Criminal psychology students in a seminar mark up shared materials
Mode of Study
Full-time, Part-time, Part-time by distance learning
Duration
1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Start Date
September 2022

Overview

Understanding the psychology of crime is essential to its investigation. If you're looking to start your career in criminal psychology, or you're already working in the field and want to aim for higher level roles, our MSc Criminal Psychology degree course will give you the knowledge and skills you need. 

On this course, you'll get to analyse the criminal justice system with a view to making positive change. You'll explore complex behaviours, such as police interviewing and deception detection, and gain insight into courtroom psychology and jury decision making. 

You'll learn how taking a psychological approach, such as through offender profiling, improves criminal investigations, and look at issues like offender rehabilitation and the links between offending behaviour and mental health.

You can study either full or part-time on campus, or part-time by distance learning, so you can fit your studies around your work schedule. You'll also have the chance to customise your qualification by choosing to combine your study of criminal psychology with another of our Criminal Justice Master's courses.

When you graduate, you'll be ready to work with offenders and/or victims within any area of the criminal justice system, including policing, law enforcement, probation and intelligence analysis.

This course is not accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Customise your Criminal Psychology Master's degree by combining it with another of our Criminal Justice Master's courses, and graduate with a bespoke and highly specialised qualification
  • Learn from an experienced team of criminal psychology specialists in our School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and hear from industry expert guest speakers from around the world
  • Have the opportunity to use our lab equipment to carry out investigations, such as our eye-tracking and VR technology, and crime scene and operational policing simulation spaces
  • Get involved in the work happening in our leading criminology research centres, such as the Collaboration of Forensic Interviewing and the Probation, Prison and Penology research centre
  • Interact and explore criminal psychology with fellow professionals from the world of criminal justice in small group workshops

Tailor your degree to your interests and ambitions

As one of our Criminal Justice Master's courses, this course enables you to graduate with a degree title (see below) that reflects your interests and career goals by choosing specific modules

You'll choose which modules you want to do at the start of the course. We'll help you choose the modules and degree title that matches your interests and career ambitions.

Degree title options

  • MSc Criminal Psychology
  • MSc Criminal Psychology and Economic Crime
  • MSc Criminal Psychology and Forensic Investigation
  • MSc Criminal Psychology and Intelligence
  • MSc Criminal Psychology and International Criminal Justice
  • MSc Cybercrime and Criminal Psychology

  • MSc Crime Science and Criminal Psychology
  • MSc Criminal Psychology
  • MSc Criminal Psychology and Economic Crime
  • MSc Criminal Psychology and Intelligence
  • MSc Criminal Psychology and International Criminal Justice
  • MSc Criminal Psychology and Victimology

My course enables me to learn how to make decisions which will help my future career. It's benefitted me by allowing us to engage with exceptional guest speakers and in field trips to be able to experience ‘hands on’ the real feel of the issues of crime, with specific discussion to particular offenders who have faced prison.

Manisha Singh, MSc Criminal Psychology and Intelligence

What you'll study on this MSc Criminal Psychology degree course

Full-time (on campus)

Core modules
Specialist options
Other available modules

You'll take all core modules listed here.

If you choose to, you can take an additional core module from another Criminal Justice Master's course in order to graduate with two subjects in your degree title e.g. MSc Criminal Psychology and Economic Crime.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate systematic knowledge, comprehensive understanding and critical awareness, and think independently, analytically and creatively about the subject area
  • Recognise and critically evaluate the importance of social justice issues
  • Recognise and critically evaluate the key issues in the subject area
  • Critically analyse emerging areas of importance in the subject area

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Be able to synthesise new and existing knowledge to generate ideas and develop creative solutions to the benefit of society, within a small-scale research project within their chosen field
  • Design, apply and critically evaluate research methodologies within the chosen subject area, demonstrating a commitment to ethical practice
  • Conduct a systematic, methodologically and ethically sound research process (literature based or empirical research)
  • Manage and reflect upon own learning and be able to communicate in a range of forms to audiences relevant to the academic and/or workplace community

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Recognise the challenges involved in undertaking ethical research and identify the research challenges that need to be accommodated within a proposal for a research project
  • Construct a postgraduate research proposal with an ability to set out clear research objectives, and appropriate research design whilst able to select appropriate research methods
  • Apply an appropriate research design, and deploy specific research method(s) to the research problem (or question) with a clear appreciation of how any ethical issues are addressed
  • Effectively locate existing academic literature in their chosen field of research using bibliographic databases, with an appreciation of the breadth of other data sources, repositories and archives

Explore this module

If you take just the core modules listed on this page, you can take one or two of these specialist option modules.

If you take an additional core module from another Criminal Justice Master's course, you'll only take one specialist option module.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the concepts of dangerousness, risk and vulnerability within a criminal justice context
  • Demonstrate an integrated understanding of the development of public protection policies, locate these within the broader development of criminal justice and victim-centred policies
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary debates concerning the complex relationships between the state, the offender and the victim, within the wider context of citizenship and rights
  • Critically evaluate the development and implementation of policies and legislation
  • Demonstrate critical and reflective understanding of the subject area within the context of ethical practice and social justice issues
  • Demonstrate an intellectual curiosity for the subject area and engage imaginatively with new areas of investigation within and across discipline boundaries

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically discuss the potential contributions of psychological research and theory in the criminal justice arena
  • Critically assess the application of psychology to the criminal justice system, from investigation to the courtroom
  • Critically appraise the role of psychology in criminal justice policy and procedure

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically analyse a range of research studies making assessments as to their explanatory power and scientific rigour in the field of rehabilitation and desistence from crime
  • Think independently, analytically and creatively about the rehabilitation of offenders and desistance from crime
  • Analyse and critically appraise existing and new paradigms of knowledge in the rehabilitation of offenders
  • Locate, access and engage with global information pertinent to leaving crime behind

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Evaluate critically the current research and academic understanding of the key concepts and debates within the field of addiction
  • Evaluate critically the relationship between addictive behaviour and crime
  • Evaluate critically the relationship between theory and practice in the delivery of services for individuals and communities for whom addiction and its associated problems are an issue

Explore this module

If you take just the core modules listed on this page plus one specialist option module, you can take one of these other available modules.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • To develop a critical awareness of aquatic forensic investigation as a specialist field within the sector
  • To demonstrate a critical and reflective knowledge of limitations of the field of aquatic forensic investigation
  • To identify and critically evaluate necessary areas for future research in the field of aquatic forensic investigation
  • To demonstrate the ability to think independently, critically and analytically to apply complex concepts and theory to complex forensic scenarios
  • To demonstrate an advanced understanding of the relevant practical skills necessary effective aquatic investigation how these can be applied

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Analyse and appraise the nature and scale of public and private sector fraud and corruption and to critically evaluate and compare the sources, methodology and limits to measurement
  • Systematically evaluate different public and private sector strategies to counter fraud and corruption and to identify and critically assess the theoretical basis
  • Critically examine and compare the success of arrangements to counter fraud and corruption in the public and private sectors
  • Critically evaluate action taken in the public and private sectors to counter fraud and corruption and to apply knowledge gained to a case study of countering fraud and/or corruption

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate the use of science and technology to support investigations and crime reduction activities
  • Critically assess the utility of a variety of investigative tools that are available to support investigations and crime reduction activities
  • Articulate and critically comment upon the range of specialist services available to investigators
  • Devise appropriate strategies to make the most efficient, effective and economic use of scientific resources in support of investigations and crime reduction activities

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically and reflectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of differing systems of justice
  • Critically analyse, compare and contrast the workings of inquisitorial and adversarial systems of justice
  • Critically engage with contemporary global debates and the application of those to theoretical frameworks such as models of justice and philosophies of punishment
  • Critically evaluate the development of international criminal law, including international courts and tribunals, and the operation of the UN, regional and national structures of international justice in response to those crimes

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate systematic knowledge, comprehensive understanding and critical awareness, and think independently, analytically and creatively about the subject area
  • Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge and be able to analyse and appraise both new and existing knowledge and respond to challenges, locate and access information pertinent to the subject area, using digital and emerging technologies
  • Recognise and evaluate the importance of social justice issues
  • Demonstrate clear communication skills to different audiences
  • Demonstrate enterprising and innovative skills and be adaptive and flexible to new situations
  • Identify personal career development needs and make informed career choices

Explore this module

This module explores the main types of economic crime and their cyber-enabled variants.

It evaluates the scale and impact of economic crime, and its international dimensions. It examines the common features and differences of economic crime types, and introduces theoretical perspectives on policy, justice, enforcement and prevention.

The online learning materials and recommended reading provide essential knowledge and theoretical underpinning for all of your learning outcomes. Learning materials contain recommended readings to engage you in wider academic and national, regional and international official sources.

Study support is provided through peer networking and interaction during key discussions on relevant topic areas, moderated by the module coordinator. These activities support you in gaining the relevant knowledge, understanding, and cognitive skills required for the successful achievement of all module learning outcomes.

The learning outcomes for the module are:
  • Design and formulate an appropriate strategy to recover forensic evidence in response to investigation requirements
  • Critically appraise the utility of forensic methodologies to support investigation requirements
  • Plan, manage and organise an appropriate forensic investigation response to a range of situations and crime contexts
  • Defend and justify investigative decisions made in the use of forensic methods based on investigation requirements
  • Develop skills in evidence assessment, recovery, analysis and interpretation

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically assess the notion of green criminology and environmental justice
  • Critically analyse and articulate the range of perspectives surrounding ecological justice and species justice
  • Critically examine the problem and scale of wildlife crime and wildlife trafficking
  • Critically appraise the latest global advances in wildlife crime investigation, including surveillance, remote-sensing, drones, financial investigation, cyber investigation, forensics and big-data analysis
  • Critically assess the suitability of systems and technology to counter wildlife trafficking, drawing upon socio-technical approaches

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • To develop a critical awareness of the concepts of globalisation, risk and security in relation to cyberspace
  • To create a holistic understanding of the nature of cybersecurity threats facing organisations and states
  • To estimate the diverse cybersecurity threats and responses, in relation to organisations and states
  • To appraise the challenges of national cybersecurity strategies
  • To develop an integrated interdisciplinary understanding of approaches to managing cyber-risks
  • To assess the impact of global cybersecurity governance

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Appraise established intelligence processes and practice
  • Critically assess the ways in which intelligence is used (and often is not used) to inform the investigative process
  • Critically evaluate the utility of existing intelligence models
  • Critically assess the range of analytical services that are available to intelligence professionals
  • Critically assess the limits on the legitimate exercise of police powers in the context of intelligence

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • To describe and examine different typologies, process, and methods of money laundering
  • To develop a critical awareness of underlying regulatory and compliance frameworks
  • To instil in students an appreciation of the business context in which money laundering occurs and is tackled
  • To develop an integrated understanding of comparative strategies, structures and actions to tackle money laundering that will allow to engage in their critical evaluation

Explore this module

Part-time (on campus)

Year 1
Year 2

Core modules

You'll take all core modules listed here.

If you choose to, you can take an additional core module from another Criminal Justice Master's course in order to graduate with two subjects in your degree title e.g. MSc Criminal Psychology and Economic Crime.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate systematic knowledge, comprehensive understanding and critical awareness, and think independently, analytically and creatively about the subject area
  • Recognise and critically evaluate the importance of social justice issues
  • Recognise and critically evaluate the key issues in the subject area
  • Critically analyse emerging areas of importance in the subject area

Explore this module

Specialist options

If you take just the core modules listed above, you can take one or two of these specialist option modules.

If you take an additional core module from another Criminal Justice Master's course, you'll only take one specialist option module.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the concepts of dangerousness, risk and vulnerability within a criminal justice context
  • Demonstrate an integrated understanding of the development of public protection policies, locate these within the broader development of criminal justice and victim-centred policies
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary debates concerning the complex relationships between the state, the offender and the victim, within the wider context of citizenship and rights
  • Critically evaluate the development and implementation of policies and legislation
  • Demonstrate critical and reflective understanding of the subject area within the context of ethical practice and social justice issues
  • Demonstrate an intellectual curiosity for the subject area and engage imaginatively with new areas of investigation within and across discipline boundaries

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically discuss the potential contributions of psychological research and theory in the criminal justice arena
  • Critically assess the application of psychology to the criminal justice system, from investigation to the courtroom
  • Critically appraise the role of psychology in criminal justice policy and procedure

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically analyse a range of research studies making assessments as to their explanatory power and scientific rigour in the field of rehabilitation and desistence from crime
  • Think independently, analytically and creatively about the rehabilitation of offenders and desistance from crime
  • Analyse and critically appraise existing and new paradigms of knowledge in the rehabilitation of offenders
  • Locate, access and engage with global information pertinent to leaving crime behind

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Evaluate critically the current research and academic understanding of the key concepts and debates within the field of addiction
  • Evaluate critically the relationship between addictive behaviour and crime
  • Evaluate critically the relationship between theory and practice in the delivery of services for individuals and communities for whom addiction and its associated problems are an issue

Explore this module

Other available modules

If you take just the core modules listed above plus one specialist option module, you can take one of these other available modules.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • To develop a critical awareness of aquatic forensic investigation as a specialist field within the sector
  • To demonstrate a critical and reflective knowledge of limitations of the field of aquatic forensic investigation
  • To identify and critically evaluate necessary areas for future research in the field of aquatic forensic investigation
  • To demonstrate the ability to think independently, critically and analytically to apply complex concepts and theory to complex forensic scenarios
  • To demonstrate an advanced understanding of the relevant practical skills necessary effective aquatic investigation how these can be applied

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Analyse and appraise the nature and scale of public and private sector fraud and corruption and to critically evaluate and compare the sources, methodology and limits to measurement
  • Systematically evaluate different public and private sector strategies to counter fraud and corruption and to identify and critically assess the theoretical basis
  • Critically examine and compare the success of arrangements to counter fraud and corruption in the public and private sectors
  • Critically evaluate action taken in the public and private sectors to counter fraud and corruption and to apply knowledge gained to a case study of countering fraud and/or corruption

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate the use of science and technology to support investigations and crime reduction activities
  • Critically assess the utility of a variety of investigative tools that are available to support investigations and crime reduction activities
  • Articulate and critically comment upon the range of specialist services available to investigators
  • Devise appropriate strategies to make the most efficient, effective and economic use of scientific resources in support of investigations and crime reduction activities

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically and reflectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of differing systems of justice
  • Critically analyse, compare and contrast the workings of inquisitorial and adversarial systems of justice
  • Critically engage with contemporary global debates and the application of those to theoretical frameworks such as models of justice and philosophies of punishment
  • Critically evaluate the development of international criminal law, including international courts and tribunals, and the operation of the UN, regional and national structures of international justice in response to those crimes

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate systematic knowledge, comprehensive understanding and critical awareness, and think independently, analytically and creatively about the subject area
  • Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge and be able to analyse and appraise both new and existing knowledge and respond to challenges, locate and access information pertinent to the subject area, using digital and emerging technologies
  • Recognise and evaluate the importance of social justice issues
  • Demonstrate clear communication skills to different audiences
  • Demonstrate enterprising and innovative skills and be adaptive and flexible to new situations
  • Identify personal career development needs and make informed career choices

Explore this module

This module explores the main types of economic crime and their cyber-enabled variants.

It evaluates the scale and impact of economic crime, and its international dimensions. It examines the common features and differences of economic crime types, and introduces theoretical perspectives on policy, justice, enforcement and prevention.

The online learning materials and recommended reading provide essential knowledge and theoretical underpinning for all of your learning outcomes. Learning materials contain recommended readings to engage you in wider academic and national, regional and international official sources.

Study support is provided through peer networking and interaction during key discussions on relevant topic areas, moderated by the module coordinator. These activities support you in gaining the relevant knowledge, understanding, and cognitive skills required for the successful achievement of all module learning outcomes.

The learning outcomes for the module are:
  • Design and formulate an appropriate strategy to recover forensic evidence in response to investigation requirements
  • Critically appraise the utility of forensic methodologies to support investigation requirements
  • Plan, manage and organise an appropriate forensic investigation response to a range of situations and crime contexts
  • Defend and justify investigative decisions made in the use of forensic methods based on investigation requirements
  • Develop skills in evidence assessment, recovery, analysis and interpretation

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically assess the notion of green criminology and environmental justice
  • Critically analyse and articulate the range of perspectives surrounding ecological justice and species justice
  • Critically examine the problem and scale of wildlife crime and wildlife trafficking
  • Critically appraise the latest global advances in wildlife crime investigation, including surveillance, remote-sensing, drones, financial investigation, cyber investigation, forensics and big-data analysis
  • Critically assess the suitability of systems and technology to counter wildlife trafficking, drawing upon socio-technical approaches

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • To develop a critical awareness of the concepts of globalisation, risk and security in relation to cyberspace
  • To create a holistic understanding of the nature of cybersecurity threats facing organisations and states
  • To estimate the diverse cybersecurity threats and responses, in relation to organisations and states
  • To appraise the challenges of national cybersecurity strategies
  • To develop an integrated interdisciplinary understanding of approaches to managing cyber-risks
  • To assess the impact of global cybersecurity governance

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Appraise established intelligence processes and practice
  • Critically assess the ways in which intelligence is used (and often is not used) to inform the investigative process
  • Critically evaluate the utility of existing intelligence models
  • Critically assess the range of analytical services that are available to intelligence professionals
  • Critically assess the limits on the legitimate exercise of police powers in the context of intelligence

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • To describe and examine different typologies, process, and methods of money laundering
  • To develop a critical awareness of underlying regulatory and compliance frameworks
  • To instil in students an appreciation of the business context in which money laundering occurs and is tackled
  • To develop an integrated understanding of comparative strategies, structures and actions to tackle money laundering that will allow to engage in their critical evaluation

Explore this module

Core modules

You'll take all core modules.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Be able to synthesise new and existing knowledge to generate ideas and develop creative solutions to the benefit of society, within a small-scale research project within their chosen field
  • Design, apply and critically evaluate research methodologies within the chosen subject area, demonstrating a commitment to ethical practice
  • Conduct a systematic, methodologically and ethically sound research process (literature based or empirical research)
  • Manage and reflect upon own learning and be able to communicate in a range of forms to audiences relevant to the academic and/or workplace community

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Recognise the challenges involved in undertaking ethical research and identify the research challenges that need to be accommodated within a proposal for a research project
  • Construct a postgraduate research proposal with an ability to set out clear research objectives, and appropriate research design whilst able to select appropriate research methods
  • Apply an appropriate research design, and deploy specific research method(s) to the research problem (or question) with a clear appreciation of how any ethical issues are addressed
  • Effectively locate existing academic literature in their chosen field of research using bibliographic databases, with an appreciation of the breadth of other data sources, repositories and archives

Explore this module

Part-time (distance learning)

Year 1
Year 2

Core modules

You'll take all core modules listed here.

If you choose to, you can take an additional core module from another Criminal Justice Master's course in your second year in order to graduate with two subjects in your degree title e.g. MSc Criminal Psychology and Economic Crime.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate systematic knowledge, comprehensive understanding and critical awareness, and think independently, analytically and creatively about the subject area
  • Recognise and critically evaluate the importance of social justice issues
  • Recognise and critically evaluate the key issues in the subject area
  • Critically analyse emerging areas of importance in the subject area

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Recognise the challenges involved in undertaking ethical research and identify the research challenges that need to be accommodated within a proposal for a research project
  • Construct a postgraduate research proposal with an ability to set out clear research objectives, and appropriate research design whilst able to select appropriate research methods
  • Apply an appropriate research design, and deploy specific research method(s) to the research problem (or question) with a clear appreciation of how any ethical issues are addressed
  • Effectively locate existing academic literature in their chosen field of research using bibliographic databases, with an appreciation of the breadth of other data sources, repositories and archives

Explore this module

Specialist options

If you take just the core modules listed above, you can take one of these specialist option modules and one of the other other available modules (in Year 2).

If you take an additional core module from another Criminal Justice Master's course, you'll only take one of these specialist option modules.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically discuss the potential contributions of psychological research and theory in the criminal justice arena
  • Critically assess the application of psychology to the criminal justice system, from investigation to the courtroom
  • Critically appraise the role of psychology in criminal justice policy and procedure

Explore this module

This module provides an insight into the subject area of missing persons. You'll consider the needs and challenges faced by people who go missing and their relatives. You'll gain an understanding of the practices used by those investigating and managing these cases.

You'll be introduced to key areas where research has had an influence on policy and practice, both in the UK and abroad. You'll then make a critical appraisal of these issues using case examples.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key concepts of vulnerability, risk and resilience
  • Identify the factors associated with risk, to understand and be aware of the tools used to assess risk and the mechanisms and partnerships developed to manage risk
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding and awareness of the complex individual and social factors which influence vulnerability and risk
  • Demonstrate an up to date knowledge and understanding of victim-centred policies and legislation and the impact upon professional cultures and practices
  • Critically analyse contemporary developments in the provision of support servcies to assist victims to cope and recover, identifying best practices and collaborative partnerships

Explore this module

Core modules

You'll take all core modules.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Be able to synthesise new and existing knowledge to generate ideas and develop creative solutions to the benefit of society, within a small-scale research project within their chosen field
  • Design, apply and critically evaluate research methodologies within the chosen subject area, demonstrating a commitment to ethical practice
  • Conduct a systematic, methodologically and ethically sound research process (literature based or empirical research)
  • Manage and reflect upon own learning and be able to communicate in a range of forms to audiences relevant to the academic and/or workplace community

Explore this module

Other available modules

If you take just the core modules listed in Year 1 plus one specialist option module, you can take one of these other available modules.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Analyse and appraise the nature and scale of public and private sector fraud and corruption and to critically evaluate and compare the sources, methodology and limits to measurement
  • Systematically evaluate different public and private sector strategies to counter fraud and corruption and to identify and critically assess the theoretical basis
  • Critically examine and compare the success of arrangements to counter fraud and corruption in the public and private sectors
  • Critically evaluate action taken in the public and private sectors to counter fraud and corruption and to apply knowledge gained to a case study of countering fraud and/or corruption

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically and reflectively assess the strengths and weaknesses of differing systems of justice
  • Critically analyse, compare and contrast the workings of inquisitorial and adversarial systems of justice
  • Critically engage with contemporary global debates and the application of those to theoretical frameworks such as models of justice and philosophies of punishment
  • Critically evaluate the development of international criminal law, including international courts and tribunals, and the operation of the UN, regional and national structures of international justice in response to those crimes

Explore this module

This module explores the main types of economic crime and their cyber-enabled variants.

It evaluates the scale and impact of economic crime, and its international dimensions. It examines the common features and differences of economic crime types, and introduces theoretical perspectives on policy, justice, enforcement and prevention.

The online learning materials and recommended reading provide essential knowledge and theoretical underpinning for all of your learning outcomes. Learning materials contain recommended readings to engage you in wider academic and national, regional and international official sources.

Study support is provided through peer networking and interaction during key discussions on relevant topic areas, moderated by the module coordinator. These activities support you in gaining the relevant knowledge, understanding, and cognitive skills required for the successful achievement of all module learning outcomes.

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Conceptualise the definition and nature of forms of multinational and transnational offending
  • Critically assess the forms of multinational and transnational offending
  • Critically analyse global trends, governance challenges, international responses and preventative strategies
  • Critically appraise contemporary perceptions of transnational offending and 'border-less' crime in relation to the established academic literature
  • Critically evaluate governance challenges, international responses and preventative strategies

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Appraise established intelligence processes and practice
  • Critically assess the ways in which intelligence is used (and often is not used) to inform the investigative process
  • Critically evaluate the utility of existing intelligence models
  • Critically assess the range of analytical services that are available to intelligence professionals
  • Critically assess the limits on the legitimate exercise of police powers in the context of intelligence

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Develop critical and reflective knowledge and understanding of the subject area
  • Think independently, analytically, and creatively in synthesising new and existing knowledge
  • Develop a critical awareness and understanding of good practice and relevant organisational and management theory to the effective running of justice/security organisations
  • Critically appreciate factors that contribute to justice and security organisations to improve quality, resource and financial management

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically appraise the investigative knowledge required by those leading investigations into major crime and serious crime
  • Critically assess the UK investigative and prosecution process used for serious and major crime
  • Critically explore some miscarriages of justice which are related to unethical major crime investigation
  • Critically assess the range of specialist services that are available to investigators leading investigations into homicide or other major crime
  • Critically examine and compare investigative practices in selected countries

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • To describe and examine different typologies, process, and methods of money laundering
  • To develop a critical awareness of underlying regulatory and compliance frameworks
  • To instil in students an appreciation of the business context in which money laundering occurs and is tackled
  • To develop an integrated understanding of comparative strategies, structures and actions to tackle money laundering that will allow to engage in their critical evaluation

Explore this module

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically assess and analyse security risk management research from a wide variety of academic disciplines and apply to models of security management
  • Critically evaluate and appraise the security strategy and security risks of an organisation
  • Synthesise current theoretical models for the delivery of security and apply them to a practical example
  • Synthesise complex arguments into a presentation for a hypothetical board

Explore this module

 

The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically explore the academic discipline of victimology and the influence of competing theoretical perspectives upon our understanding of the processes of victimisation and how this informs both formal and informal responses to victims of crime
  • Analyse contemporary and often controversial debates concerning the complex relationships between the state, the offender and the victim, particularly within the wider context of citizenship and the notion of victims' rights
  • Critically appreciate the development of victim-centred policies and demonstrate an up to date knowledge of the relevant policies and legislation
  • Critically examine the impact of victim-centred reforms upon criminal justice professional cultures and practices, and to identify the barriers which may impede the implementation of policies and legislation as intended

Explore this module

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master’s prepares you for

Criminal psychology draws on elements from psychology, criminology and criminal justice, with the aim of studying offenders and offending behaviour to improve the effectiveness of criminal investigations.

On this Master's in Criminal Psychology, you'll gain a tailored postgraduate qualification to add to your undergraduate degree, or to back up your existing career knowledge from the field. You'll delve deep into the subjects you choose to study through research, gaining an evidence-based perspective and a greater ability to be analytical and evaluative. 

You'll graduate with the tools you need to not only understand the difference criminal psychology can make to the justice system, but also to challenge existing processes and make improvements. 

If you already work in the field of criminal justice, you'll be ready to pursue higher-level roles, or to break into a different area of the discipline. If you're still to embark on your career in criminal justice, you'll gain the knowledge and advanced research problem-solving skills you need to stand out to employers and contribute positively to justice system reform.

Graduates of this course and our other Criminal Justice Master's courses have gone onto roles such as:

  • Probation service officer
  • Police officer
  • Witness care officer
  • Intelligence analyst
  • Substance abuse therapist
  • Domestic and sexual abuse adviser 
  • Adult mental health recovery worker
  • Researcher

Graduates of this course and our other Criminal Justice Master's courses have gone on to work for companies such as:

  • Federal Criminal Police, Germany
  • Department of Corrections, USA
  • National Probation Service
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Civil Service
  • Office of National Statistics
  • Hampshire Constabulary
  • Kent Constabulary
  • Aurora New Dawn
  • Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC)

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert career support from your tutors and from our Careers and Employability Centre, which you can access for 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • 1-to-1 appointments  
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

Facilities and specialist equipment

Forensic interviewing equipment

Centre of Forensic Interviewing

This is where researchers explore and develop new techniques. Professionals train in interviewing and investigation. And you’ll develop specialist skills.

Learn more

VR headset, controller, and keyboard

Virtual Reality (VR) Lab

Use immersive VR technologies to explore new ways of learning about criminal activities – from tracking eye movement to identifying unconscious behaviour.

Explore VR Lab

Close up of gloved hands examining crime evidence with torch

Crime scene simulation spaces

Use the latest forensic advances and immersive learning technologies, including virtual and augmented reality, to delve into crime scene investigation in our realistic simulation areas.

Explore the simulation spaces

Student group discussing a project

Hydra Immersive Learning Suite

Engage in simulated scenarios that replicate operational policing challenges, developing your problem solving, decision making and critical thinking skills

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to spend in on-campus or in online lectures and seminars and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change.

Course structure

This Master's degree will take:

  • 1 year (full-time study)
  • 2 years (part-time study)

If you study on campus, you can expect:

  • Up to 6 hours of teaching time every week (lectures, seminars or workshops). This will be pro rata for part-time students.
  • 24–30 hours of independent study each week if you study full-time, or 12–15 hours each week if you study part-time.

If you study by distance learning, you can expect:

  • All core material available online at all times so you can create your own study schedule around work or other commitments.
  • 18 hours of independent study each week.

Teaching

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree. If you choose campus based study, the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • individual and group projects

If you choose to study online, this Master's in Criminal Psychology is delivered by supported distance learning. You will receive high-quality course materials via Moodle, our online learning environment.

You'll get to chat with fellow students, discuss and present your work and keep in touch with tutors. You'll get plenty of support throughout your studies, including help on writing and structuring essays, and how to undertake research.

You'll need access to a computer and a web connection. You may be able to access some of the resources through a tablet or smartphone, with limited functionality. You don't need to be especially computer literate, although typing skills are useful.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • dissertation

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 practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

Dr Helen Earwaker

I am a Senior Lecturer in Forensic Studies within the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ). I began my career as a Forensic Recovery Officer for Northumbria Police, primarily visualising latent fingermarks on crime scene exhibits, and since then I've presented my work at national conferences, meetings, working groups and major international conferences. I was awarded my PhD entitled ‘An Investigation of Fingermark Submission Decision Making’ in 2017.

I teach forensic studies with a focus on integrating theory, casework, and empirical research within the curriculum. My research interests include decision making within fingerprint recovery, analysis and comparison, human factors within the forensic science and investigative processes, and fingermark visualisation methods.

Read my full profile

Gary Dalton

I graduated from the University of Stirling in 2009 with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and I'm currently working towards a PhD in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ) at the University of Portsmouth.

My research aims to provide a frontline examination of how witnesses and victims of crime actually first describe a suspect. I will be working closely with Hampshire Constabulary to examine what actually happens at the scene of an incident. In addition, I've held a number of research associate positions which have been funded by the Technology Strategy Board and the Economic and Social Research Council. Most recently I've been working for Dr Anne Hillstrom, Dr Lorraine Hope and Dr James Sauer, looking at whether providing training can improve face matching performance.

Read my full profile

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project/dissertation.

See key dates

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video and phone from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. If you choose to study on-campus, you'll also get face-to-face support. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty 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

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.


Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2022 start)

  • Full time: £9,400
  • Part time: £4,700 per year
  • Part time distance learning: £4,050 per year

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full time: £9,400
  • Part time: £4,700 per year
  • Part time distance learning: £4,050 per year

  • Full time: £16,200
  • Part time: £8,100 per year
  • Part time distance learning: £4,050 per year

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

If you're a UK student who achieved a first in your undergraduate degree you may be eligible for a £3,000 University of Portsmouth scholarship.

Additional 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 could include:

  • Accommodation: If you choose to study on-campus, accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: such photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Entry requirements​

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

2022 start

Qualifications or experience
  • A second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Exceptionally, applicants with strong and relevant work experience will be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, view the equivalent entry requirements we accept for your country

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start date in September, as long as there are places available. If you wait until September to apply, you may find that the course is full. 

If you're applying to study on-campus as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also 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.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Ready to apply?

Note you're applying for MSc Criminal Justice – you'll graduate with a MSc Criminal Psychology degree title when you choose the relevant modules at the start of the course.

Standard applications

Start this course in September 2022

On campus

Apply now (Full-time – 1 year)

Apply now (Part-time – 2 years)

Distance learning

Apply now (Part-time – 2 years)

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.