JST434 Police Investigations and Forensic Psychology (16)

This subject is designed to introduce students to a range of approaches in the study of crime and criminality that are informed by the Behavioural Sciences and that are relevant to a student's role as an investigator. The subject will review models drawn from Psychology and Criminology and demonstrate some of the ways in which this knowledge can be applied to the investigative process and what implications their use might have for the investigation. The subject will review the strengths and weaknesses of the approaches in an attempt to allow students to identify best practice in their respective roles.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2018.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of a range of current issues in
  • policing and security
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of a range of explanations for
  • criminality that are informed by Behavioural Science approaches.
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of how Behavioural Scientific theory
  • may be applied to the investigation of crime.
  • be able to critically evaluate the impact of approaches to police
  • investigations that are informed by the Behavioural Sciences


This subject will cover the following topics:

1) What is crime and how can we explain it? - What is crime and how much of it is there? Problems with definition and the accuracy of crime figures - Implications for Policing and Policy - Psychological Explanations of Crime including Learning Theory and Crime Personality and Crime, Cognition and Crime, Social Factors in Crime and Psychopathy and offending 2) Violence and Sexual Violence - Interpersonal Violence. Defining violence Cognitive-Behavioural Theory and Violence Social Factors implicated in Violence Personality and Violence and Biological explanations of Violence - Sex Crimes - Development of sexuality Paraphilic sexuality Cognition and sex offending. The extent of sexual offending, child sexual abuse, social factors and rape typologies of sex offenders, psychological theories of sex offending,ethical issues in sex research 3) Risk assessment - Investigative Methods - Offender profiling - Psychology and police interviewing, psychology of confession and false confessions, suggestibility - What is truth, evaluating truthfulness from behaviour, the polygraph statement analysis - The use of Experts by Police and Ethical issues


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or ask@csu.edu.au or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.