Unit description

This unit examines many well known political and criminal trials, both from an historical and psychological perspective. Consideration of the technical aspects of the trial such as rules of evidence and skills of advocacy are covered and the adversarial nature of a court trial is explored to determine to what extent an advocate is an actor. Students will also evaluate the psychological impact of a trial on witnesses and juries.

Unit content

Topic 1. The trial in an historical context
Topic 2. Famous Trials
Topic 3. Blind Justice and the abolition of  the death penalty
Topic 4. Vulnerable defendants and witnesses
Topic 5. Psychology, trials and the law
Topic 6. Circumstantial and expert evidence
Topic 7. The Theme of Justice in Literature & Film

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Teaching and assessment


Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2017 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 3

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.