“The field has the potential to offer a very good career to young criminal psychologists. They can get jobs in the public and private sectors or can practice as freelance criminal/forensic psychologists, to help the police and the court analyze unusual criminal behavior and make judgments,” says Rita Kumar, Professor, Amity Institute of Psychology & Related Sciences (AIPS).
“Criminal psychology is a branch of psychology that studies the intentions and behaviors of those who commit illegal or criminal acts. However, the field encompasses much more than shedding light on a criminal’s psyche. It also plays a crucial role in how different laws are enforced,” says Dr. Satish Kumar, Head and Associate Professor, Department of Applied Psychology, University of Mumbai.
“The course is imperative for legal practitioners and helps them understand the motives and actions of defendants while working on a case. Additionally, criminal profilers aim to determine possible suspects by analyzing the crime scene through investigative psychology and also collaborate with forensic psychologists or criminal anthropologists. These experts attempt to identify the personality profile, lifestyle habits or any behavioral abnormalities that may help law enforcement identify the perpetrators,” Kumar explains.
These courses are usually offered at postgraduate or MPhil and PhD levels in India, says Devvarta Kumar, Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, NIMHANS, Bangalore. “In India, specific courses related to forensic/investigative psychology are offered at Gandhinagar National Forensic Science University (NFSU). Apart from this, there are many foreign universities such as
At Amity University, the curriculum structure of a postgraduate degree in criminal psychology includes an understanding of criminal psychology, forensic psychology, research methods used in the field, and administration and police investigations. It also includes psychological assessment and criminal profiling of criminals.