Psychology (PSYC) 395

Forensic Psychology (Revision 3)

PSYC 395 Course Cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online or grouped study (with eTextbook)

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: PSYC 290 is recommended

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

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PSYC 395 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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Forensic Psychology covers a range of topics that are of mutual interest to psychologists and other professions involved in the law. In today’s society, psychology affects virtually every aspect of the legal system, and psychologists are increasingly being asked to provide knowledge to this system. Psychology 395 will comprehensively examine the role of the forensic psychologist in the criminal justice system in Canada. It will focus on the interaction between the psychology and law, with an emphasis on Canadian applications.


  • Unit 1: An Introduction to Forensic Psychology
  • Unit 2: Police Psychology
  • Unit 3: The Psychology of Police Investigations
  • Unit 4: Deception
  • Unit 5: Eyewitness Testimony
  • Unit 6: Child Victims and Witnesses
  • Unit 7: Juries: Fact Finders
  • Unit 8: The Role of Mental Illness in Court
  • Unit 9: Sentencing and Parole in Canada: Practices and Public Opinions
  • Unit 10: Intimate Partner Violence; and Sexual Offenders
  • Unit 11: Psychopaths; and Homicidal Offenders
  • Unit 12: Risk Assessment
  • Unit 13: Assessment and Treatment of Young Offenders


To receive credit for PSYC 395, you must complete the research paper, all of the quizzes, achieve a mark of at least 50 percent on the final examination, and obtain a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of evaluation components is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Six Quizzes 30%
Research Paper 30%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Pozzulo, J., Bennell, C., & Forth, A. (2015). Forensic psychology (4th Canadian ed., eText). Toronto, ON: Pearson Education Canada.

Other Resources

The course materials include a study guide, course manual, audio interviews, and many online study tools.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the PSYC 395 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the final exam and a composite grade of D (50 percent).

Activity Weighting
Research Paper 40%
Exam 60%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, August 4, 2015.

View previous syllabus