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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn how a criminal mind thinks.

  • Self paced, 100 hour, online course
  • For crime writers, journalists, social workers, counsellors and charity workers
  • For anyone working in crime prevention, enforcement, the law, or criminal rehabilitation.

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Learn to Understand the Criminal Mind

Crime isn't always extreme, nor is it always committed with serious, thought out intent. People may abuse others in a momentary loss of self control. Crimes can vary from soft crimes such as illegal possession of drugs to petty theft or slander; through to serious crimes such as murder, terrorism or sex trafficking.

Criminals can be motivated by many things from personality defects or mental illness through to circumstances beyond their control.  Knowing the motivation that drives a criminals actions can be key to reducing criminal activity.

Why Study this Course?

Criminals disrupt society and the lives of those who do follow the rules. Any well structured society will have developed not only laws to be followed, but methods to minimise the disruption caused by crime. Those methods can include:

  • Crime Prevention
  • Law Enforcement
  • Punishment
  • Criminal Rehabilitation

Course Structure

There are ten lessons in this course:

Lesson 1. Introduction to Criminal Profiling
Types of crime
Jack the Ripper
FBI behavioural science unit
What is criminal profiling?
Intelligence profiling
Other related terms
Investigative psychology
Crime scene profiling/crime scene analysis profiling
Crime of passion
Linkage analysis
Modus operandi
Signature behaviour
The criminal profiling process
What is included in a profile?
How are criminal profiles used?
Role of profiling
Who uses profiling?
Contributions of psychologists, psychiatrists

Lesson 2. Profiling Methods
Top down
Bottom up
Nomothetic vs. Idiographic profiling
Organised and disorganised offenders
Behavioural evidence analysis
Forensic analysis
Crime analysis
Offender characteristics
Investigative psychology: statistical approach
Behavioural investigative advice
Geographical profiling
The main concepts of geographical profiling

Lesson 3. Crime Scene Analysis
Crime scene evidence
Crime scene location
Crime scene type
Choice of victim
Targeted victim
Opportunistic victim
Method of approach
Method of attack
Method of control
Patterns and linkages
Method of operating
Case linkages
Writing a crime scene analysis

Lesson 4. Offender Characteristics
Who commits crimes?
Mental illness
Mental health and crime
Learning disabilities and crime
Gender and crime
Why are men more likely to commit crimes?
The general theory of crime
Nature & nurture
Sociological theories of why men commit more crimes than women
Sociobiological and evolutionary theories
Stereotyping and generalisations
Understanding motive
Rapist motivational typology

Lesson 5. Victimology
Understanding victim profiles
Goal of forensic victimology
Victim backgrounds
Victim biases
Exposure of victims to crime
Lifestyle factors
Situational factors
Victim timelines
Case study – knife crime
Victims of serial killers
Offender-victim relationships
Problems with victim profiling
Incorrect profile
Stereotyping and generalisations

Lesson 6. Offender Profiling – Sexual Crimes
Serial crimes
Types of sex crimes
Power reassurance type
Power assertive type
Anger retaliatory type
Anger excitement type (sadistic)
Serial rape
The use of profiling in rape cases
Finding the offender
Profiling rapists
Sexual murder
Cannibalism sexual murder

Lesson 7. Offender Profiling – Violent Crimes
Mental illness
Serial killers or serial murderers
Visionary killers
Missionary killers
Hedonistic killers
Control or power killers
Organised killers
Disorganised Killers
Mixed killers
Stages of serial killing
Mass murder
Types of mass killers
Pseudo commando
Disgruntled employee
Family annihilator
Set and run killer

Lesson 8. Offender Profiling – White Collar Crimes
Blackmail and extortion
Phishing scams
Identity theft
Intellectual property infringement
Online harassment
Insurance reports
Unlawful sackings
Common profiles of white-collar offenders
Shoplifter profiler
Offender profile – hackers

Lesson 9. Offender Profiling – Victimless Crimes, Consensual Crimes and Other Crimes
Theft & robbery crime
Workplace bullying
Corporal punishment
Domestic violence
Initiation ceremonies
Neighbourhood disputes
Softer crimes
Case studies
The case of the Unabomber (Ted Kaczynski)
The case of the Beltway Snipers (John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo)
The case of the Boston Strangler (Albert Desalvo)

Lesson 10. Profiling in Action
Profiling in action – Jeffrey Dahmer
Gathering information
Writing reports for divorce cases
Criminal profiling as expert witness testimony
Jury decision-making
Accuracy issues
Public perception
Miscarriage of justice in criminal profiling
The case of Richard Jewell (1996)
The case of Colin Stagg (1992)
The case of Ronald Cotton (1984)
The case of Gary Dotson (1977)
Why is criminal profiling important to society as a whole?
Outlook on profiling
Uses of profiling
The future of criminal profiling
Criminal profiling and artificial intelligence

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Describe the nature and scope of criminal profiling.
  • Explain different methods used for criminal profiling.
  • Describe how a crime scene may be analysed.
  • Describe criminal offender characteristics.
  • Describe different types of victims.
  • Describe the common profiles of sex crime offenders and victim profiles.
  • Describe the common profiles of violent crime offenders.
  • Describe common profiles of white-collar crime offenders.
  • Apply criminal profiling to victimless crimes, consensual crimes, and other crimes.
  • Discuss the application of criminal profiling, and its importance to society.


This course may be used as professional development training for employees; or as  preparation for seeking employment in a wide range of situations including:

  • Security Guards
  • Crime writers
  • News reporters for print or broadcast media
  • Bouncers at a nightclub
  • Private Investigators
  • Insurance Agents investigating the validity of claims
  • Cybersecurity professionals
  • Social workers
  • Welfare workers
  • Law firm staff
  • Law enforcement officers and Prison guards 
Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!