Child Forensic Studies: Psychology and Law MSc

Child forensics student talks to young person with teddy bear
Mode of Study
Part-time by distance learning
2 years part-time distance learning
Start Date
September 2019


Whether you're new to the field of child forensics, or already working with children in the legal system, our MSc Child Forensic Studies: Psychology and Law course will take your vocation to the next level.

Whatever your level of experience in dealing with child victims, witnesses or suspects, this course will help you enhance your knowledge and skills in the field. You'll study child development, the laws and procedures relating to children, and working with child witnesses. We'll provide the expertise and support you need to develop your professional practice.

Once you graduate, you'll have the tools you need to take your career in child forensics further, such as in management roles in the Police Force or Social Services.

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Learn from expert staff and researchers who are active in the field of child forensic psychology research
  • Take part in live webchats to discuss your work with lecturers and other students
  • Study child development and young offenders, law and procedures relating to children, and interviewing child witnesses
  • Complete a project based on your own research
  • Tap into our library’s electronic resources, which can be accessed both online and at your local library via the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL) scheme

Work experience and career planning

We'll help you to find internships, voluntary roles and opportunities to complement your studies during the course.

When you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in a child forensics role.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Careers and opportunities

On this course, you'll build on your experience of working with child victims, witnesses or suspects to enhance your knowledge and skills, and get an academic qualification.

If you're a recent graduate, you'll have the skills needed to start your career in the field.

Previous graduates have made significant progress in their careers, moving on to senior management positions and beyond. You may decide to pursue a career in related professions such as the police, or further your studies with a social work qualification in order to work directly with children.

Entry requirements​

Entry Requirements

  • A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants with a professional qualification not at degree level may be accepted - each application is considered on an individual basis according to academic qualifications as well as professional qualifications and experience.
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • Home/EU/Channel Islands/Isle of Man and International students: £5,800 in year 1 and £2,900 in year 2 (may be subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. 

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

On this course you need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. 

Units currently being studied

  • Child Development and Young Offenders
  • Law and Procedures Relating to Children
  • Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods
  • Interviewing Could Witnesses and the Detection of Deception
  • Research Project
  • Communication and Investigative Interview of People with Intellectual Disabilities

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • virtual learning environment
  • group discussions with other students
  • real-time online chat sessions with lecturers

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

You’ll get a timetable 4 weeks before the start of a teaching block.

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

How you're assessed​

You'll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • critical reviews
  • information leaflets
  • wikis
  • presentation slides
  • a research project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.


Apply for this course using our online application form

International students

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study with us, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply. 
Contact information
Programme specification
Subject area
Criminology and forensic studies
Childhood youth studies and education
Postgraduate open evenings and events
Female student in front of Portland Building