Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1.5-3 years

UK fee

£9,450 (2024/25)

International fee

£9,450 (2024/25)

Course level




Start date




Online course description

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 (Stage 2) is to complete applied training, such as our online Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology Practice, which is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

What is Forensic Psychology?

a person talking in front of a colourful mural

View What is Forensic Psychology? video transcript

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.

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.

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 be 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, ten-week terms, known as trimesters. We recommend doing about 20 hours of study each week to complete one 20-credit module over a trimester.

You will also have the option to study two 20 credit modules in one trimester. For this route, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.


This course is assessed through coursework. There will be ongoing assessment (known as ‘formative assessment’) through things like self-assessment, peer review, or feedback directly from your tutor. These aid your learning but do not count towards your grade. Then there will be end-of-module assessments (known as ‘summative assessments’). These count towards your grades and may include things like:

The final assessment on the MSc is the 60-credit empirical research project. For this, you will conduct a supervised empirical research project (including an extended literature review) and a self-reflective portfolio.

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).

View full staff profileView full staff profileExplore all staff on this courseExplore all staff on this course

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 at least one of the following:

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 will be in addition to the programme cost stated above.

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from two payment plan options:

*Please note: the discount for paying your fees up front will only be available to students enrolling for eligible online studies between August 2023 and July 2024 and will not be available for the September 2024 intake onwards.

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 continue your training to become a registered forensic psychologist through our 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.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

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