5 Forensic Psychology Capstone Project Ideas

forensic psychology capstone projects

Capstone Project Ideas for Forensic Psychology

  • Research Paper
  • Case Study
  • Dissertation
  • Oral Presentation
  • Historical Analysis Of The Field

As a forensic psychology student nearing graduation, you are probably hard-pressed to find a capstone project idea that is appealing. However, with the vast amount of information on forensic psychology, including fraudulent acts by conmen who have deceived the court system, it has become much easier to choose a capstone project, according to The Guardian. Here are five of the best ideas to get you thinking about how to craft your capstone.

1. Research Paper

The most common capstone project for forensic psychology students is a research paper, which is also called a research interest paper. This is a paper that has a topic that is approved by the department head or the student’s advisor and can take up to one academic year to complete. In the forensic psychology concentration, it could include experiments conducted by the student in a supervised setting, interviews with formidable professionals in the field, and more. The research paper is generally on a topic not yet well researched and could be submitted to a journal for publication.

2. Case Study

A unique idea for a capstone project for forensic psychology students is the case study, a real-world study of a case that involves forensic psychology. Case studies are generally an analysis of one study and provide students with the ability to discuss different aspects of the case. For example, a case study analysis could discuss the conflicts inherent in forensic psychology and how they can negatively impact criminal trials. Alternatively, case study analysis could provide great examples of how the field can be used effectively in determining the mental state of a criminal and how forensic psychology can spot aberrant behavior with enough perspective to avoid a criminal act.

3. Dissertation

Dissertations are often cited as the most common form of a capstone project, especially in the realm of forensic psychology. This perhaps has to do with the fact that dissertations are common at the graduate level, and since many psychology students wish to attend graduate school for the field of forensic psychology, practice with a dissertation is deemed necessary. The paper can be written on just about any aspect of forensic psychology and must always include a thesis which dictates the point of view of the student. These are then defended in front of a department committee, after which it can be submitted to publications for peer review.

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4. Oral Presentation

An oral presentation as a capstone project is similar to a dissertation; however, it differs because presentations do not require an oral or written defense of the presentation. In this sense, it is an incredible opportunity for forensic psychology students as they have the opportunity to discuss one aspect of the field in depth and present it to their cohort or the department which leads their degree. Topics are numerous and can lead students to showcase new advancements in forensic psychology, such as new interview techniques, or to discuss how the field has had its share of conflicts in the past. The oral presentation can be accompanied by slideshows, video interviews, a research paper, or any number of materials that could present the student’s thesis.

5. Historical Analysis Of The Field

While perhaps an uncommon idea for a capstone project, a historical analysis of the forensic psychology field could be an interesting choice. Since the field is still relatively new, an analysis of how it has evolved over the years, including how the laws have changed in order for forensic psychologists to give evidence at trials and the relationship between science and psychology has played a role in criminal cases, would be a welcome capstone project for any student interested in the field.

Forensic psychology is an unfolding field, and while it has proven useful to the criminal justice system, it still has a long way to go in proving its efficacy to the public. That’s where students come in; their projects in college can pave the way for their career interests to be of great use in the field. Now that we’ve covered five forensic psychology capstone project ideas, students can carry on deciding what topic they want their project to cover.

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