Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedBerwick First semester 2014 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2014 (Day)
Gippsland First semester 2014 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr George Van Doorn


Previously coded PSS3718


Forensic psychology deals with the application of psychological principles to problems of law enforcement and the courts, and attempts to understand criminal behaviour (e.g., tendencies towards violence). This unit includes areas such as eyewitness and expert testimony, jury selection and decision-making, screening and training of police, and handling of situations such as hostage taking and suicide threats.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the personality and psychological factors that affect criminal behaviour;
  2. evaluate and explain the main theories in the field of forensic psychology (eg theories of aggressive behaviour);
  3. demonstrate an understanding of how theories of memory and decision-making can be applied for forensic purposes;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the law, how it relates to mental health issues, and the factors that influence the treatment of offenders;
  5. effectively conduct psycho-legal evaluations and communicate their own, and others, research ideas effectively in written reports.


Written work (2500 words): 50%
Exam (2 hours): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour laboratory per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


BHS3718, PSS3718