SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMC824276
Module Leader Stella Bain
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 exercise 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.


-567b7 Ethics and standards in forensic practice b7 Applying for ethical approval b7 Assessment and report writing b7 Working as a trainee psychologist (inc. responsibilities for professional development) b7 Training b7 Consultancy b7 Presentation skills b7 Visit(s) to forensic settings (e.g. HMP Barlinnie) b7 Crisis negotiation in forensic settings b7 Group psychotherapy skills (inc. CBT) b7 Presenting psychological evidence

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:1. Critically assess ethics and standards of practice in different forensic settings and their implications for professional practice.2. Demonstrate core professional skills required to work effectively with different client groups.3. Demonstrate core professional skills required to work effectively in forensic practice within multi-agency, inter-disciplinary contexts. 4. Critically assess issues related to identifying training needs, selecting approaches and methods for learning, designing training materials, and formulating a multi-level evaluation strategy.5. Synthesis and disseminate information to professional partners efficiently and effectively.

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 forensic settings. - Assessment includes written and oral communication of professional skills that support changing organisational culture, procedures or policy in a forensic setting. The assessment 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. Relevant indicative reading will be provided in the module handbook annually to ensure that students have access to current material. In addition, students should consult the most recent guidance on: -360b7 GCU's Ethical Approval process -360b7 British Psychological Society's Code of Ethics and Conduct b7 British Psychological Society's Professional Practice Guidelines b7 Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency for Practitioner Psychologists Breakwell, G.M. (1989). Facing Physical Violence. London: Routledge. Broad, M.L. & Newstrom, J.W. (1992). Transfer of Training. Addison-Wesley. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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; planning consultancy and training.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (PT) 6.00
Independent Learning (FT) 100.00
Seminars (FT) 6.00
Tutorials (FT) 6.00
Lectures (PT) 12.00
Assessment (PT) 20.00
Practicals (FT) 6.00
Independent Learning (PT) 100.00
Seminars (PT) 6.00
Tutorials (PT) 6.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 100.00 50% Portfolio of work with written (2,500 words) and oral elements.