Diploma in Criminal Psychology and Offender Counselling

The main purpose and focus of this course are to produce a person with focused criminal psychological and counseling knowledge, techniques and skills in a particular field for the requirement of the contemporary social issues. Criminal psychology, also referred to as criminological psychology, is the study of the views, thoughts, intentions, actions and reactions of criminals and all that partakes in criminal behavior. It is related to the field of criminal anthropology.

The study goes deeply into what makes someone commit a crime, but also the reactions after the crime, on the run or in court. Criminal psychologists are often called up as witnesses in court cases to help the jury understand the mind of the criminal. Some types of psychiatry also deal with aspects of criminal behavior. Criminal behavior can be stated as “Any kind of antisocial behavior, which is punishable usually by law but can be punished by norms, stated by community,” therefore, it is difficult to define it as there is a fine line between what could be considered okay and what is considered not to be, being considered as violation at one point of time may now be accepted by community.

This situation, the knowledge and application of criminal psychology and counseling is very essential part of the criminal Justice system. Through this course basically aimed to fulfill above requirement in conceptual and theoretical as well as practical manner.

Especially in Criminal Justice system there is some confuse and complicated issues and those are negatively damage of the image of institutional functions. As the example the question of competency to stand trial is a question of an offender’s current state of mind. This assesses the offender’s ability to understand the charges against them, the possible outcomes of being convicted/acquitted of these charges and their ability to assist their attorney with their defense. The question of sanity/insanity or criminal responsibility is an assessment of the offender’s state of mind at the time of the crime. This refers to their ability to understand right from wrong and what is against the law. The insanity defense is rarely used, as it is very difficult to prove. If declared insane, an offender is committed to a secure hospital facility for much longer than they would have served in prison theoretically, that is. Legal psychologists or known as Criminal psychologists are the ones who make the decisions on offenders. This diploma course will be addressed to identify crime and victimization through criminal psychological aspects and will guide to students how to utilize this knowledge with counselling ability to control and prevent crimes in society.

Key features of the diploma programme

Program title Diploma in Criminal Psychology and Offender Counseling
Final award Diploma in Criminal Psychology and Offender Counseling
Sri Lanka Qualification Framework (SLQF) Level Level 3
Exit Award/Fall-back Award, if any Students should complete the diploma within two years of time
Sri Lanka Qualification Framework (SLQF) Level of exit award/fall back

award, if any


Not applicable

Program Code DCPOC
Cohort(s) program/s to which this program specification is applicable Not applicable
Awarding institution/body/university University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Teaching Department Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Faculty Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Language of study and assessment Sinhala
Department web page address http://fhss.sjp.ac.lk/criminology/
Method of study (Full-time/Part-time/Split/Other Part time


Mode of teaching/delivery (Direct classroom teaching/online/distance etc.) Direct classroom teaching


Total no of notional hours 1500
Credit value of the program 30
Maximum and minimum period of registration Three months from the application closing date
Placement and/or study abroad, if any Applicable
Criteria for admission to the program (including SLQF level)

Pass the GCE Advanced Level Examination in two Subjects. SLQF level 2
 NVQF Level 4
Professional or any other equivalent qualifications accepted by the Senate
Pass the aptitude test or the interview.

Length/duration of the program  1 One Year
Progression Completion of Diploma in Criminal Psychology and Offender Counseling (DCPOC) meets the minimum entry requirement for a qualification in Higher Diploma in Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Course Structure

Course code Course title Credit value notional hours
Direct contact hours Self learning
First semester
DCPOC 110 Introduction to Criminological Theories 3 30 100
DCPOC111 Study on Personality Development 3 30 100
DCPOC112 Introduction to Criminal Psychology 3 30 100
DCPOC113 Basic concepts of Counselling 3 30 100
DCPOC114 Techniques and Professional ethics for Criminal Counselling 3 30 100
second semester
DCPOC210 Introduction to Criminological Research Methods 3 30 100
DCPOC211 Human Behaviour and Violence 3 30 100
DCPOC212 Introduction to Mental Health 3 30 100
DCPOC213 Psychology of Criminal Justice Administration 3 30 100
DCPOC 214 Stress Management & Counselling Treatment 3 30 100
DCPOC 199 Independent Research Report 3 30 100