The course is designed to develop an applied psychological knowledge base relevant to the domain of Forensic and Investigative Psychology, underpinned by theory and empirical research (including research methodology relevant to the course).
The course combines contemporary and traditional approaches to psychology, law and criminal behaviours, and includes topics of particular relevance to the 21st century and beyond such as cybercrime and deviance, human trafficking and modern day slavery, decision-making, and the use and collection of ‘big data’ and surveillance information.
You will be introduced to a range of contemporary psychological theories and empirical research relevant to Forensic and Investigative Psychology, including ethics, applied memory and cognition, decision-making, investigative practice, cybercrime, theories of crime, and deception.
In addition, students may have the opportunity to gain additional qualifications in psychological testing as part of the ‘Conducting and Interpreting psychological Research’ module.
The course aims to provide you with the knowledge, skills, values and academic approach to work in areas relating to Forensic Psychology.
During the course, you have the opportunity to gain consultancy skills by communicating knowledge to professional audiences, giving you real-world experience of working in the field. There are guest speakers from the field of criminal justice, and you gain experience in research skills, as well as learn about ongoing personal and professional development. The course covers the application of psychology to the professional field of Forensic Psychology through the following modules
While completing the course, you develop a range of core skills that are essential within the field of Forensic Psychology, and are also transferable to other areas of employment. Examples of such skills include critical thinking and evaluation, effective communication, critical self-reflection, working within relevant ethical and professional frameworks, and drawing on a range of techniques and research methods applicable to Forensic Psychology.
By delivering the course through blended learning, the course aims to provide flexible delivery of modules to facilitate students who may have other time commitments, or who may live further away from Sheffield, but still want to study at the university.
The course is not yet accredited by the British Psychological Society, but has been designed with the accreditation criteria in mind. We will be applying for accreditation in the near future.
The course is offered as a full-time (one year) or part-time (two years) blended learning course. You attend four block weeks of teaching on campus, with two weeks in trimester 1 and two weeks in trimester 2. You also complete a range of online activities before and after the block weeks of teaching.
It is expected that graduates of the course will enter careers in
• the police service (crime analysts, police officers, police community support officers) • the Home Office (researchers) • youth offending service (appropriate adults, youth justice officers) • victim support work • drug and alcohol services • Security services (analysts) • charities (mental health support workers, researchers) • academia (research associates) • further study (PhD)
Unlike other courses which focus on offender assessment and rehabilitation, this new course will examine the theoretical and investigative aspects of forensic psychology, tracking the criminal justice process from the crime scene to the court room. It is an exceptionally hands-on, practical course, using our unique on-campus Crime Scene Training Centre together with Psychology Testing Suites with the latest eye-tracking and face-processing equipment.
As well as the underlying theories regarding the psychology of investigations and considering areas such as how face processing can assist identification of individuals, you will explore different offence types - sexual offending, murder and violent crime, group offending (including terrorism, hooliganism and rioting), and different forms of cyber-crime (e.g. hacktivism and on-line sexual abuse).
You’ll be expected to investigate and scrutinise violent mocked-up crime scenes to provide written and verbal evidence, learning how to present expert witness testimony in a mock court.
You will evaluate victims, witnesses, suspects and offenders, environment, geography and time, working with practitioners who create fieldwork, case studies and exercises based on their real experiences.
Guest speakers sharing their knowledge will be an integral feature of the course, as will Terri Cole, the course leader's own experiences as a Behavioural Investigative Adviser and Serious Crime Analyst. Terri worked for a number of years with police forces providing offender profiling, crime scene assessment and offence linkage advice in relation to serious sexual offences and murder. She brings her expertise and experience together to focus on crime scene behaviour and how psychology can assist investigations on this new course.