Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
CR10120 or LA39220
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 30 Hours. 1 x 2 hour lecture per week and 2 x 1 hour lectures per week.
Seminars / Tutorials 6 hours. 3 x 2 hour seminars.


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  1000 words required in Week 10  33%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Exam  (One question seen, one question unseen)  67%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  1000 words - if essay element failed  33%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   Exam  (One question seen, one question unseen) - if exam element failed  67%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Show a critical understanding of the interface between psychology and crime.

2. Critically assess the use of psychology in legal decision-making by both lawyers and lay personnel.

3 Critically assess the use of psychology and mental illness as political and legal tools in claims to deliver community safety.

4. Critically assess the physical mechanisms for control and treatment of mental disorder and consider the effect of these interventions on the individual and on society both nationally and internationally.

5. Critically assess the use of psychology in crime analysis and detection.

6. Critically assess the use of psychology in punishment and treatment systems.

7. Relate the conceptual ideas discussed on the module to specific case studies.

Brief description

This module will explore the links between psychology and crime. It will include a number of psychological perspectives on criminal behaviour and the criminal justice process. It will consider mental disorder, its psychological and legal meanings and how it links with crime and the legal control of those who suffer from mental disorder. It will also consider links between psychological types and criminal behaviour and how, if at all, this may be used to prevent and control behaviour. Finally, it will consider the use of psychology as a tool for crime investigation and law enforcement.


This module provides an analytical foundation for an understanding of the interaction between psychology, mental disorder, crime and enforcement structures in legal, criminological and moral contexts


(Topics taken from the Following)

1. Introduction

2. Mental Illness and Dangerousness
  • Social and Legal Issues
3. Vulnerable Suspects
  • Interviewing Vulnerable People
  • Safeguards
  • Legal Position.
4. Eyewitness Testimony and Interviewing
  • Memory
  • Perception
  • Altering memory
  • Cognitive and Enhanced Cognitive Techniques
  • Interviewing suspects PEACE
  • Interviewing suspects who suffer from a mental disorder and eliciting confessions
  • Psychological weight of different types of evidence
5. Introduction to Offender Profiling

6. Offender Management: Risk and Intervention (Introduction only)
  • Risk, Incapacitation and Public Safety
  • Risk and Errors in Assessment
  • Legal Position
  • Removal of Individuals Classes as Dangerous
  • Assessing Risk
  • Risk Assessment and Risk Management
7. Expert Psychological Evidence
  • Types of Psychological Tests
  • How Results might be used in Court
  • Understanding and Questioning the Psychological Expert
8. Legal Decision Making
  • Jury Decision Making
  • Legal Parameters of Decisions
  • Individual Jurors Decisions
  • Evaluation of Evidence
  • Extraneous Factors
  • Pre-Trial Publicity
  • How Juries Reach a Decision
9. Conclusion

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Understanding and evaluating relevant quantitative research data will be a small part of the module
Communication Oral communication skills will be encouraged in and honed in seminars and also in lectures through interactive learning. Written communication skills will be practised through note taking both in lectures and private study and in formal submission of written work in assignments and examinations
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be encouraged to practise and test their own learning and ability to use and interact with the materials through interactive leaning in both lectures and seminars.
Information Technology Preparation for seminars, the assignments and the examination will all require use of the library databases and other electronic databases. Students will be referred to useful urls and be encouraged to retrieve data electronically. Students will be encouraged to prepare their assignment electronically
Personal Development and Career planning Enhanced capacity for independent and critical thought. Good time-management skills in preparing for seminars and submitting work on time.
Problem solving Much of the module involves the study of theories developed to explain certain types of behaviour. It also includes consideration of present means of control. Students will have to assess these and apply them in specific case studies.
Research skills Criminology necessarily involves an interdisciplinary approach therefore students will be introduced to research tools in a number of different subject areas. They will be supported and encouraged develop research skills over these areas. They will be encouraged to read widely and to locate materials both in the library and on-line.
Team work This will be developed through exercises in preparation for and during seminars and in exercises and problems set in lectures.


This module is at CQFW Level 6