Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


Criminal psychology analyses the thoughts and action of criminals, including those engaging in anti-social behaviours. This course will take students through a step-by-step analysis of various crime types, looking at the psychological, biological, and environmental influences that lead to criminal and anti-social behaviour in regional, national and international contexts.

Topics covered in this course include criminal profiling in violent crimes, predicting who will be the victim of personal violence, and strategies for threat and violence intervention. The course has been developed to appeal to students studying a range of social science disciplines, including criminology, psychology, law, and social work, as it will augment and build upon content within those discipline areas. The material covered will be trans-disciplinary in nature, and particularly relevant for students wishing to work within, or with an interest in, the criminal justice system.



  • Semester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Interpret the psychological, biological, and environmental factors that lead to criminal and anti-social behaviour

2. Compare the key causes of criminal victimisation

3. Explain the fundamental principles involved in understanding threat

4. Evaluate violence intervention strategies

5. Apply the core criminal psychological elements in a criminal profiling case study


1.       Biological, psychological, and environmental factors that lead to criminal and anti-social behaviour

2.       Victimology and predicting who will be a victim of personal violence

3.       Threat and violence intervention

4.       Profiling in violent crimes

Assumed knowledge

20 units of CRIM or PSYC coded courses at 1000 level

Assessment items

Quiz: Quiz (15%)

Essay: Essay (45%)

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case study: Criminal profiling (40%)

Contact hours


Self-Directed Learning

Online 10 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks starting in week 1

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.