation focuses on the identification of an area of vocational interest or concern to be identified by yourself and agreed with your supervisor. You will engage in a structured review of existing literature and design and carry out a research project related to your specific area of study. You will apply critical analysis to the established literature as well as the findings from your proposed research and make recommendations that could improve service provision.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      Optional modules provide an element of choice within the programme curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements.

      Entry Criteria

      Entry Requirements

      Typical offer 104-112 UCAS Tariff points. No specific subjects are required.

      If you accept a formal offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure indicating that you meet the mandatory criteria of ‘Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults’. Further information will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

      Example Offers

      Some examples of how you can achieve 104-112 UCAS Tariff points are detailed below.

      • A Level: BCC-BBC;
      • BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications): Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM);
      • T Level: Overall grade of Merit;
      • International Baccalaureate (IB): We are happy to accept IB qualifications which achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points;
      • Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 credits at Level 3, for example 9 credits at Distinction and 36 credits at Merit or 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.

      Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

      If you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven’t been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

      For further information on how you can meet the entry requirements, including details of alternative qualifications, please visit

      EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at

      International students should visit for information on the entry criteria for overseas applicants.

      English Language Requirements

      International students require IELTS 6.0, with a score no lower than 5.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

      If your current level of English is half a band or one band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

      Are there any alternative ways to meet the entry requirements?

      If you have the ability to study for a degree but lack the necessary qualifications or confidence, our Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education course could be for you. This free, seven-week programme provides a great opportunity to enhance your study skills and subject knowledge and demonstrate that you are ready to study a particular subject with us, in lieu of achieving the UCAS Tariff points in the entry criteria.

      Upon successful completion of a Fastrack course, you will be well placed to progress onto a corresponding Edge Hill University degree, although additional entry requirements may apply and the availability of specific programmes cannot be guaranteed. For more information, visit

      Career Prospects

      What are my career prospects?

      The programme will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of crime and is suitable for people who have an interest in working in the prison, youth justice and probation sectors, as well as journalism, crime policy, security or related fields.

      Successful completion of the programme will provide a strong basis on which to apply for employment with crime-related service providers, progress to postgraduate study or pursue professional qualifications, for example in social work, probation, nursing or psychology.

      How can I enhance my employability?

      It is useful to consider, even before you apply, how you will spend your time while studying and make the most of your university experience.

      Optional, additional activities may be available on this degree which could help to prepare you for a stimulating and rewarding career. These include:

      • Sandwich Years – you may have the opportunity to apply to complete a sandwich year placement, usually as the third year of a four year degree, and gain highly relevant work experience;
      • Learning a Language – you may be able to participate in Language Steps classes, delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, as additional study.

      Please note, the availability of these additional activities cannot be guaranteed for all students. Depending on availability and the number of students wanting to participate, there may be a competitive application process for sandwich year placements or you may be required to secure a relevant placement yourself.


      Tuition Fees

      If you are a prospective UK student who will be joining this undergraduate degree on a full-time basis in academic year 2022/23, the tuition fee will be £9,250 a year. Tuition fees for international students enrolling on the programme on a full-time basis in academic year 2022/23 are £15,000 a year.

      If you are a prospective UK student who will be joining this undergraduate degree on a part-time basis in academic year 2022/23, the tuition fee will be £77 per credit. This is equivalent to £1,540 per 20 credit module. 360 credits are required to complete an undergraduate degree.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

      The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

      Financial Support

      Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this undergraduate degree can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the programme may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

      For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining this programme in academic year 2022/23, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2022/23 guide for your intended mode of study.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals should ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see for further details.

      Financial support information for international students can be found at


      Ten scholarship winners sitting together in a lecture theatre at the Scholarship Awards Evening.Edge Hill University offers a range of scholarships with a competitive application process for prospective full-time undergraduate students.

      These scholarships aren’t linked to academic success and celebrate determination, talent and achievement beyond your coursework, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance, sport or volunteering.

      To find out more about scholarships, to assess your eligibility, and to meet some of our dedicated scholarship winners, visit


      How to Apply

      If you wish to study full-time, apply online through UCAS at Visit to find out more about the application process.

      If you wish to study part-time, apply directly to Edge Hill University at

      Further information for international students about how to apply is available at

      Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

      Visit Us

      If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at

      Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about our full range of events for prospective students, including campus tours and virtual activities, at

      Request a Prospectus

      If you would like to explore our full range of degrees before you apply, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at

      Get in Touch

      If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

      International students should visit or email [email protected] with any queries about overseas study.

      Course Changes

      Expand All This tab outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years. Future material changes will be added here as amends are made to course information.

      3rd February 2022 - Change of Department

      The course will be based in the Department of Law and Criminology with effect from September 2022 entry.

      7th December 2021 - Change to Entry Requirements

      An interview no longer forms part of the selection process for this degree (unless required to discuss individual circumstances, for example Recognition of Prior Learning).

      2nd March 2021 - Update to Example Offers

      Example offers updated to include the Education and Childcare T Level with an overall grade of Merit.

      Covid-19 - Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behaviour Essential Information

      Psychosocial Analysis of Offending Behaviour Course Statement

      Weekly delivery to consist of six hours of onsite teaching supported by three hours of online learning, comprising synchronous (seminar and tutorial) and asynchronous (lecture) learning activities and academic support.

      Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

      Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.

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