Courses & Units

Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice LAW295



In this unit you will explore the close relationship between the disciplines of psychology and criminal law. It will enhance your capacity to work professionally in the criminal justice system, including as a practising lawyer or in policy formation. The unit builds on core concepts in Criminal Law – in particular assessments of an accused’s state of mind during a potentially criminal act or omission. You will become familiar with the role of practitioners such as psychologists and psychiatrists in criminal procedure (e.g assessments of fitness to plea), evidence, defences (e.g. insanity, sane automatism and intoxication), sentencing and parole (e.g. guiding decisions of risk and prospects of rehabilitation). You will also develop an awareness of psychological concepts that are frequently discussed in Australian criminal courts, such as false memory, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, personality disorders, addictions and IQ. The unit will discuss some key psychological dynamics that influence courtrooms, including victims’ reactions to stressors, and, misconceptions about forensic evidence.


Unit name Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice
Unit code LAW295
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Arts, Law and Education
Faculty of Law
Discipline Law
Coordinator Doctor Caroline Spiranovic
Teaching staff Associate Professor Jeremy Prichard
Available as student elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 2 Off-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 2 11/7/2022 9/8/2022 29/8/2022 16/10/2022

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (see withdrawal dates explained for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2022 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2022 will be available from the 1st October 2021.

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe and explain the broader criminal justice system context surrounding psycho-legal decision-making
  • Identify relevant psychological and forensic psychological considerations at discrete stages of the criminal justice process
  • Discuss relevant civil and criminal case law, criminal and civil procedures relevant to the field of forensic psychology
  • Critically appraise criminal procedures and decision-making with reference to evidence-based knowledge from the fields of psychology and forensic psychology
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
090905 $1,828.00 $1,432.00 not applicable $1,828.00
  • Available as a Commonwealth Supported Place
  • HECS-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility3
  • FEE-HELP is available on this unit, depending on your eligibility4

1 Please refer here more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses can be found here
3 Please refer here for eligibility for HECS-HELP
4 Please refer here for eligibility for FEE-HELP

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.


AssessmentExamination - take home (50%)|Presentation (25%)|Tutorial Participation/Other Participation (25%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

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