• Offered by ANU Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

This course explores the interface of psychology and criminal law. Legal psychology as a sub-discipline of psychology and an example of interdisciplinary study in law is described, and its historical and future development is discussed. Topics usually covered include mental illness and the law, risk assessment, witness memory, investigative interview techniques, detecting deception, profiling, children in court, jury research, correctional psychology, sentencing. Material discussed is primarily of relevance to the Australian legal system. The course offers a critical perspective on legal psychology as well as invites students to be critical about the legal treatment of psychological concepts in statute and case law. Students are also shown how to research the interdisciplinary literature via relevant databases, and are given confidence to research and work with empirical psychological reports.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Develop and apply interdisciplinary knowledge within the fields of law and psychology
2. plan and execute interdisciplinary research within the fields of law and psychology 
3. Locate, evaluate and apply research from empirical psychological studies in an interdisciplinary context
4. Design and present interdisciplinary research projects (case notes and essays/briefing papers/law reform submissions);
5. Contribute to debates on theoretical, policy and practical issues from an interdisciplinary perspective
6. Integrate legal psychological literature on law and legal issues into an analysis of underlying psychological assumptions which inform legal doctrines, reasoning, procedure and the general regulation of human behaviour
7. Develop and communicate solutions to complex problems relating to the interface between law and psychology in the context of criminal and mental health law and/or other sub-disciplines of law to a variety of audiences

Indicative Assessment

 Assessment for this course consists of one formative assessment exercise, that will be commented on by the lecturer but not marked, and three compulsory and non-redeemable elements:
    a formative research exercise relating to use of the PsycINFO research
    a case note OR empirical report comment (40%,  2000 words)
    an online WATTLE quiz on the Focus Readings (10%)
    a research essay (50%, 2500 words)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Three contact hours per week. Students are generally expected to devote at least 10 hours overall per week to this course. 

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Master of Laws (7300XLLM, MLLM), Master of Laws specialising in International Law (7300XSINTL), Master of Laws specialising in Law, Governance and Development (7300SLGD), Master of Laws specialising in Environmental Law (7300SEVNL), Master of Laws specialising in Government and Commercial Law (7300SGCL), Master of Laws specialising in International Security Law (7300SISL), Master of Laws in Migration (NLLML), Master of Laws in International Law (NLLIL), Master of Laws in Environmental Law (NLLEN), Master of Laws in Law, Governance & Development (NLLGD), Master of Laws in International Security Law (NLLSL), Master of Laws in Government and Regulation (NLLGR), Master of Laws (Legal Practice) (7312XLLMLP), Master of Diplomacy/Master of Laws (7883SINTL), Master of Legal Practice (MLEGP), Master of International Law (7310XMINTL), Master of Environmental Law (7309XMENVL), Master of Law, Governance & Development (7317XMLGD), Master of International Security Law (7318XMISL), Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313XMGCL); OR Juris Doctor (7330XJD, 7330HJD or MJD) and have completed or be completing five 1000 or 6100 level LAWS courses; OR Juris Doctor - online (MJDOL) and have completed LAWS8712 Australian Public Law & International Law B. Students undertaking any ANU graduate program may apply for this course. Enrolments are accepted on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the ANU College of Law for permission number. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed LAWS4260 Law and Psychology.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2019 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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