PSYCHOL 4312 - Forensic and Correctional Psychology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2022

Learn about the ways psychology is applied to the assessment of and intervention with individuals in the criminal justice system. Using research findings, psychological theory and case examples, this course will explore the use of psychological literature regarding criminal offending and risk assessment to address adjudicative and management questions. It will also explore major approaches and controversies regarding the rehabilitation of convicted offenders.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PSYCHOL 4312
    Course Forensic and Correctional Psychology
    Coordinating Unit Psychology
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to B.Psychological Science (Honours) and B. Psychology (Advanced) (Honours) students only
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Michael Proeve

    School of Psychology Office:; ph +61 8313 5693
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    1.Describe the roles and tasks of psychologists in the legal system in court, correctional and forensic mental health settings.
    2. Explore presentation of psychological disorders in context of criminal offending.
    3. Communicate the conceptual and psychometric strengths and limitations of psychological research related to risk assessment and offender rehabilitation.
    4. Describe conceptual limitations of risk assessment and offender rehabilitation approaches for Indigenous people and innovations to address these limitations.
    5. Building on foundational competencies, analyse and synthesise psychological theory and research findings concerning selected types of criminal offending.
    6. Apply psychological intervention strategies, risk assessment strategies, and alternative approaches to offender rehabilitation in specific cases.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.


    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    2, 3, 5, 6

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.

    1, 3, 6

    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    1, 3, 5, 6

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    4, 6

    Attribute 6: Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural competency

    Graduates have an understanding of, and respect for, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander values, culture and knowledge.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Students will be provided with curated required reaidngs via MyUni
    Recommended Resources
    Learning resources, including core readings, supplementary readings, and other resources, published on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    This course may use MyUni for one or more of the following:
    - Communication with students via Announcements and Discussion Board
    - Submission of summative assessment
    - Access to additional readings adn internet resources
    - Self-directed learning activities
    - Assessment preparation materials

    Link to MyUni:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Face-to-face interactive seminars, complemented with reading, reflection, and on-line resources.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Seminars: 6 x 2 hours - 12 hours
    Online open book short answer test: 25 hours
    Case Based review: 50 hours
    Practice case review: 5 hours
    Independent reading and research: 58 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week 1     Forensic and Correctional Psychology; Psychology of Offending 1

    Week 2     Psychology of Offending 2

    Week 3     Forensic Psychology in the Courtroom

    Week 4     Actuarial and Structured Clinical Risk Assessment

    Week 5     Offender Rehabilitation 1: Risk, Need, Responsivity Model

    Week 6     Offender Rehabilitaiton 2: Desistance and Strength-Based Approaches
    Specific Course Requirements
    Not applicable.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task                  Assessment Type            Weighting        Learning outcome(s) being addressed

    Practice case review             Formative                                 0%          2, 4, 5, 6

    Online open book test          Summative                             30%          1, 2, 5

    Case Based Review              Summative                             70%          2, 4, 5, 6


    Assessment Detail

    Practice Case Review (Formative): Students will apply theories of criminal offending to two case
    studies, as preparation for Case Based Review.

    Online open book short answer test (Weighting 30%): Students will complete a short-answer exam at mid-semester.

    Case Based Review (Weighting 70%): Students will apply theories of criminal offending, risk assessment approaches, and offender rehabilitation strategies to a specific example of criminal offending.

    Assignments are required to be submitted online by the specified dates.The School of Psychology undertakes to adhere to the University’s  Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, Procedure 6a, which requires that assessments are returned within 4 weeks of the deadlines for submission.

    Extension of time for an assignment may be granted at the discretion of the Course Coordinator, to whom students should apply
    in writing (or email) before the due date and time. No requests for extensions will be considered if made after the due date and time.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.