Dr Kirin Hilliar

PhD in Psychology, MSc in Psychology (Forensic)

Assistant Professor
School of Social Sciences
Kirin Hilliar


Teaching undergraduate psychology courses

Supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students in their research dissertations

Managing the WattBuds peer support programme, currently being piloted in the School of Social Sciences

Staff Advisor for the HWUDC Drama Club


Dr Kirin completed her PhD and her Master of Psychology (Forensic) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia.

Her work has taken her across the fields of forensic, organisational, and clinical psychology in Australia and the UAE, including corrective custodial services, forensic mental health, workplace recruitment assessments and therapeutic services. Alongside her full-time role at Heriot-Watt University, Dubai, she also works part-time as a psychologist at a clinic in Dubai.

She is particularly passionate about ensuring practices and procedures within the legal justice system are informed by psychological research.


Face recognition accuracy, aggression, child protection, and police investigative procedures.


Hilliar, K. F., Kemp, R. I., & Denson, T. F. (2010). Now everyone looks the same: Alcohol intoxication reduces the own-race bias in face recognition. Law and Human Behaviour, 34, 367-378. doi:10.1007/s10979-009-9204-x

Hilliar, K. F., & Kemp, R. I. (2008). Barack Obama or Barry Dunham? The appearance of multiracial faces is affected by the names assigned to them. Perception, 37, 1605-1608.

Hilliar, K. F. (2008). Police-recorded assaults on hospital premises in New South Wales: 1996-2006. Crime and Justice Bulletin no. 116, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Sydney.