Forensic Psychology - QLS Level 3 Diploma Course

Course Format:Online Course (With Optional Paper-Based Course Notes)
Self-Study Time:Approximately 200 Hours (Self-Study)
Delivery Time:1-3 Working Days (Email)
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Course Description

The Forensic Psychology - QLS Level 3 Diploma Course focuses on the use of psychology to the criminal justice system and is designed to give the student an understanding of the psychological processes related to criminal behaviour. There are fifteen units in the course which will explore different aspects of forensic psychology.

Forensic and criminal psychologists will often work with criminal investigations and profiling although this is only one part of a role that can also cover the assessment and treatment of criminal behaviour, working with offenders and working with other professionals involved in the judicial and penal systems.

This highly engaging course starts with an Introduction to research methodologies followed by an introduction to statistics for research. The course then examines the psychology of violent crime, and gives the student an opportunity to conduct their own investigation into the connections between a specific mental disorder of their choice and violent crime, before making a brief examination of serial murder and the different causes detailed as contributory factors in the development of a serial killer.

The course will then test the student to use their knowledge along with further research, to explore three serial killers, and to produce an essay of approximately 500 words, which will examine the character of their chosen subject in association to the popular urban myths identified by the FBI, and explain why these myths can hinder an investigation. The course also inspects criminal activity focusing on the links between substance misuse and abuse within the community.

On successful completion of this course students will receive a QLS Level 3 Endorsed Certificate of Achievement.

The Forensic Psychology - QLS Level 3 Diploma Course includes the following units:
Unit Objectives: To understand the importance of research design; To have an understanding of the differences between exploratory, descriptive and explanatory research projects; To understand why it is necessary to standardise the experiment; and To have an awareness of different research methods and instruments.
Unit Objectives: To have a basic understanding of probability; To understand what is meant by the independent variable; To understand what is meant by the dependent variable; To have a basic understanding of relative frequency; To be able to construct a simple Likert scale; To be able to construct a simple histogram; and To understand what is meant by the terms random sample and population.
Unit Objectives: To have an awareness that perceptions of mental disorder as a cause of violent crime are distorted; To have an awareness that research suggests serious violent behaviour is not frequent among people with schizophrenia; To have an awareness of the personality traits that characterise the psychopath; To have an awareness of the emotional aspects of violence; and To conduct research into a possible psychological cause of violent behaviour.
Unit Objectives: Understand that there is no single definition of a serial killer; Understand the difference between serial murder, mass murder and spree killing; Understand that there are a number of urban myths about serial killers; and Conduct research and produce a report that tends to prove or disprove these urban myths.
Unit Objectives: Understand that not all drugs are illegal; Understand that abuse of legal substances can have high social and economic costs; Recognise the links between crime and substance abuse; and Have a basic understanding of government approaches to the reduction of crime resulting from substance abuse.
Unit Objectives: To have a basic understanding of the different types of child abuse; To have a basic understanding of the signs of child abuse; To have a basic understanding of the effects of child abuse; and To have an awareness of some of the explanations of sexual offending and their incomplete nature.
Unit Objectives: Have an awareness of the factors considered to make a child's evidence unreliable; Have an awareness of the flaws in the concerns about the reliability of a child's testimony; Have an awareness of the current arrangements for the giving of evidence by children; and Have an awareness of the defects in the current arrangements for children to give evidence in court.
Unit Objectives: Have a basic understanding of the role of the psychologist/psychiatrist in cases involving mentally disordered offenders; Have a basic understanding of what is meant by mental disorder; and Have a basic knowledge of the insanity defence.
Unit Objectives: To have a basic understanding of dissociative identity disorder; To have a basic understanding of dissociative amnesia; To have a basic understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder; To have a basic understanding of what is meant by dangerous people with severe personality disorder; and To be able to conduct research into dissociative identity disorder.
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.
Unit Objectives: To have a basic understanding of the effects of imprisonment on the psychological and physical health of offenders; To have an awareness of the psychological effects of imprisonment on female offenders; To have an awareness of the psychological effects of imprisonment on young offenders; To have an awareness of re-offending risk assessment and its purpose; and To conduct research into psychology in a correctional setting.
Unit Objectives: To have a basic understanding of the issues involved in the recruitment, selection, training and retention of police officers; Understand the advances that have been made in police training; Recognise the links between relevant and continuous training and the promotion process; and Understand why such major changes in training within the police service were necessary.
Unit Objectives: Have an awareness of what is meant by stress; Have an awareness of some of the contributory factors of stress; Have an awareness of some of the research around stress and Have an awareness of the contributory factors of stress in your own work place or a familiar work place.
Unit Objectives: Understand what is meant by an unresponsive bystander; Understand what is meant by an impulsive bystander; Understand how various models have been constructed to explain bystander behaviour; and Conduct own research into how the behaviour of the authorities might affect bystander behaviour.
Unit Objectives: Understand what is meant by a research proposal; Produce a research proposal; Understand what is meant by a research project report; and Produce a research project report.
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.


There are no particular entry requirements for this course, so students can sign up providing they are comfortable studying at a Level 3 standard.

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 Body.

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.


Completion of the research based learning activities accompanying each module contributes 70% of the assessment for the award of the Forensic Psychology Diploma. The last module of the course requires the student to produce a research proposal based on activities carried out during the Forensic Psychology Diploma. The student will be required to plan, conduct and report on a research project of their choice. The report will be approximately 5,000 words, that is 15 x A4 typed pages of 1.5 spacing. This research will account for the final 30% assessment for the Forensic Psychology Diploma.

Course 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.

QLS Endorsed Certification

At the end of this course, successful learners will receive a QLS Level 3 Endorsed Certificate of Achievement from the Quality Licence Scheme and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the components the learner has completed as part of the course).

The Quality Licence Scheme is part of the Skills and Education Group, a charitable organisation that unites education and skills-orientated organisations that share similar values and objectives. With more than 100 years of collective experience, the Skills and Education Group’s strategic partnerships create opportunities to inform, influence and represent the wider education and skills sector.

The Skills and Education Group also includes two nationally recognised awarding organisations; Skills and Education Group Awards and Skills and Education Group Access. Through our awarding organisations we have developed a reputation for providing high-quality qualifications and assessments for the education and skills sector. We are committed to helping employers, organisations and learners cultivate the relevant skills for learning, skills for employment, and skills for life.

Our knowledge and experience of working within the awarding sector enables us to work with training providers, through the Quality Licence Scheme, to help them develop high-quality courses and/or training programmes for the non-regulated market.

The course has been endorsed under the Quality Licence Scheme. This means that NCC has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet defined quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to a regulated qualification* but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills gained. The Learner Unit Summary may be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this subject. 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 NCC to meet specific learners’ and/or employers’ requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. The Quality Licence Scheme 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.

You can find more information on level descriptors from our Certification Overview Page.

*Regulated qualification refers to those qualifications that are regulated by Ofqual / CCEA / Qualification Wales

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Forensic Psychology - QLS Level 3 Diploma Course
From as little as £49.68 per month