Module code: PSY3128

Module Overview

This module builds on the abnormal psychology knowledge acquired in previous years and focuses on the forensic aspects of clinical psychology, that is the assessment and treatment of offenders with psychological disorders including psychosis, personality disorder and neurodevelopmental disorders. The course aims are to introduce mental health issues within secure mental health settings (secure hospitals and prisons) and to develop a critical understanding of the theories, methods and applications within forensic clinical psychology. Its objective is to demonstrate how an applied understanding of abnormal psychology can help understanding, risk management and treatment within secure settings with offenders with psychological disorders.

Module provider


Module Leader

DRAYCOTT Simon (Psychology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 120

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 106

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

You will be taught about different serious mental health issues by a clinical psychologist working in a secure unit. Indicative content includes topics such as offending, risk assessment, personality disorder and sexual deviation. Please note: topics vary from year to year.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework CASE STUDY 40

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate a critical understanding of: the theories and methods underpinning forensic clinical psychology; the aetiology of serious mental health conditions; the aetiology of offending behaviour and how it can be assessed and treated; and how forensic mental health conditions can be treated and managed effectively.

Evidence of engagement with the wider published literature surrounding key topic areas and demonstration of critical evaluation of this literature.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

- One case study assignment 

- One seen examination 

Formative assessment and feedback;

Module feedback: Students will receive written feedback on their case study assignment. Verbal feedback will also be provided during lectures/seminars. If there are consistent themes emerging from the case study feedback, these will be discussed with students en masse.

Should students wish for more detailed feedback on their own performance, they will be encouraged to meet with the case study marker. Prior to the assessments, time will be spent discussing the assignment and feedback process.

The marking scheme will be specified, expectations discussed to encourage learner self-efficacy.

Module aims

  • As stated, this module aims to familiarize students with serious mental health issues and their treatment within secure settings.
  • It builds on previous knowledge of abnormal and clinical psychology, imparted at lower levels, and teaches how to assess mental health and risk within secure settings and types of treatment offered this these contexts.
  • The module invites students to look closely into a set of serious mental health problems, and issues encountered in forensic clinical psychology and demonstrates the types of treatment for these problems and how the issues presented can be dealt with.
  • Students are encouraged to engage critically with published research in each of the respective areas.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 A critical understanding of the theories and methods underpinning forensic clinical psychology CKPT
002 A critical understanding of the aetiology of psychological conditions and offending behaviour, and how the two may interact CK
003 A critical understanding of how psychological conditions can be treated and managed effectively in secure settings CKPT
004 A critical understanding of how risk of offending behaviour can be assessed, managed and treated effectively in secure settings CKPT
005 Evidence of engagement with the wider published literature surrounding key topic areas and demonstration of critical evaluation of this literature CK

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

This module is made up of weekly lectures, seminars and guided learning activities. Each week there will be both lecture content and discussion.

Students will be encouraged to actively participate and ask questions. Lecturers will seek to facilitate group discussion where possible. Lecture slides will be available on Surreylearn at least 48 hours before each lecture.

Surreylearn will be a key resource for supplementary materials, links, and a dedicated discussion board.

Students will be encouraged to engage with the wider, and recent, published literature for each of the key topics covered.

Lecturers will provide key references that students will be required to familiarise themselves with. The module will be supported by a number of core textbooks to support an understanding of key theories and models; however, the emphasis is very much on engagement with journal articles and other recent publications.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSY3128

Other information

Employability: Students are taught by an experienced forensic clinical psychologist who works in a secure unit. Students will gain a theoretical understanding of how common psychological concepts and interventions are used in this highly applied setting. Resourcefulness and Resilience: A self-directed approach to learning is expected at level 6 with sufficient materials supplied to enable assignment completion and exam preparation. The learning, teaching and assessment strategy for this module has been designed to encourage active participation, peer support and reflective engagement. Global and Cultural Capabilities: Cultural aspects of both serious mental health presentation and treatment approaches are covered in a number of topics, as well as integral to several of the case materials discussed in seminars.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Psychology BSc (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.