Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

School of Social Sciences


Dr George Van Doorn


Not offered in 2016


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

(e.g. theories of aggressive behaviour);

  1. demonstrate an understanding of how theories of memory and decision-making can be applied for forensic purposes;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the law, how it relates to mental health issues, and the factors that influence the treatment of offenders;
  3. effectively conduct psycho-legal evaluations and communicate their own, and others, research ideas effectively in written reports.


Within semester assessment: 50%
Exam: 50%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.


BHS3718, PSS3718