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
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania


This unit is currently unavailable.

* 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 (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? 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. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

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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

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
not applicable

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on 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 What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



50 credit points of Introductory units - to do this unit it is recommended that you have completed LAW107


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.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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