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Forensic Psychology

This course gives an orientation in forensic psychology, the field of psychology that integrates psychological knowledge with the legal and judicial context.

The course provides in-depth theoretical and empirical knowledge regarding the evaluation and understanding of behaviors of witnesses, victims, and perpetrators in the context of crime. The course mainly concerns:

  • Witnesses' ability to remember and communicate memories of criminal events
  • Techniques for interviewing and interrogating suspects and witnesses, including children
  • Reliability and credibility assessment of testimonies
  • Line-ups
  • Lie detection
  • Forensic psychiatry
  • Perspectives from victims of crime

This course is a good choice if you want to widen and deepen the knowledge of psychology that you learned on Psychology I (or equivalent). It is also suitable for guest and exchange students who need to set up their own education plan.

The course is optional within the Psychology II - course package, which is the second semester of studying psychology as a bachelor subject.

You will need Psychology I, 30 credits, with a minimum of 22,5 credits completed, or equivalent, to be eligible.

  • Course structure

    As a registered student on this course you will find detailed course information and communication in the learning platform Athena. Login with your university account.

    This course will be given in two different course instances in the autumn 2023.

    In the first quarter of the semester, the course will be given in English as a remote course, full-time studies.

    In the third quarter of the semester, the course will be given in Swedish on campus, full-time studies. This instance is part of the Psychology II – course package.

    Course syllabus
    Forensic Psychology, 7,5 credits, spring 2023 (in Swedish) (154 Kb)

    Forensic Psychology, 7,5 credits, remote, autumn 2023

    Forensic Psychology, 7,5 credits, on campus, autumn 2023 (in Swedish)

    Teaching format

    Teaching consists of lectures and seminars.

    The course contains three mandatory elements: a written report, an oral presentation of that report, and seminar attendance.

    The course is held remotely or on campus as specified for each course. The main language of instructions is Swedish for the campus-based course, and English for the distance-based course.

    See the course syllabus for more information.

    Learning outcomes

    To pass the course, the student must be able to use theory and empirical findings from research in cognitive, developmental, social and personality psychology, to understand the role of these factors in a legal context. This involves the ability to:

    1. Explain how children, adults, witnesses, victims and perpetrators experience, remember and talk about crimes, as well as explain the formation of false memories and false confessions.
    2. Explain the consequences of crime from the perspective of victims of crime.
    3. Make assessments of (point out the strengths and weaknesses of) psychological investigative methodologies in legal contexts, such as interrogation methods and lie-detection tests.
    4. Describe and problematize forensic psychiatric assessments.
    5. Explain reasons behind entering and exiting violent-extremist organizations, including justifications of violence.
    6. Explain risk factors for sexual offences and evaluate rehabilitation methods.


    Forms of examination:

    When the course is held on campus, the course is examined with an individual written classroom exam.

    When the course is held remotely, the course is examined with an individual oral exam.

    For details, please refer to the course syllabus.


    Course leaders: Torun Lindholm,, and Philip Gustafsson,

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    A complete list of course readings is found in the course syllabus.

    The list is subject to change until two months prior to the start of the course. In case the new course syllabus is missing above by then, please check with the course leader before you buy any expensive books etc.

  • Contact

    Registered students should primarily use Athena for teacher communication.

    To contact the Student office or a Student Councellor, see below.

    More contacts in Education

    Student office - Bachelor's level
    Study councellor - Bachelor's level