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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsThis course examines the psychology of eyewitnesses and its impact on police investigations-- revealing the limitations of the human mind and the dangers for criminal justice. Witnesses often only identify somebody about 40% of the time from a line up. Sometimes the suspect that's been identified isn't actually the culprit. The journey begins by exploring some serious miscarriages of justice. Featuring a real eyewitness whose testimony sent the wrong man to prison. I knew there had been misidentification-- I mean I knew that. It wasn't malicious intent, it wasn't racially motivated-- but it didn't matter, because the end result was Ronald Cotton spent a third of his life in prison for something he didn't do.

Skip to 0 minutes and 58 seconds The course also gives you a chance to follow two investigations of a fictitious crime. And use your cognitive and investigative skills to evaluate the evidence. The course was created by professor Graham Pike, who specialises in eyewitness identification, including E-Fit technology. There are new generation of facial composting systems that are beginning to be used by the police. Graham Pike was also behind a BBC Open University co-production, which is incorporated into the course, and which puts eyewitnesses to the test. By working solely from eyewitness accounts and positive identifications, how close to the truth have they got? Giving you the chance to use what you have learned to solve a crime and compare how you did against a team of real police officers.

Skip to 1 minute and 47 seconds By completing the eight week course, you will have gained some basic knowledge about forensic psychology, gained insights into how your own mind works, and understood the vital role of psychology in police investigations.

About the course

Explore how your own mind works, and discover how the limitations of the human brain can lead to major miscarriages of justice.

Despite advances in forensic science, eyewitness testimony remains a critical component of criminal investigations. Psychological research has revealed the dangers of relying on evidence gained from an eyewitness and also how careful the police need to be when questioning witnesses.

Using videos of real witnesses and from cameras that go behind the scenes of a police investigation, this course explores the psychology of eyewitness testimony. You will get the chance to test your own cognitive skills and to see whether your powers of investigation are as good as a crack squad of police officers, as you try to solve a crime using nothing but evidence from eyewitnesses.

You can use the hashtag #FLforensic16 to join and contribute to Twitter conversations about this course.

Requirements

This course is intended for those with an interest in psychology and/or criminal investigation, and does not require any previous experience of studying either subject.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £49.00

Statement of Participation £34.00