Forensic Psychology: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives - PSYC6370

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Eduardo Vasquez checkmark-circle


This module will provide students with an in-depth examination of the theoretical and applied aspects of Forensic Psychology. It will include the development of laws and the principles on which the judicial system is founded, offending by specific sections of the community including street gangs and career criminals, Criminal Justice responses to offending by the police and forensic profilers, the role and credibility of eyewitnesses and the interview processes employed with suspects, the role of juries, how sentences are compiled for convicted offenders, the aims of punishment and how prisoners respond to imprisonment, theoretical perspectives of rehabilitation and an examination of the implementation of the sex offender treatment programme. The module will focus on the in-depth application of forensic psychology to the justice system, its role in identifying and ameliorating offending behaviour. In particular it will evaluate the role of psychology in criminal justice: systems, policies and practices by presenting and critically evaluating research and research methods within forensic psychology. Students will be encouraged to develop skills to critique the literature and methodologies to further their understanding of the core forensic issues the course presents.


Contact hours

22 hours


Compulsory to Psychology with Forensic Psychology BSc.
Optional to other undergraduate Psychology programmes.
Available as an elective module.
Available to Short-Term credit students at the discretion of school and/or convenor.

Method of assessment

Essay: 2,500 Words: 70%
Examination: 30%

An alternative assessment may be provided for those short-term students who will no longer be registered when the examination takes place

Reassessment methods: Like for Like.

Indicative reading

Davies, G., & Beech, A. (2012). Forensic psychology: Crime, Justice, Law, Interventions. Chichester, K: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal articles and additional readings will be assigned on a weekly basis.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the practical role played by contemporary forensic psychologists in society

8.2 Demonstrate critical knowledge of forensic psychology as a discipline and research methods used within forensic psychology

8.3 Demonstrate an awareness of the fundamental application of psychology, as a science, to understand key forensic issues

8.4 Understand key concepts and sub-topics within forensic psychology and how they relate to each other (i.e., ability to synthesise core concepts within forensic psychology)

8.5 Evaluate core theories and research in forensic psychology


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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