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DPSY7111 - Introduction to forensic psychology

SCA Band 1, 0.000 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader(s): Professor James Ogloff


Clayton First semester 2009 (Day)


The unit will commence with an examination of the Australian legal system, the players in it and trial procedures in the various courts and tribunals. Using both seminars and practical sessions, rules of expert evidence and procedure will be examined, along with the role of the forensic psychologist in giving advice, performing assessments, writing reports for the court, giving evidence and mediation. Finally, case examples will be used to examine the application of psychological research to forensic issues and the particular ethical issues that arise for forensic psychologists.


On completion of this unit students should:

  1. be cognisant of the institutions of the Australian legal system and its processes;
  2. have a basic understanding of the relationship between the law and other social institutions;
  3. understand the role and discretion of the various players in the legal system, and in particular, the areas in which the forensic psychologist can contribute;
  4. be aware of the areas of psychological research which have general relevance to the legal system.


3000 word paper on a topic in psychology that applies to criminal law (70%); Clinical assessment report from placement (30%); log book documenting practical work (hurdle requirement).

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