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AZA3468: Forensic criminology: Victim and offender profiling

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate – Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal datesfor the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Ms Tara Harris


South Africa

  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)


AZA2468, ATS2468, ATS3468


This unit refers to the importance of the crime case study method and the presentation of material to the criminal justice system informed by scientific rigour. Within a legal framework analyses are presented on the reliability and validity of input variables. Analyses refer inter alia to behavioural evidence, pre-sentence evaluations and victim impact statements. Credibility is of crucial importance and psychological factors in eyewitness testimony, scientific data collection techniques, and the role and functions of the expert witness, are presented in concert with court protocols and universal ethical principles.


  1. Understand the study field of victim and offender profiling
  2. Apply knowledge of forensic criminology to particular contexts
  3. Demonstrate the ability to critically assess offending and victimisation risks
  4. Critically appraise the impact of criminal victimisation on the rights of the individual and that of a just society
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of court procedures, protocols, structures and relevant legislation for the presentation of forensic evidence
  6. Maintain records of the outcome of the case study method and provide appropriate feedback to participant/s in the criminal event, legal practitioners, criminal justice personnel, health worker/s and other stakeholders
  7. Use appropriate science and technology effectively and responsibly when compiling and presenting victim and offender profiles without harming society, the environment or individuals
  8. Work and communicate with others as a member of a multi-disciplinary team to effectively prepare and present victim and offender profiles to particular contexts
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation


Within semester assessment: 65% + Exam: 35%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

Chief examiner(s)

Ms Tara Harris

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Criminology and criminal justice – South Africa

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