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This module will give students an understanding of the role psychology plays in a variety of forensic settings, including prisons, secure units, and community settings.

The module will critically evaluate how to define and measure the construct of crime and will examine the main psychological theories and models that have contributed to our understanding of criminality. Given the applied focus of the module, there will be an emphasis on the assessment and treatment of offenders. The module explores how clinical and forensic psychologists work as scientist-practitioners and reflective-practitioners in a variety of challenging environments.

Topics covered

Teaching topics will include:

  • Developmental and life-course theories of criminality
  • Violent offending and mental illness
  • Sexual offending and mental illness
  • Actuarial and structured clinical judgement risk assessment, and 
  • Assessment and interventions with offenders in prison and other secure settings.

Learning objectives

On successful completion of this module, you will be expected to be able to:

  • Critically evaluate psychological theory and research in the field of forensic psychology.
  • Describe the principles of, and the main tools used, in the risk assessment of violent and sexual offenders.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the practice of a forensic psychologist and how theory is applied to practice and the central issues that surround the main theories in forensic psychology.

Assessment

  • Coursework (30%)
  • Examination (70%)