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PSY8059 : Forensic Psychology Project

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Darren Johnson
  • Owning School: Psychology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
Semester 3 Credit Value: 50
ECTS Credits: 30.0


The aims of this module are to:

•       Enable students to become confident in their ability to carry out and manage an independent piece of meaningful research relating to a forensic topic;
•       Develop students’ academic skills in analysing and evaluating existing research findings, methods and theory;
•       Provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate skills of data collection, analysis, interpretation and communication of findings of an empirical piece of research;
•       Facilitate the development of a range of professional and study skills to equip students for their future careers (employment/professional practice, professional training courses and higher degree courses) and to make them highly attractive to the stakeholders who provide these opportunities.

Outline Of Syllabus

The Syllabus is dependent upon the individual student's dissertation project.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops42:008:00Present in person: to provide assessment (ICA & ECA) guidance & prep for academic research
Guided Independent StudyProject work1572:00572:00Students will be carrying out independent research
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision201:0020:00Supervisors will meet with students either present in person or online.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The students will develop a range of skills and will be trained to engage in research, producing an appropriate output in the form of their final project. Students will be fully engaged in the project selection and development through a dialogue with their project supervisors. They will gain hands-on experience of a range of techniques used in psychological research (appropriate to their own project) and will be required to produce a written forensic psychology project. Although students will receive detailed guidance in the form of online lecture materials to advise them on the process and completion of the project, in order to attain the intended learning outcomes and skills in full, it will be essential that students engage in a significant amount of private study as outlined. This will include research-based fieldwork, practical experience (if safe to do so) and online research in a range of psychological research techniques.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prof skill assessmnt2M20Present in person mini viva voce of the research proposal/ethics (max 3,000 words) -max 20 mins.
Dissertation3M80An 8,000 word forensic-based empirical research project (to publishable standard).
Zero Weighted Pass/Fail Assessments
Description When Set Comment
Research proposalMA research proposal (maximum 3,000 words) for final project (pass/fail basis)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Research proposal2MDraft review and feedback on the research proposal by the student's supervisor (maximum 3,000 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

ICA: Students will be required to submit a 3,000 word research proposal to ensure their intended research is ethically and legally sound. This will be assessed by an oral examination (viva voce) where students will be required to defend their research topic, methodology, rationale, and analytical framework. The oral examination (viva voce) will be conducted in person.

ECA: Students will be required to submit an 8,000 word forensic-based empirical research project (to publishable standard). The project is intended to test the ability of students to conduct a substantial and independent project of postgraduate research. The project will demonstrate their effectiveness in self-organisation and their ability to synthesize relevant research literature, in addition to the discovery and evaluation of relevant materials. The project will allow students to seek out an appropriate methodology, consider legal and ethical issues, collect data rigorously and effectively and present their written findings in a structured and analytical manner.

Reading Lists