PSY8056 : Forensic Assessment and Case Formulation

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

•       Approaches to forensic risk assessment;
•       Clinical skills in mental health assessment;
•       Case formulation and management;
•       Conducting assessment and interventions with adults, children and young persons;
•       Sexual and violent offending;
•       Mental health;
•       Personality disorders;
•       Intellectual functioning and cognitive impairment;
•       Actuarial and clinical risk assessment tools;
•       Vicarious trauma;
•       At risk individuals, including LGBT groups.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops122:0024:00N/A
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, students will work in small groups to discuss various aspects of forensic assessment and case formulation. 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 essay writing. 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 (case formulation).

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