Available for September start

Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 2-3 years

UK fee

£9,450 (2024/25)

International fee

£9,450 (2024/25)

Course level




Start date




The highlights

Deepen your forensic psychology knowledge

This postgraduate degree is for students holding a BPS-accredited undergraduate degree in Psychology, Forensic Psychology, or similar. It will equip you with the academic knowledge and skills you need to work within a forensic context.

You will cover areas such as:

The culmination of this MSc Forensic Psychology course is a research project. This will enable you to study in-depth, an area of forensic psychology that particularly interests you or is relevant to your career aspirations. To support this work, you will develop skills in collecting and analysing data relevant to forensic psychology. You will also use a range of techniques and research methods applicable to advanced scholarship in the discipline.

British Psychological Society (BPS) Accreditation

This online MSc Forensic Psychology is accredited by the BPS meaning the course counts as a Stage 1 qualification for those who already hold Graduate Basis of Chartership (GBC) with the BPS.

Qualifying as a forensic psychologist

Gaining a BPS accredited MSc is the second step (Stage 1) towards becoming a registered forensic psychologist. The final step is to complete applied training which is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), such as our online Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology Practice.

What is Forensic Psychology?

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View What is Forensic Psychology? video transcript

Video embed-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMPIvOUvqPA

What you will study

To complete the programme, you must acquire 180 credits. You will need to complete six core 20 credit modules and the Empirical Research Project which is a core 60 credit module.

You can view the study plan for this online course.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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Online Discovering Online Learning webinar: August 2024

Thursday, 8 August 2024 12.00 - 13.00

During this hour long webinar, we'll take you through how online learning works and what you can expect as an online student with the University of Derby.

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How you will learn

This course is delivered entirely online, so you can study from anywhere in the world and fit your studies around your existing work or personal commitments. We use a Virtual Learning Environment to deliver this course, which offers you a highly interactive experience.

You will learn through:

Support for your learning

You will get plenty of support, so if you are new to online learning or haven’t studied for a while, you don’t need to worry. You will be taught by our expert academics, who bring a wealth of experience and specialist knowledge to enrich your learning. There will also Personal Academic Tutors to support your academic and professional development, and a team of online learning advisors who will help you with any non-academic queries.

Study skills

Many of our students have not studied for a long time so we put in place support to enable them to study at postgraduate level. If this applies to you, there are several advanced study skill resources available, covering areas such as research skills, critical evaluation in academic context, literature search, referencing, plagiarism and more.

Pace of study

The academic year is made up of three terms, known as trimesters. Each trimester comprises 10-weeks of teaching where you will engage with your weekly study materials and attend live online webinars. This is followed by a dedicated assessment preparation week where you will have time to finalise your assessments before you submit your work.

Each 20-credit module is based on a notional 200-learning hours, these hours include the time you spend engaging with the formal study materials, completing directed reading, and undertaking activities in preparation for attending the live weekly webinars. You should allocate at least 5-hours a week for these formal activities (approximately 50-hours).

The remaining hours are for more detailed directed and independent reading around the topics you will be introduced to, thinking time, and time spent working on your assessments. The proportion of time you spend on these different elements will vary as the module progresses with more time spent on assessment preparation, as a proportion of your time, towards the end of the module.

Students undertaking the 3-year part-time programme will study one 20-credit module per trimester in year 1 (PG Cert.) and year 2 (PG Dip.), followed by the 60-credit empirical research project module in year 3 (Masters) which starts in September and runs through until July.

If you are considering accelerated study, there are two options:

If you are considering accelerated study, you will need to ensure you have sufficient time to complete the associated workload.


This course is assessed through 100% coursework and all assessments are completed individually. Assessments are applied in nature, and include a range of methods such as essays, oral presentations, case studies, intervention reports, and research project report(s). They are designed to ensure you meet the learning outcomes of the course whilst also supporting the development of your professional and employability skills.

Assessments are designed for you to integrate and evaluate the knowledge and skills covered in each module with the additional information and evidence you gain from your own independent research and wider reading.

The final assessment is the 60-credit empirical research project. For this, you will conduct a supervised empirical research project where you will develop project management skills through taking responsibility for managing your project from initial conception through to preparing your findings for dissemination in the format of a journal article manuscript and a conference poster.

As part of the Empirical Research Project module, students have the opportunity to present their posters (live or via pre-recording) at our annual ERP conference which brings together students across our campus and online MSc Forensic Psychology and MSc Health Psychology programmes as part of our wider postgraduate community of practice in the School of Psychology.

Personal Development Planning (PDP)

Personal Development Planning (PDP) is incorporated into this course, enabling you to actively reflect upon your own learning, performance and achievement, as well as plan your personal, educational and career development. You will be supported to develop key skills to link PDP with your continuing professional development (CPD) and lifelong learning.

You will undertake a variety of PDP activities throughout the course, either through your modules or as part of Personal Academic Tutoring (PAT) sessions. This focus on PDP culminates in the Clinical and Professional Skills for Practitioner Psychologists module which incorporates a range of PDP activities and dedicated PDP related assessments.

Student support and guidance

Whilst we encourage our students to become independent, life-long learners, we also recognise that offering the right support and guidance will help you to achieve your goals. There is a wealth of support available to you at the University, from your dedicated Personal Tutor and Online Learner Advisor, through to our:

All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.

Who will teach you

Dean Fido wearing waistcoat

Dr Dean Fido
Programme leader

Dr Dean Fido joined the University of Derby Online Learning in January 2018 as a Lecturer in Psychology before moving on campus to lead the MSc Forensic Psychology. After completing his PhD at Nottingham Trent University, he completed post-doctoral research at the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging (University of Oxford).

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Get a taste of the course content

Our Forensic Psychology MSc course taster will give you an idea of how online learning works. It includes a selection of content from a course module so you can see what some of our learning material looks like.

You will need to complete a short form to access the course taster.

Try our course tasterTry our course taster

Entry requirements

Applicants are required to have a British Psychological Society (BPS) recognised undergraduate degree (minimum 2.1) in Psychology (or equivalent) that confers Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the Society. Eligible applicants will be asked to submit a draft research proposal as well as undergo an interview prior to admission onto the course.

You can also apply for this course if your Psychology degree (minimum 2:1) is not accredited by the BPS (does not confer GBC). Please note, however, for this MSc Forensic Psychology to be used as a Stage 1 qualification in Forensic Psychology prior to continuing onto Stage 2 and applying for registration with the HCPC, GBC is a requirement; applicants would need to complete a BPS accredited conversion course in Psychology.

Alternatively, if you hold a BPS accredited undergraduate degree in Psychology (2.2), the final selection for applicants holding a 2.2 undergraduate degree is based on an interview process.

Are you an overseas student?

If you are an international student with a degree that is not accredited by the BPS or is accredited by a different association, you can apply independently to the BPS to see if your degree can be recognised. We will consider applications from international students whose degree is not recognised by the BPS, however completion of the MSc Forensic Psychology would not confer Stage 1 status. To achieve a Stage 1 qualification from this course, applicants would need to complete a BPS accredited conversion course in Psychology prior to joining this Masters award.

For further information or guidance, please contact us.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

RPL may be available for you based upon past study and experience.

English language qualifications

If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each) or equivalent.

Find out more about our English language requirements

Fees and funding

2024/25 for new entrants

Starting between September 2024 and August 2025.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £1,050 7 (six 20 credit modules and one 60 credit module) £9,450

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course based on the fee in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

If you are required to undertake any associate study or additional study as a condition of your offer for the programme, please be aware that the cost for this may be in addition to the programme cost stated above.

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from two payment plan options:

Masters funding options

Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for a postgraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to help with living costs and tuition fees whilst studying your masters programme.

If you are considering applying for a student loan, please also see our additional guidance on Loans for Online Students.

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Find out more about the Alumni discount

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

Apply directly to the University.

Apply now

For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.

Documents to support your application

In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Please note: failure to submit any documentation when requested, may result in your application being withdrawn.

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


When you have completed this masters degree, you can complete your final stage training to become a registered forensic psychologist through our HCPC approved online PG Diploma in Forensic Psychology Practice (a Stage 2 qualification).

The largest employers of registered forensic psychologists in the UK are Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and the National Health Service (NHS). However, forensic psychologists can also work in rehabilitation units, private secure hospitals, social services, the police, local and central government, and academia. Find out more about what forensic psychologists do and how to become one.

If you decide not to pursue a career as a forensic psychologist, this MSc can also take you into other roles, such as:

With further study, you could also move into social work or counselling and psychotherapy.

This MSc also provides an excellent platform if you want to move on to PhD research or pursue an academic career.

Please note: that it is possible to obtain GBC status after you have completed the MSc by undertaking a BPS-accredited conversion course such as our online Postgraduate Diploma Psychology.

Utilise our Careers and Employment Service​

Whilst you are a student at the University of Derby, and for 3 years after you graduate, our Careers and Employment Service can assist you with job search advice, CV creation, workshops and events, as well as one-to-one appointments with employment advisers to help with career planning and interview preparation.

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Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

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