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HPS206 - Psychology in the Criminal Justice System

Enrolment modes:

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

Trimester 3: CBD, Cloud (online)

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

B Klettke

Email: HPS206@deakin.edu.au

Contact hours:

Trimester 2: Classes are run in 8 of the 11 weeks. Presented in these weeks are 1 x 1 hour cloud (online) class, 1 x 2 hour seminar, 1 x 1 hour practical.

Trimester 3: All content presented in Cloud (online).

Note: You will need to access substantial learning resources and experiences in CloudDeakin (Deakin’s online learning environment). Compliance with the Standards in computing, connectivity and student capability are a condition on your enrolment.
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 overview of how psychology informs and assists the criminal justice system. It also provides students with an understanding of the various applied roles that psychologists play within the criminal justice system. The unit is divided into three parts. The first briefly reviews the ways that psychologists, psychological research and theory contribute to the functioning of the criminal justice system. The second part of the unit provides an overview of: (a) theories of offending and their application, (b) why people commit various violent and sexual crimes, and (c) ways of dealing with offenders based on psychological research. Finally, the unit describes how psychological research into legal decision making has contributed to the understanding and processing of alleged criminal behaviour.


Examination (1.5 hours) 50%, assignment (1500 words) 30%, 2 self-directed learning exercises (750 words each 10%) 20%

Prescribed texts

Harrower, J. (2001). Psychology in practice: Crime. Sydney, Australia: Hachette Australia.

Unit Fee Information

Student Contribution Rate*Student Contribution Rate**Fee rate - Domestic Students Fee rate - International students

* Rate for all CSP students, except for those who commenced Education and Nursing units pre 2010
** Rate for CSP students who commenced Education and Nursing units pre 2010
Please note: Unit fees listed do not apply to Deakin Prime students.

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