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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Crime and Psychology
Module Code PSYC511
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Liz McLoughlin
Semester 2: Liz McLoughlin
Autumn: Liz McLoughlin
Module TeachersLiz McLoughlin
Eoin Brown
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module aims to provide students with core knowledge and understanding of approaches to explaining criminal behaviour and its impact upon individuals and society. Moreover, it will give an account of psychological factors that help explain crime at the level of offender, in terms of specific offences and in relation to the broader socio-cultural context. It looks at how crime commission, crime detection and crime reduction are influenced by psychological factors and the broader context in which criminal behaviour emerges.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically evaluate psychological and sociocultural factors in the explanation of crime.
2. Formulate and evaluate explanations of criminality in different groups of offenders.
3. Consider, how a psychological framework can be used to understand and reduce crime.
4. Outline the impact of criminal behaviour on victims of crime.
5. Evaluate particular research methodologies employed in criminal psychology inter alia longitudinal and consanguinity methodologies.
6. Produce a substantive piece of relevant academic writing that clearly demonstrates knowledge, understanding and critical reasoning in relation to the chosen topic.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Tutorial4Student-led Tutorials
Independent Study30Position Paper Focused
Independent Study59Exam preparation
Directed learning8exam preparation and position paper preparedness
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

The Causes of Crime
Psychological and sociocultural approaches to understanding crime; Theories of offending; Effects of interpersonal crime on victims

Investigating crime
Eyewitness evidence; Interviewing vulnerable witnesses; Interviewing suspects Intimate partner violence and stalking

Crime and Offence Typology & Classification
Serious Crime including homicide, sexual offences and arson

Offender Rehabilitation
How is risk assessed and what can psychology contribute to offender rehabilitation?

Mental Health and Crime
Population of mentally ill incarcerated; National and international trends; Psychopathic offenders: diagnosis and treatment

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment50% Examination Weight50%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentPosition Paper: Students will prepare a position paper on criminality in different groups of offenders50%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Davies, G., Hollin, C. & Bull: 2012, Forensic Psychology, Wiley, Chichester, UK,
  • Andrews, D.A. & Bonta, J: 2010, The Psychology of Criminal Conduct, 5th,
  • Bartol A.M. (Editor): 2011, Current Perspectives in Forensic Psychology and Criminal Behavior, SAGE, London, UK,
  • Bartol,C.R. & Bartol, A.M.: 2011, Introduction to Forensic Psychology, SAGE, London, UK,
  • James McGuire: 2004, Understanding psychology and crime,
  • Hollin, C. R. (ed): 2004, The essential handbook of offender assessment and treatment,
  • Craig, Gannon & Dixon: 2013, What works in offender rehabilitation: an evidence based approach to treatment and assessment, Wiley, Chichester, UK,
  • Chamberlain, J.: 2012, Understanding criminological research, SAGE, London, UK,
  • Eastin, M.: 2013, Encyclopedia of media violence, SAGE, London, UK,
  • Green, G. P. & Haines A.,: 2002, Asset building & community development, SAGE, Thousand Oaks, Calif., US,
  • Gerstenfeld, P.B.: 2011, Hate crimes, SAGE, Thousand Oaks, US,
  • Holmes, R.M., & Holmes S. T.: 2008, Profiling Violent Crimes, SAGE, London, UK,
  • Sacco, V. F.: 2005, When crime waves, SAGE, London, UK,
  • Winder, B. & Banyard. P (Eds): 2012, A Psychologist's Casebook of Crime, Palgrave MacMillan, UK,
  • Duntley, J. D. & Todd K. Shackelford, T.K., (eds): 2008, Evolutionary forensic psychology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK,
  • Kivivuori, J.: 2011, Discovery of Hidden Crime, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK,
  • Welsh, B.C., & Farrington, D. P.: 2014, The Oxford Handbook of Crime Prevention, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK,
  • Canter, D.: 2010, Forensic psychology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MPCMSc in Psychology (Conversion)

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