Forensic Psychology MSc
If you want to apply your psychology studies to the exciting field of criminal investigation, then this MSc Forensic Psychology degree course will give you the tools, skills and knowledge to reach your ambition.
You'll learn to understand the different aspects of the legal system, and bring together the disciplines of clinical, social and cognitive psychology, as well as criminology and law. You'll address the major issues concerning the justice system, organisations, individuals and society.
If you're ready to take the next step towards chartered status as a forensic psychologist, this course will introduce you to research at the forefront of the field, and give you the opportunity to get involved with ongoing projects in the department.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Learn from the largest group of actively researching forensic psychology academics in the UK
- Put your investigative techniques to the test in our Forensic Interviewing Suite
- Benefit from our connections with custodial establishments, including adult male and women's prisons, young offenders' institutions and secure hospitals
- Be taught in accordance with the academic requirements of the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP) and the British Psychological Society (BPS)
- Use our laboratories to carry out investigations, with specialist facilities including eye-tracking equipment, observation suite, and digital analysis and video editing suite
- Study themes including professional competence, assessment and interventions with offenders, and investigative psychology and the legal process
- Complete a research project on a topic of your choice, applying your research and data analysis skills to produce a piece of work to a publishable standard
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you complete this course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the heritage, teaching, or other related industries.
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
When you graduate, you'll usually do a minimum of two years full-time supervised practice in an employment setting. The work of forensic psychologists is varied, ranging from criminal investigations to organisational change, and from matters of civil justice such as child access to operational emergencies such as hostage incidents.
Here are some routes our previous graduates have pursued:
- Working in prisons
- Probation work
- The police force
- Social work
- Health services
- The courts
- Private practice
Accredited by the BPS, our Master’s degree is recognised as an important step towards gaining chartered status as a forensic psychologist. You'll develop a systematic knowledge and understanding of forensic psychology, in accordance with the academic requirements of the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP) and the British Psychological Society (BPS), for your eventual progression to autonomous practice.
- A good honours degree in Psychology that is recognised by The British Psychological Society as conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC)
- You'll be asked to come in for an interview
- All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £7,700
- Part time: £2,570 in year 1 and £5,130 in year 2*
- Full time: £15,100
- Part time: £5,030 in year 1 and £10,070* 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.
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.
Placements are a core component of the course and you'll be required to pay for the additional cost of travel to and from your work placement.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
You need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 units worth 30 credits and 1 unit worth 60 credits.
Core units include:
- Theory into Practice: Foundations of Professional Competence in Forensic Psychology
- Assessment and Interventions with Offenders
- Empirical Research Project for Forensic Psychology
- Investigative Psychology and the Legal Process
- Research Methods and Data Analysis
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.
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
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching on this course includes:
- practical sessions in labs and studios
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
Full-time students will attend the University on Tuesday and Thursdays, and part-time students will attend on a either a Tuesday or a Thursdays, which will then be fixed for the two years.
Taught elements of the course will finish at the end of TB2, however, students in their final year of study will submit their final research project in September.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- briefing reports and essays
- oral presentations
- expert testimony
- research dissertation
Admissions terms and conditionsWhen 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.
Apply for this course using our online application form.
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.