PSY8055 : Investigative Psychology & Forensic Interviewing

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module aims to provide students with an appreciation of the ways in which psychological theory can be applied to the process of criminal investigations and the advancement of methods designed to facilitate the detection of offenders and truth finding in forensic interviews. This includes offender profiling, eyewitness identification and the interviewing of victims, witnesses and suspected offenders, including children and vulnerable persons. The module will highlight a range of theoretical paradigms that are relevant to the investigative process (including decision making processes), and will provide students with a detailed understanding of the ways in which the collection of evidence, through appropriate and psychologically robust interviewing techniques, has been enhanced and improved upon over the past two decades.

Outline Of Syllabus

•       Psychology applied to the process of criminal investigations;
•       Offender profiling;
•       Investigative interviewing of child/adult witnesses/suspects;
•       Vulnerability;
•       Use of intermediaries;
•       Face perception/recognition;
•       Eyewitness identification;
•       False and recovered memories;
•       Detecting deception.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops122:0024:00
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1176:00176:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge outcomes will be delivered by workshops, seminars and independent reading/study. In the seminars, relevant research articles and papers will be presented, discussed and critiqued by students. 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. Students will be given detailed guidance on analysing police interviews. 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 of the literature, thereby taking control over their learning and preparing them for the assignment (analysis of mock police interview).

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation201M50Oral presentation linking practice to the theoretical development-base
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M50A 1,500 word essay linking practice to the theoretical development-base.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This module will be assessed by two summative assessments as detailed below:

ICA: A 20 minute presentation linking practice to the theoretical (psychological) development-base (50% of total module marks). Students will choose a topic from a range of investigative/interviewing topics which will be provided.

ECA: A 1,500 word essay linking practice to the theoretical (psychological) development-base outlined in the ICA presentation (50% of total module marks). Students should demonstrate that they have developed the ability to critically evaluate psychological theories relevant to practice and relating to this module.

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

Reading Lists