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Module Organiser: Liz Barkham


This module aims to provide exposure to, and practice in, the technical skills required for forensic psychology practice with offenders in judicial, institutional and community settings, incorporating issues relating to ethnic minorities, age and gender.  The first half of this module (Lectures, 1-8, delivered in the Autumn Term) will describe and critically evaluate psychological theories relating to the assessment, management and treatment of specific groups, including female offenders, juveniles and those convicted of sexual offences.  The second half of the module (Lectures, 9-16, delivered in the Spring Term) provides teaching and practical experience in the fundamental skills that forensic psychologists use in assessing, interviewing and case formulation, together with information on the theories and research evidence that underpins these practical skills.

Learning Objectives

After completing this module students should be able to:

  • Understand current theoretical explanations relating to the psychology of criminal conduct;
  • Conduct interviews for a range of purposes;
  • Conduct an assessment of an offender using a variety of methods, including: interview, psychometrics, collateral and observational data;
  • Analyse, interpret and synthesise assessment data into an idiographic case-formulation;
  • Identify the functional links between individual psychological variables, developmental history, contextual variables and past, present and predictive offending behaviour;
  • Evaluate current knowledge of psychological motivation towards violent and sexual behaviour;
  • Write a concise professional report for the target audience.
  • Identify and prioritise appropriate targets for intervention, monitoring and referral to other agencies

Topics Covered

  • Violent Offending
  • Juvenile Offenders
  • The Psychology of Sexual Offending
  • Substance Misuse - Theories and Interventions 
  • The Assessment and Treatment of Victims
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Assessing and Treating the Minority: Female Offenders in the Criminal Justice System
  • Learning Disabled Offenders
  • Collecting Collateral
  • Interviewing 1: Basic Techniques
  • Interviewing 2: Practice
  • Assessment
  • Interventions
  • Facilitation Skills
  • Report Writing
  • Working Motivationally with Offenders

Teaching Methods


Sample Reading

Clarke, J. & Wilson, P. (Eds). Forensic Psychology in Practice: A Practitioner's Handbook.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan


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