Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

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Subject details

After successfully completing this subject students should be able to:

  1. Knowledge of the evolution of profiling and an understanding of it as a multidisciplinary endeavour encompassing law enforcement, psychology, psychiatry, forensic science, and geography.
  2. Critical analysis and evaluation of the main approaches to profiling including; criminal investigative analysis, investigative psychology, diagnostic evaluations, crime action profiling, geographic profiling, and behavioural evidence analysis.
  3. Knowledge, understanding, and practical application of profiling processes including; crime reconstruction, identifying modus operandi and signature, linkage analysis, victimology, and inferring offender characteristics.
  4. Synthesis of profiling approaches and processes to construct a profile, and critically evaluate its accuracy and utility.
  5. Critical analysis and evaluation of the accuracy of offender profiling; and an understanding of the ethical implications of prediction.
  6. Knowledge of new or potential applications of offender profiling including terrorism and expert evidence.
    • Offender Profiling: An Overview and Its Evolution
    • Law Enforcement: Criminal Investigative Analysis (CIA)
    • Forensic Science: Behavioral Evidence Analysis (BEA)
    • Academic Psychology: Investigative Psychology (IP)
    • Clinical Psychology: Crime Action Profiling (CAP)
    • Clinical Approaches: Diagnostic Evaluations (DE)
    • Crime Reconstruction
    • MO, Linkage Analysis, Signature
    • Victimology
    • Offender Characteristics and Content
    • Geographic Profiling (GP)
    • Accuracy and Ethics & Course Review
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture
    • Online materials

      • Printable format materials
      • Resources and Links


This is not an introductory subject. You should complete a number of other first year subjects.

Special requirements

No special requirements

Designed as an introduction to profiling, the subject exposes students to the key approaches and processes in the field, drawing on the disciplines of psychiatry, psychology, criminology, geography, and forensic science. There is a strong focus on the higher order thinking skills of critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation.

Offender profiling is broadly defined to include the collection of practices in which evidence, usually from the crime scene, victims, and/or witnesses, is used to infer characteristics about the perpetrator. If accurate, this information is useful in informing investigative strategies by reducing the suspect pool, and interrogation strategies by providing some psychological insight into the suspect. Offender profiling is a multidisciplinary endeavour, with law enforcement, behavioural scientists, social scientists and forensic scientists all involved in its evolution.
*** WARNING***  This subject contains extremely graphic descriptions and photographic evidence of victims (both adults and children) of serial and ritualistic killers.  The material will be disturbing.  Students who are made uncomfortable by depictions of violence, sadism, torture and mutilation may have a difficult time in this subject and should consider taking a different elective.

  • Invigilated Exam (40%)
  • Summarize article (20%)
  • Constructing a Profile (40%)

Textbook information is pending.

Related degrees

undergraduate GRF-CCJ-DEG-2018

Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice

  • Core Subjects
  • Compulsory Subjects
  • Major in Criminal Justice