The Criminal Psychology – Level 4 Diploma Course will examine the history of crime and punishment and the psychology of the criminal, including criminal behaviour and the law, punishment and rehabilitation.

The subjects detailed in the course range from the different theories of why people commit crimes to a detailed examination of the types of crime committed (e.g. murder, arson, sex offences). The course also looks at profiling techniques and other investigative tools (interviewing, lie detection). The course also covers other related topics within legal psychology which has connections with both Forensic Psychology and Criminal Psychology.

On successful completion of this course students will receive an accredited Level 4 Certificate of Achievement.

The Criminal Psychology Diploma Course covers the following Units:-

  • Unit 1 – Theories of Crime (I) - Psychological

Unit Objectives: Understand and describe the different Psychological Theories of crime; Understand and describe the main features of the different Psychological Theories of crime; Recognise strengths and weaknesses in theories; and Understand why theories are criticised.

  • Unit 2 - Theories of Crime (II) - Biological

Unit Objectives: Understand and describe different biological theories; Understand the importance of systematic observations taken in carefully controlled surroundings; Understand the importance of testing the validity of theories; and Evaluate research into the biology of crime and recognise weak versus strong research.

  • Unit 3 - Theories of Crime (III) - Sociological

Unit Objectives: Understand and describe the different sociological theories of crime; Understand and describe the main features of the different sociological theories of crime; Recognise weaknesses in theories and understand why theories are criticised; and Understand that some theories are hybrid, combining a number of different perspectives.

  • Unit 4 - Theories of Crime (IV) - Developmental

Unit Objectives: To have an awareness of the longitudinal methodology for studying criminal behaviour; Understand and describe the various types of offender, as identified by Moffitt and other researchers; Recognise weaknesses in longitudinal research, & understand why theories & research are criticised; and Understand the various theories on moral development and how they complement other theories.

  • Unit 5 - Substance Misuse (Drugs, Alcohol & Crime)

Unit Objectives: Understand and describe why: Class A Drugs (e.g. cocaine, heroin) are considered the most harmful; There appear to be links between drug abuse and crime; Habitual drug abuse causes changes in brain function which affect behaviour; There is an increasing tendency to sentence drug abusers to punishment within the community; Efforts are being made to educate young people with respect to the dangers of drug use.

  • Unit 6 - Violence & Violent Offences

Unit Objectives: To understand the discussion around violence, frustration and aggression; To have an awareness of the research into violent behaviour; To have an awareness of the emotional aspects of violence; To have an awareness of the various posited explanations for domestic violence; and To conduct research into a possible psychological cause of violent behaviour.

  • Unit 7 - Sex Offences

Unit Objectives: Understand what is meant by rape, sexual assault, sexual violence and sex offending; Be aware of the various risk factors in sex offences; Understand the various theoretical explanations regarding rape; Have an awareness of both the evolutionary and feminist perspective on rape; Understand the definition of the ‘justice gap'; and Conduct research and produce a review of the factors that contribute to the ‘justice gap' for rape.

  • Unit 8 - Arson

Unit Objectives: Understand the definition of fire-setting and arson; Understand the development of fire-play behaviour at an early age, to fire-setting behaviour as an adolescent; Understand the various motivations for the crime of arson; and Have awareness of various explanations for such behaviour (including an evolutionary perspective).

  • Unit 9 - Stalking

Unit Objectives: Understand the definition of stalking to denote a range of behaviours; Understand the possible progression from stalking to intimate partner violence; Recognise types of stalking and possible outcomes; and Awareness of the various motivations for stalking behaviour.

  • Unit 10 - Serial Murder

Unit Objectives: Understand the common characteristics of mass murderers and how they may explain the reasons for the behaviour; Understand the differences, and similarities, between serial murder, mass murder and spree killing; Evaluate various explanations for mass murder; and Understand the Trauma Control Model and how it can help explain serial murder.

  • Unit 11 - Terrorism

Unit Objectives: Understand the difficulties in defining terrorism; Understand that there are two different aspects to the psychology of terrorism (1. The psychological aspects of terrorist behaviour and 2. The psychological aspects of the effects of terrorism on the victims); Understand the need for quality research and the caution with which research results should be treated; Understand that there are a vast number of terrorist groups with different agendas, different names and different labels; and Understand what is meant by hate.

  • Unit 12 - Mental Health & Crime

Unit Objectives: To have an awareness that perceptions of mental disorder, as a cause of violent crime, are distorted; Understand what is meant by schizophrenia, amnesia and Dissociative Identity Disorder; To have an awareness that research suggests serious violent behaviour is not frequent among people with schizophrenia; Develop an awareness of the characteristics used to define psychopathy; Understand that, until the Mental Health Act 2007, a distinction was drawn between psychopathy and anti-social personality disorder; and Understand what effect the removal of this distinction will have on certain groups of offenders.

  • Unit 13 - Offender Profiling

Unit Objectives: Understand and describe what is meant by: sychological (or Offender) Profiling; Typological Approach; Intuitive (Experiential) versus Actuarial (Statistical) Approaches to Profiling; Investigative Psychology; Research into Investigative Psychology & its real world application; and Recognise & discuss the differences & similarities between the two models.

  • Unit 14 - Geographical Profiling

Unit Objectives: Understand and describe what is meant by: Geographic profiling; Basic theories and principles of geographic profiling; Research into geographic profiling; The application of geographic profiling; and How results are obtained.

  • Unit 15 - Police Interviewing – The Suspect & The Witness

Unit Objectives: Understand the development of investigative interviewing, and recognise the difference between interviews and interrogations; Understand the underlying principles of modern investigative interviewing, and recognise the differences between the UK and USA; Recognise bad practice in police interviewing (including factors such as intimidation, robust challenges and manipulation) and effective good practice; and Have awareness and understanding of the Cognitive Interview approach to witness interviewing.

  • Unit 16- Detecting Deception

Unit Objectives: To recognise there are no clear-cut ways of detecting deception/lies; To review three possible sources of evidence of deception; To review the background to the polygraph and its use; and Critically evaluate the accuracy of the lie detection methods.

  • Unit 17 - Different Terrorist Groups

Unit Objectives: To recognise that eyewitness memory is highly fallible; To recognise that memories are considered a product of conceptual systems; To have a basic understanding of some of the research into perception, memory and eyewitness testimony; and To examine and report on personal perception and memory.

Pre Requirements:

There is no prior learning knowledge or experience required to take this course. Students may want to consider the Criminology - Level 3 Course if they would like to gain a pre-knowledge prior to starting this course.

Course Duration & Support:

Students may register at any time and have a full year to complete their studies. You also have access to a personal tutor by mail or email for a 12 month period. As the course is self study you can complete in as little or as long a time as you prefer.

Assessment:

At the end of each unit of the course there are a number of activities, 50% of which are designed to get you to organise the information you have acquired into a format that you feel comfortable with. You are also required to write 1 x 500 word essay after completing each section. It is only the essays that need be submitted for assessment.

 

 

Certification:

NCFE On successful completion of this course students will be awarded a Criminal Psychology Certificate of Achievement by NCFE.

The course measurable learning outcomes have been benchmarked at Level 4 (using Ofqual’s Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) level descriptors) to allow you to consider the depth of study, difficulty, and level of achievement involved.

Further information about Ofqual’s Qualification & Credit Framework level descriptors can be found at http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/qualifications-and-assessments/qualification-frameworks/levels-of-qualifications/

NCFE is recognised as an Awarding Organisation by the qualification regulators for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who are: the Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator (Ofqual) in England, the Welsh Government, and the Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) in Northern Ireland.

NCFE accreditation gives assurance that the content of a training course is of a high standard and meets the rigorous requirements of a national awarding organisation. NCFE accreditation also gives formal recognition to courses which result in the award of a certificate of achievement but does not qualify you for a nationally recognised qualification. This course has been accredited under NCFE IIQ Licence by NCC which has been approved as an NCFE Investing in Quality (IIQ) centre to give formal recognition to our courses. We have designed our training courses specifically to meet the needs of learners who prefer to study from home..

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