Course Title: Introduction to Criminal Psychology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to Criminal Psychology

Credit Points: 12


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019

Course Coordinator: Professor Stuart Thomas

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 9656

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.4.32

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course examines the various ways in which psychologists, as well as psychological theories and methods, contribute to the study of crime, criminal behaviour and the processes of criminal justice. We consider several key domains of forensic psychology including: criminal profiling, eyewitness testimony, forensic interviewing, offender risk assessment and case management. The course also examines points of connection and disjuncture between criminology and psychology, through consideration of the relationship between individual-level and society-level explanations of criminal behaviour.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
a) Identify and describe the ways that psychologists and allied professionals interact with each stage of the criminal justice process
b) Articulate the importance and limitations of psychological theory and methods to the study of crime, criminal behaviour, and the criminal justice system
c) Identify and describe the relationship between individual-level and society-level explanations of criminal behaviour, and apply these theories to case scenarios
d) Apply and critique psychological research evidence as it relates to key issues such as criminal profiling, eyewitness testimony, forensic interviewing, offender risk assessment and case management
e) Identify the disciplinary connections and points of disjuncture between criminology and psychology

In this course you will develop the following program learning outcomes:
1. Discover practical skills in interviewing, risk assessment and case management suited to a variety of criminal justice and criminological settings.
2. Identify and examine contemporary criminological issues of local and global significance, both independently and in collaboration with others.
3. Demonstrate logical, critical and creative thinking to propose solutions to a range of criminological and criminal justice problems.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is delivered in a face-to-face mode with a blend of learning activities, which include interactive workshop activities, role plays, problem solving, guest speakers, presentations, videos, online media and activities and student lead discussions.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

There is a prescribed text for this course:

Scott, A. (2010). Forensic Psychology. Palgrave Insights into Psychology Series. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes.

Assessment will include:
Task 1: Career Profile, 800 words, 20% weighting, CLO a). (Due Week 4)

Task 2: Online Quizzes, 1200 words equivalent, 30% weighting, CLO c), CLO e). (Due Weeks 2-11).

Task 3: Research Essay on an identified topic, 2000 words, 50% weighting, CLO b), CLO d). (Due Week 12).

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.
If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: