School Of Psychology

Applied Psychology in the Legal ContextWestern Sydney University Unit Code: 101419.1

Discipline: PSYCHOLOGY

Student Contribution Band: 1

Level: 4

Credit Points: 10

Unit Enrolment Restrictions
This unit is restricted to students enrolled in courses 1500 Bachelor of Psychology: Specialist Fourth Year and 1502 Postgraduate Diploma of Psychology. Only available to students who have completed a three year undergraduate degree in Psychology.

About this Unit
While law and psychology appear to be antithetical, they can be seen as two significant points on the same axis in the quest to understand the meaning of human behaviour (Elazzi, 1996). This unit provides an overview of applied psychology in the legal context. Specifically it aims to introduce students to psychological perspectives and current issues in various forensic settings. Recently there has been increased interest in the interface between psychology and the law. The legal system and the law itself provide a fruitful domain of study for psychologists and this topic is now recognised as a major area in applied psychology. Most of the fundamental assumptions underlying law-making and the legal process are psychological and reflect a social construction of our world and actions. This unit provides students with an understanding of the contextual framework within which the law and legal system operate and the contribution of psychological knowledge. Students will be exposed to, and gain understanding of, the role and functions of forensic psychologists in a number of legal jurisdictions.

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