Dr Zoe Stephenson MSc, PhD

Dr Zoe Stephenson

School of Psychology
Lecturer in Forensic Psychology

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Stephenson is a lecturer in Forensic Psychology for the Doctorate Practice (ForenPsyD) course, is module leader for a forensic psychology undergraduate module, and is Speciality Lead for MSci students working in forensic settings. Her research projects have focused on female offending, the rehabilitation of violent and sex offenders in the UK, and alternatives to imprisonment across Europe.


PhD (Birmingham), ‘Treatment of offenders: The delivery and sequencing of interventions’

M.Sc. Forensic Psychology (Gloucestershire)

B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology with Sociological Studies (Gloucestershire)


Zoe has worked in academia for the last six years in capacities such as Psychology lecturer (BSc Psychology), Course Leader (BSc Psychology), Lecturer (MSc Forensic Psychology), Instructor (Forensic Psychology), and has been in the role of Lecturer in Forensic Psychology for the last year at the University of Birmingham. 

She has conducted research in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) on the topic of the sequencing of interventions with offenders.  She has also recently conducted analyses for the Council of Europe into alternatives to imprisonment. 


Zoe currently lectures on, and is module leader for, the undergraduate forensic psychology course.  She also lectures on the doctorate course on the topic of research methods, and provides one to one support for students.

In line with her research interests, she guest lectures on the topics of female offending and managing offenders in the community.


Rehabilitation with sexual and violent offenders
Interventions used in prison or the community aimed to reduce the likelihood of an offender committing further crimes following their sentence. In addition to the content of the intervention (e.g., thinking skills, literacy skills, anger management) it is also necessary to consider the delivery of interventions such as timing (i.e., is an offender motivated to change?) and sequencing (i.e., should an offender take part in interventions in a particular order?).

Female offending
Although female crime rates are still lower than those of their male counterparts for the majority of crimes, it is thought that female crime may be on the rise. The need to consider gender specific risk factors for offending has been recognised with the aim of developing gender specific interventions to reduce rates of re-offending.



Stephenson, Z., Woodhams, J., Cooke, C. (2014). Sex differences in predictors of violent and non-violent juvenile offending. Journal of Aggressive Behaviour, 40, 165-177.

Stephenson, Z., Harkins, L., & Woodhams, J. (2013). The sequencing of interventions with offenders: An addition to the responsivity principle. Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 13, 429-455.

Conference presentation

Zoe Stephenson, Jessica Woodhams, Leigh Harkins and Tony Beech (2013). The sequencing of interventions with offenders. British Psychological Society, Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP) conference.

Zoe Stephenson, Jessica Woodhams and Leigh Harkins (2012). The sequencing of interventions with offenders. Psychology Postgraduate Affairs Group conference.

Zoe Stephenson, Jessica Woodhams and Claire Cooke (2012). Gender difference in predictors of violent offending. British Psychological Society, Division of Forensic Psychology conference.