Mental Disorder and Crime - 2017

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: Sess 1
  • Availability for 2018: Sess 1
  • Assessment: Essay 1 - Minor Essay (40%) , Essay 2 - Major Essay (60%)

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,563.00
International 2,813.00

This unit considers the history of thinking and practice with respect to forensic mental health, and the implications of this history for current forensic mental health practice. Particular attention is given to contemporary legal constructs of insanity and fitness to plead, and psychiatric constructs of intellectual disability, mental disorder, psychosis, psychopathy, personality disorder and paraphiliacs. An attempt is made to integrate criminological and psychiatric theories and evidence concerning problems in forensic mental health.

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

After successfully completing this unit you should be able to:

  1. Delineate the key issues surrounding definitions of mental disorder and criminal behaviour;
  2. Describe the major models of mental disorder and models of criminal behaviour, and the relationship between the two;
  3. Summarise the fundamental debates surrounding views of criminal behaviour and mental disorder, including free will versus determinism, nature versus nurture, and person versus situation;
  4. Describe the main classification systems of mental disorder and identify the strengths and weaknesses of these systems;
  5. Describe the relationship between mental disorder and concepts of dangerousness and the legal responses to dangerousness;
  6. List the main categories of mental disorder and explain how these disorders may lead to criminal behaviour; and
  7. Critically evaluate the relationship between various criminal behaviours and types of mental disorder, and in particular, the extent to which there is a special relationship between mental disorder and crime and its implications for practice.
  • Essay 1 — Minor Essay (40%)
  • Essay 2 — Major Essay (60%)

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:

  • MCCJ7103 — Mental Disorder and Crime

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Models of mental disorder
2Models of criminal behaviour
3The classification of mental disorder
4Mental disorder, dangerousness and the law
5Mental disorder and crime
6Personality disorder and crime
7Psychopathy and crime
8Psychosis and crime
9Dual diagnosis: Substance use, mental disorder and crime
10Violence and mental disorder
11Sexual offending and mental disorder
12Gender, crime and mental disorder

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission

Online materials

  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is an approved elective 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.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Psychopathology: Foundations for a Contemporary

    By:Maddux & Winstead (Eds)

    ISBN: 9780415887908


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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