Criminology and psychology help make sense of crime, criminalisation, criminals and victims. This qualification will provide you with a critical understanding of these subjects. As your understanding develops, you'll question to your own beliefs about crime and harm. You'll look beyond criminal acts and human motivations to examine the social conditions in which crime occurs, the exercise of power in response to crimes, the nature of conflicts when people interact (individually, in groups and as nations) and how and why societies determine what they will and won’t tolerate.
A nationally recognised qualification in its own right, this diploma of higher education is also equivalent to the first two thirds of the BA (Honours) Criminology and Psychology (Q98).
This type of course may be of particular interest if you’re living or working in Scotland.
This qualification has two stages, each comprising two 60-credit modules.
Optional Access module – visit Am I ready? to find out about starting this course with a preparatory Access module.
We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 21 March 2018.
We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The Diploma of Higher Education in Criminology and Psychology uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our disability page to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.
This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:
The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.
If you have already studied at university level, you may be able to count it towards your Open University qualification – which could save you time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study. At the OU we call this credit transfer.
It’s not just university study that can be considered, you can also transfer study from a wide range of professional or vocational qualifications such as HNCs and HNDs.
You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4 weeks before the registration closing date. We will need to know what you studied, where and when and you will need to provide evidence of your previous study.
For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.
On completion of this undergraduate course, we'll award you the Diploma of Higher Education in Criminology and Psychology.
If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Essential Documents website.
There are no formal entry requirements to study this qualification.
This qualification begins with the module Investigating the social world (DD103) which builds a solid foundation for further study. Although it’s an introductory module, to get the best from it you’ll need some basic study skills at higher education level. You can use our online diagnostic quiz Are you ready for DD103? to help you decide if you’re ready, or if you need some extra preparation.
You could save time and money by reducing the number of modules you need to study towards this qualification, if you have:
Find out more about credit transfer
Call us on +44 300 303 0266 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.
We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.
*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.
We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how you can pay. That’s why we offer a wide range of flexible payment and funding options to help make study more affordable. Options include Part-Time Tuition Fee Loans (also known as student loans), monthly payment plans and employer sponsorship.
We’re confident we can help you find an option that’s right for you.
Just answer these simple questions to find out more about the options available to you for courses starting before 31 July 2019.
To find out what funding options are available you need to tell us:
*The fee and funding information provided here is valid for courses starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University’s strategic approach to fees.
You will be introduced to skills for critically analysing everyday understandings of crime and how the criminal justice system operates. You will also develop the skills needed to critically analyse aspects of human behaviour, and some of the principles of forensic psychology and counselling. Alongside these you will build on some transferable general skills which may further help work or your career prospects, including:
identifying and understanding some kinds of data and information
applying your learning to some practical issues
reflecting on your own learning
developing strategies to update your knowledge
communicating and presenting coherent arguments.
This diploma is relevant to a range of career paths, some of which are listed below. Some relate directly to criminology and psychology, others draw upon other skills which you will acquire. This diploma does not guarantee entry to the career fields listed, but it may ease access and increase your employability in relation to them, and it enhances prospects for progression once you are qualified to enter them.
Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.
In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that many of these careers require further study, training and/or work experience):
Our brochures are your essential guide to studying with us, covering courses, fees and funding, career prospects and more.
Please tell us where you live so that we can provide you with the most relevant information as you use this website.
If you are at a BFPO address please choose the country in which you would ordinarily be resident.