AP1841: Mental Health and Crime

Credit Weighting: 15
No. of Students: Min 20, Max 30.
Pre-requisite(s): None.
Co-requisite(s): None.
Teaching Period(s): Semesters 1 and 2.
Teaching Methods: 6 x 3hr(s) Lectures; 2 x 1hr(s) Tutorials; 4hr(s) Other (on-line discussion and group work on Blackboard); 12hr(s) Other (library research. Data collection, analysis, interpretation, recording)
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 an overview of the criminal responsibility, psychological disorders and criminal behaviours of mentally ill offenders.
Module Content: This module will introduce students to the study of mental illness and its correlates with criminal behaviour. Topics covered will include:
The concept of 'insanity';
The problem of evidence;
Competency issues;
The classification of mental illness: DSM;
Mental illness and violence;
Personality disorders (PDs);
Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD);
Sadistic Personality Disorder (SPD);
Students will complete a psychological assessment in class from which data is generated and results obtained so that it can be written up in a report style. This assignment is consistent with the standards expected of an academic paper for publication. The report must consist of the following sections: Title; Abstract; Introduction; Literature Review; Method Section; Results; Discussion; References.
Learning Outcome: On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
  • Provide an historical overview of the concept of 'insanity' and define what it means in the current Irish legal system.
  • Extrapolate two mental health problems that have been associated as risk factors for criminal behaviour.
  • Illustrate the competency issues in a court of law that are associated with an individual suffering from a mental health problem.
  • Provide an overview of the DSM classification of mental illness and personality disorders.
  • Discuss the role of mental illness in violent offending.
  • Outline what is meant by Personality Disorder and give detailed descriptions of two PDs.
  • Discuss whether psychopaths are mad or bad.
  • Develop Critical Thinking Skills through the assessment for this module.
Assessment: Total Marks 300: Continuous Assessment 300 marks (1 x 3,000 word report write-up, 100 marks; Group presentation, 100 marks; Engagement in online activities as prescribed by the course tutor, 100 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 (as prescribed by the Module Coordinator).

University College Cork

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College Road, Cork T12 K8AF