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The Open University

Investigating a Murder with Forensic Psychology

The Open University via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.


Explore applied psychology in the context of a criminal case

Psychology plays an important role in police enquiries. It can help build rapport, plan interviews, detect deception, and understand cognitive bias.

On this four-week course, you’ll explore the way suspects are dealt with during a police investigation and how psychology can help the police with their enquiries.

This immersive and engaging short course will showcase applied psychology in a highly interesting context.

Take on the role of detective to investigate a murder

You’ll become a detective investigating a murder as you join two fictional detectives working alongside a senior investigating officer.

This complex criminal case has been carefully written to be realistic by a team of academic and policing practitioner experts.

Understand the psychological skills of building rapport and identifying cognitive bias

You’ll delve into the psychological skills that can help police in an investigation. You’ll learn how to spot a liar, how to establish rapport, the impact of cognitive bias, and how to plan an interview.

This will also include investigating falses confessions and developing and assessing an interview plan.

Learn from the experts at The Open University

This interactive course has been created by the experts at The Open University’s Centre for Policing Research and Learning, and Forensic Cognition Research Group.

You’ll learn from the specialists with a well-established network of policing practitioners.

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in policing careers, psychology, or the law.

It may also be beneficial for those interested in writing crime fiction.


  • Introduction to the case
    • Welcome to the course
    • The investigation timeline
    • The initial witness interview
    • Detecting a deception
    • New witness statements
  • Suspect interviews and establishing rapport
    • Introducing police suspect interviews
    • The importance of rapport
    • DI Bullet interviews Neale
  • Confessions
    • How reliable are confessions in criminal investigations?
    • Interrogation, suggestibility and false confessions
    • Evaluating DI Bullet’s suspect interview
    • New evidence and new suspects
  • Conclusion to the case
    • Dealing with the new suspect
    • Interviewing the new suspect
    • Assessment of the suspect interview and case closure
    • Course wrap up

Taught by

Zoë Walkington


4.4 rating at FutureLearn based on 96 ratings

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