module specification

PY7111 - International Perspectives on Forensic Psychology (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title International Perspectives on Forensic Psychology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 10
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 100
62 hours Guided independent study
38 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 20% 50 Group presentation
Coursework 80% 50 Reflective account *FC*
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies North Week All day

Module summary

This module is held in conjunction with the forensic psychology department of Marymount University, Virginia, USA and will take place alternatively at both the London Metropolitan and Marymount University sites. The module code PY7111MY applies in those years when the module is run at Marymount University, while the code PY7111 applies in alternate years when it is run at London Metropolitan University.

The course will consist of a number of lectures and field trips as well as pre-course briefings and reading sessions. The focus of these learning opportunities will be to compare and contrast the practice of forensic psychology within the different legal and professional restrictions applicable to England and Wales and the United States.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

This module has the following aims

* To provide students with an understanding into the diverse nature of forensic psychology work when considered within an international context.

* To encourage students to evaluate the implications for professional practice, particularly in relation to the criminal justice and child protection systems of differing legal, professional and ethical frameworks.

* To allow students to gain field experience of working alongside forensic practitioners who have been trained in a different jurisdiction.


The course will encourage students to reflect upon the context and practice of forensic psychology in the UK but encouraging them to consider how a range of legal and criminological issues are addressed within a North American Context. Historical, legal and cultural and influences will be explored. Through consideration of these issues students will develop a richer understanding of the English Legal System.

A key element of the course is the field trips and opportunity to discuss practice and the issues with forensic practitioners from a range of settings. Through doing this, students will be expected to be fully prepared to discuss and debate issues of relevance.

Learning and teaching

This module is delivered in a block over 5 days, 9.30am -5.00pm.

This module will introduce student to a variety of practitioners and experts who have worked in a range of legislative settings. Students will be expected to actively engage with speakers during both lectures and field trips and to articulate their understanding of UK legalisation and practice to those who are not familiar with this.

Students attending this module will be doing so alongside students from Marymount University and will be meeting a number of external speakers. As such effectively students are acting as representatives for the University and the course. As such it is especially important that students are professional in their manner and dress. The dress code for this module is business casual. Jeans and low cut tops etc. are not appropriate and students who are considered to be inappropriately dressed may be refused attendance to sessions or visits. Students are also asked to remember that while they are participating in the course there are student representatives of the MSc in Forensic Psychology and as such their behaviour is expected to be professional in all regards.


Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

1.  Define, identify and give a comprehensive explanation of key distinctions and similarities between the practice of forensic psychology in the United States and England and Wales.

2.  Understand and critically discuss the political, cultural and legal influences on the civil and criminal justice systems in both jurisdictions.

Assessment strategy

This module will be assessed by three different mechanisms a group presentation (20%), a reflective account (80%) and a pass/fail attendance requirement.


Group Presentation

During the course of the module students will deliver a formal group presentation on a topic of relevance to the material covered during the module. This assessment strategy will address learning outcome 1 and 2. This presentation will occur during the block teaching week.


Reflective account

Following the course students will be required to write a 1400-1600 word reflective account which outlines what they considered to be the most pertinent learning points which have emerged from the course in terms of highlighting key distinctions between the different jurisdictions. The specific issues selected for discussion will be a matter for the individual student. However, reference to the appropriate literature base should be made within the reflective account in order to ensure the work meets MSc academic standards.

Students should also submit a learning diary (approx 200 words per day summarising learning/experience) as an appendix. These are individual pieces of coursework. This assessment strategy will address learning outcome 1 and 2. 


Students will be expected to attend all scheduled teaching sessions (both lectures/workshops and field trips).


Andrews, D.A. and Bonta. J.L (1998). The Psychology of Criminal Conduct (2nd Edition). Cincinnati: Anderson.

Bedau, H.A. (1998). The Death Penalty in America: Current Controversies: Current Controversies

Bedau, H.A. (2004) Killing as Punishment: Reflections on the Death Penalty in America. America: North Eastern University Press

Blau, T. H. (2002). The Psychologist as Expert Witness. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons. R

Chui, W.H. and Nellis, M (2004). Moving Probation forward: Evidence, arguments and practice. Harlow: Pearson Longman.

Goldstein. A. M. (Ed) (2003). Handbook of Psychology Volume 11: Forensic Psychology. Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.

Grubin, D. (1996). Fitness to plead in England and Wales. Hampshire: Psychology Press

Gudjonsson, G. H. & Haward, L. R. C. (1998). Forensic psychology: a guide to practice. London: Routledge. E

Friedman, L.M. (2004). Law in America: A Short History . America: Modern Library

Hess, A.K. and Weiner, I.B. (Eds) (2006). The Handbook of Forensic Psychology (3rd Edition). Chichester: John Wiley and Sons. S

Kauffman S.B, (2001). Law in America. Hugh Lauter Levin Associates

Needs, A. and Towl, G (2004). Applying Psychology to Forensic Practice. Oxford: BPS Blackwell.

Quinsey, V.L Skilling, T.A Lalumiere, M.L and Craig, W.M (2003). Juvenile Delinquency: Understanding the Origins of Individual Differences. . Washington: American Psychological Association

Reid, J.B., Patterson, G.R and Synder, J.J. (2002) Antisocial Behaviour in Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Analysis and the Oregon Model of Intervention . Washington: American Psychological Association.

Shaprio, D.L. (1999). Criminal Responsibility Evaluations: A manual for practice. Sarasota, Florida: Professional Resource Press.

Towl, G. (Ed.) (2003). Psychology in prisons. Oxford: BPS Blackwell. (R)

Wheeler, J (2006) Essentials of the English legal system (2nd Edition). Harlow: Longman