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Professional Diploma in Criminal Psychology for Crime Writers

City Colleges’ Professional Diploma
  • Join us at now at City Colleges as we embark on a riveting exploration of crime, criminology, and the art of writing on the edge of darkness.
  • Study at your own pace, with learners having up to 16 weeks to complete the programme
  • Course access available from 4th of June 2024 – Book Now!

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Price from €795
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Welcome to our newest On Demand Diploma in Criminology & Criminal Behaviours for Crime Writers. Perhaps you’re thinking of crafting a gripping thriller, a chilling mystery, or a compelling crime drama where understanding the nuances of criminal behaviour and the principles of criminology is paramount? Enter now a space where the shadows of the underworld meet the glow of literary imagination. In this course, we delve into the dark alleys of criminal psychology, dissecting the intricate web of motives, methods, and minds behind unlawful deeds.

We will take you from personality disorders & psychopathy, to sex offending and stalkers to serial killers. We will also examine the brutality of physical and emotional domestic abuse and steer back to family and social causes of criminal deviancy. Nor do we forget those that are left behind and will take you into the terrible worlds of victims and their victimology.

If you are an avid book club member, aspire to write crime fiction for the first time, or are a seasoned veteran, this course is most assuredly for you. We will truly unravel the mysteries behind criminal minds and examine the factors that drive individuals to transgress the boundaries of law and morality.

Led by Faculty Head, Criminologist & Lecturer in Forensic Psychology, John Deane-O’Keeffe and seasoned experts, you’ll learn to weave authenticity into your narratives, crafting characters and plotlines that resonate with readers while staying true to the complexities of the criminal justice system. Whether you’re a seasoned wordsmith seeking to sharpen your storytelling skills or an aspiring author venturing into the realm of crime fiction for the first time, this course provides the knowledge, tools, and inspiration to elevate your craft to new heights.

Join us at now at City Colleges as we embark on a riveting exploration of crime, criminology, and the art of writing on the edge of darkness.

Lecture Outline*

Session 1Course Summary + Understanding Personality Disorders & Psychopathy  for Crime Writing [2 hours – John Deane-O’Keeffe]

Session 2Aggression & Violence in Crime Characters 1 – Extreme Childhood Violence, Domestic Abusers & Stalkers [2 hours – John Deane-O’Keeffe]

Session 3Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence – That which doesn’t kill us…A Survivor’s Tale [1.5 hours – Ciara Deering]

Session 4Aggression & Violence in Crime Characters 2 – Two sides of the same coin? Child & Adult Sex Offenders [2 hours – John Deane-O’Keeffe]

Session 5Understanding Murderers, Serial Killers & Terrorists as Crime Characters [2 hours – John Deane-O’Keeffe]

Session 6Homicide – A view from the other side. The day my brother died. [1.5 hours – Moira Lawson]

Session 7Researching for Crime Writers – An Author’s Tale [1.5 hours – Gillian Perdue]


*Lecture outline subject to change

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of key criminological theories and concepts.
  • Analyse and interpret criminal behaviours through the lens of psychological, sociological, and biological perspectives, gaining insights into the motivations, patterns, and dynamics underlying unlawful acts.
  • Apply criminological principles to the development of realistic and compelling characters, integrating psychological profiles and behavioural traits into their narratives with depth and authenticity.
  • Evaluate the role of environmental factors, social structures, and cultural influences in shaping criminal behaviour, enabling writers to craft narratives that reflect the complexities of real-world contexts.
  • Explore various methodologies and techniques used in criminal investigation and profiling, enhancing their ability to construct engaging plotlines and captivating mysteries.
  • Synthesize knowledge acquired throughout the course to produce original works of crime fiction that demonstrate proficiency in integrating criminological insights, character development, and narrative structure.
  • Reflect on your learning journey and identify areas for continued growth and development as crime writers, setting goals for ongoing practice and exploration within the genre.
  • Cultivate a deeper appreciation for the interdisciplinary nature of crime fiction, recognizing the intersection of criminology, psychology, sociology, and creative writing in crafting compelling narratives that captivate audiences.


A pass grade on the written project or assignment will be required for awarding the Diploma. Students are assessed by way of a terminal 2,500-word project or assignment (student choice]

John Deane-O’Keeffe FRSA, MRHistS, LLMin.

M. St. (Cantab.) Pg Dip Crim. (Cantab.) Doctoratus/Magister in Gister Studiorum (ad eundem Cantab.) (TCD) MPhil (Theo. TCD) MA (Laws) Pg Dip Law, Dip LS, LL.B.(UWE) BA (UCD) CCTP (TCD) C.HEd. (Oxon.)

Course Award

A City College’s Professional Diploma Course is a focused, practical programme designed and delivered by an industry practitioner, that consolidates, upskills or reskills learners in a professional area. They are stand-alone qualifications that indicate that you have been trained in a particular area or specific subject matter.

City College Diplomas are suitable for career minded learners wishing to advance their professional skills and prospects. They are widely accepted by employers and many students are sponsored to study here by their organisation.

Corporate Training

In addition to our scheduled Professional Diploma courses, City Colleges can provide bespoke training over 3 – 4 days, please contact for further details.

Learning Outcomes

  • Increase students’ knowledge and understanding of domestic and gender based violence, sexual abuse and coercive control and the implications for social policy and society.
  • Strengthen students’ understanding of the main approaches and debates on domestic violence and sexual abuse within the Irish and international context.
  • Enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of the research, policy and practice on such abuse and violence.
  • Amplify students’ knowledge and understanding of key theoretical frameworks on domestic abuse and sexual violence.
  • Enhance students’ abilities to critically analyse the key theories and ability to critically analyse relevant policies/policy documents as they relate to domestic and gender based violence and sexual abuse.

Criminology and Forensic Psychology Information Evening

Exploring the Myths

John Deane-O’Keefe FRSA, MRHistS
Criminologist & Lecturer in Forensic Psychology

Further Information

Please call the College on +353 1 416 0034 or email

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