Course Introduction Banner

Criminal Psychology - Level 4 Diploma Course

Course Format:Online Course (With Optional Paper-Based Course Notes)
Self-Study Time:Approximately 360 Hours (Self-Study)
Delivery Time:1-3 Working Days (Email)
Based on 227 reviews from
Course Fees & Payment Options
Pay in full today:
Payment in full on checkout by Card or Paypal
3 monthly payments:
Pay over 3 payments on checkout with Klarna
6 monthly payments:
1 payment of £192.00 taken now 5 further payments of £57.60 - taken monthly with GoCardless
6 Month Payment Option Details:
1 initial payment of £192.00 followed by 5 monthly payments of £57.60 by Direct Debit
Course Description

The Criminal Psychology - Level 4 Diploma Course will examine the history of crime and punishment and the psychology of the criminal, including criminal behaviour and the law, punishment and rehabilitation.

The subjects detailed in the course range from the different theories of why people commit crimes to a detailed examination of the types of crime committed (e.g. murder, arson, sex offences). The course also looks at profiling techniques and other investigative tools (interviewing, lie detection). The course also covers other related topics within legal psychology which has connections with both Forensic Psychology and Criminal Psychology.

On successful completion of this course students will receive a Level 4 Endorsed Certificate of Achievement from NCFE.

The Criminal Psychology - Level 4 Diploma Course includes the following units:
Unit Objectives: Understand and describe the different Psychological Theories of crime; Understand and describe the main features of the different Psychological Theories of crime; Recognise strengths and weaknesses in theories; and Understand why theories are criticised.
Unit Objectives: Understand and describe different biological theories; Understand the importance of systematic observations taken in carefully controlled surroundings; Understand the importance of testing the validity of theories; and Evaluate research into the biology of crime and recognise weak versus strong research.
Unit Objectives: Understand and describe the different sociological theories of crime; Understand and describe the main features of the different sociological theories of crime; Recognise weaknesses in theories and understand why theories are criticised; and Understand that some theories are hybrid, combining a number of different perspectives.
Unit Objectives: To have an awareness of the longitudinal methodology for studying criminal behaviour; Understand and describe the various types of offender, as identified by Moffitt and other researchers; Recognise weaknesses in longitudinal research, & understand why theories & research are criticised; and Understand the various theories on moral development and how they complement other theories.
Unit Objectives: Understand and describe why: Class A Drugs (e.g. cocaine, heroin) are considered the most harmful; There appear to be links between drug abuse and crime; Habitual drug abuse causes changes in brain function which affect behaviour; There is an increasing tendency to sentence drug abusers to punishment within the community; Efforts are being made to educate young people with respect to the dangers of drug use.
Unit Objectives: To understand the discussion around violence, frustration and aggression; To have an awareness of the research into violent behaviour; To have an awareness of the emotional aspects of violence; To have an awareness of the various posited explanations for domestic violence; and To conduct research into a possible psychological cause of violent behaviour.
Unit Objectives: Understand what is meant by rape, sexual assault, sexual violence and sex offending; Be aware of the various risk factors in sex offences; Understand the various theoretical explanations regarding rape; Have an awareness of both the evolutionary and feminist perspective on rape; Understand the definition of the ‘justice gap'; and Conduct research and produce a review of the factors that contribute to the ‘justice gap' for rape.
Unit Objectives: Understand the definition of fire-setting and arson; Understand the development of fire-play behaviour at an early age, to fire-setting behaviour as an adolescent; Understand the various motivations for the crime of arson; and Have awareness of various explanations for such behaviour (including an evolutionary perspective).
Unit Objectives: Understand the definition of stalking to denote a range of behaviours; Understand the possible progression from stalking to intimate partner violence; Recognise types of stalking and possible outcomes; and Awareness of the various motivations for stalking behaviour.
Unit Objectives: Understand the common characteristics of mass murderers and how they may explain the reasons for the behaviour; Understand the differences, and similarities, between serial murder, mass murder and spree killing; Evaluate various explanations for mass murder; and Understand the Trauma Control Model and how it can help explain serial murder.
Unit Objectives: Understand the difficulties in defining terrorism; Understand that there are two different aspects to the psychology of terrorism (1. The psychological aspects of terrorist behaviour and 2. The psychological aspects of the effects of terrorism on the victims); Understand the need for quality research and the caution with which research results should be treated; Understand that there are a vast number of terrorist groups with different agendas, different names and different labels; and Understand what is meant by hate.
Unit Objectives: To have an awareness that perceptions of mental disorder, as a cause of violent crime, are distorted; Understand what is meant by schizophrenia, amnesia and Dissociative Identity Disorder; To have an awareness that research suggests serious violent behaviour is not frequent among people with schizophrenia; Develop an awareness of the characteristics used to define psychopathy; Understand that, until the Mental Health Act 2007, a distinction was drawn between psychopathy and anti-social personality disorder; and Understand what effect the removal of this distinction will have on certain groups of offenders.
Unit Objectives: Understand and describe what is meant by: sychological (or Offender) Profiling; Typological Approach; Intuitive (Experiential) versus Actuarial (Statistical) Approaches to Profiling; Investigative Psychology; Research into Investigative Psychology & its real world application; and Recognise & discuss the differences & similarities between the two models.
Unit Objectives: Understand and describe what is meant by: Geographic profiling; Basic theories and principles of geographic profiling; Research into geographic profiling; The application of geographic profiling; and How results are obtained.
Unit Objectives: Understand the development of investigative interviewing, and recognise the difference between interviews and interrogations; Understand the underlying principles of modern investigative interviewing, and recognise the differences between the UK and USA; Recognise bad practice in police interviewing (including factors such as intimidation, robust challenges and manipulation) and effective good practice; and Have awareness and understanding of the Cognitive Interview approach to witness interviewing.
Unit Objectives: To recognise there are no clear-cut ways of detecting deception/lies; To review three possible sources of evidence of deception; To review the background to the polygraph and its use; and Critically evaluate the accuracy of the lie detection methods.
Unit Objectives: To recognise that eyewitness memory is highly fallible; To recognise that memories are considered a product of conceptual systems; To have a basic understanding of some of the research into perception, memory and eyewitness testimony; and To examine and report on personal perception and memory.
Course Format & Delivery

You will receive access to the course materials through an online portal for a 12-month period. Students can use the portal for accessing their course materials, submitting assignments and to log tutor questions. 

Please Note: An optional hard-copy version of the course notes can be purchased for an additional £48.00. This is useful for learners who also want to study away from the computer and means they have course notes they can keep and refer back to beyond their online course license.

Delivery of the hard-copy materials is usually within 5 to 10 working days by a recorded delivery service.


As this is a Level 4 course, we will expect applicants to have evidence of successful study or relevant experience at Level 3 or equivalent. A good level of literacy is also a requirement if the extended assignment work is to be completed successfully.

Please Note: Due to the subject matter, this course is not recommended for students who are under 16 years old.

Course Duration & Online Support

You can start this course at any time, and you would be registered for a one-year period. You also have access to a personal tutor who can be contacted through the online portal or by email. Your tutor is available to assist with any queries and to mark your assignments for the Awarding Organisation.

As the course is self-study, you can complete it as quickly as you like. Support extensions are available if students do not complete the course within the one-year period.


Students will be required to complete a number of assignments. Your personal tutor will review, mark and provide you with feedback on your work. Coursework assignments can be returned by uploading to the online portal, by email or by post.

We recommend that assignments are completed and returned as word-processed documents through the online portal. Handwritten documents can be accepted but need to be clear and legible and may be subject to a longer marking time.

NCFE Level 4 Certificate of Achievement

NCFE IIQOn successful completion of this course students will receive a Level 4 Certificate of Achievement by NCFE and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units you have completed as part of your course).

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 4 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of difficulty involved in successful completion by the learner.

Information on level descriptors can be found on the Ofqual's level descriptors page.

NCFE is recognised as an Awarding Organisation by the qualification regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who are: the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England, the Welsh Government, and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland. NCFE accreditation gives assurance that the content of a training course is of a high standard and meets the rigorous requirements of a national awarding organisation. NCFE accreditation also gives formal recognition to courses which result in the award of a certificate of achievement but does not qualify you for a nationally recognised qualification. This course has been accredited under NCFE IIQ Licence by NCC which has been approved as an NCFE Investing in Quality (IIQ) centre to give formal recognition to our courses. We have designed our training courses specifically to meet the needs of learners who prefer to study from home.

Quick Question

Let us know if you have a question about this course and we will get back to you ASAP.

Student Testmonials
Get the TOTUM Pro Student Card!
Get the TOTUM Pro Student Card!

This course is eligible for the TOTUM Pro Student Card. 

TOTUM PRO is made especially for professional learners, and opens up a whole world of fantastic savings and discounts on everything from dining out and keeping fit to travel abroad... Find Out More

Save money on hundreds of offers for:

  • Fashion
  • Eating Out
  • Music & Technology
  • Supermarkets
  • Health & Fitness
  • Home & Garden
  • Travel
Why Study With Us?
Huge Choice of Courses
We currently offer over 250+ diffeent distance learning courses leading to full Ofqual Regulated Qualifications or Accredited Certificates from National Awarding Bodies.
Customer Reviews
We're a top rated home learning provider on the Find Courses / Independent reviews site, Trustpilot - currently rated 9.6/10 for customer service.
Payment Plans
Choose to pay for your course in full, or spread the cost with monthly instalments. Payment plans are interest-free, with no credit checks.
Quick Delivery
We process all applications quickly and most course materials are available to start within 1 to 3 working days!
Tutor Support
All courses are fully supported and tutors are available to answer any questions, mark your assignments and offer feedback and guidance throughout your course.
Study At Your Pace
Work at your own pace. Our team will support you, but won't chase you for work or apply deadlines for submissions.
Recently Viewed (1)
Criminal Psychology - Level 4 Diploma Course
Criminal Psychology - Level 4 Diploma Course
From as little as £57.60 per month