SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMC811514
Module Leader Michele Gilluley
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

Concerned with obtaining, organising and evaluating information relevant to identified or alleged offenders. In addition, through addressing particular target groups and areas for formulation and decision-making, it adds substantially to the knowledge of crime, of related factors, and of the contributions of psychology within the legal framework introduced in earlier modules.


-460 1. Purposes and contextual factors in assessment. 2. An introduction to functional analysis (example: arson). 3. Assessment of factors related to sexual offending. 4. Assessment of factors related to violence. 5. Risk assessment. * 6. Uses and abuses of offender profiling. ** 7. Assessment of intellectual functioning. 8. Assessment of psychopathy and other personality disorders. * 9. Assessment of social behaviour and personal meanings. 10. Issues in the assessment of individuals with major mental illness. * Workshop ** Team Seminar

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to analyse and discuss:. issues relating to purpose, scope and contextual parameters in assessment. functional relationships between relevant variables in case studies of offending. assessment of factors involved in the development and maintenance of unlawful sexual activity. priorities for the assessment of dispositional and situational factors in the genesis of violence. issues and approaches in the investigation of factors involved in the onset and maintenance of offending by adolescents . the requirements of a reasoned formulation of the likelihood of on individual causing harm to others, including practical and conceptual issues. the development and current status of attempts to infer the offender?s characteristics from actions at the crime scene and other information. issues and approaches in the assessment of intellectual functioning and cognitive impairments. the rationale, application and refinement of instruments for the assessment of psychopathy and other forms of personality disorder. cognitive, behavioural, emotional, motivational and contextual aspects of social interaction difficulties and approaches to eliciting personal meanings involved in problematic behaviour. the role of the psychologist in clarification of aspects of mental illness. interviewing and the use of other data sources with children across a range of applications

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Lectures with discussion and exercises. Practical/workshop sessions involving examination of assessment instruments and case study material. Team seminars involving preparation and presentations by group members. Directed, independent and private study to support and build upon the above. Assessment includes analysis and derivation of hypotheses from case material, with supporting notes based upon relevant literature, and a critical appraisal of practice and issues in risk assessment; the former is intended to give experience of the assessment and interpretation of dispositional and situational factors, the latter to encourage analysis, critical evaluation and creative solutions in a complex area.

Indicative Reading

On advice from the librarian, instead of providing unstable individual URL links to help you access material, the following generic approach will work for all modules and all journals. For all modules, books on the indicative reading lists have been 'tagged' by the library so the easiest way to access them is to go to the library home page and then the catalogue search, type in the module code (MMC811514) and select the 'reading list keyword' option. You will then be able to access all the key books linked to each course. In order to access the journal articles referenced, you should again go to the library website and then select the journal search option and search using the name of the journal, then following the link to the volume, issues and article you want. You may have to enter your Athens username and password at some point. If so, and you cannot remember it, you can access this by linking onto 'my Caledonian' selecting the 'Athens' tab (top right) and using the information given there. Ackerman, M.J. (1999) Essential of Forensic Psychological Assessment. Chicester: Wiley Baldry, A & Winkel F (2008) Intimate Partner Violence Prevention and Intervention: The Risk Assessment and Management Approach New York: Nova Beech, A, Craig, L. & Browne, K. (Eds) (2009). Assessment and Treatment of Sex Offenders: A Handbook. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell Bierdman, J, Petty, C, Fried, R, Doyle, A, Mick, E, Aleardi, M, Monteaux, M, Seidman, L, Spencer, T, Faneuil, A, holmes, L and Faraone, S (2008) utility of an abbreviated questionnaire to identify individuals with ADHD at risk for functional impairments, Journal of Psychiatric Research, 42 (4) 304 - 310. Campbell, J.C. (1995). Assessing dangerousness: violence by sexual offenders, batterers and child abusers, Thousand Oaks, California, Sage publications. Canter, D., Alison, L. (1999). Profiling in Policy and Practice. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Costa, P & McCrae & Martin, T (2008) Incipient adult personality, the NEO-PI-3 in middle school aged children British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 26 (1) 71 - 89. Murray Cox, M, Mary McMurran, M & Hodge, J (1993) The Assessment of Criminal Behaviours of Clients in Secure Settings (Forensic Focus) <> Dolan, M & Rennie, C (2008) The structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth as a predictor of recidivism in a UK cohort of adolescent offenders with conduct disorder Psychological Assessment, 29(1) 35 - 46. Falkenbach, D, Pythress, N & Creevy, C (2008) The exploration of subclinical subtypes and the relationship with types of aggression Personality and Individual Differences 44(4) 821 - 832. Farrington, D, Hollin, C &McMurran, M (2001)Sex and Violence: The Psychology of Crime and Risk Assessment <> Routledge: London Frisby, c & Kim, S (2008) Using Profile Analysis via Multi Dimensional Scaling (PAMS) to identify core profiles from the WMS-III Psychological Assessment, 20(1) 1 - 9. Gannon, T & Cortoni, F (2010) Female Sexual Offenders: Theory, Assessment, and Treatment <> Chichester: Wiley- Blackwell Geller, J, Brown, Krista, Zaitsoff, S, Menna, R, Bates, M & Dunn, E (2008) Assessing Readiness to Change in adolescents with eating disorders, Psychological Assessment, 20(1) 63 - 69. Gregory, R. J. (2004). Psychological Testing: history, principles and applications. Boston, Mass: Pearson Gregory, N (2005) Offender Profiling a Literature Review British Journal of Forensic Practice, 7 (3) 29 - 34. Guy, L, Poythress, N & Douglas, K, Skeem, J & Edens, J (2008) Correspondence between self-report and interview based assessments of antisocial personality disorder , Psychological Assessment 20(1) 47 - 54. Hare, R.D. (1998) The Hare PCL-R: some issues concerning its use and misuse. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 3, 99-119. Herv, H & Yuille, J, (2007) The Psychopath: Theory, Research and Practice, Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers. Hollin, C.R. (2001). Handbook of offender assessment and treatment. New York, Wiley. Hollin C.R. (1990) Cognitive-Behavioural Interventions with Young Offenders. New York: Pegamon Press. Howells K. and Hollin C.R.(1989) (Eds) Clinical Approaches to Violence. Chichester: Wiley. Jackson, H.F., Glass G. and Hope S. (1987) A functional analysis of recidivistic arson. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 26, 175-183. Korman, L, Cripps, E & Toneatto, T (2008) Problem Gambling and anger: integrated assessment and treatment in Zanageneh, M, Blaszczynski, A, Turner, N Eds) (2008) In the habit of winning: problem gambling theory, research and treatment, New York: Springer. Lykke, J, Hesse, M & Austin, SF (2008) Validity of the BPRS and BAI in dual diagnosis patients, Addictive Behaviors , 33(2) 292 - 300. McMurran <>, M, Khalifa <> , N, Gibbon <>, S (2013)Forensic Mental Health (Criminal Justice Series) London: Willan: Monahan J. and Steadman H. (1994) Violence and Mental Disorder: Developments in Risk Assessment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. McMurran M. and Hodge J. (Eds) (1994) The Assessment of Criminal Behaviour of Clients in Secure Settings. London: Jessica Kinglsey. Needs, A & Towl, G (2004) Applying Psychology to Forensic Practice, Malden, Ma. US: Blackwells Publishing. Sturmey, Peter and McMurran, Mary (2011) Forensic Case Formulation (Wiley Series in Forensic Clinical Psychology) <> Chichester: Wiley Verheul, R, Andrea, H, Berghout, C , Dolan, C, Bussbach, J and van der Kroft, P (2008) Severity Indices of Personality Problems (SIPP-118) Development, factor structure, reliability and validity Psychological Assessment, 20(1) 23 - 34. Ward, T., Laws, D. R., Hudson, S. M. (2003). Sexual Deviance: issues and controversies. London, U.K: Sage

Transferrable Skills

Transferable skills include: understanding of functional relationships between variables; elicit ation t echniques; access and use of information sources; decision-making and making recommendations; organisation and communication within a team.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Seminars (PT) 6.00
Seminars (FT) 6.00
Practicals (FT) 6.00
Practicals (PT) 6.00
Assessment (PT) 20.00
Independent Learning (PT) 106.00
Independent Learning (FT) 106.00
Lectures (PT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 100.00 50% 3000 words