Skip to main content


PSY8054 : Forensic Mental Health and Criminal Behaviour

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Darren Johnson
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module will provide students with detailed knowledge about the range of psychological disorders found amongst offenders who have mental health issues, together with the psychological processes that are thought to underlie the link between mental disorder and crime. Students will develop their knowledge and advanced skills relating to the link between forensic mental health and criminal behaviour and will be made aware of various psychological theories of crime and criminality.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Introduction to forensic mental health;
•       Aetiology and psychology of anti-social and criminal behaviours;
•       The measurement and distribution of crime;
•       Theories of criminal behaviour (social, environmental, individually oriented, and integrated theories);
•       Systematic and integrated knowledge of mental disorder and how it relates to offending behaviour;
•       Offender typologies.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops112:0022:00Present in person sessions (PIP)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1178:00178:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Present in person (PIP) workshop-based learning will be used as the main way to impart knowledge and to stimulate interests in the topics. To attain the intended knowledge outcomes and skills in full, it will be essential that students engage in private study before and after the taught sessions. The private study time will allow students to carry out an in-depth review of the knowledge imparted through workshops, to generate their own views on the topics and to follow these out by carrying out independent literature reviews, thereby taking control over their learning and preparing them for the assignment (essay). Formative practice will be included within the teaching strategy of this module.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1003,000 word essay on given topic relating to forensic mental health and criminal behaviour.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This module will be assessed by one summative assessment as detailed below:

ECA: A 3,000 word essay (100% of total module mark) relating to a given topic on forensic mental health and criminal behaviour. Students should demonstrate that they have developed the ability to critically evaluate theories relating to this module and that they have the critical knowledge and understanding of the various techniques utilised in studying forensic mental health and criminal behaviour, together with the ethical issues involved. Students should demonstrate that they possess a critical appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of the key theories.

The ECA will assess both the knowledge and skills outcomes for this module.

Reading Lists