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Legal Psychology: Current Research

Course
Master’s level
15 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
50%
Time
Day
Location
Göteborg
Study form
Campus
Language
English
Duration
-
Application open
-
Application code
GU-27350
Tuition
Full education cost: 21 250 SEK
First payment: 21 250 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

More information about tuition fees

Application closed

Summary

Legal psychology, concerns the application of psychological theory and research to issues related to the legal and criminal justice systems. We will principally read and discuss legal psychology literature from the last few years – scientific work on the cutting edge in the field. This course aims to equip students with deep understanding and knowledge of legal psychology as it exists today and with critical skills to make scientific and ethical assessments of practices and policies in legal systems.

About

Legal psychology is concerned with applying psychological research and theory to the legal system. It uses the scientific method to address contemporary, real-world societal problems to which psychology is relevant. How do judges and lawyers make decisions? How do investigators interpret evidence? What factors influence the reliability of eyewitnesses? How can people remember things that never happened? Is it possible to accurately detect lies? How should we question witnesses and victims in order to obtain useful information? How should we question suspects of crimes?

Psychological science has much to say about each of these questions and can play an important role in advancing practice and policy in the legal system. This course aims to provide students with knowledge of and critical views on current research on legal psychology – that is, research that tries to answer questions such as these.

This course aimed at students with a solid background in Psychology at a bachelor´s level, who are beginning or are currently studying at master´s level. This course is well-suited for students who are particularly interested in the process of research and the role of psychological research in the legal system, especially students who possibly have the ambition to go on to PhD-level studies.

This course covers current research on key areas in legal psychology, through three subcourses:

  • The Legal System – Actors and Decision-Making
  • Memory, Deception Detection
  • Credibility Assessment
    Interviewing and Interrogation. 

Each subcourse consists of a series lectures to build foundational knowledge in the concept, as well as seminars to enrich, discuss, and debate topics pertaining to current research in legal psychology.

Prerequisites and selection

Requirements

90 credits in psychology at Bachelor's level (first cycle) is necessary to enter the course, including a thesis of 15 credits. Applicants must also prove knowledge of English: English 6/English Course B or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL or IELTS.

Selection

Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 225 credits.

For admission to the summer 2021 and onward the following selection applies: selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 165 credits.

After graduation

This course will equip students with knowledge of contemporary research on legal psychology – a topic that is highly relevant in society. Additionally, by engaging with current research, students will gain experience making critical assessments of the methods, ethics, and applicability of scientific psychological literature. For example, students will be able to examine the strengths and limitations of applying current research to real-world societal issues.