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Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
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Become a specialist in criminal investigations and forensic profiling, start your career and add certificate to resume!
4.3 (1,262 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
5,705 students enrolled
Created by Elmira Strange
Last updated 5/2020
English [Auto]
Current price: $87.99 Original price: $134.99 Discount: 35% off
1 day left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 4 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Understand psychological theories of criminal behaviour
  • Understand the link between Personalty Disorders & Criminal Offence
  • Learn about 'mental health issues' in offenders
  • Understand & recognise the signs of Psychopathy
  • Learn about the prominent characteristics of sex offenders
  • Know what Forensic Research involves
  • Start professional career in forensic or criminal settings
  • Having an interest in Psychology of criminal behaviour & forensic investigations
  • No previous professional qualification is required, just your eagerness to learn!

Welcome to 'Forensic Psychology' course!

In this course you will learn many fascinating facts and theories behind criminal thinking and behaviour. Whether you are ready to start your career in forensic psychology or use this information for you personal interest, you are in the right place!

In this course you will learn:

- why eyewitnesses are not always correct when giving testimonies to police or at court

- whether psychopaths are more likely to commit crime than people with other mental health disorders

-  what offender profiling is and how FBI uses it in their investigations

- how to reduce the risk of re-offending and imprisonment 

- what the motivational factors are behind such criminal behaviours as sexual, violent or fire setting offending behaviours

- how to explain psychopathology of violent behaviour

- and much more!

P.S. This course is now fully accredited by the IAOTH - International Association of Therapists!

P.P.S. At the end of the course you will see the instructions on how to obtain your certificate of completion

Who this course is for:
  • Students who want to work in criminal or forensic settings
  • Students learning psychology, psychiatry, therapy
  • Individuals interested in psychology of criminal behaviour & forensic research
Course content
Expand all 22 lectures 02:20:36
+ Introduction
2 lectures 09:34

In this video you will get introduced to your online tutor where she will talk briefly about herself and how she got into teaching (but perhaps you know her already from her other courses!). Also, here you will learn about the best method of taking this course, what to expect, whether there will be any homework or tests to pass, and how to contact your tutor if you have any questions 

Preview 03:07

In this lecture you will learn about the people who were the founders and originators of this fascinating branch of psychology, and how forensic psychology has been developing over the years. You will also find out when forensic psychology has been officially recognised by the American Psychological Association and how it has been used in various areas of work across the globe. 

Preview 06:27
+ Research Methods in Forensic Psychology
2 lectures 21:12

Research in psychology is a very important area of understanding individual and group behaviours and experiences. How do psychologists learn about various psychological phenomena? They use many research tools or in other words - methods, that differ from one another in the way they are used, constructed and applied.

Let's have a look at the various research methods used within psychology today such as surveys and case studies, how they differentiate into different types, and how these types are then analysed by the researchers 

Preview 12:04

In any research method, the researchers can identify various pros and cons that can help or hinder the data. In this lecture we are looking at the weaknesses and strengths of various methods, and the importance of choosing the right method for research and analysis. 

In this lecture you will also learn about the ethics of any research study: what would you need to consider when you recruit your participants, how you would protect their personal data and what rights your participants have from the start of the study. 

Critical evaluation of psychological research
+ Theories of Offending
4 lectures 30:35

It is not easy to identify the specific reasons for any criminal behaviour because many factors can take an important part. For example, it is important to consider the socio-economic status and psychological factors of the person who offended, the neighbourhood and the parenting factors would be also important. Any inherited or genetic factors, and personality traits can add to the reasons too.

So considering all this, now we can proceed to the theoretical understanding of the criminal behaviour. So it's not all down to personality or 'bad parenting', but there are other complex factors can be also involved, as you will see it from this lecture. 

Introduction to theories of offending

Sexual offending has been studied for many years, and tried to find answers to so many questions such as ‘why’ an adult person is sexually drawn to a child to the point of going over the boundaries of moral reasoning and engaging into its deviant behaviour. 

In this lecture we will have a look at the personality theories and the childhood development, cognitive and behavioural reasoning and biological explanations, that can shed some light to the sexual offending behaviour 

Theories of sexual offending

 Aggressive behaviour and violence seems to be a part of human development. In some people this behaviour can be exhibited in arguments and aggressive speech, in others it takes the form of physical aggression. In some individuals however, this form can be seen as extreme where the violence can lead to severe injuries or worse whilst the offender gets committed to a prison. 

In this lecture we will discuss the psychodynamic theory that is originated from the work of Sigmund Freud, behaviourists' explanations and the Moral Development theory, so to understand violent behaviour from different perspectives 

Theories of violent offending

 Fire-setting behaviour is a type of deviant behaviour, which is often referred to as ‘intentional ‘fire setting or ‘arson’ in legal settings. Intentional fire setting can be devastating to organisations and individuals. Buildings can be burned to the point of total distruction, organisations can go financially bankrupt, whereas intentional fires can also end up with deaths of people and animals. 

In this lecture, we will try to understand what makes the person to engage into fire-setting behaviour, whether there is a direct link between such behaviour and mental health, and whether it is possible to predict this type of criminal behaviour by studying the person's personality profile 

Theories of fire-setting behaviour
+ Personal Attributes of Offenders
4 lectures 25:15

During the previous lectures we went through some of the personal characteristics of offenders, whether the offence is related to sexual deviancy, violence or fire setting behaviour. 

Here in this lecture we will be discussing the personal characteristics of those who engage in criminal behaviour and what makes them different from those who do not.

Whether this is about low socio-economic groups or personality descriptions, we will take this all into account!

Personal characteristics of offenders

Personality disorder is a complex psychological condition that varies in many types and characteristics, and can be present in many offenders and prisoners. In this lecture we will have a look at symptomatology, diagnosis and its association to the criminal behaviour. 

Also, in this lecture you will find out whether personality disorder is also applicable to the 'normal' population and if it is, then how it is identified and treated. 

Personality disordered offenders

The definitions of what is psychopath varies from researcher to researcher, and there is a constant debate about the causes of psychopathy. Many people consider that criminal behaviour goes hand in hand with 'psychopathy', and that most (if not all) criminals have psychopathic tendencies or even full-on psychopathic disorder. 

In this lecture we will have a look at what psychopathy actually is, how it is identified and treated, and how many of the criminal offenders can be actually called 'psychopaths' 

Psychopathic offenders

In this lecture we will continue discussing how criminal behaviour might be linked to mental health and whether all criminals suffer from some kind of mental health problem. The relationship between mental health an crime is complex, as the research studies show, and this has been an interest of many researchers for many years if not centuries. 

During this lecture we will get familiar with several studies that 'prove' or 'disprove' the theory that all criminals have some kind of mental health issues, and whether they should be 'treated' rather than 'imprisoned'

Mental Illness and offending
+ Forensic Psychology in Police Investigations
3 lectures 15:03

You might have heard of 'offender profiling' if you like to watch CSA-investgation type of movies. This is where a criminal or behavioural scientist is creating some information based on what they know and what they can predict. Basically, they are guessing who the criminal is!

So, is it scientific enough to draw own conclusions based on they 'think' is correct, and is it effective enough to use it in the criminal investigations? This is what we will be talking about here! 

An Introduction to Offender Profiling

Here we will continue our discussion about offender profiling: how it is created and used. In this lecture we will be looking at several approaches that are used in offender profiling, and the debates about which ones are the most effective ones. 

The approaches to offender profiling, and specifically - which one to use, are very important to the scientists. Some have a strong evidence that it's effective because it is based on the theories, whereas the other ones might be more or less effective because they are based on the researchers prior experience of investigations. Who is right and who is wrong? Let's discuss this here!

Approaches to Offender Profiling

Some researchers argue whether offender profiling reliable at all. Some say that the British approach where they use the existing psychological theories to create new formulations and explanations for criminal activity is more valid than the US approach where they use the information from the case study, from the crime scene and so  on. 

In this lecture we will have a look at the research behind the effectiveness of offender profiling, and whether police and criminal investigators find this methodology useful at all

The Effectiveness of Offender Profiling
+ Forensic Psychology in the Courtroom
3 lectures 16:44

When a witness stands up in court and gives the testimony, this can literally decide the fate of the offender. A witness can give a compelling evidence that will bring the truth and justice. But how accurate the eyewitness  testimonies really are?

In this lecture we will have a look at 'eye-witness testimony' and why it can go really wrong in some cases! We will discuss psychological theories that explain the 'accuracy' and the lack of it in crime-related situations

Eye-witness testimony

An 'expert witness' is an entirely different specie from 'eye-witness'. An expert witness can volunteer their services in court cases where they share their expertise and wisdom related to their particular expertise. But how accurate this type of witnessing is? Can we rely on this type of information?

Here in this lecture we will also have a look at the earliest recorded expert-witnessing cases and how they helped the court proceedings of the last century

Expert witness testimony

In this lecture we will be learning who a 'victim of crime' is and whether they are always treated as 'victims', i.e. in an appropriate and justified way. You might be surprised to know that this is not always the case for some strange reasons!

Also, in this lecture we will have a look at the role of victim in the whole justice process and how to establish the best communication between the victim and the court

Attitudes towards victims
+ Forensic Psychology in Practice
3 lectures 21:12

Why people who committed crime re-offend? Isn’t it enough for them to serve the sentence and get released to their freedom to enjoy it? Isn’t it how people view it?

In reality, there seems to be a range of problems or needs that are applicable to the offenders more than anyone from the general population. This makes it very complex to view this issue from a 'normal individual' perspective. Let's discuss it here!

’What works' literature in reducing re-offending

From the research that we looked at in our previous lecture, it is clear that interventions for reducing reoffending need to address the problems related to employment, family life, and education as they are the 3 strongest predictors for re-offending. But these issues need to be addressed before the person gets imprisoned again, and preferably outside of the criminal justice system. So, let's have a look at what interventions have established themselves as effective up to date

Interventions to reduce risk of re-offending

You might recall what is crisis negotiation if i’ll remind you of SCI films where police officer , for instance the one from the New York City central police department has to speak to the criminal over the phone and negotiate their demands. It is possible to imagine how stressful this might be for everyone involved. 

In this lecture we will have a look at how 'crisis negotiation' is organised at the crime scene, and what this process really involves!

Incident management (Crisis Negotiation)
+ Final Test
1 lecture 01:00

Final Test - 'Forensic Psychology' course

Complete the test to your best ability. You can re-take the test as many times as you need.

Chose the answer that you feel as most accurate or complete in relation to the question asked.

Good luck!

After you complete the test you qualify for your well-deserved certificates!

Final Test - 'Forensic Psychology' course
9 questions

Have a look at the instructions on how to obtain or request your certificate.

How to obtain your well-deserved certificate