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Introduction to the course

Introduction
A typewriter with a sheet of paper in the feed with the word Investigationon it.
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Welcome to Investigating a Murder with Forensic Psychology. In this course, you will take the role of detectives investigating a murder. Alongside two fictional detectives, you will work with the Senior Investigating Officer to solve a complex criminal case. You will explore the way that suspects are dealt with during a police investigation and specifically examine whether and how psychology can help the police with investigating such crimes, and in dealing with suspects.

The course will be released week by week. Out of consideration for learners completing the course more slowly, we ask that you do not return to earlier weeks and post spoilers once later weeks are opened!

Because the course involves a murder (albeit a fictional one), the topic under question is of course sensitive and you should take time to consider whether or not the content is likely to affect you personally. If you enjoy crime dramas or documentaries about policing then the course is likely to suit you, but if you find the idea of following a murder investigation upsetting, it might not be the right course for you.

In the course you will encounter a number of important psychological skills, such as how to develop rapport with people in difficult situations, how to plan interviews effectively, how to assess the credibility of what people tell you and how to understand the types of problems in human thinking that can get in the way of solving cases effectively.

You may have joined this course because you have studied our previous Forensic Psychology course, which focused on eyewitnesses and victims. This current course has a different focus – it looks at suspects of crime, and different psychological content – but you may recognise some of the investigation team. DS Sund and DI Bullet are both still involved in this course.

The course is specifically designed to focus on psychology rather than the intricacies of the policing system, recognising that our learners will be based in a range of jurisdictions with different legal processes. As a result, while the fictional case is based in England, the course is not intended to be an accurate portrayal of all legal processes and rules within England and Wales.

We must warn you that in some of the videos you may see the characters in the case study use swear words. This is to stay true to the characters in the scenario (and the pressures they find themselves under) but also because learning points are made throughout the course about dealing with verbal aggression and anger.

© The Open University
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Investigating a Murder with Forensic Psychology

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