PSYPRO4505 - Forensic Psychology and the Role of Expert Witness


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Home examination
Grade: Passed/Failed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Home examination 100/100 4 hours

Course content

The most frequent uses of psychology in the field of judicial care will be reviewed. This includes assistance in criminal cases in the form of judicial observations, assistance in civil matters in the form of compensation, as well as the administration in the form of assistance in child welfare and child welfare cases. It will be emphasized that the psychologist role will be different in such relationships compared with "normal" clinical practice.

Furthermore, there are a number of clinical conditions that we encounter more often in court and prison contexts than in other clinical contexts. There will be a review of these, the significance they may have for the development of antisocial behavior, and the significance they may have for the assessment of violence.

Witness psychology will also be reviewed, which includes factors that can produce memory displacements, false memory and false confessions, as well as witnesses and credibility.

The role of expert witness currently requires no compulsory training, but ideally follows the qualification of an ABC model for medical doctors and psychologists. The professional education is the A-section, the B courses are common to all disciplines and are organised by the Forensic Commission, the C-courses are subject-specific inservice courses organised by SIFER. In addition, the Norwegian Psychological Association (NPF)  has its own specialisation courses aimed at children's cases.

Learning outcome


  • The student has an overview of the legal system, case management and court procedures.
  • The student will have an understanding of legal terminology in relation to psychology and the role of expert in criminal law, tort law, and child law.
  • The student has detailed knowledge of a number of conditions that one often encounters in the judicial and prison system than in other clinical settings, and of the most commonly used assessment methods for risk of violent behavior.
  • The student has knowledge of the factors that can produce memory offsets, false memories and false confessions, and witnesses and credibility.


  • The student has an advantage through the course's insight into the expert practice.
  • The student will be able to convey basic theoretical, empirical and methodical knowledge in forensic psychology.
  • The student has an understanding of how to design an expert report to the court.
  • The student has insight into how assessing the risk of violent behaviour is carried out, and should be able to communicate knowledge about it.
  • The student will be able to use structured professional assessment tools.

General competence:

  • The student has the capacity for critical reflection of the expert witness role.
  • The student is able to see the subject's limitations.
  • The student has a clear understanding of impartiality

Learning methods and activities


Specific conditions

Admission to a programme of study is required:
Clinical Psychology Programme (CPSY)
Clinical Psychology Programme, 6 years (CPSY6)

Required previous knowledge

Passed exams in PSYPRO4201, PSYPRO4202, PSYPRO4203 and PSYPRO4204 are required. The class is divided into two this semester. One group will take PSYPRO4605 and PSYPRO4606, the second group will take PSYPRO4505 and perspective course and reverse the following semester.

Course materials

To be announced when the semester starts.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
PSYPRO4082 7.5 AUTUMN 2011
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2021

Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2022

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Psychology
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Psychology


Examination arrangement: Home examination

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Home examination 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Home examination 100/100





Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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