PY3FPT-Forensic Psychology: Theory and Practice

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Amanda Branson


Summary module description:


The aims of this module are: to give students an understanding of some of the main theories of the aetiology of offending behaviour; to challenge students to consider the link between trauma and offending behaviour; to explore some of the main models of treatment, risk assessment and management; and to develop an understanding of some of the many ethical issues inherent in the work with forensic populations. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

1.    Appraise key theoretical explanations for offending behaviour with critical reference to the literature

2.    Critically evaluate key models of treatment, with critical reference to the literature.

3.    Appraise key models of risk assessment, with critical reference to the literature.


Additional outcomes:

1.    Analytical skills: sourcing relevant information, evaluating, critiquing, decision making, problem solving

2.    Communication skills: verbal and written

3.    Organisational skills: planning, prioritising, storing & using information


Outline content:

This module contains seven two hour seminars.  The module will introduce you to different theories pertaining to the possible aetiology of offending behaviour and what factors may maintain this behaviour.  It will explore current models of treatment, risk assessment and risk management and the ethical issues pertaining to work with forensic clients.  The module will aim to provide an opportunity to apply theory to examples of applied forensic tasks.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will use a combination of lectures, interactive activities, student presentations and both small and large group discussion to explore issues relevant to working as a forensic psychologist. At intervals through the module, students may be required to undertake reading and preparation in advance of the seminar and engage with team-based discussion and problem solving activities.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 16
Guided independent study 84
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Oral assessment and presentation 25

Other information on summative assessment:

The summative assessment will be a written report of 2000 words.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (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.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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