Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology

  1. Module Title: Forensic Psychology
  2. Module Prefix/Number: PSYC 384
  3. Credit Hours: Three (3)
  4. Description: This course provides students with an introduction to Forensic Psychology. The course covers both the psychological and legal facets pertaining to crime and those affected by it. The course will also seek to explore actual case studies and clinical examples that integrate research and application of Forensic Psychology so that students will be equipped with a well-balanced overview of how Forensic Psychology may be used to understand crime and deviant behaviors.The course will further explore the application of psychological science in the legal arena. Some concepts that would be emphasized include ethical issues, specialised testing instruments, legal procedures and issues at the confluence of Law and Psychology.
  5. By the end of this course, students should achieve the following Learning Outcomes
    1. Knowledge and understanding of Forensic Psychology with regards to: 1.1 Understanding the major concepts and theories that may be of interest to Forensic Psychologists
    1.2 Understanding the contributions from Forensic Psychology to the study of human behaviour.
    1.3 Examining how individual differences in social, cultural and historical context may influence criminal behaviour
    2. Develop and apply critical-thinking skills within the domain of psychological assessments in Forensic Psychology and how it affects individuals with mental health concerns, enabling students to: 2.1 Demonstrate an ability to utilise critical-thinking that includes open-mindedness and the scientific
    2.2 Demonstrate an attitude of receptivity to new knowledge and intellectual engagement
    2.3 Identify static and dynamic risk factors, and protective factors of the alleged offender pertaining to the respective risk assessments introduced in the course.
    2.4 Critically explore the nature of psychopathy and its relationship with criminal behaviour.
    3. Develop an understanding of the various roles that a Forensic Psychologist may encounter in their career, enabling students to: 3.1 Understand who is their client, and how does their role as Forensic Psychologist affects them professionally.
    3.2 Prioritise evidence-based approaches to understanding and explaining issues within Forensic Psychology.
    4. Understanding how the knowledge of Forensic Psychology may interact with broader frameworks, enabling students to: 4.1 Understand how the concepts, theories and research of Forensic Psychology may be used to analyse and form better structures for public policy and practice.
    4.2 Critically analyse theories and research relating to juvenile delinquency.
  6. Grading Scale: Your letter grade in this course will be determined by calculating your score on all assignments and exams as a percentage of the total possible score, on a standard grading scale:
    Your Letter Grade Your Score as % of Total
    A 90–100
    B 80-89
    C 70-79
    D 60-69
    F 0-59

    Assignments 40%

    As part of the requirements, students must complete short assignments based on these studies. There will be 2 assignments, each attracting 20% of total course grade.

    Assignment (Essay) 20%

    Students are also required to turn in an essay assignment.

    Guidelines for the essay assignment:

    • Word limit: 1500 – 2500
    • The assignment should be typed using Times New Roman, 12-point size, double spaced, and 1″ margins.
    • The assignment should be edited for spelling and grammar.
    • References to be provided using the APA guidelines.

    Exams 40%

    There will be a Final exam. The exam will be based on material covered in the textbook readings and lecture notes.

  7. Course Outline
    • Introduction to Forensic Psychology, and the Legal system
    • Assessment, Treatment, and Consultation in Forensic Psychology
    • Expert Testimony and the Role of an Expert
    • Psychopathy
    • Violence Risk Offending
    • Sexual Offenders
    • Criminal and Civil Competence
    • Insanity, Criminal Responsibility, and Diminished Capacity
    • Domestic Violence and Stalking
    • Juvenile Delinquency

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