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HPS206 - Psychology in the Criminal Justice System

Unit details

Year2015 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 1 hour cloud class per week, 1 x 2 hour seminar per fortnight.

Trimester 3: Cloud (online): 1 x 1 hour cloud (online) seminar per fortnight


*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 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 part covers psychological explanation of crime, including (a) an overview of the Australian legal system (b) theories of offending and their applications, and (c) why people commit theft, violent and sexual crimes.

The second part describes the role that psychology plays in the investigative stage, including (a) the role of interviewing in investigation, (b) eyewitness testimony, and (c) the role of deception.

The third part provides an overview of the role that psychology plays in the courtroom and discusses (a) psychological research into juries and (b) the role of psychologists as expert witnesses.


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

Kapardis, A. (2014). Psychology and Law (4th edition). Port Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

In addition to the prescribed text, online readings will be provided on CloudDeakin.

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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