module specification

SS7085 - Psychology and Crime (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Psychology and Crime
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 200
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
164 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Essay 4,000 words
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

The main aim of this module is to provide students with core knowledge and understanding of approaches to explaining criminal behaviour and its impact upon individuals and society. More specifically, the aims are:

To provide an overview of the measurement of crime and factors influencing the degree of error in this measurement.
To provide an account of psychological factors that are related to or help to explain crime at both a general level and in terms of specific offences (e.g., arson) and specific offender groups (e.g., juveniles).
To evaluate the contribution of psychology to the explanation of criminal behaviour relative to and in interaction with explanatory frameworks and factors from other disciplines.

To provide a brief introduction to victimology.


The syllabus will include coverage of topics such as those listed below.
• Definitions and measurement of crime; Impact of variations in crime figures on the development of theories of criminal behaviour and the development of crime prevention policy (LO1);
• Explanations of general criminal behaviour from a psychological perspective (e.g., social development, moral reasoning, intelligence, personality, mental health, parenting styles, attachment and maternal deprivation, neuropsychology, etc) (LO2);
• Explanations of general criminal behaviour from non-psychology or multi-disciplinary perspectives; (LO1)
• Explanations of criminality in specific offender groups (e.g., the personality disordered);(LO2, LO3)
• Explanations of particular types of offending (e.g., violent offending);(LO3)
• Fear of crime and victims of crime.(LO4)

Leaning Outcomes LO1 - LO 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Each week, this module will be delivered through a one-hour lecture, and a one hour seminar or workshop. The reading and workshops will be support by weblearn and students will be encouraged to engage in debate, presentations and web materials as well as attending lectures and seminars.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Discuss different definitions of crime and different methods for assessing the rate and prevalence of crime
2. Critically evaluate psychological factors in the explanation of criminal behaviour
3. Present and evaluate explanations of criminality in different groups of offenders (e.g., juveniles, women, the elderly) or in particular types of offending (e.g., violent, sexual, serial, terrorist, etc.)
4. Outline the impact of criminal behaviour on victims and potential victims of crime.

Assessment strategy

Assessment consists of one 4,000-word essay (100% of marks). The assessment is predicated upon thorough academic analysis, and appropriate student reading and research