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If you are interested in studying forensic psychology, either as a graduate or post-graduate student, this resource will be perfect for you! This article was written by the former EAPL-S representative for Russia: Oxana Gurina.

Forensic psychology in the Russian Federation

Forensic psychology in Russia has short and intensive history of its development. Nowadays Forensic psychology in Russia is the young science with great future. Recently Russia joined the Bologna process. Up to this moment in Russia were prepared specialists with diploma status. Now we also have two-levels education.


There are three main universities in Russia which prepare specialists in forensic psychology.

1. Moscow City University of Psychology and Education: Here is only one faculty in Russia of Forensic Psychology. It is based on the agreement between the University and the Serbsky National Research Center for Social and Forensic Psychiatry (the Serbsky Center) of the Ministry of Public Health of the Russian Federation. The founder and the first Dean of the faculty (2004 – 2009) was Prof. Elena G. Dozortseva. The Dean of the Faculty of Forensic Psychology is Dr. Nickolay V. Dvoriantchikov. The aim of the Faculty is to train specialists in forensic psychology, particularly in two areas: juvenile forensic psychology and clinical psychology in expert forensic setting. The Faculty has three Departments; two of them are in charge of graduation specialization. The Faculty of Forensic Psychology in this year starts two two-year Master level educational programs corresponding to its main specialization fields: “Juvenile Forensic Psychology” and “Forensic Psychology in expert practices”.

    • Department of Forensic Psychology: The Head of Department Prof. Elena G. Dozortseva, Chief of Laboratory for Child and Adolescent Psychology at the Serbsky Center. The main field of education and research at the Department is Juvenile Forensic Psychology. The studies at the Department includes the basic national standard for speciality “Psychology” combined with courses in Forensic Psychology, Developmental Psychology (especially Child and Adolescent Psychology); Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, as well as various courses in Criminal, Civil (Family) Law and Procedure Law, Children’s Rights, legal and psychological problems of Juvenile Justice.
    • Department of Clinical and Forensic Psychology: The Head of Department: Prof. Farit S. Safuanov, Chief of Laboratory for Forensic Psychology at the Serbsky Center. The Department belonging to the University has its seat at the Serbsky Center, the leading expert organization for forensic psychiatric and psychological assessment in Russia. The principal field of the Department is application of clinical psychology to forensic problems.
    • Department of Criminal Psychology: The Department was organized in 2005. The Head of Department – Dr. Sergey N. Enikolopovv, Chief of Department for Clinical Psychology at the All-Russian Research Center for Mental Health of the Russian Academy of Medicine. The Department is in charge of teaching at the faculty such courses as “Criminal Psychology”, “Psychology of Deviant Behaviour”, “Victimology”, et al.
    • Department of Penitentiary Psychology: The Head of Department – Dr. Mihail G. Debolsky, was the Head of psychological service in Penitentiary System in Russia (2000 – 2009). The Department is in charge of teaching at the faculty such courses as “Prisoner’s Psychology “, “Psychology Penalty”, et al.


2. The Academy of the Federal Penal Service: The Faculty of Psychology provides full (5 years) and part time (6 years) education to train students in: Psychology; Social Work; Pedagogic and Psychology. The Institute provides full, external and part time education on the commercial base with full and short courses in 6 specialties and 2 branches in law, psychology and economics. On the commercial base the Institute provides post-graduate courses for post-graduate studies in 8 specialties for PhD and DSc and retraining courses for civil officers, court officers, magistracy, magistracy assistants, clerks of court, social workers.

For the above mentioned professions external studies are also available. The Institute provides training for foreign students on a contractual basis (e.g. with the Republic of Azerbaijan and Republic of Tajikistan under the Agreements regarding the intended cooperation). Scientific activity of the Academy aims the development and research on the Penal system issues.
For recent 5 years over 80 % of research is ordered by the senior penal organs. It resulted in principles, practical recommendations, draft legal acts, proposals on legislation amendments, and practical improvement of penal practice, scientific and educational manuals.

3. Kaluga State University of EducationDepartment of Basic and Foreign Psychology. This Department specifies in forensic assessment of different fields and proceedings. Conditions of applying are similar to other universities. The Head of Department: Engalychev Vali Fatehovich.

Five notes to know

  1. Firstly, you need know Russian language, if you want study here. I think it is the great problem, because Russian is very complex. And you need a strong patience to learn it. But you don’t need the certificate which justified your knowing the language.
  2. Secondly, you need know which field of forensic psychology you are interested in. And should to link with scientific researchers to decide together which theme you would like to investigate.
  3. Thirdly, you should gather necessary documents (different universities demand specific documents – for this information you need link with it).
  4. The Fourth, you should pass three exams: Russian Language, Biology, Math
  5. Fifthly, if you pass exams successfully, you could a little to relax but you should know that studying in Russia is hard, intensive and very interesting!

If you are interested in one of this university, feel free to email: RussiaEAPLS@gmail.com

Best Wishes from Russia!

– Oskana