Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years

UK fee

£9,450 for the full course* (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 for the full course (2024/25)

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

This postgraduate degree will equip psychology graduates with the academic knowledge and skills they need to conduct practical work and research within a forensic context.

During the course, you will be encouraged to undertake a minimum of 30 hours volunteering to gain real life experience in a related field, as well as to obtain practical insights into forensic psychology. 

The culmination of the MSc Forensic Psychology programme is the research project which will enable you to tailor your learning to reflect your own specific area of professional interest and your career aspirations. To support your work on your research project, 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.

On successful completion of the course, you may continue your training to become a Forensic Psychologist, or pursue a career in sectors such as the prison and probation services, crime analysis or education.

If you prefer, you can also study the MSc Forensic Psychology via our online provision.


The MSc Forensic Psychology programme is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), thereby accounting for Stage 1 of the 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 first step (stage 1) towards becoming a Forensic Psychologist. The next step (stage 2) is to complete approved applied training; one route is the Qualification in Forensic Psychology provided by the BPS. The Qualification in Forensic Psychology is the independent route to training as a forensic psychologist. To find out more about the stage 2 qualification, please visit the British Psychological Society website.

93%of students were satisfied with the quality of the coursePostgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2023
97%of students agreed that the course had enhanced their academic abilityPostgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2023
93%of students agreed that staff are enthusiastic about what they teachPostgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2023

How to become a chartered professional psychologist: BPS accreditation at Derby

Find out more about the importance of studying a BPS accredited Psychology degree at the University of Derby.

Find out more about the importance of studying a BPS accredited Psychology degree at the University of Derby.

View 'How to become a chartered professional psychologist: BPS accreditation at Derby' video transcript

Members of our Division of Forensic Psychology look at the career path of a forensic psychologist and the achievements of forensic psychology
Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

You’ll study modules such as:

  • Forensic Risk Assessment and Case Formulation - The first outcome of this module is that you will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to progress to working within a range of settings and contexts relevant to forensic and criminal psychology, including prisons; secure units; hospitals; mental health; police; courts (including criminal, family and civil); community settings; charities and social enterprises. You should have an understanding of organisational culture and systems, and the ways in which these impact on the practice of forensic and criminal psychologists and other professionals. The second outcome of the module is that you should be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of different approaches to assessment and formulation in relation to individuals, groups and/or organisations. You should also demonstrate a familiarity with the processes and tools of assessment in line with the particular focus offered by your programme
  • The Psychology of Offending Behaviour and the Victim Experience - This module recaps and builds upon the psychological perspectives and theories relevant to understanding crime, criminal behaviour, and the victims / survivors of crime.  You will be introduced to a variety of client groups within forensic psychology practice, for example: children and young people, male and female offenders, and people who commit violent and/or sexual offences. A variety of client groups in the context of victimology will also be explored, including victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, child sexual exploitation, and violent crimes for example. You will also learn about the professionals, groups and organisations involved with these client groups. 
  • Advanced Psychological Research Methods in Context - The aim of this module is to provide you with advanced knowledge and skills related to quantitative and qualitative research methods within the context of applied psychology
  • Forensic Settings and Rehabilitative Interventions - At the end of this module, you should be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of the range of interventions available for offenders, patients and at-risk individuals, victims/survivors, professionals, groups and organisations. You should understand different approaches and be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of those approaches to inform the selection of appropriate interventions. You should also be able to evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions
  • The Criminal Justice Context of Forensic Psychology - This module enables you to demonstrate a critical understanding of psychological theories and evidence relevant to processes in the justice system, including the legal framework of the civil and criminal justice systems; processes of investigation; the legal process; the process of detention; working with litigants, appellants, and individuals seeking arbitration and mediation; and interdisciplinary and multi-agency working. In addition, the tutorials that accompany this part of the course facilitate your emotional and cognitive development as you progress towards your professional career
  • Clinical and Professional Skills for Practitioner Psychologists - The aim of this module is to support your personal and professional development, and enable you to reflect on, and plan for, your own development as a trainee psychologist and to support you accessing relevant opportunities during and on completion of the programme
  • Empirical Research Project - It is intrinsic to the award of MSc that you present evidence of your capacity to conduct a substantial piece of independent empirical research that builds clearly upon your prior learning and which draws upon appropriate methodologies. The aim of this module is to allow you to identify a research issue, formulate pertinent research questions and explore these questions through the application of contemporary psychological methodologies and appropriate data analysis and dissemination methods

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

The MSc Forensic Psychology is delivered primarily through lectures, interactive workshops and discussions, small group teaching, and one-on-one supervision.

You will also benefit from a number of outings and visits, as well as guest lectures by prominent figures in the world of forensic psychology.

How you will be assessed

Assessments will be diverse in format and may include: 

Who you'll meet

You will be taught by an established academic team who are active in research and specialists in their field including:

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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Entry requirements

Fees and funding

2024/25 (August 2024 - July 2025)


£9,450 for the full course*

£1,050 per 20 credits


£14,900 for the full course


Please note 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 after one year of study.

* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable

About postgraduate awards

Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind out about funding your studies

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

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

Find out about the Alumni discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarships

We have a range of scholarships and discounts available to international students which can be used together to offer a reduction in your tuition fees.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.


Students generally choose the MSc Forensic Psychology because they wish to pursue a career in Forensic Psychology. 

Forensic Psychologists work across many agencies within the criminal justice system, primarily in prison and probation services, secure hospitals, the police, and the courts in roles such as:

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.

A profile shot of a female student

Studying this course has equipped me with a lot of knowledge that employers look for. I have been offered a role as a Mental Health Key Worker in a mental health rehabilitation centre, and this is thanks to all the knowledge I gained on this course.

Andrea Nica
MSc Forensic Psychology student
Kanish Jones

How graduate Kanish is rehabilitating offenders in prison role

Kanish Jones has gone straight from her MSc Forensic Psychology degree to working at the largest prison in Europe for sexual offenders. Kanish secured the role as Interventions Facilitator at HMP Whatton in Nottinghamshire while still studying.

Read Kanish's storyRead Kanish's story

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Minimum numbers

Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.

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