AP1838: Introduction to Forensic Psychology and Criminal Behaviour

Credit Weighting: 5
No. of Students: Min 20, Max 30.
Pre-requisite(s): None.
Co-requisite(s): None.
Teaching Period(s): Semester 1.
Teaching Methods: 6 x 3hr(s) Lectures; 2 x 1hr(s) Tutorials; 4hr(s) Other (on-line discussion on Blackboard); Other (Set reading material for discussion at tutorials. Set course work)
Module Co-ordinator: Dr Ciara Staunton, Centre for Adult Continuing Education.
Lecturer(s): Staff, School of Applied Psychology, and invited guest lecturers where appropriate.
Module Objective: This module will provide students with an introduction to the study of crime and criminal behaviour from a psychological perspective.
Module Content: This module will provide students with an overview of the development of forensic and criminal psychology. Topics covered will include:
Historical development and contemporary issues;
Theories of criminal behaviour;
Social explanations of crime;
The extent of violent crime;
The causes of violent crime;
Offender typologies;
The applications of psychology to the criminal justice system;
The role of a forensic psychologist in a prison setting;
Terrorism and political violence.
Learning Outcome: On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
  • Provide an historical account of the development of Forensic Psychology.
  • Compare and contrast any two contemporary theoretical accounts of criminal behaviour.
  • Evaluate the extent of violent crime.
  • Outline the causes of violent crime.
  • Propose how crime can be reduced.
  • Discriminate between the various typologies of offenders.
  • Discuss the number of significant challenges that the continuing development of forensic psychology in Ireland will be faced with.
  • Analyse the contribution of forensic psychologists to the prison setting.
  • Discuss the role of psychology in understanding terrorism.
Assessment: Total Marks 100: Continuous Assessment 100 marks (1 x 3,000 word assignment (excluding references), 80 marks; Engagement in online activities as prescribed by the course tutor, 20 marks).
Compulsory Elements: Continuous Assessment.
Penalties (for late submission of course/project work etc.): Where work is submitted up to and including 7 days late, 5% of the total marks available shall be deducted from the mark achieved. Where work is submitted up to and including 14 days late, 10% of the total marks available shall be deducted from the mark achieved. Work submitted 15 days late or more shall be assigned a mark of zero.
Pass Standard and any Special Requirements for Passing Module: 40%.
End of Year Written Examination Profile: No Formal Written Examination.
Requirements for Supplemental Examination: Marks in passed element(s) of Continuous Assessment are carried forward, Failed element(s) of Continuous Assessment must be repeated.

University College Cork

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