University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Mental Health and Crime (LAWS11114)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe aim of this course is to examine the relationship between mental health and crime and explore issues relating to the appropriate treatment of mentally disordered offenders in the criminal justice system. Different forms of mental disorder will be analysed (including psychotic illnesses, personality disorders and the mental health problems associated with substance misuse) and their links to crime evaluated.
Course description Key objectives are also: to trace the history and development of mental health law; to explore the nature of criminal justice and other disposals for mentally disordered offenders (comparing Scotland with England/Wales); and to assess the nature and limits of offender profiling.

A visit will be arranged to a medium secure unit located in Edinburgh, where students will meet staff and patients and gain an insight into clinical practice and the day-to-day running of a medium secure institution. The course will conclude with a mock trial in which students will act as prosecution, defence agents and jury and staff as judge, defender and expert witnesses.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  50
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The module will be assessed by means of a 5,000 word essay.
Feedback A feedback session is run in the second half of the course as students prepare for their written assessment. Guidance is given on writing skills including researching mental health topics, essay writing and critical analysis. The mock trial represents the culmination of the development of key course skills, particularly critical knowledge and understanding of psychiatric defences and the intersection of mental health practice and law. Formative feedback is given at the conclusion of the mock trial in relation to these core skills.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop knowledge and critical understanding of key theoretical, empirical and policy perspectives in relation to mental health and crime
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the main forms of mental disorder and their relationship to crime; current psychiatric defences and contemporary mental health disposals and services
  3. Demonstrate critical understanding of responses to mentally disordered offenders such as in the media and in homocide inquiries; and of challenges in meeting the victims of mentally disordered offenders
  4. Develop communication skills by working in small groups to research, prepare and participate in a mock trial; apply knowledge gained of psychiatric defences and criminal justice disposals
  5. Independently research and write a theoretically informed academic essay work that critically engages with mental health law, policy and criminal justice practice
Reading List
McManus, J.J. and Thomson, L.D. G. (2014) (2nd edition) Mental Health and Scots Law in Practice. Edinburgh: Green.

Pilgrim, D. and Rodgers, A. (2005) ┐Perspectives on Mental Health and Illness┐. Chapter 1 in D. Pilgrim and A. Rodgers, A Sociology of Mental Health and Illness, 3rd edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course provides students with the opportunity to:

1. Apply theoretical and empirical research to contemporary debates and policy
2. Identify and critically evaluate the drivers and motivations of policy reform, implementation and practice
3. Develop communication skills, including oral presentation skills in both small and larger groups and to an audience
4. Independently research and critically evaluate different forms of academic, policy and practice evidence
Keywordsmental health and crime,mentally disordered offenders,mental health law,psychiatric defences
Course organiserDr Fiona Jamieson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5567
Course secretaryMs Florence Finlayson
Tel: (0131 6)50 9588
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information