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Masters Degrees (Forensic Psy)

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The Master of Science in Forensic Psychology is a 36-credit online program that provides students with insight into the intersection of psychology and legal issues. Read more

The Master of Science in Forensic Psychology is a 36-credit online program that provides students with insight into the intersection of psychology and legal issues. Students gain an understanding of what forensic psychologists do and will learn how to apply this training in a variety of professional contexts.

This degree program will provide students with the professional training necessary to function at an optimal level in a variety of forensic settings where psychology is used including: courts, law enforcement, criminal justice, national security offices, prisons, social services agencies, child welfare agencies, and treatment facilities.

Many students in our program have specialized in law, mental health or other health services and want to work in the forensic area. Others are interested in furthering their careers and assuming more senior level positions. Some of our students use this degree to make them more competitive when applying for a doctoral program.

The online format and non-clinical curriculum make the program an excellent option for working professionals needing to integrate graduate study with job responsibilities. The program also targets those living in rural or frontier areas in and outside the United States, those with limited or no access to this type of graduate level educational program, and individuals working non-traditional shift schedules, such as those in law enforcement, corrections, national security, and the military.

Important Note

There is no licensure or certification in Florida or most states for Forensic Psychology at this time. It is considered a subspecialty of other clinical mental health or legal programs

Curriculum

The Master of Science in Forensic Psychology degree program requires a total of 36 semester hours of graduate course work. The program consists of a core of 24 credits and students are required to complete one of two possible 9-credit specialization tracks, and a 3-credit capstone course. Students can choose to complete either a thesis or a field experience for their capstone's content, although if students are looking to continue their studies it is recommended they chose the research option.

Core Courses (3 credits each)

  • PSY 0900 - Introduction to Forensic Psychological Science
  • PSY 0901 - Psychopathology, Personality Disorders, and Behavioral Interventions in Forensic Settings
  • PSY 0902 - Methods & Tools of Psychological & Violence Risk Assessment
  • PSY 0903 - Evaluation, Methodology, and Psychological Research
  • PSY 0904 - Ethical Concerns & Multicultural Issues in Forensic Psychology
  • PSY 0905 - Communication Skills and Tools in Forensic Psychology
  • PSY 0906 - Best Practices and Policies for the Mentally Ill in the Criminal Justice System
  • PSY 0907 - Gender Violence: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault & Child Abuse

Specialisation Tracks

Students will choose one of the following two specialisation tracks:

TRACK 1: FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY IN THE LEGAL SYSTEM (9 Credits - Choose 3 courses from below)

  • PSY 0908 - Psychological Issues in Dependency & Family Law Cases
  • PSY 0909 - Therapeutic Jurisprudence & Problem-Solving Courts
  • PSY 0910 - Assessment of Psychological Injury for Legal Cases
  • PSY 0911 - Understanding Psychological Reports and Expert Witness Testimony
  • PSY 0912 - Psychological Evaluation of Competencies, Syndromes, & Sanity Issues
  • PSY 0913 / CJI 6230 - Behavioral Criminology
  • PSY 0914 - Capstone Project in Forensic Psychology in the Legal System

TRACK 2: FORSENSIC PSYCHOLOGY FOR MENTAL HEALTH WORKERS, FIRST RESPONDERS AND DISASTER TEAMS (9 Credits - choose 3 courses from below)

  • PSY 0915 - Suicide Prevention & Crisis Intervention Skills
  • PSY 0916 - Trauma Informed Assessment and Intervention
  • PSY 0917 - Child Maltreatment and Trauma Assessment and Intervention
  • PSY 0918 - Intervening in School & Workplace Violence
  • PSY 0919 - Substance Abuse, Mental Illness and Trauma
  • PSY 0920 / CJI 6220 - Police Psychology
  • PSY 0921 - Capstone Course in Forensic Psychology for First Responders and Disaster Team Workers


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The Doctorate in Forensic Psychology is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), and is the only British Psychological Society accredited programme in Wales. Read more

Course Overview

The Doctorate in Forensic Psychology is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), and is the only British Psychological Society accredited programme in Wales. Upon completion, the programme provides students with eligibility to apply to the register to practice as Forensic Psychologists in the UK, and to gain Chartered Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

The intake for Top-Up Doctorate takes place in January and September each year. The Top-Up Doctorate is designed for qualified Forensic Psychologists who would like to undertake a research project on an aspect of specialism. The intake for the Full Doctorate programme takes place in September each year, and we would encourage applicants to apply before June of the year they would like to commence studies.

See the website https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/health/courses/Pages/Forensic-Psychology-Doctorate.aspx

​Course Content​​

Flexibility is the essence of our approach to student learning. The Doctorate Programme facilitates students entering and exiting at different places within the Programme depending on the individual needs of the student. Thus, the full Doctorate programme comprises:
- MSc in Forensic Psychology
- Postgraduate Diploma in Practitioner Forensic Psychology
- ‘Top-Up’ doctorate, which is the higher level research component.

The Top-Up Doctorate will be available to registered practitioners who are seeking to formalise their research and clinical skills in an area of specialism. Applicants completing the Top-Up Doctorate will submit a research thesis reporting a significantly large piece of research.

Applicants to the Doctorate Programme may apply for the Full Programme, or for the MSc or PG Diploma, depending on their own individual needs and career progression. Applicants who apply for the MSc may (on successful completion) later apply for the PG Diploma and ‘Top-Up’ Doctorate. Students, who progress through the course on individual programmes will, after successful completion of all the component programmes, be awarded the Doctorate in Forensic Psychology.

In this way, within one programme and its flexible entry and exit points, we hope to provide a full range of higher-level academic study, further training and higher level research. We are not currently accepting applications for the full Doctorate programme in its entirety.

Applicants who are unsure whether to apply for the full programme, or individual component programmes, are encouraged to ring or email the programme directors to discuss their individual needs in more detail. ​

Learning & Teaching​

​For the learning and teaching mechanisms on the component programmes, please see those specific web pages:
- MSc in Forensic Psychology
- Postgraduate Diploma in Practitioner Forensic Psychology

For the Top Up Doctorate, the thesis will be a large piece of independent research study. Each student will be assigned a supervision team who will be responsible for supporting and supervising the student during their research. At least 6 supervision meetings will be held each year, and a thorough review of training needs will be established and reviewed each year. The individual needs of the student will be met through either higher level Research Methods teaching at Cardiff Metropolitan University, or specialised external training. It is anticipated that many students on the Top Up component may be based some distant from Cardiff and in those cases the supervision team will support meetings through Skype or video conferencing. However, where additional training requires students to attend the university, it is expected that the student will factor this into their time commitments.

Assessment

The programme is assessed at the MSc programme by coursework assessment; and in the work-based practice by supervision reviews, and by coursework only, there are no exams. Examples of assessments include: case study exemplars, reflective reports, supervision and practice logs. See the specifics details on the component programme pages:
- MSc in Forensic Psychology
- Postgraduate Diploma in Practitioner Forensic Psychology

The research thesis is assessed by viva voce examination.

Employability & Careers​

A Doctorate in Forensic Psychology incorporates both Stage 1 and Stage 2 training as set out by the British Psychological Society. The Doctorate enables graduates to gain Chartered Psychologist status with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Registered Practitioner status with the Health Care Professionals Council (HCPC)​.

Find information on Scholarships here https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/scholarships

Find out how to apply here https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply

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Overview. This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and approved by the Health Professional Council. Read more

Overview

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and approved by the Health Professional Council.

The Professional (practitioner) Doctorate Forensic Psychology aims to educate and train psychology graduates to work with victims and/or offenders under the supervision of registered forensic psychologists and to attain the highest standards of research and practice. In collaboration with Institute of Mental Health (IMH), the course aims to develop skills such as assessment, management, intervention, treatment and evaluation.

A Top-up Doctorate in Forensic Psychology (DForenPsy) is also available to allow postgraduate psychologists already holding a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited MSc Criminological/Forensic/Investigative Psychology to obtain a doctorate through applying their knowledge to practice with victims or offenders.

Academic Team

Professor Kevin Browne, Professor of Forensic Psychology and Child Health, Director of the Centre for Family and Forensic Psychology and Director of the D.Foren.Psy. Programme

Dr Vince Egan, Associate Professor, Forensic Psychology Practice, Year 3 Director

Dr Simon Duff, Lecturer in Forensic Psychology Practice, Year 2 Director

Dr Shihning Chou, Lecturer in Forensic Psychology Practice, Year 1 Director

Year 1

In the first year you will study a masters programme consisting of eight modules. On successful completion of the masters component, you may progress on to the doctorate component or exit with an MSc Criminological Psychology.

Years 2 and 3

During the doctorate component, you will apply your knowledge to practice while on placement in forensic environments. You will experience interventions with children and adults in community and secure settings and develop skills and competency in four core areas:

  • conducting psychological applications and interventions
  • case studies, research and evaluation
  • communicating knowledge to other professionals
  • training other professionals in psychological skills and methods
  • At the end of the course, you will submit a thesis on your research and practice in a specific area of forensic psychology.

Modules

In the first year you will study a masters programme consisting of eight modules:

  • Theories of Criminal Behaviour
  • Forensic Child Psychology
  • Forensic Mental Health
  • Law and Criminal Justice
  • Forensic Organisational Psychology
  • Forensic Practice Interventions
  • Research Methods and Analyses
  • Research Project


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The Department of Psychology provides a world-class research environment for postgraduate students in Biological, Cognitive, Social or Developmental Psychology along with more applied aspects such as Educational Psychology, Forensic/Criminological Psychology, Neuroscience (including Neurorehabilitation) and Health Psychology. Read more
The Department of Psychology provides a world-class research environment for postgraduate students in Biological, Cognitive, Social or Developmental Psychology along with more applied aspects such as Educational Psychology, Forensic/Criminological Psychology, Neuroscience (including Neurorehabilitation) and Health Psychology. Much of our research is interdisciplinary both within the department and outside of the department.

When you apply to study for a degree by research you will be asked to submit an outline research proposal. It is strongly advised that you approach a potential supervisor before completing this, in order to ensure that they are willing and able to supervise your studies, and that your proposed research is a suitable fit with their research interests. Research students normally have both a primary and additional research supervisor, or two primary co-supervisors, as their supervisory team. We offer a high level of support to our research postgraduates and students are expected to meet with their supervisors at least once per fortnight, and the regularity of meetings is monitored by the Director of Research Students as well as your progression tutor (a departmental academic who is not a supervisor).

For students we offer the following:

Access to a postgraduate bursary fund (up to £350/year for full-time students not in receipt of external funding) for training, research or conference expenses.
Opportunities to undertake paid teaching work in the department.
Provision of workspace in the department, with dedicated desk and computer.
Access to a psychology postgraduate common room.

The Postgraduate Team

Director of Postgraduate Studies - Dr Markus Hausmann ()

Postgraduate Co-ordinator - Mrs Norma Twomey ()
Postgraduate Support Secretary - Mrs Julia Warbrick ()

Director of Postgraduate Research - Professor Charles Heywood
Course Director (MSc Cognitive Neuroscience) - Dr Cristiana Cavina-Pratesi
Course Director (MSc Developmental Psychopathology, MA Research Methods) - Dr Deborah Riby
Course Director (MSc Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience) Dr Cristiana Cavina-Pratesi & Dr Deborah Riby

For more information please contact us.

How to apply

When you apply to study for a degree by research you will be asked to submit an outline research proposal. It is strongly advised that you approach a potential supervisor before completing this, in order to ensure that they are willing and able to supervise your studies, and that your proposed research is a suitable fit with their research interests. Please describe your proposed research. If possible you should include the questions or hypotheses to be addressed, the background to the proposed study, the methods to be used and a brief timetable covering the field of study. The research proposal should be no longer than one side of A4, excluding references.

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