PSY-20046 - The Psychology of Crime, Investigation, and Punishment
Coordinator: Samantha Andrews Room: N/A Tel: +44 1782 7 32961
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733736

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

Why do people commit crimes? How are crimes investigated? Is our criminal justice and penal system fit for purpose? Forensic psychology refers to the interface of broad sub-disciplines of psychology with the criminal justice system. This module provides an introductory overview of forensic psychology, covering the causes of crime and victimisation, investigation of crime, punishment of crime, and life after crime, as well as more specialist coverage and discussion of topics, such as criminal justice theory, forensic evidence, false confessions, and alternative dispute resolution. The module will primarily offer social, developmental, and cognitive perspectives, but students will be encouraged to apply knowledge from other perspectives to support critical thinking skills drawing on the whole of the psychology curriculum.áThis module is taught by lectures, and will be of particular interest to students wishing to pursue careers in forensic psychology, but is also relevant to those interested in criminal justice and human rights more generally. No single text covers all the relevant material. Therefore, students will be expected to make extensive use of journals and databases to identify pertinent articles. Integrated into this module is a lecture each on effective essay writing and forensic psychology career development.

The module aims to develop students┐ evidence-based knowledge and understanding of forensic psychology and criminal justice procedures, to enhance students┐ critical evaluation skills in the context of analysing contemporary developments in forensic practice and public policy, and boost awareness and confidence in pursuing careers in forensic psychology.

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

Intended Learning Outcomes

Locate, synthesise, and evaluate literature on forensic psychology and criminal justice procedures from a range of sources: 1
Communicate and critically evaluate ideas clearly and effectively in a written format
: 1
Use relevant literature to interpret, evaluate, and further inform past and contemporary developments on causes of crime and crime investigation: 1
Discuss the relevance of social, developmental, and cognitive psychology to inform key issues relating to the punishment of crime: 1

Study hours

20 hours of whole class synchronous seminars
10 hours reading material prior to sessions
20 hours reading post session
20 hours asynchronous activities plus 10 hours of pre-recorded talks (broken down to small chunks)
70 hours private study

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Assignment weighted 100%
Critical evaluation assignment
2000-word assignment on material taught. Students will have a choice of assessment questions (one of four). The questions will prompt students to critically analyse contemporary developments in forensic practice and public policy.