Offender Profiling

Griffith University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Offender Profiling

  • Host University

    Griffith University

  • Location

    Gold Coast, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Criminology, Forensic Science, Psychology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Course Description
    Designed as an introduction to profiling, the course exposes students to the key approaches and processes in the field, drawing on the disciplines of psychiatry, psychology, criminology, geography, and forensic science. There is a strong focus on the higher order thinking skills of critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Prerequisite: Students must have successfully completed one year of tertiary study. IMPORTANT ENROLMENT INFORMATION This course will be offered in external mode as well as internal and there will be an external class available prior to enrolment opening.
    Course Introduction
    Offender profiling is broadly defined to include the collection of practices in which evidence, usually from
    the crime scene, victims, and/or witnesses, is used to infer characteristics about the perpetrator. If
    accurate, this information is useful in informing investigative strategies by reducing the suspect pool, and
    interrogation strategies by providing some psychological insight into the suspect. Offender profiling is a
    multidisciplinary endeavour, with law enforcement, behavioural scientists, social scientists and forensic
    scientists all involved in its evolution.
    *** WARNING*** This course contains extremely graphic descriptions and photographic evidence of victims of serial and ritualistic killers. The material will be disturbing. Students who are made uncomfortable by depictions of violence, sadism, torture and mutilation may have a difficult time in this course and should consider taking a different elective.
    Course Aims
    Designed as an introduction to offender profiling, the course aims to expose students to the key
    approaches and processes in the field, and applies a critical lens. This is achieved via three modules; (1)
    profiling approaches, (2) profiling processes, and (3) profiling products. Each module includes
    opportunities for practical application of the theoretical knowledge learned. The assessment reflects this,
    featuring a combination of theoretical and practical items
    Learning Outcomes
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:
    1 Knowledge of the evolution of profiling and an understanding of it as a multidisciplinary endeavour encompassing law enforcement, psychology, psychiatry, forensic science, and geography.
    2 Critical analysis and evaluation of the main approaches to profiling including; criminal investigative analysis, investigative psychology, diagnostic evaluations, crime action profiling, geographic profiling, and behavioural evidence analysis.
    3 Knowledge, understanding, and practical application of profiling processes including; crime reconstruction, identifying modus operandi and signature, linkage analysis, victimology, and inferring offender characteristics.
    4 Synthesis of profiling approaches and processes to construct a profile, and critically evaluate its accuracy and utility.
    5 Critical analysis and evaluation of the accuracy of offender profiling; and an understanding of the ethical implications of prediction.
    6 Knowledge of new or potential applications of offender profiling including terrorism and expert evidence.

    Assessment Task


    Assignment - Written Assignment
    Summarize article


    Assignment - Written Assignment
    Constructing a Profile


    Exam - selected response
    Multiple Choice Exam


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.