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PSYC71-407: Forensic Psychology September 2021 [Standard]

General information

Forensic Psychology is the interface between the disciplines of Psychology and the Law. This subject introduces students to the field of Forensic Psychology, with a focus on the criminal applications and settings in which forensic psychologists work. The subject is designed to develop critical thinking skills concerning empirical research and theory in forensic psychology.  Please be advised that this subject contains material that some students may find distressing. This material includes research and case examples of sexual offending, and violent offending.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:PSYC71-407
Subject title:Forensic Psychology
Subject level:Postgraduate
Semester/Year:September 2021
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Lecture: x12 (Total hours: 24) - Weekly Lecture
  • Tutorial: x12 (Total hours: 12) - Weekly Tutorial
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - Recommended Study Hours
Attendance and learning activities: Students are encouraged to read the corresponding chapter from the textbook prior to tutorial (e.g. Week 7 Violent Offenders, Chapter 7), and to prepare any questions to clarify areas of misunderstanding, or particular interest.


Prescribed resources:
  • Fritzon, K., and Wilson, P. (2008). Forensic psychology and criminology. North Ryde: Mcgraw Hill
  • Heltzel, T. (2007). Compatibility of therapeutic and forensic roles. 122-128.
  • Gannon, T., and Pina, A (2010). Firesetting: psychopathology, theory and treatment. 224-238.
After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ? This subject is not available to
  • Study Abroad Students

This subject is not available as a general elective. To be eligible for enrolment, the subject must be specified in the students’ program structure.

Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate understanding of major concepts and historical trends in forensic psychology.
  2. Demonstrate comprehension and application of a broad and coherent body of knowledge of Psychology, with depth of understanding of underlying principles, theories and concepts in the discipline, using a scientific approach.
  3. Demonstrate appropriate interpersonal communication and interview skills in situations appropriate to psychological practice and research. This includes active listening, clarifying and reflecting, effective questioning, summarising and paraphrasing, developing rapport, appropriate cultural responsiveness and empathic responding.
  4. Demonstrate basic assessment strategies in situations appropriate to psychological practice and knowledge of psychometric theory and principles of the construction, cultural considerations, implementation and interpretation of some of the more widely used standardised psychological test instruments.
  5. Explain how basic psychological intervention strategies can be applied across a range of contexts including consideration of cultural responsiveness.
  6. Cultural responsiveness in forensic contexts, including with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Written Report Students are to identify a legal case where expert evidence has been provided by a mental health professional, and provide a written analysis of the evidence that was given. An oral presentation of the case is also part of the assignment. 50% Week 6 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Paper-based Examination (Closed) Final Examination. The final exam will assess all material covered in this subject. The format of the examination will include multiple choice, and short answer (approximately one paragraph) questions. 50% Final Examination Period 1, 2, 4, 5, 6.
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A student who has not established a basis for an extension in compliance with University and Faculty policy either by 1) not applying before the assessment due date or 2) by having an application rejected due to failure to show a justifiable cause for an extension, will receive a penalty on assessment submitted after its due date. The penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment for every day late, with the first day counted after the required submission time has passed. No assessment will be accepted for consideration seven calendar days after the due date. Where a student has been granted an extension, the late penalty starts from the new due date and time set out in the extension.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Accessibility and Inclusion Support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Additional subject information

This subject contains content that some students may find distressing, disturbing or culturally challenging. Students with concerns about the content of any subject are encouraged to discuss this with their teacher and consider how best to prepare themselves to study challenging material in a way that is appropriate for them.

Subject curriculum

Introduction covering general theoretical concepts, scope of work that forensic psychologists do and overview of professional and ethical issues

1, 2.

Covering a range of general assessments used in forensic psychology, with a specific focus on assessment of psychopathy

1, 2, 3, 4, 6.

Assessing risk for violent re-offending. Overview of literature and approaches to risk assessment, including examples of risk assessment instruments.

1, 2, 4, 6.

How people with mental illness are treated within the criminal justice system

1, 2, 5.

Legal rules of evidence, criteria for giving expert evidence and areas of mental health evidence commonly provided to courts

1, 2, 3, 4.

Overview of different approaches to the treatment of a broad range of offence behaviours including juvenile offenders

1, 2, 3, 5, 6.

Overview of theories of violence, assessment and treatment of offenders convicted of violent offences

1, 2, 5.

Overview of theories of sexual offending, assessment and treatment of offenders convicted of sexual offences, including internet sexual offences

1, 2, 4, 5.

An overview of findings from longitudinal, experimental, correlational and qualitative research in forensic psychology

1, 2, 4, 6.

Cognitive approaches to enhancing the reliability of information gained from witnesses and victims, especially children

1, 2, 3, 6.

Overview of psychologists providing evidence in Civil Courts Assessments for psychological injury

1, 2, 4.

Overview of subject and mini-quiz

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Approved on: Jul 9, 2021. Edition: 2.2
Last updated: Dec 1, 2021.