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PSY8056 : Forensic Assessment and Case Formulation

  • 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 is designed to provide students with an evidence-based and professional approach in the assessment, case formulation and management of clinical risks. Conceptual and applied issues associated with core practitioner skills of assessment, formulation and interventions with offenders will be explored. The module will explore issues of assessment for specific groups including: sexual, violent, female, and young offenders, those with mental health issues, and those with personality disorders. Students will develop an understanding of how this assessment information can be integrated with theory to develop a meaningful formulation culminating in an effective treatment plan, which addresses an individual’s clinical needs.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Clinical approaches to forensic risk assessment with consideration to actuarial and structured risk assessment tools;
•       Case formulation and risk management approaches;
•       Conducting assessment and interventions with adults, children and young persons;
•       Sexual and violent offending;
•       Specialist areas of practice including working with service users with mental illness, personality disorder and cognitive impairment;
•       Professional and ethical working with consideration to the impact of vicarious trauma and personal bias.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops112:0022:00Present in Person sessions
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
Report1A1003,000 word mock parole board report
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

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

ECA: Students will be required to write a 3,000 word mock parole board report of a fictional case (100% of total module mark). 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 writing such a report, together with the ethical issues involved.

Reading Lists