PY3FOR-Forensic Psychology

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: PY2RM Research Methods and Data Analysis
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Chung Kai Li


Type of module:

Summary module description:

Forensic Psychology


This module will critically assess the contribution that forensic psychology researchers and practitioners can make to the criminal justice system. It considers the theoretical, empirical, and ethical bases of forensic psychology. This module promotes theoretical insight and reflective learning by examining both nomothetic and idiographic studies of various aspects of the work of forensic psychologists.

Assessable learning outcomes:

1. Appraise the contribution of experimental, cognitive-behavioural, clinical, and personality theories to the criminal justice system.

2. Develop a critical understanding of current forensic research issues.

3. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of existing forensic practice.

Additional outcomes:

This module will provide students with an overview of topics in Forensic Psychology, while giving students the opportunity to pursue their own interest within forensic psychology. Students will be able to develop team working skills in collaborative learning and report writing tasks.

Outline content:

This module comprises 7 x 2.5-hour seminars involving lectures and discussions. Students are encouraged to participate in an online group project where they are able to research and apply concepts introduced in lectures to forensic case studies. Students will synthesise theories and evidence relating to topics such as biology of offending, eyewitness testimony, the psychology of interrogations, false confessions, detecting deception, offender profiling, stalking, and sexual offending. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching will be delivered through lectures, case studies, practicals, and student-led group projects.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 17.5 2
Guided independent study 80.5
Total hours by term 98.00 2.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Written assignment including essay 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

This module is assessed through coursework (25%) and a final exam (75%).

The 1.5-hour Summer Exam will require students to answer 1 essay question on topics covered in the module.

Coursework will comprise a 2000-word written essay.

Formative assessment methods:

Satisfactory levels of participation in student-led projects will allow students to receive feedback and comments, which they can reflect on in order to help them perform well in the final examination..

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    The module must be passed with a mark of at least 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-assessment is by re-examination in August/September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Required text books: Howitt, D. (2015). Introduction to Forensic and Criminal Psychology (5th edition). Essex: Pearson.

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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