Introduction to Forensic Psychology - 2017

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 1
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP2 , SP4
  • Availability for 2017: SP2 , SP4
  • Assessment: Essay 1 (40%) , Invigilated Exam (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

This unit provides an introduction to the various domains of expertise of forensic psychologists. It examines the way in which psychologists produce and use psychological theory and research within the criminal justice setting. In particular, the unit focuses on the use of psychological assessments in court, issues of criminal responsibility and predicting dangerousness, jury processes and decision-making, eyewitness testimony, the use of psychological knowledge in prisons and the psychology of criminal behaviour.

Assessment details will be advised at the beginning of the unit offering.

At the completion of this unit students will:

  1. be able to describe the various ways that psychologists interact with the legal system
  2. be able to understand the importance and limitations of psychological research to the application of legal processes
  3. be able to understand the importance of developing testable theories and how these theories help to explain and predict human behaviour within the legal system
  4. be able to articulate the tensions that exist between psychology and law
  5. have acquired and improved core skills and competencies relevant to criminology and in line with the GriffithGraduate:
  • Ability to communicate effectively through tutorial or web-based discussions
  • Be information literate, by developing skills in criminological research including finding and using empirical research published in academic journals
  • Ability to work autonomously, including gathering resources and producing written work; ability to work in teams during tutorials
  • Critical evaluation of academic literature and research
  • Ability to manage time and multiple tasks
  • Effective writing skills
  • Essay 1 (40%)
  • Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Quizzes (20%)
For more information on invigilated exams see Exams and results

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • CCJ14 — Forensic Psychology
  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction to Forensic Psychology
2Crime in Context
3Theories of Crime
4Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice
5Sexual Offenders
6Violent Offenders
7Eyewitness Testimony
9False Allegations and Confessions
10Mental Health Law and Offending
11Juries and Decision Making
12Assessment of risk, dangerousness and recidivism

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture

Online materials

  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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