The Psychology of Criminal Justice - SOCI5480

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 5 15 (7.5) Thomas Akoensi checkmark-circle


This module will introduce students to the utility of criminal psychology within the criminal justice context. It will introduce students to various topics such as the history of criminal psychology, how the field has been shaped, theories, the emergence, persistence and desistence of offending. The module will help students develop an understanding of criminal psychology and its importance in criminal justice contexts from different perspectives.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


Optional module on the BSc in Social Sciences and BA Criminal Justice and Criminology programmes

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework – essay (3000 words) – 100%

Reassessment methods
100% coursework

Indicative reading

Farrington, D. P., Coid, J.W., and Murray, J. (2009). 'Family factors in the intergenerational transmission of offending'. Criminal Behaviour and Mental Health, Vol. 19, Issue 2, pp. 109-124.
Kapardis, A. (2014). Psychology and Law: A critical Perspective (Fourth Edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press [e-book]
Lickliter, R., and Honeycutt, H. (2003). 'Developmental dynamics: Toward a biologically plausible evolutionary psychology'. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 129, Issue 6, pp. 819-835.
Moffitt, T. E. (1993). ‘Adolescence-limited and life-course-persistent antisocial behaviour: A developmental taxonomy’. Psychological Review, Vol. 100, Issue 4, pp. 647-701.
Moffitt, T. E. and Caspi, A. (2001). ‘Childhood predictors differentiate life-course persistent and adolescent-limited antisocial pathways among males and females’. Development and Psychopathology, Vol. 13, Issue 2, pp. 355-375.
Serin, R. C. and Lloyd, C. D. (2009). ‘Examining the process of offender change: the transition to crime desistance’. Psychology, Crime, & Law, Vol. 15, Issue 4, pp. 347-364.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the development of the field of Criminal Psychology.
8.2 Demonstrate critical knowledge about the utility of criminal psychology in criminal justice.
8.3 Demonstrate a critical understanding of different perspectives in criminal psychology and how to utilise them.
8.4 Understand and critically assess theories utilised in the field of criminal psychology.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Organise material and communicate clearly in written essays.
9.2 Demonstrate problem-solving, critical thinking, and research skills, including the ability to evaluate evidence.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 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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