Return to previous page

HPS206 - Psychology in the Criminal Justice System

Unit details

Year2016 unit information
Enrolment modes:

Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong)

Trimester 3: CBD*, Cloud (online)

Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit chair:

Belinda Guadagno





Incompatible with:


Contact hours:

Trimester 2 Campus: 1 x 2 hour class per fortnight, 1 x 1 hour seminar per fortnight. 8 weeks of the trimester include contact hours.
Trimester 3: Cloud (online): 1 x 1 hour cloud (online) seminar per fortnight, total of 8 seminars across the trimester.


*CBD refers to Institute of Koorie Education – Community Based Delivery

This unit may not be included as a part of a 10 point accredited major sequence in psychology (as required for application for further study in psychology).


This unit provides students with an applied and theoretical understanding of the criminal justice system and the range of psychological issues that arise within it.

The unit is presented in four sections.

First, students are provided with an overview of the criminal justice system, and the roles that psychologists play in this system. The second section introduces students to psychological explanations of crime. General theories of offending are discussed as well as what is known about why people commit different types of violent and sexual crimes. Next, students learn how psychological input may be utilised in the detection and investigation of crime. Finally, students discover the role that psychology plays both in the courtroom and in the ongoing management of convicted offenders.


Assessment task 1: Examination (1.5 hours) 50%
Assessment task 2: Assignment (1500 words) 30%
Assessment task 3: 2 self-directed learning exercises (750 words each 10%) 20%

Prescribed texts

Gavin, H. (2014). Criminological and Forensic Psychology. London: Sage. Gavin, H. (2014). Criminological and Forensic Psychology. London: Sage.
In addition to the prescribed text, online readings will be provided on CloudDeakin.

Return to previous page