PSY3025 : Forensic Psychology

  • Module Leader(s): Dr Val Tuck
  • Owning School: Psychology
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To give students an insight into the wide ranging career opportunities associated with Forensic Psychology. To develop critical understanding of how psychological research has been applied to understanding the causes of deviant and aggressive behaviour and of the way such research can be used in an applied setting to help with the identification of offenders through the use of profiling techniques.

Original Summary:
The module begins with an overview of the various ways that psychology can be used in a forensic setting then focuses on specific areas, such as Eysenck’s theory of criminal behaviour. Aggression, mental illness and offender profiling are the other major topics that will be analysed in depth. The contact time for this module reflects the amount of preparation students are expected to do for the assessment. They will be expected to carry out literature searches and further reading from the essential and background reading suggested by the module leader and, with guidance, will prepare an annotated reference list in advance of completing the seen examination essay. The examination question will be given to students a few weeks into teaching so that they can choose their topic and begin their further reading.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to the career opportunities in forensic psychology
Personality theories and crime e.g. Eysenck
Theories of aggression and causes of aggressive behaviour
Psychological disorders e.g. Antisocial and Narcissistic Personality Disorders, Psychopathy.
Offender Profiling, ranging from the early FBI approach to the latest statistical techniques

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading110:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study140:0040:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used as the main way to impart basic knowledge and to stimulate interests in the topics. Students will be given guidance on the literature searches before they begin work on the annotated reference list. The interactive sessions will be used for DVDs and talks to illustrate the material as well as for seeing students in smaller groups, and individually, to advise them on the assessment preparation. The private study time will allow students to carry out an in depth review of the knowledge imparted through lectures, to generate their own views on the topics and to follow these out by carrying out independent reviews of the literature, thereby taking control over their learning.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A60Written exam comprising 1 ‘seen’ essay question
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M40Annotated reference list 2 side of A4 maximum
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The annotated reference list will allow students to demonstrate their skill in conducting literature searches and in finding, evaluating and summarising the appropriate references in advance of the exam essay. It will assess their ability to select the appropriate information from these references and their critical evaluation skills. The exam essay will test their knowledge of the topic area, their understanding of their further reading, the ability for planning and organising material, their writing communication skills and their critical evaluation skills.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.