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Last updated 18th April 2024


Dr Maria Ioannou, is a Professor in Investigative and Forensic Psychology and Course Director for the MSc Investigative Psychology. She is a Chartered Forensic Psychologist (British Psychological Society) and a HCPC Registered Psychologist (Forensic). She joined Huddersfield University in 2009 as a Senior Lecturer.  Dr Ioannou obtained a first class undergraduate degree in Psychology, Philosophy and Pedagogics from the University of Ioannina, Greece in 2000. In 2001 she completed her MSc in Investigative Psychology at the University of Liverpool. Her dissertation was on the Criminal Narrative Experience focusing on the roles that offenders act out and the emotions they experience while they are committing their crimes. She developed this research for her PhD, which she completed in 2006.

Dr Ioannou has been involved in the assessment of intervention programmes for reducing/preventing crime for a range of different forms of criminality and groups of offenders. Typically these evaluations have required assessments of change/impact/influence of the interventions on individuals and their criminal behaviour as well as assessments of the overall programme itself. She has also contributed to consultancy reports and been involved in consultancy work with a range of police forces and other agencies such as the Safer Merseyside Partnership, Merseyside Police, Liverpool City Council, Lancashire Constabulary, the Ministry of Defence, the Irish Prison Service as well as in a number of legal cases that involved among others preparation of background material and investigative advice on Forensic Psycholinguistics/ Questioned Authorship Attribution, interpretation of psychological measures on a case of offender profiling with personality and other psychometric assessment and analysis of the psychological features indicated within personal documents.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Forensic, Investigative and Criminal Psychology
  • Individualistic antecedents to crime and modelling (offender profiling, mental disorder and crime, criminal differentiation and the modelling of offending styles and offender types - various crime types including violent and sexual crime, criminal narratives, emotional experience of offending, personality and crime)
  • Vulnerability - perpetration and victimisation (hate crime, human trafficking, child sexual exploitation, domestic violence, honour crime, child abuse, bullying, missing persons, cybercrime, sexual offences, child abduction, stalking, kidnapping, school shootings)
  • Cognitive biases in forensic evidence interpretation
  • Terrorism

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Antecedents to Crime and Modelling
  • Offender Profiling
  • Mental Disorder and Crime
  • Offender Styles and Offender Types for Violent and Sexual Crime
  • Criminal Emotions and Narratives
  • Personality and Crime
  • Vulnerability, Perpetration and Victimisation
  • Hate Crime
  • Human Trafficking
  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Domestic Violence
  • Honour Crime
  • Missing Persons
  • Cybercrime
  • Sexual Offences
  • Abduction
  • Cognitive Biases in Forensic Evidence Interpretation
  • Terrorism


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