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Introduction to Forensic Psychology - PSY00016H

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Paul Summers
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19
    • See module specification for other years: 2017-18

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2018-19

Module aims

This module will introduce students to some of the key issues, concepts and methods in the field of forensic psychology. Topics to be covered include what factors impact on jury decision-making, how offenders are assessed and treated and whether a relationship exists between mental disorder and offending behaviour. The module will conclude with a focus on how important it is for psychologists working in secure settings to abide by ethical guidelines when working with offenders.

Module aims:

  • To provide an overview of the field of forensic psychology.
  • To integrate knowledge gained throughout the module with a sound understanding of psychological theory.
  • To ignite interest in the field and provide a suitable springboard for students who are considering studying to MSc level.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an awareness of some of the main areas of interest to forensic psychologists.
  • Evaluate various biological, sociological and psychological theories of crime.
  • Highlight the psychological processes operating in courtrooms and describe how and why some jurors are susceptible to bias.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of how offenders are interviewed, assessed and treated.
  • Understand how crime and mental illness may be linked, with reference to the Mental Health Act.
  • Recognise the importance of being resilient and behaving ethically when working with vulnerable populations.

Module content

  • Theories of Crime
  • Crime and Mental Disorder
  • Eyewitness Testimony
  • Psychological Bias in the Courtroom
  • Interviewing Offenders
  • Assessing and Treating Offenders
  • The Resilient Practitioner
  • Ethical issues in Forensic Psychology


Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Introduction to Forensic Psychology
1.5 hours 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
University - closed examination
Introduction to Forensic Psychology
1.5 hours 100

Module feedback

The marks on all assessed work will be provided on e-vision.

These marks will be accompanied by module feedback forms which will be circulated by e-mail.

Students will meet supervisors in wk 6 in AuT, SpT and wk 9 in SuT to discuss their marks.

Indicative reading

Sample Reading:

Blackburn, R. (1995). The Psychology of Criminal Conduct. Wiley.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.