Centre for Continuing Education

Forensic Psychology Course

Psychology. Explore the human mind.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses both online and in-person. Please check the delivery format for each class before you enrol.

Please note that course materials for all classes (excluding prescribed textbooks) are shared electronically within 48 hours of a course starting. Printing is not available.

This forensic psychology course provides an introduction to issues surrounding the practice of forensic psychology.

Forensic psychologists offer a wide range of professional services in the criminal justice system, including treatment and sentencing recommendations, assessing future risk, and evaluating witness credibility. They must importantly be able to translate psychological information into a legal framework that can be understood by a judge and/or jury. This course explains some of the mental disorders commonly encountered in criminal justice settings, the legal concept of crime, insanity and its assessment, the detection of deceit, criminal profiling, cognitive interviewing and investigative hypnosis.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • identify the qualifications required to become a psychologist and the activities psychologists perform as expert witnesses
  • identify some of the key symptom characteristics of mental disorders such as Schizophrenia and Antisocial Personality Disorder
  • identify the key cases and legal principles pertaining to the criminal defence of insanity
  • assess verbal and non-verbal cues associated with human deception
  • identify the objectives of criminal profiling and its history
  • identify the fallibilities of memory and its limitations in a legal context
  • identify different interviewing techniques and aids adopted in the course of criminal investigations such as cognitive interviewing and hypnosis.


This course covers the following topics:

  • the roles and functions of forensic psychologists – what do they do and in what contexts
  • introduction to various forms of mental disorders and their diagnosis
  • how these various forms of mental disorders are interpreted in the context of legal systems; the law with specific reference to the defence under criminal law of ‘insanity’ or how it is sometimes colloquially referred to as the mental illness defence
  • history and research into the analysis and clinical detection of deceit, looking at various approaches ranging from polygraph machines to linguistic patterns and facial movements
  • eyewitness memory, its reliability and unreliability and various techniques such as cognitive interviewing and forensic hypnosis, which have been developed in an attempt to improve the recall of witnessed events
  • criminal profiling and the study of behavioural patterns evidenced in crimes and whether they can be used to provide some indication of the identity of the likely perpetrator.

Intended audience

Suitable for adult learners who have had little to no prior exposure to forensic psychology and who seek an overview of this vast and diverse discipline. The topics covered in this course relate to violent crime, and as such, contain content oriented towards an adult audience. Those who have some prior knowledge of forensic psychology may be interested in the Forensic Psychology Course: Advanced.

Delivery style

Delivered as an interactive lecture, involving the use of video materials for case illustrations and the presentation of clinical vignettes. Throughout the course, time will be dedicated for questions and open forum discussion of the course material.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Free, expert advice
  • Small class sizes
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • Lecture delivery and content was excellent.

  • The course content was exceptional, atmosphere was comforting and I would recommend to anyone interested in Forensic Psychology.

  • I travelled from Bathurst to Sydney to attend the Forensic Psychology course. It was well worth the trip. The subject matter was a very interesting. I really enjoyed it. I will be back to do the Advanced Forensic Psychology course.

What others say.

  • Thank you so much for such a fantastic course. Richard's personal anecdotes and boundless experience were game changers for me, and made the whole day engaging. Richard should have a podcast!
  • Lecture delivery and content was excellent.
  • I travelled from Bathurst to Sydney to attend the Forensic Psychology course. It was well worth the trip. The subject matter was a very interesting. I really enjoyed it. I will be back to do the Advanced Forensic Psychology course.
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