PSYCH 707 : Psychology of Offending


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Covers psychological theories of crime and violence, empirical research relevant to the assessment and treatment of youth and adult offending, with particular emphasis on violent and sexual offending, and the range of roles for psychologists in forensic and correctional settings such as prisons, community and forensic psychiatric hospitals.

Course Overview

This course focuses on the research, theory and practice of psychology applied to the prevention, assessment and treatment of offending behaviour, and criminal justice. Taking a developmental perspective across both adolescent and adult offending with particular emphasis on the New Zealand context, it asks questions such as why and how such behaviour occurs and what can be done to address it and prevent it. This interactive course involves a mixture of  lecturer and student-led seminars,  as well as guest presentations from psychologists working in the field.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Describe the main research findings of the aetiology and treatment of youth and adult offending (Capability 1)
  2. Describe and critique different frameworks and theories of rehabilitation used in psychological treatment programmes (Capability 1 and 2)
  3. Work collaboratively to critically explore a topic relevant to criminal justice/forensic psychology that isn't covered in-depth in the lecture schedule, and prepare a group presentation (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  4. Describe cultural considerations relevant to addressing offending behaviour in Maori and Pacific people who have offended (Capability 1, 3 and 6)
  5. Discuss some of the contemporary issues facing psychologists working in forensic/correctional psychology settings, drawing from critical analysis of research findings (Capability 1 and 2)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay 10% Individual Coursework
Literature review 30% Individual Coursework
Group presentation 10% Group Coursework
Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5
Literature review
Group presentation


This course is supported by the Tuākana in Science Programme, which facilitates the success and wellbeing of our Māori and Pacific students. The foundation of the Tuākana Programme is the Tuākana-Teina principle an integral relationship in which older or more expert Tuākana (traditionally brother, sister or cousin) guides a younger or less expert Teina (traditionally younger sibling or cousin). This is a reciprocal relationship which fosters safe learning and teaching environments. Read more here:

Special Requirements

An optional field trip may be organised but will not be assessed.

Workload Expectations

Following University workload guidelines, a standard 15 point course represents approximately 150 hours of study.

During a typical teaching week there will be 2 hours of lectures. For the 12 teaching weeks, this totals to 24 hours. Since the course as a whole represents approximately 150 hours of study, that leaves a total of 126 hours across the entire semester for independent study, e.g., reading, reflection, preparing for assessments, etc.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled activities to complete the course.

Seminars will not be available as recordings. 

Attendance on campus is required for the exam.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Bonta, J., & Andrews, D. A. (2017). The Psychology of Criminal Conduct (6th ed.). New York: Routledge.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 01/11/2021 09:33 p.m.