Why this programme?
In the master’s specialisation Legal Psychology, you’ll learn how to apply principles from cognitive and – to a lesser extent – clinical psychology to issues in the legal system. Questions that are typical for Legal Psychology are: ‘How reliable are eyewitness testimonies?’ and ‘Do serious criminals have brain dysfunctions that make them permanently dangerous to society?’. Psychologists with a background in Legal Psychology ask questions that have direct relevance to the legal arena and conduct research to address these questions.
The specialisation in Legal Psychology is underpinned by two important elements: research and testing. The specialisation consists of five courses:
- Eyewitnesses and victims: provides you with insight into the psychology of eyewitnesses and victims.
- Perpetrators and defendants: examines different types of offenders and offending behaviour. You'll also learn to analyse these behaviours in the context of legal questions.
- Experts and their decisions: focuses on the role that experts play in judicial decision-making. You'll also explore the validity of expert opinions.
- Forensic neuropsychology: familiarises you with the assessment of neuropsychological disorders.
- Public policy in legal psychology: focuses on the basics of writing public policy in legal psychology.
The literature for these courses consists of various research papers taken from experimental, applied and forensic psychiatric journals. During the second semester, you'll complete a research internship and write your thesis.
Is it right for me?
Legal Psychology is a good fit if you're interested in studying:
- psychology and law from a cognitive perspective
- the psychology of eyewitnesses and victims
- how neuropsychological disorders affect criminology and ricidivism
- real examples of psychology and law in the Netherlands