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Introduction to Forensic Disability (CRIM90012)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeCRIM90012
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

An examination of psychological assessment and intervention strategies as applied to the special population of offenders with an intellectual disability. Included are considerations of:

  • the postulated link between intellectual ability and offending behaviour (including historical, socio-cultural, biological, psychological and methodological issues);
  • major skills and methods for the assessment of offenders with an intellectual disability;
  • descriptions of, and justifications for, intervention and management programs for this particular group of offenders;
  • issues arising from the characteristics of special needs groups in this population, for example, sex offenders, offenders with dual disability (mental illness as well as intellectual disability);
  • selected legal issues which may involve the clinician dealing with offenders with an intellectual disability; and
  • Philosophical and ethical considerations in this area.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • Explain and analyse the postulated link between intellectual disability and offending behaviour in the context of historical, socio-cultural, biological, psychological, methodological and profession issues
  • Provide an awareness of specific legal issues facing offenders with an intellectual disability at each stage of their progression through the criminal justice system
  • Describe the principles of clinical assessment for this group and outline some specific techniques of assessment
  • Explain the principles of clinical interventions and methods of evaluating such interventions
  • Provide an appreciation of the legal, philosophical and policy contexts in which much clinical decision-making takes place

Generic skills

Students who successfully complete this subject should have:

  • Achieve a capacity for independent critical thought, rational inquiry and self-directed learning;
  • Achieve an ability to incorporate theoretical principles and concepts into professional practice;

Eligibility and requirements


To enrol in this subject, you must be admitted in GC-CRIMFD. This subject is not available for students admitted in any other courses.



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • 3,000 word individual written assessment, due at completion of delivery, (75%)
  • Oral presentation: 20-25 minutes plus 5 - 10 minutes Q&A time; completed in class and in pairs, due during delivery, (20%)
  • Individual commentary - input throughout delivery, (5%)

Dates & times

Time commitment details

170 hours per 12.5 credit point subject In addition to face-to-face teaching time of 40 hours, students should expect to undertake a minimum of 170 hours research, reading, writing and general study to complete this subject successfully.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    There are no specifically prescribed or recommended texts for this subject.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 4 January 2019