- This programme is accredited with 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
- Choose a programme which offers a compelling blend of academic studies, research and practical experience
- Learn from a teaching team made up of forensic practitioners and academics with considerable experience of working with offenders and victims in a range of forensic contexts
- Benefit from a supportive and dynamic research environment where you will have the chance to pursue your own professional interests
- Gain vital practical insights, including potential opportunities for real life experience within a related field
- Broaden your professional options: this qualification is valuable for careers in a range of settings including prisons, secure units, hospitals, mental health services, police, probation services, courts, community organisations, charities and social enterprises
- Build an excellent platform if you want to progress to PhD research
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.
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.
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.
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 the Offender and the Victim - 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, violent offenders, sexual offenders, and mentally disordered offenders. A variety of client groups in the context of victimology will also be explored, including victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, CSE, 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.
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:
- group and individual presentations
- research project report(s)
- a reflective practice portfolio.
Who you'll meet
You will be taught by an established academic team who are active in research and specialists in their field including:
2023/24 (August 2023 - July 2024)
£11,325 for the full course or £1,260 per 20 credits*
£1,260 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 Certificate||60 Credits|
|Postgraduate Diploma||120 Credits|
|MA or MSc||180 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 studies
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out about the Alumni discount
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:
- Offender Manager
- Probation Officer
- Psychological Assistant
- Offender Behaviour Programme Facilitator
- Trainee Forensic Psychologist (stage 2 Qualification in Forensic Psychology)
- Behavioural Support Mentor in a school
- Mental Health Recovery Worker
- Forensic Support Worker
- Assistant Forensic Psychologist
- Therapy Coordinator
- Mental Health Adviser at a university
- Academic or career in research
- PhD study
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.
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.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
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.
Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.