Social Forensic Psychology

Module summary

Module code: PSYC1073
Level: 6
Credits: 15
School: Education, Health and Human Sci
Department: Human Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): Christian Perrin



This course is designed to introduce students to theoretical concepts from forensic psychology, to explain different types of criminal behaviour, the role of forensic psychology practitioners and criminal justice institutions in the rehabilitation and punishment of offenders, and how these processes may vary for certain categories of offender.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:
1. Critically evaluate psychological and other empirically-based theories as to the causes of different categories of criminal behaviour.
2. Critically evaluate some of the decision-making processes adopted by forensic psychologists working in criminal justice system institutions.
3. Critically evaluate some of the measures the criminal justice system instigates in relation to sentencing, incarceration, and rehabilitation when dealing with certain categories of offender.
4. Critically evaluate research investigating public attitudes to different types of offender behaviour in a jury decision making context.

Indicative content

The content may include:

• Insanity Defence
• Jury decision making and Rape Myths
• Delinquency
• Anti-social Personality Disorder and Behaviour
• Psychopathy
• Drugs, Alcohol, and Crime
• Terrorism: Societal Responses and Reactions
• Cyber-Bullying
• Intimate Partner Violence
• Mental Health Issues in Prison
• Child Protection
• Assessment and treatment of violent and sexual offending

Teaching and learning activity

• Interactive lectures
o Multimedia content
o Discussion and dialogue
• Seminar Workshops
• Critical evaluation of important papers
• Case studies


Take-home test: 100% weighting, 40% pass mark. Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4. Outline Details: Students will answer essay-type questions, and short-answer questions from a list covering all course topics. A systematic analysis of the chosen topics will be required.

Formative Assessment: Students in groups will discuss issues raised in seminar workshops and will receive feedback by tutor and peers. A specific seminar session will involve generating a model short-answer essay plan based on one of the journal articles introduced in the course. Students will provide peer-to-peer feedback and work of high calibre will be highlighted to the cohort.