Subject details

After successfully completing this subject 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.
    • Introduction to Mental Disorder and Crime, and Models of Mental Disorder
    • Models of criminal behaviour
    • The classification of mental disorder
    • Mental disorder, dangerousness and the law
    • Mental disorder and crime
    • Psychopathy and crime
    • Personality disorder and crime
    • Psychosis and crime
    • Dual diagnosis: Substance use, mental disorder and crime
    • Violence and mental disorder
    • Sexual offending and mental disorder
    • Gender, crime and mental disorder
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links
      • Printable format materials

Equivalent subjects

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

  • GRF-MCCJ7103

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject 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 subject offering.

  • Minor Essay (40%)
  • Major Essay (60%)

Textbooks are not required.

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