Psychology of Law and Justice - PSYC8060

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Jennifer Storey checkmark-circle


This course examines the social psychological processes involved in defining an act as criminal and deserving of prosecution and conviction. The course includes evaluations of: why we punish offenders; how they are caught, identified and prosecuted; the role of public opinion in justice and the court process. We also evaluate legal decisions by jurors and judges; the treatment of offenders with special needs and the effects of imprisonment for both prisoners and the prison system.


Contact hours

Private Study: 167
Contact Hours: 33
Total: 200


Compulsory to MSc Forensic Psychology

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Extended Essay (2,500 words)

Reassessment methods

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

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:

1 To allow students to gain a basic understanding of the criminal justice process;
2 To allow students to gain a detailed understanding of the psychological factors which may be relevant at each stage of the criminal justice process;
3 To allow students to fully appreciate the usefulness and applicability of psychological research in the criminal justice system
4 To allow students to understand the psychological effects of criminal justice processes on suspects/defendants.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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