CRI-10012 - Psychology and Crime
Coordinator: Tony Kearon Room: CBB1.031 Tel: +44 1782 7 34382
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

The possible relationships between psychology and crime have generated a significant amount of public interest in recent years (which is manifested in examples such as the proliferation of films, TV programmes and books on issues such as serial murder). This module will explore some of the ways in which psychological perspectives contribute to the day to day operation of Criminal Justice and our engagements with both perpetrators and victims of crime. It will examine some of the ways in which these perspectives may contribute to our understanding of crime, criminals and victims. It will also explore some of the ways in which the relationship between crime and psychology may (or may not) live up to expectations influenced by popular representations of psychology and crime.

This module will introduce students to some of the relationships between Crime and Psychology. It will outline the roles that Psychologists play in the Criminal Justice system and the various contributions that psychological perspectives have made to our understanding of crime, criminals and related issues. The module will explore a number of case studies of psychological perspectives in practice in criminology. It will also explore some of the limitations of psychological perspectives in the fields of criminology and criminal justice.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Recognise the relationships between crime and other social problems: 1,2
Recognise and account for the differences between the actual relationships between crime and psychology and the relationships that feature in popular/public conceptions of crime and psychology.: 1,2
Make use of research evidence, other data and some basic psychosocial criminological theories in developing arguments and making judgements about criminological issues: 1,2
Identify and assess the ways in which psychosocial perspectives may contribute to the operation of Criminal Justice and to our understanding of the causes of crime and its impacts: 1,2

Study hours

11 hours of lectures
10 hours of seminar contact
21 hours of directed preparation for lectures and seminars via engagement with online asynchronous activities and information specific to each activity.
4 hours on completion of online task
104 hours of private study (including additional self directed preparatory reading and related preparation for lectures and seminars, preparation, planning and additional study for online tasks assessment and portfolio).

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Open Book Assessment weighted 20%
A time limited open book assessment to be completed by students via the KLE.
Students will complete an open book assessment administered via the KLE, which will feature a range of problems, short answer questions and related activities that will require students to demonstrate breadth of engagement with the topics covered on the module. Students will be able to refer to lecture and seminar notes, readings and related resources for the module when formulating their responses. These tasks and activities are designed to ensure that student identify and reflect on the bodies of knowledge and theories they are being asked to engage with rather than simply 'looking up' and reproducing information. In order to give the students sufficient time to reflect and engage fully with the nature of the tasks and complete the assessment, the time available to complete this assessment is 28 hours but students will not be expected to invest more than 4 hours of active-working time on this assessment. During the agreed assessment period the open book assessment will be shared with students via the KLE at 0900am (Keele local time) on the first working day until 1300pm (Keele local time) on the second working day, by which point students must submit their attempt. Students will attempt a set of tasks assembled randomly for each student from a bank of activities/tasks/questions, so that students each attempt a unique assessment. The combination of this and the 28 hour time limit are partly intended to discourage collusion.

2: Portfolio weighted 80%
Portfolio - students are required to produce an essay plan, an annotated bibliography and a summary of an article
Students will be provided with a list of hypothetical essay questions that draw on the module content. Each 'essay' question is associated with a recommended reading for the essay question. Students are required to select ONE of the questions and its linked reading and create a portfolio of tasks associated with it: 1. produce a side of A4 essay plan for how they would attempt and structure a hypothetical 2000 word essay based answer to the question. 2. Produce an 800 word summary of the key points and arguments of the linked reading and outline why and how they think the source is relevant to the essay question. 3. Produce an annotated Harvard bibliography of 5 original (i.e. not on the module reading list) references they have identified for use to support their planned answer to the question, with a short explanation for each on why the student thinks it is relevant and applicable to the question. These three tasks will be presented and submitted as a single document.