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PS50187: Fundamentals of forensic psychology

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Psychology
Further information on credits Credits: 18      [equivalent to 36 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 360
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 75%, OR 25%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 75%)
  • Oral Presentation A Oral Presentation (OR 25%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Aims: The aims of this unit are to:
* Provide students with an appreciation of the role of forensic psychologists in the legal and criminal justice settings
* Provide students with an introduction to key themes and theories underpinning Forensic Psychology
* Provide students with a critical understanding of psychological theory and methods applied to the process of criminal investigations.
* Provide a critical understanding of forensic developmental psychology.
Learning Outcomes: After completing this unit students will be able to:
* Appreciate what is forensic psychology and the role of forensic psychologists in legal and criminal justice settings (i.e., court - expert witness testimony; settings, secure units, social care, probation; juries/eye witness testimony, interviewing vulnerable witnesses etc)
* Demonstrate a critical understanding of the psychological theories of crime and criminality
* Demonstrate a critical understanding of psychological theory and methods applied to the process of criminal investigations.
* Demonstrate knowledge and skills to work with both offenders and victims of crime
* Critically evaluate the models and explanations of forensic developmental psychology
* Critical evaluate the research concerning the treatment of children as offenders and victims of crime.
Skills: Intellectual Skills
Students will develop:
* The ability to communicate an argument
* The ability to evaluate others arguments and research
* The ability to learn independently and to be able to assess own learning needs.
* The ability to work independently

Professional and Personal Skills
* A familiarity with the legal framework of the civil and criminal justice systems, processes of investigation, the legal process, the process of detention, working with litigants, appellants, and individuals seeking arbitration and mediation, and interdisciplinary and multi-agency working.

Transferable Skills
* Study and learning skills.
* Basic information and computing technology skills.
* Inter-personal and communication skills.
* Essay, research, preparation and writing skills.
* Presentation skills and verbal communication.
* Independent and group working skills
* Advanced oral communication skills.
Content: This unit will provide students with:
* Knowledge of forensic psychology and the role of forensic psychologists in the legal and criminal justice systems
* A critical understanding of various psychological theories of crime and criminality.
* Knowledge and skills to work with both offenders and victims of crime
* A critical appreciation of the ways in which psychological theory can be applied to the process of criminal investigations and the 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.
* A critical understanding of the psychological literature covering children as offenders and victims in the forensic and legal system.
* A critical understanding of research and treatment for children who are offenders and victims of crime.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PS50187 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Psychology
  • THPS-AWM13 : MSc Applied Forensic Psychology with Counselling

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