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BASS Philosophy and Criminology / Course details

Year of entry: 2021

Course unit details:
Psychology, Crime and Criminal Justice

Unit code CRIM10432
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


1. Introduction to psychological criminology 
2. Human nature [evolutionary approaches] 
3. Heredity [behavioural genetics] 
4. The brain [neuropsychology] 
5. Personality [& personality disorder] 
6. Development [criminal careers] 
7. Learning [theory and application] 
8. Cognition [SCT, schemas & scripts] 
9. Situations [social, environmental and opportunity theory] 
10. Conclusion [summary, strengths and limitations, implications for practice]


- introduce the discipline of psychology as it applies to the study of crime and criminal justice 
- explore the contribution of psychology to the explanation, investigation and reduction of crime 
- critically appreciate the strengths and limitations of the featured approaches and literature 
- develop marketable transferable skills, as well as subject knowledge

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching in academic year 20/21 will reflect both University policy and local and national lockdown restrictions operating at the time of delivery. We will offer face-to-face teaching where possible and provide a like for like on-line experience for those unable to be on campus.

Our teaching models will be flexible and allow us to adapt to changing conditions, however, the common intention across units is to provide (1) media, activities and other learning material that should be engaged with before scheduled teaching; (2) a timetabled 2-hour online lecture/workshop slot used for a range of online Q&A and follow-up activities; (3) a timetabled weekly 1-hour seminar/activity slot that will be face-to-face if possible and ‘live’ online if not/preferred; (4) weekly opportunity for 1:1 support. In total, there will be the opportunity for up to 30 hours of contact time. 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Portfolio 100%

Feedback methods

Full written feedback will be given on all work (assessed and non-assessed) by the Course Director. Oral feedback will be given by seminar takers.

Recommended reading

COURSE TEXT (available as an e-book through the main library and course reading list): 

Wortley, R. (2011) Psychological Criminology: An Integrative Approach. Abingdon: Routledge.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jon Shute Unit coordinator

Additional notes


Restricted to: BA (Criminology) students for which this is compulsory;  also available to non-Law first year students.

Pre-requisites: None.

See Law School timetable


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