The Psychology of Murder
University of Roehampton
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
UK Credits10 - 20
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3 - 5
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4.5 - 7
Hours & Credits
This module has been designed with ‘murder in mind’! Murder and why individuals commit such heinous crimes is a fascinating topic of study. Throughout history scholars have tried to understand the motivation behind taking another person’s life. The principle aim of this module is to introduce you to the psychology of murder. Initial sessions will provide a background through exploring the importance of psychology in the field of criminology and what exactly do we mean by murder. Our intellectual journey will then progress to delve into the most fascinating area of murder: the world of the serial killer. Exploring actual crimes we will gradually build up a picture of the psychological motivations behind such serious crimes – are murderers mad, sad or bad? To further understand the motivation behind murder we will explore why certain victims are selected (female, homeless, children) and debate how such crimes should be punished in our society. The module will comprise lectures, workshops and debates as well as a walking tour of some of the famous London murder sites.
At the end of the module students will have an understanding of:
1. The relationship between psychology and criminology
2. Legal definition of murder and the issue of responsibility
3. The different psychological approaches to understanding murder and have a critical perspective
4. The forensic impact of murder including profiling
5. The psychology of victimology
6. The psychology of punishment
The assessment for this module will comprise two components:
- A 2000 word case study of an actual murder case (80%)
- A Class presentation of the case study (20%)
Roland, P. (2007). In the Minds of Murderers. Arcturus: London
Wilson, C. & Seaman, D. (2007). The Serial Killers: A Study in the Psychology of Violence. Virgin Books: London
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
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Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations