- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

PS30158: Forensic psychology

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Psychology
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: ES 80%, OR 20%
Assessment Detail:
  • ESSAY (ES 80%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: Before taking this module you must take PS20107
Learning Outcomes: In completing this unit students would be expected to: 
* Critically evaluate psychological theories relevant to forensic investigative processes
* Gain a critical insight into the use of psychological theory and research in criminal investigations
* Critically evaluate research methodologies examining the investigative processes used by the criminal justice system
* Develop a critical approach to these key issues in Forensic Psychology.

Aims: The intention of this unit is to:
* Allow students to identify and understand psychological approaches in the investigative processes used by the criminal justice system;
* Show how psychological concepts are applied to forensic psychology;
* Show how psychological methods are applied in a forensic setting.

* Comprehensive and scholarly written communication (e.g. essays)
* Concise, time-bound and effective written communication (e.g. briefings / exams)
* Ability to select, summarise and synthesise written information from multiple sources
* Ability to develop rigorous arguments through precise use of concepts and models
* Ability to apply theory into practice
* Ability to select and use appropriate ideas to produce a coherent response to a pre-set question
* Ability to produce work to agreed specifications and deadlines
* Ability to work independently, without close supervision of guidance.

Content: The following topics will be covered during the course: 
* Eyewitness testimony: Memory and the accuracy of witness evidence, suggestibility, interviewing witnesses, enhancing eyewitness memory, identification methods, eyewitness evidence in court.
* Miscarriages of justice: Mistaken identifications, recovered and false memories and false confessions.
* Vulnerable populations: children, mental health issues, intellectual disability, autism and older populations. 
* Offender interviewing: Interrogation and interview techniques and detecting deception
* Theories of offending and treatment of offenders.

Programme availability:

PS30158 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Psychology


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.