FBS5002 - The role of mental health in criminal offending - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health

Chief examiner(s)

Professor David Kissane


Dr Sam Calvin

Unit guides




Must be enrolled in a Postgraduate degree


Designed to provide students with an understanding of the role of mental health in criminal offending this unit provides an overview of the relevant research (drawn from psychological, psychiatric, criminological and sociological studies), key findings and the practical implications of these findings. Different types of mental disorders (psychotic, mood, personality, substance use) associated with offending are considered and explanatory models which incorporate the role of symptoms, cognitions, biological and sociological factors are discussed.


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

  1. Critically evaluate the evidence for an association between mental disorder and criminal offending.
  2. Outline various possible explanations for the association between mental disorder and criminal offending.
  3. Explain the concepts of 'psychopathy', 'antisocial personality disorder', 'sever personality disorder', and their relevance to offending and rehabilitation.
  4. Explain the evidence based principles for effective rehabilitation of offenders.
  5. Describe the role of addictions including substance abuse and pathological gambling as risk factors for offending.
  6. Outline methods for assessment and treatment of addictions.


  • Workshop presentation / Alternative assessment (10%)
  • Applied learning exercise (30%)
  • Essay (60%)

All assessments must be passed to pass the unit.

Off-campus attendance requirements

Two day on-campus workshop.

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