Skip to content | Change text size

DPSY7211 - Psychology and criminal law

SCA Band 1, 0.000 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Professor James Ogloff


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


The unit will commence with an examination of theories of crime and criminal behaviour, with particular attention being given to psychological research on specific groups of offenders (e.g., murderers, shoplifters, arsonists, pathological gamblers, sexual offenders). Through practical sessions and seminars, students will develop some expertise in providing expert evidence in criminal cases, with such issues as fitness to plead intoxication and intent, diminished responsibility, insanity, automatism, infanticide, psychological syndromes, and mitigating factors receiving particular attention. Finally, theories and techniques of intervention with offenders will be examined.


On completion of this unit students should:

  1. understand the various theories of crime and criminal behaviour;
  2. be familiar with relevant legal definitions:
  3. be familiar with the specific issues on which the forensic psychologist might be called as an expert in criminal cases;
  4. be familiar with current research on specific groups of offenders;
  5. be familiar with the various sentencing options and their impact;
  6. understand how to amend, where necessary;
  7. be able to apply their skills in clinical assessment and intervention to incarcerated and out-patient offenders


Multichoice/short answer written examination (50%); seminar presentation with written summary (50%); log book documenting observation practical work (hurdle requirement).