SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMC811515
Module Leader Michele Gilluley
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Psychology
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module provides a conceptual foundation for the development and excercise of skills as a practitioner and increasing knowledge of organisational contexts within the criminal justice system. Some skills are crucial to professional effective ness and credibility in a variety of fields, whilst others can be seen as building blocks for a range of areas of application or intervention. Working on areas related to personnel and performance can be a cost-effective way of maximising the effectiveness of an applied psychological service and it is important to consider the often high-profile and sensitive nature of such work.


1. Prisons 2. Open and closed institutions 3. Social work and probation services 4. Design and evaluation of training 5. Leadership and decision-making, expertise/mistakes 6. Supervision/support of staff and teamworking 7. Staff selection and stress on staff 8. Interviewing * 9. Counselling 10. Working with groups * 11. Managing aggression 12. Hostage incidents/emergencies and post-incident interventions * Workshop ** Team Seminar

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to explain and apply understanding of:- differences between types of prison in terms of function and population and the nature of organisational structure and multi-disciplinary working in the prison services of Scotland, England and Wales- the functions and responsibilities of social work and probation services- issues to be considered in identifying training needs, selecting approaches and methods for learning, designing training materials, and formulating a multi-level evaluation strategy- the functions and relevance of team-building and leadership skills- supervising and supporting competent and ethical practice to achieve agreed objectives through appropriate utilisation of personnel and other resources, communication and resolution of problems- how routines and assumptions can contribute to limited performance or catastrophe- the operationalisation for selection purposes of core competencies required of staff- the nature and causes of work-related stress and measures for its reduction-purposes, roles, communication and techniques for enhancing effectiveness in an interview situation- the relationship between the value base of counselling and facilitative communication; special issues in the use of counselling skills with offenders- facilitating and handling groups-techniques for preventing, containing or reducing aggression by effective organisation of working practices, preparation and handling of face-to-face encounters- literature within the public domain on perpetrator characteristics, dynamics and strategy for resolution in hostage incidents and other operational emergences- the concept of post-traumatic stress and the provision of support staff in this area- key points of the BPS code of conduct and DFP ethical guidelines throughout

Teaching / Learning Strategy

- Lectures with discussion, exercises and skills demonstration as appropriate. - Practical/workshop sessions permitting extended coverage and use of a variety of media and methods. - Team seminars involving preparation and presentation by group members. - Directed, independent and private study to support and build upon the above. - Visits to relevant external sites (eg Prisons, State Hospital). - Assessment includes delivery of a presentation and a report on how professional skills can be implemented to change culture, procedures or policy in a forensic setting; the latter is intended to promote awareness of real-life problem areas in forensic settings, in particular how potential obstacles can be tackled and how change can be planned, managed, monitored and evaluated.

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 (MMC811515) 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. Andrews, D.A & Bonta, J. (2010). The Psychology of Criminal Conduct. Lexis Nexis. Bond, T. (1993). Standards and Ethics for Counselling in Action. London: Sage. Breakwell, G.M. (1989). Facing Physical Violence. London: Routledge. British Psychological Society (1985). A Code of Conduct for Psychologists (Reprinted yearly in 'The Register of Chartered Psychologists). British Psychological Society (1993). Ethical Issues. In Psychology and Antisocial Behaviour. Leicester: BPS. Broad, M.L. & Newstrom, J.W. (1992). Transfer of Training. Addison-Wesley. Brown, A. (1989). Groupwork. London: Routledge. Clapton, G. Cree, V, Allan, M, Edwards, R, Forbes, R, Irwin, M Paterson, W and Perry, R (2006) Grasping the nettle, integrating learning and practice revisited and re-imagined. Social Work Education, 25(6) 645 - 656. Clarke, N.K. and Stephenson, G.M. (Eds.) (1994). Rights and Risks: The Application of Forensic Psychology. Issues in Criminological Psychology, No. 21. Leicester: The British Psychological Society. Cooke, D.J., Baldwin, P.J. and Howison, J. (1990). Psychology in Prisons. London: Routledge. DFP. (1997). Ethical Guidelines on Forensic Psychology. Leicester: The British Psychological Society. Fontana, D. (1989). Managing Stress. London: Routledge. Furnham, A. (1997). The Psychology of Behaviour at Work: The Individual in the Organisation. Hove: Psychology Press. Goldstein, A.P. (2002). The Psychology of Group Aggression. Wiley Goldstein, I. (1986). Training in Organisations: Needs Assessment, Development and Evaluation. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole. Guirdham, M. (1995). Interpersonal Skills at Work. London: Prentice-Hall. Harvey-Craig, A., Fisher, M.J. and Simpson, P. (1987). An Explanation of the Profiling of Hostage Incidents in H. M. Prison Service. In G.M. Stephenson and N.K. Clark (Eds.), Procedures in Criminal Justice: Contemporary Psychological Issues. Issues in Criminological and Legal Psychology, No. 29. Leicester: The British Psychological Society. Jones, C (2008) From Novice to Expert: issue of concern in the training of psychologists Australian Psychologist, 43(1) 38 - 54. Koocher, G (2007) Twenty-first century Ethical Challenges for psychology American Psychologist, 62(2) 375 - 384. Lindsay, G. and Clarkson, P. (1999) Ethical dilemmas of psychotherapists . The Psychologist, 12, 182-185. Mackay, I. (1995). Asking Questions. London: Institute of Personnel and Development. McGuire, J. (1997). Ethical dilemmas in forensic clinical psychology. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 2, 177-192. Miller, W. R. & Rollnick, S. ((2002). Motivational Interviewing. Preparing People for Change. Guilford Press. Needs, A., Towl, G. (2004). Applying psychology to Forensic Practice. BPS, Leicester: Blackwell. Ownby, R.L. (1997). Psychological Reports: A Guide to Report Writing for Professional Psychology. Chichester: Wiley. Robinson, D.G. and Robinson, J.C. (1995). Performance Consulting: Moving Beyond Training. California: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Roden, C. (1997). Prison officer recruitment and promotion: Selecting for success. Prison Service Journal No. 113, 33-38. Scott, M.J. and Stradling, S.G. (1993). Counselling for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. London: Sage. Shepherd, E. (1991). Ethical interviewing. Policing, 7, 42-60 (also in Shepherd, E. (Ed.), (1993). Aspects of Police Interviewing. Issues in Criminological and Legal Psychology, No. 18, Leicester: The British Psychological Society Skett, S. (1995). Consent, coercion and culpability. Issues in Criminological and Legal Psychology, No 22. Leicester: The British Psychological Society Yalom, I.D. (2005). The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy. Perseus Books.

Transferrable Skills

Transferable skills include: analysis of influences on job performance and organisational effectiveness; team-working; leadership; analysis of problem-solving and decision-making; identifying work-related competencies; facilitative communication; giving feedback; planning questioning strategies; creating a supportive environment; analysing ethical dilemmas; managing groups; calming aggression

Module Structure

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

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 20.00 50% Oral presentation
Coursework 0.00 80.00 50% Report 4000 words