Postgraduate study
Psychology

MSc Forensic Psychology

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and forms the essential component for Stage 1 of the Chartership process towards becoming a chartered forensic psychologist. The course offers some students the opportunity of ongoing work experience placements with local prisons and the local forensic secure unit.

Course information

Full-time

  • 1 year

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

  • Tuesdays in first year, Thursdays in second year
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384491

Contact details

  • Facilities

    Psychology facilities

    Studying Psychology at the School of Social Sciences, Business & Law gives you access to outstanding facilities, including eye-trackers, EEG and Near-infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). You also get to use specialist interviewing labs and our replica courtroom.

 

It provides an advanced and up-to-date understanding of theoretical and applied issues in forensic psychology. It integrates the development of an appropriate psychological and professional knowledge base with training in many of the professional skills utilised in practice. The course also emphasises the importance of ongoing assessment, intervention and throughcare, and highlights the role of the forensic psychologist as a project manager, consultant, investigator and practitioner. The course strikes an excellent balance between aspects of investigative psychology and the applied professional and clinical aspects of practice as a forensic psychologist.

Professional accreditation

British Psychological Society This course is accredited by the BPS. This gives students Stage 1 of the two-stage process towards becoming a chartered forensic psychologist.

Modules

Core modules

Applied Research Methods

This module has two components - quantitative research and qualitative research.

Quantitative research will allow you to further develop knowledge and skills in research design, methods, and applied statistical analysis. The qualitative research component will provide you with the requisite skills needed to analyse, conduct and assess qualitative research within applied-psychology settings.

The assessment consists of two elements: an open-book examination on quantitative methods and the submission of a qualitative research bid including feasibility study data collection and analysis.

Forensic Assessment

You gain an understanding of various psychological assessment procedures, including functional analysis and formulation.

Various offender cohorts are examined including issues relevant to violent offenders, sex offenders, young offenders, female offenders, mentally disordered offenders and intellectual functioning. You also explore cognitive impairment, personality disorder, issues with children and families, dual diagnosis and drug and alcohol use as factors in offending behaviour. You are introduced to risk assessment tools.

Forensic Psychology Project

This gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your research competency within a specialist area of forensic psychology. You are required to produce an original empirical research project of 12,000 words on a specialist area of your choice within forensic psychology.

Forensic Psychology: Theory in Practice

This provides you with case material for study and an opportunity to integrate psychological theory in practice situations. You are introduced to the concept of the psychologist as a consultant, organisational issues and the skills required for personal development. This includes interpersonal communication, evaluation and feedback. It is distinct from the Stage 2 process of professional skills training undertaken for achieving Chartership with the BPS.

Interventions in Forensic Psychology

This provides you with detailed accounts of the clinical interventions and treatment of offenders as described in the Forensic Assessment module, with emphasis on contextual issues, factors affecting effective treatment and interventions, multi-disciplinary working and risk management.

Law, Justice and Psychology

You are introduced to the multi-disciplinary nature of forensic psychology, and to the application of psychological knowledge to the criminal justice system. You discuss a range of theoretical approaches that have been used to explain crime, and gain an understanding of the principles of studying the justice process.

The module also introduces you to civil and criminal law. It includes discussion of the issues relating to jury selection and jury decision making, the nature of expert evidence, child witnesses, assessment and interventions with victims and witnesses, and the role of the psychologist as an expert witness.

The development of the new replica courtroom at the University offers an excellent opportunity for you to practise key professional skills such as presenting specialist court reports in an appropriate context and to undertake research related to this area.

Psychology of Criminal Behaviour

This module introduces you to theoretical explanations of criminal behaviour and its origins. You receive grounding in the practice of forensic psychology through the analysis of various psychological explanations applicable to criminal behaviour and its psychological consequences. Due to its integrated approach, this module also gives you an understanding of the principles of studying criminal behaviour. The progression of studies leads on to other modules.

The Psychology of Investigations

This module gives you a critical understanding of the psychological and legal issues regarding the psychology of investigations. It analyses the ways in which psychological theories can be applied to the investigative process (including the gathering of evidence) and considers the investigatory process of victims, witnesses and suspects of crime.

 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

The course utilises seminars and lectures. There are aspects of self-directed learning in some modules and applied learning including visits to courts and specialist expert external speakers. There is also the possibility for some students to undertake placements with a local forensic unit, the Hutton Centre and prisons in the North East.

How you are assessed

The course is assessed using a variety of methods, formative and summative. These include traditional essay writing, applied assignments including functional analysis reports, the development of training plans, and the delivery of evidence and cross-examination in the unique court room facility at the University.

Career opportunities

After Stage 1, students can become chartered forensic psychologists by successfully completing the Stage 2 Qualification in Forensic Psychology.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have at least a second-class honours degree in psychology and the Graduate Basis for Chartership as recognised by the BPS. Applicants with other degrees are invited to call the admission enquiries number to discuss possible additional requirements for entry.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

Course information

Full-time

  • 1 year

More full-time details

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

  • Tuesdays in first year, Thursdays in second year
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 384491

Contact details

Open days

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