PSYC20053 - Investigative Interviewing: Suspects

General Information

Unit Synopsis

Investigative Interviewing: Suspects is a core unit in the Graduate Certificate in Applied Forensic Psychology. It is designed to introduce you to the key concepts, debates, and theories that underpin the interviewing of suspects in criminal investigations. The unit focuses on the history of interviewing and interrogation, research methods, interviewing techniques and protocols, the right to silence, detecting truth and deception, interviewing vulnerable suspects (age/developmental immaturity, mental illness, intellectual disability, illiteracy, drug dependence, cultural and religious factors, Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders), false confessions, and miscarriages of justice. The residential school will include practical skills training in interviewing techniques and feature an authentic assessment: an interview with a suspect (an actor) in which you will devise your own interviewing strategy. It will feature engaged teaching and learning, with real-world content, designed to prepare you to work with community based organisations, or in private practice.


Level Postgraduate
Unit Level 9
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band SCA Band 4
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125
Pre-requisites or Co-requisites There are no pre-requisites for the unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Class Timetable View Unit Timetable
Residential School Compulsory Residential School
View Unit Residential School

Unit Availabilities from Term 1 - 2019

Term 2 - 2019 Profile
Mixed Mode
Term 2 - 2020 Profile
Mixed Mode

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Essay 30%
2. Case Study 30%
3. Laboratory/Practical 40%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%).

Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades

Past Exams

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Previous Feedback

No previous feedback available

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Source: Student email
Students appreciated the support offered during the semester and flexibility over assignment deadlines.
Continue to offer teaching and learning support throughout the term.
Action Taken
This was continued in 2020.
Source: Student evaluation
The weekly lectures were well received, with students commenting positively on the delivery style (e.g., lecturer's use of humour), and clear structures.
Continue to use the existing lecture structures and engaging delivery style.
Action Taken
This was continued in 2020.
Source: Student evaluation, emails and class feedback.
The residential school was very well received. Students appreciated the opportunity to conduct mock interviews inside a police training college.
Continue the residential school with the mock interview exercise retained.
Action Taken
Due to COVID-19 the residential schools was moved to online for 2020.
Unit learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the efficacy of major models of investigative interviewing (suspects)
  2. Investigate and synthesise complex case information in criminal investigations that resulted in a miscarriage of justice
  3. Apply creative strategies to design an effective interviewing strategy for an adult suspect.


Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes
Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Essay
2 - Case Study
3 - Laboratory/Practical
Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership
Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes
Advanced Level
Professional Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Essay
2 - Case Study
3 - Laboratory/Practical