Need Assistance? 01384 442752 (UK)


Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Interested in criminal psychology? Then studying with this course is a must!

  • Learn about criminal behaviour, psychopathy, antisocial behaviour, teenage offending and much more.
  • Study for interest or to improve your job prospects and knowledge in this fascinating field.
  • Suitable for anyone who works within criminal justice, such as police, social workers, court workers, solicitors, lawyers, probation workers or anyone with an interest in the psychology of crime.





It's easy to enrol...

Select a payment plan:  

Select a learning method  


Understand psychological approaches to crime and much more with the Criminal Psychology course from ACS.

  • Develop your understanding of criminal psychology and how psychology is used in law enforcement and crime prevention.
  • A useful course for anyone wanting to learn more about criminal psychology. This could be for personal interest or to improve your knowledge for work purposes. The course is suitable for solicitors, lawyers, law enforcement personnel, prison workers, teachers and trainers and anyone interested in learning more about criminal behaviour and how it can arise.
  • There are ten lessons in the course covering topics such as aggression, psychopathy, mental disorder and crime, gender and crime, youth and crime, eye witness testimonies and more.


Course Duration: 100 hours.

Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.

Lessons: The course comprises 10 lessons as detailed, below.

1. Introduction to Criminal Psychology

  • Definitions of Crime.
  • Consensus View of what Crime is.
  • Conflict View of Crime.
  • Interactionist View of Crime.
  • Scope of Criminal Psychology.
  • What Criminal Psychologists do.
  • Case Study.
  • Profiling.
  • Courts.
  • Correctional System.

2. Psychological approaches to understanding crime

  • Biological explanations of Crime.
  • Phrenology.
  • Eugenics.
  • XYY Chromosome Model.
  • Genetics.
  • Twin Studies.
  • Adoption Studies.
  • Nature, Nurture.
  • Environmental Explanations of Crime.
  • Family Influence.
  • Agency Explanations; Rational Choice Theory.

3. Psychology and understanding serious crimes

  • Aggression.
  • Different Types of Aggression.
  • Terminology.
  • Drive Theories.
  • Freudian Theories.
  • Social Learning Theories.
  • Biological and Evolutionary Theories.
  • Types of Aggression.
  • Aggression an against Outsiders.
  • Aggression in Species.
  • Aggression in Humans.
  • Environmental Influences on Human Aggression.
  • Imitation or Modelling.
  • Familiarity.
  • Reinforcement.
  • Aggression and Culture.
  • Other Factors in Aggression; Alcohol, Pain, Frustration.
  • Murder.
  • Sexual Assault.
  • Stalking.
  • Pursuit Behaviour.
  • False Stalking Syndrome.

4. Mental disorder and crime 1 – Learning disabilities and crime

  • Meaning of Learning Disabilities.
  • IQ Testing.
  • Crime and Intelligence.
  • Modern Intelligence Testing.
  • Learning Disabilities and Crime in General.
  • Sex Offences and People with Learning Disabilities.
  • Courts.

5. Mental Disorder and Crime 2 – Psychopathy

  • Scope and Nature of Psychopathology.
  • Personality Disorder.
  • Psychopath.
  • Heartless? Emotionless?
  • How do People become Psychopaths.
  • Treatment.

6. Gender and Crime

  • Scope and Nature of Gender and Crime studies.
  • Rates of Crime.
  • Murder and Violence.
  • Prostitution.
  • Case Study –Women Offenders.
  • Victims.
  • Murder.
  • Domestic Violence.
  • Sexual Abuse.

7. Youth and Crime

  • Age of Criminal Responsibility.
  • Risk Factors.
  • Mental Health Risk.
  • Conduct Disorders.
  • ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
  • Cumulative Affect of Risk Factors.
  • Prevalence and Offending.
  • Case Studies.
  • Young People as Victims.

8. Psychology and the Police

  • Social Construction of Reported Crime.
  • Eyewitness Testimony.
  • Early Research.
  • Schemas and EWT.
  • Police Line Ups.
  • Everyday Uses of Psychology by Police.

9. Psychology in the Courtroom

  • Social Cognition.
  • Behaviour.
  • Appearance.
  • Expectations.
  • The Primacy Effect.
  • Attribution.
  • Schemas and Social Perception.
  • Central Traits.
  • Stereotypes.
  • Social Inference and Decision Making.
  • Psychology and the Law.
  • Guilt Bias.
  • Media Effect.
  • Defendant Attributes.
  • Attorney Attributes.

10. Psychology and Crime Prevention

  • Punishment.
  • Types of Punishment.
  • History of Punishment.
  • Reasons for Punishment.
  • Deterrents.
  • Punishment and Impartiality.


  • Define crime and criminal psychology.
  • Discuss psychological theories and approaches to understanding crime.
  • Define serious crimes and explain the involvement of psychology.
  • Discuss the relationship between a person having a learning disability and committing crime.
  • Define psychopathy and discuss psychological theories relating to psychopathy.
  • Discuss gender differences associated with crime.
  • Discuss the psychological theories relating to youth and crime.
  • Discuss how psychology is used by the police.
  • Discuss how psychology is used in the court room.
  • Discuss the use of psychology in crime prevention.


Working In Security

Security professionals can include security consultants, security guards and suppliers of security equipment. Some security companies serve as ‘key holders’. That is they store spare keys for private properties or companies and conduct routine security inspections of premises. Security personnel advise on appropriate methods for securing properties and may install security systems which alert them if they are breached.

Security may refer to different things:

  • Providing physical protection to people or property from damage or theft
  • Providing protection for intellectual property (e.g. internet security)


Security is a big issue in less secure places, whether countries with unstable governments or localities with high crime rates.

Anywhere that has a potential target has a security risk, and that risk increases if the target is more valuable and also if the target is more vulnerable.

Banks and jewelry shops have been potential targets for a long time, and in more recent times the internet has become a significant target.

Anyone who owns a property may require the services of a security firm.

Risks and Challenges

Risk can be high in this job, but for anyone who has the proper experience, training and skill to do the job the risk can be greatly reduced. Those who escort large sums of money for banks and building societies usually have exceptional training and compensation packages.

Security which involves monitoring premises can lead to antisocial work hours. Security is a 24/7 surveillance operation so some personnel will be required to work night shifts. Alarms must be attended to during the night, or whenever they are triggered.

How to become a Security Professional

What you need depends upon the type of security services that are involved. Security professionals who protect people from attack and physical damage will need to be capable of fighting off attackers, and have the equipment and presence that will discourage anyone from attacking. Ex armed forces personnel, police officers, or people with weapons or martial arts training may be well placed to pursue this type of job.

People involved with internet security may need a very different set of skills, as do those who supply and install security systems and electronic surveillance systems.

Experience, training and networking are all important if you want to get a start in this industry.

A range of courses may be beneficial including subjects like criminal psychology, legal terminology, and internet security. For those setting up private security businesses then general business studies and administration courses are also beneficial along with occupational health and safety.

  • Knowledge of criminal psychology can be useful in a range of different employment settings.
  • If you would like to learn more about criminal psychology, then why not start here?


If you have any questions, please do get in touch with us - connect with our expert tutors, use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE.

Stay in Touch.  Follow us on:







Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!

Meet some of our academics

Tracey Jones (psychology)B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), DipSW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies) Tracey began studying psychology in 1990. She has a wide range of experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects. She has been a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work and has also written many textbooks, blogs, articles and ebooks on psychology, writing, sociology, child development and more. She has had also several short stories published.
Kate Gibson B.Soc.Sc.15+ years experience in HR, marketing, education & project management. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia.

Check out our eBooks

Psychological ProfilingPsychological profiling is used to assess anyone from potential new staff and school children to serial killers. It helps you to determine someone’s personality, neuroses, mental health and career suitability. This book provides an excellent overview of psychological profiling techniques and pitfalls.
Psychology DictionaryThis book provides explanations for common terms used in Psychology.
Counselling HandbookA book for both students, as well as volunteers who may be involved in helping people with problems. This is a starting point for understanding counselling, and a reference for developing counselling skills. The book contains seven chapters: 1. Where can counselling be used 2. How to see behind the mask 3. Emotions and attitudes 4. How to communicate better when all you have is words 5. Theory versus practice 6. Diffusing difficult situations 7. Golden rules or tips
How Children ThinkAnyone who has ever tried to make a child do anything (clean up their mess, desist from throwing mud, stop drawing on the walls) knows that children think differently to adults. This book attempts to provide the skills and knowledge to develop a greater understanding of children.