Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Psychology


Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • 60 credits from Level 2 Psychology module


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce students to Forensic Psychology


  • The module will cover a selection of topics in criminological psychology paying particular attention to the way in which empirical studies and theory derived from fundamental psychological science can be applied to understanding these topics. The topics covered will be drawn from areas such as:
  • Behavioural and cognitive approaches to offender therapy
  • Cognitive skills and anger management
  • Decision making by judges, juries and offenders
  • Developmental factors in criminal behaviour
  • Ethics
  • Forensic neuropsychology
  • Lie detection
  • Memory and eyewitness testimony
  • Intellectual disabilities and crime
  • Interviewing in the legal context
  • Psychological Assessments
  • Psychology in Prisons Risk assessment
  • Sexual offending
  • Suicide and self-harm
  • Violence
  • Psychological research from fields such as Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Neuropsychology, Social Psychology, Individual Differences, Biopsychology etc. will be applied to understanding selected topics

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Detailed knowledge of forensic psychology including current theory, evidence and research methods
  • In-depth knowledge of some specialist areas of applied psychology
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students passing this module should be able to review critically and consolidate understanding of a coherent body of psychological knowledge and apply it appropriately
Key Skills:
  • Good written communication skills
  • Ability to work independently in scholarship and research within broad guidelines

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Knowledge and understanding is developed through the weekly 2 hour sessions involving a variety of learning modes including lectures, video based material, and student discussion
  • This knowledge will be assessed in the essay-based examination. The examination provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities to appraise and apply empirical evidence and theoretical claims in a critical manner
  • Preparations for the examination will promote students’ abilities to locate, read and evaluate a body of evidence.
  • All modes of teaching are designed to promote critical evaluation of evidence and arguments, to adopt different theoretical positions, and to interpret empirical work in terms of theory. These abilities are assessed via the essay-based examination

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures / Seminars 11 1 per week 2 hrs 22
Student Preparation & Reading Time Associated with Contact Hours Listed Above; General Background Reading; Revision for Written Examinations etc. 78 78
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100%

Formative Assessment:

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University