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Undergraduate | GRF-CCJ200 | 2024

Psychological Explanations of Criminal Behaviour

Previously GRF-CCJ20

Course information for 2024 intake

View information for 2023 course intake

Delve into scientific theories that explain why people become criminals. You’ll explore links between criminal behaviour and personality, upbringing, and more. Use this knowledge in crime prevention and offender rehabilitation.

Study method
100% online
100% online
Start dates
27 May 2024,
25 Nov 2024,
View 2023 dates
Entry requirements
Prior study needed
13 weeks

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Psychological Explanations of Criminal Behaviour

About this subject

  • After successfully completing this subject you should be able to:

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between individual-level and society-level explanations of criminal behaviour.
    2. Understand the major debates about the nature of criminal behaviour, for example, the nature/nurture debate, the free-will/ determinism debate, and the person/situation debate.
    3. Demonstrate an understanding of the major individual-level theoretical explanations of criminal behaviour, and be able to apply these theories to individual cases.
    4. Demonstrate an understanding of the practical and policy implications of the theories of criminal behaviour.
    5. Understand how scientific theories can be tested using psychological experiments.
    6. Demonstrate an understanding of the ethical concerns with individual-level explanations of criminal behaviour.

Entry requirements

Equivalent subjects

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

  • GRF-CCJ20 (Not currently available)


This is not an introductory subject, it is a second year subject. You must have a basic understanding of the first year criminology subjects. Students who have completed more than 2 OUA units (GPA 4.0+) and are planning on completing the Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice are strongly encouraged to enrol in the degree. Part of this process will involve registering your study plan with Griffith University, which will help to ensure that you are studying the required units.

Additional requirements

No additional requirements

Study load

0.125 EFTSL

This is in the range of 10 to 12 hours of study each week.

Equivalent full time study load (EFTSL) is one way to calculate your study load. One (1.0) EFTSL is equivalent to a full-time study load for one year.

Find out more information on Commonwealth Loans to understand what this means to your eligibility for financial support.

What to study next?

Once you’ve completed this subject it can be credited towards one of the following courses

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Bachelor of Arts

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