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UCC Adult courses

Psychology of Criminal Behaviour - Dip

Course Fact File
Duration2 years
Teaching ModePart-Time
NFQ LevelLevel 7
Fees€2,100 per academic year See Fees and Costs for full details.
Closing Date31 August 2024
Next IntakeSeptember 2024


Start DateSeptember 2024

Course Outline

Psychopaths, serial killers, stalkers, rapists, paedophiles . . . the fascinating world of forensic psychology! If you have a burning interest in these topics, then The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour Diploma is the course for you. Designed to provide a flexible part-time third-level learning opportunity, this course is suitable for anyone with a desire to learn about the workings of the criminal mind, what motivates an individual to commit crimes, and how investigators collect psychological clues. The Diploma will provide you with a comprehensive insight into criminal behaviour and the criminal mind. You will develop your understanding of the major theories that seek to explain criminal behaviour especially in relation to violent and sexual crimes. Students who complete the course will appreciate the interface between the fields of law and psychology and in doing so enhance the recognition of forensic psychology as a distinct specialism of psychology.

The course provides an engaging mix of lectures, discussions, and interactive activities with practical insights and real-world applications that will enhance your understanding of how forensic psychology is applied in various settings.

The Modules for the Diploma are as follows:

Year 1

  • AP1838: Introduction to Forensic Psychology and Criminal Behaviour
  • AP1839: Young Offenders
  • AP1840: Risk Assessment and Management 
  • AP1841: Mental Health and Crime

Year 2

  • AP2822: Sexual Offenders
  • AP2823: Policing and Investigative Psychology 
  • AP2824: Psychology of the Courtroom
  • AP2825: Criminal/Forensic Psychology Project

Course Queries

For Academic Queries and Course Content Queries please contact the Programme Coordinator Dr. Ciara Staunton at

For Online Application Support please click here. 

If you require further assistance with your online application please contact the Programme Administrator Noreen Power at

Important Notice: Course Registration Deadlines

Once the course has reached full capacity we will no longer be accepting applications.

We strongly recommend early application to secure your place on the course.

Course Practicalities


Through a variety of interesting and engaging assessments, you will develop competencies around the skills of academic reading, writing and referencing according to the American Psychological Association (APA). Assignments include book reviews, essays, reflective practices, group projects and an individual project in year 2.

Who teaches this course

The lecturers who contribute to the Diploma are experts in their fields with PhDs and/or significant experience in various organisations associated with the criminal justice system.


Why Choose This Course

I was amazed at the content of all of the lectures and how valuable they were. The support from ACE and the lecturers right throughout the course was also exceptional."



Find Out More Find Out More

The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour is the only course of its kind in the Republic of Ireland offered at NFQ Level 7. It is also the only diploma in the field of forensic psychology that offers a unique part-time flexible option allowing you to combine work with study. Previous students include members of An Garda Síochána, juvenile liaison officers, community Gardaí, outreach workers, solicitors, counsellors, addiction counsellors, law clerks, students of psychology, prison officers, probation officers, youth workers, teachers, and numerous individuals who are simply fascinated with the study of the criminal mind.

Skills and Careers Information

Previous students of the Diploma have successfully gained entry to a number of other courses including degrees in psychology and law as well as postgraduate courses such as MAs in criminology. The progression routes open to you depend on your individual background. Other students of the course have gained employment with various voluntary and community agencies. Members of An Garda Síochána and students from other professions who completed the course have found that implementing what they have learned on the course is tremendously beneficial to their line of work.


  • Being at least 21 years of age by 1 January of the year of application 
  • A detailed application form prior to the closing date which will request applicants to present a 500 word statement indicating their reasons for applying for the course
  • Applicants may be invited for an interview
  • English Language Requirement: All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6 or the equivalent TOEFL score.

Diploma programmes are offered subject to a minimum number of eligible applicants registering for the programme. Following completion of year 1 of this programme, should a sufficient number of eligible students not wish to progress form year 1 to year 2 of this programme as to make the year 2 viable, students will graduate with a certificate at that point.  Programme viability is determined by reference to fee income and applicable costs in running the programme.

Students who have successfully completed modules to the value of 30 credits in Year 1 may opt to exit the programme with a Certificate in Psychology of Criminal Behaviour (NFQ Level 7, Special Purpose award).

Fees and Costs

€2,100 per academic year

For further information on fees and financial supports please click here

How To Apply

Applicants need to be aware of the IT student checklist below before applying:

  • You will need access to a laptop or desktop computer running a modern supported operating system with all software updates.
  • Some of UCC’s services (e.g. the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment) link to an external site and also have mobile apps for iOS and Android Devices that you may wish to use as part of your studies.  However, we recommend using your desktop web browser for submission of assessments.
  • You should always use the most current version of your preferred browser. In general, we recommend the Chrome Web browser (Important Note: Internet Explorer will not work with Canvas).
  • We recommend a reliable broadband connection with at least 2Mbps or more.
  • You will require an Office suite of software (Microsoft Office or equivalent) and a PDF reader. You should always use the latest version of this software.  All UCC students will have access to Office 365 which includes software such as Word/Excel/Powerpoint etc. once registered.

To Apply for this course please follow the steps below:

When you log into the Application Portal:

Click Apply Online

Select Start a new Adult & Continuing Education Application 

On the 2nd tab Academic Level 
Select the following options:
Academic Level: Adult Continuing Education (ACE at UCC)
Course Type:  ACE Part-time Courses
Academic Programme: The course title you are applying for.

During your online application you will be required to upload the following documents:

  • Birth Cert or Passport
  • Passport Photograph 
  • English Language Test Report [if applicable]
  • 50% of the fees are also required to complete your application. 

Apply Now

Year 1 Modules

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact