Forensic and Legal Psychology

Is this the programme you're looking for?

This new master's track focuses on psychological contributions to both forensic and legal contexts.

Key Facts & Figures

Type
Master
Degree
MSc
Mode of study
Full-time
Instruction language
English
Duration
1 year
Study points (EC)
60
Start date
September
Application Deadline (EEA)
3 april
View all

The study programme in a nutshell

This programme will give you insight into why people misbehave and commit crimes, what the concept of criminal irresponsibility is, and how forensic patients need to be treated. Besides these typical forensic topics, the programme offers insight into legal psychological topics such as deception detection and legal decision making.

What you will learn

This programme will teach you how to apply scientifically validated knowledge and instrumentation to forensic problems.

Programme overview

Is this the right programme for you?

  • The programme aims at implementing state of the art scientific insights in the field of forensic psychology (i.e. evidence-based practice), with a possibility of focusing on clinical forensic (neuro)psychology, or on legal psychology.
  • The programme employs various educational approaches ranging from lectures to practical assignments.
  • This programme is unique in its combination of forensic (neuro)psychology and legal psychology in a 1-year programme.

Want to know more? Meet us here

Students meeting each other

Find out everything you need to know at one of these (online) events.

All our education events

Career opportunities after graduation

This specialisation prepares you for a career as practitioner, researcher, or policy advisor in forensic and legal psychology.   

This could be your future

What do our students think?

Arvind Chierandjoe

Arvind Chierandjoe - Student Forensic and Legal Psychology

The unpredictability of the patients and the complexity of the cases in both the forensic and legal field make this master a perfect fit for those that desire a genuine brain-cracking challenge.
The unpredictability of the patients and the complexity of the cases in both the forensic and legal field make this master a perfect fit for those that desire a genuine brain-cracking challenge.

Near the end of the bachelor programme in Psychology at EUR, I struggled with choosing a consecutive master study that would complement my previous knowledge in psychology and philosophy. Although clinical psychology attracted me, I liked to experience a side of the clinical setting in which clients did not really want the help they needed. From my perspective, that would be a challenge. The forensic side of psychology is one that distinguishes itself with such complex psychopathology and challenges. This is exactly why I chose Forensic and Legal Psychology at EUR. Besides your skills and knowledge as a forensic professional, the study provides the opportunity to delve deeper into the legal side of psychology as well. Legal psychology entails the psychology behind the legal procedures that occur in a judicial setting. An example would be examining whether a photo line-up procedure has been executed correctly when screening for suspects by the police.

During the programme, I had great assistance from the professors that complemented the already interesting topics of the study material. This is especially noteworthy as I almost followed the whole master during one of the lockdowns due to COVID-19. By being experts in the fields, they are able to clarify nuances and portray the knowledge needed in a clear fashion. Both the forensic and legal fieldwork with evidence-based research offer the right set of circumstances to get even more common in the academic world. After completing the master, I expect to be proficient as a forensic and legal professional.

Although I am not entirely sure whether to pursue a PhD or start working as a forensic psychologist, the master has guided me towards the academic field as well as towards the clinical field. Especially doing a practical internship besides (or after) the mandatory curriculum is recommended when wanting to work hands-on with patients in a forensic clinic or a penitentiary institution. The unpredictability of the patients and the complexity of the cases in both the forensic and legal field make this master a perfect fit for those that desire a genuine brain-cracking challenge.

Helena Scharnowski

Helena Scharnowski - Student Forensic and Legal Psychology

We, students from the Forensic and Legal Psychology Master, are fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in a moot court program
We, students from the Forensic and Legal Psychology Master, are fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in a moot court program

Helena Scharnowski, student of the Master Forensic and Legal Psychology, wrote this blog to tell about her experience with the moot court in the Forensic and Legal Psychology department during her studies.

Today I would like to take some time to speak about the moot court in the Forensic and Legal Psychology Master track.

The moot court was created in order to provide students with the option of doing a 20 EC research internship (thesis) as well as gaining some experience within legal psychology without having to struggle with finding an internship within the legal psychology realm. As many of us know, getting an internship as a student is already a considerable challenge; now, imagine trying to get an internship within the legal psychology field. Almost impossible! This is simply because this type of work is highly confidential and delicate, I mean imagine being an intern and having to help a team of legal psychologists evaluate if someone should be locked away for murder? This can be extremely scary and overwhelming.

Thanks to our wonderful professors at EUR, Eric Rassin, Irena Boskovic and Melissa de Roos, students are able to gain some insight into the work of a legal psychologist through the moot court period (that's if you choose it).

The moot court period takes place from February to April. During this period, we had approximately one to two lectures a week discussing real-life cases as well as different techniques on how to approach a case as a legal psychologist and, lastly, the difficulties found within the field of legal psychology. We had world-renowned professors such as Dr. Jelicic and Dr. Giromni give us lectures on their expertise. This was an amazing experience because we were given the option to engage with experts within the field of legal psychology, thereby gaining valuable knowledge about this field.

My favourite topic was by Dr. Luciano Giromini, who taught us about faking bad and faking good (also known as malingering). It was quite an interactive lecture in the sense that we were not only taught about this type of behaviour, but we also did some tests that identify malingering to see for ourselves how these tests work. In fact, this lecture gave me direction on how I could tackle the assignment we had to hand in for the moot court (I’ll get to that in a second). Furthermore, what pleasantly surprised me was that when I emailed some of these professors to ask them for more insight into the field of legal psychology, they all responded! And their response was extremely welcoming and informative.

Now, let’s look at the assignment. We are presented with three different cases (people who are on trial for different reasons) and have to conduct a psychological evaluation of various kinds to generate a legal, psychological report presented to the court. I will not disclose the three cases we had because, well, I want you all to be excited and surprised when you get them. Anyways, after handing in the report, we had an oral exam, in which classmates cross-examined our report in the presence of Dr. Rassin, Dr. Boskovic and Dr. van Roos, who were the judges. The oral exam was humorous but serious at the same time. Some students asked funny questions, whereas others were more serious and asked challenging questions ;) Either way, it was super fun.

I remember being sad after my oral exam because I came to realise that that’s it for the moot court. A wonderful experience is now stored in the memories of my past.

I’d like to end this blog post on an interesting note. You all probably know about the Johnny Depp vs Amber Heard trial? Well, both parties (Johnny and Amber) hired a legal psychologist to take the stand for them! And when I watched the legal psychologists give their testimonies, I knew precisely what they were talking about, their logic, their approach, etc. I, when watching the trial, felt like an expert in the field ;)

Moral of the story! We, students from the Forensic and Legal Psychology Master, are fortunate to have the opportunity to take part in a moot court program! It was definitely an experience of a lifetime.

Choosing a study is quite a challenge! Still in doubt about this study and want to have a good overview? Receive a clear digital brochure for this study.

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