PSY313 Psychology and the Legal System (8)

This subject focuses on the role of psychologists in relation to the practice of the law; decision making and behaviour of police, courtroom participants, and correctional personnel. It also covers police interrogation, police discretion, eye witness testimony, jury decision making, sentencing, and the negative psychological effects of imprisonment.
Students should note that this subject does not contribute to an Australian Psychological Society accredited major in psychology.

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


Session 2 (60)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSY313. 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


School of Psychology

Assumed Knowledge

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • understand the decision making processes of police, juries, judges and parole officers from a psychological perspective
  • understand the psychological limitations of eye witness testimony and the demand for profiling
  • understand the legal concepts of competency, insanity, and risk assessment
  • describe the psychological impact of imprisonment upon inmates
  • apply a psychological understanding of the behaviour of criminal justice personnel to addressing the problems of bias, disparity and prisoner institutionalisation in the criminal justice system


This subject will cover the following topics:

* Police discretion * Eye witness testimony * Jury deliberation * Sentencing * Understanding competency, insanity and risk assessment * The psychological effects of imprisonment


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or 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.