This course explores the application of psychological principles to diverse aspects of the analysis, investigation and legal processing of crime.
This exciting course currently offers intensive training on advanced statistical methods, which may open doors into many jobs beyond crime and investigations. It allows you access to a unique and extensive Investigative Psychology archive developed by Professor David Canter, containing original case files and material on murders, serial killers, profiles and publications. As well as an international network of law enforcement contacts and specialist software for statistical and crime analysis.
The course offers you the opportunity to engage with Centres within the Institute for Research in Citizenship and Applied Human Sciences (IRCAHS). During your studies you will hear from visiting speakers including experts from around the world and police officers will talk about real life cases.
The course is currently accredited by the British Psychological Society and recognised as the first step towards status as a Chartered Forensic Psychologist in the UK for students who have Graduate Basis for Chartership.
Investigative psychology is the systematic science that developed out of early ‘offender profiling’ contributions by psychologists and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to police investigations and court cases. In recent years this sub-discipline has become an increasingly dominant area of forensic psychology.
The course covers the full range of contributions that professional psychologists can make including the legal and investigative process; evaluating the validity of suspect or witness accounts; assessing the decision-making processes of detectives or jurors; to developing profiling inferences about the likely characteristics of an offender and predicting their likely home location.
Much of this expertise is predicated upon the detailed understanding of criminal action patterns, so intensive examinations of the variations in criminal behavioural style are a central feature of this course.
This course aim to provide in-depth expertise in all aspects of Investigative Psychology as developed by the originator of the discipline Professor David Canter. It has a strong research emphasis, helping to equip you with the expertise to conduct your own crime research projects in diverse professional contexts.
Unlike other courses which focus on offender assessment and rehabilitation, this new course will examine the theoretical and investigative aspects of forensic psychology, tracking the criminal justice process from the crime scene to the court room. It is an exceptionally hands-on, practical course, using our unique on-campus Crime Scene Training Centre together with Psychology Testing Suites with the latest eye-tracking and face-processing equipment.
As well as the underlying theories regarding the psychology of investigations and considering areas such as how face processing can assist identification of individuals, you will explore different offence types - sexual offending, murder and violent crime, group offending (including terrorism, hooliganism and rioting), and different forms of cyber-crime (e.g. hacktivism and on-line sexual abuse).
You’ll be expected to investigate and scrutinise violent mocked-up crime scenes to provide written and verbal evidence, learning how to present expert witness testimony in a mock court.
You will evaluate victims, witnesses, suspects and offenders, environment, geography and time, working with practitioners who create fieldwork, case studies and exercises based on their real experiences.
Guest speakers sharing their knowledge will be an integral feature of the course, as will Terri Cole, the course leader's own experiences as a Behavioural Investigative Adviser and Serious Crime Analyst. Terri worked for a number of years with police forces providing offender profiling, crime scene assessment and offence linkage advice in relation to serious sexual offences and murder. She brings her expertise and experience together to focus on crime scene behaviour and how psychology can assist investigations on this new course.
Criminology at Kingston is embedded within a vibrant and multi-disciplinary department. The programmes will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the complex nature of crime, harm and victimisation, together with an appreciation of the role of the criminal justice system in relation to crime control, protection and the delivery of justice. Our courses develop your capacity for critical thinking whilst simultaneously providing you with the tools to undertake rigorous, high quality research. Through a theoretical and applied lens, you will gain a broad base of knowledge and develop a range of transferable skills sought after by employers in the field. Kingston University is well-located, offering opportunities to see, at first hand, the criminal justice system in operation in the extensive London network of courts, custodial institutions and community-based crime-reduction programmes.
You will engage critically with the theoretical ideas that govern the study of criminology and apply them to better understand a range of substantive issues in the study of crime, harm, victimisation and justice. You will study contemporary criminal justice policy, practice and politics in local, national and global contexts, developing a critical appreciation of the dynamics between criminological theory and criminal justice policymaking. Criminology is multi-disciplinary; by studying these courses you can also explore modules in the fields of Forensic Psychology, Politics, Sociology and Human Rights. Criminologists draw upon a range of social science theoretical frameworks and social research techniques in order to question and explore criminological phenomena. During the course of your study, you will develop methodological knowledge and skills in order to prepare for your own criminological enquiry.
By taking this course you will study the following module Forensic Psychology module plus modules from Criminology:
Investigative and Legal Processes in Forensic Psychology
This module covers a range of theoretical and applied topics regarding investigative and judicial processes. For example, psychological principles may be applied to investigative approaches to interviewing, detecting deception, bearing false witness, offender profiling, case linkage, eyewitness memory, jury behaviour and decision-making, examining the state of mind and assessment, and expert psychological testimony (ethics, code of practice, report writing and practice). By taking this approach the student develops a critical understanding of pertinent stages in the investigative process where psychology may be used to improve interviewing strategies, as in the employment of the cognitive interview to assist in the improvement of witnesses' memory recall. This course then develops upon the investigative knowledge base provided by encouraging students to identify areas within the courtroom process where psychological techniques could be utilised. Thus, students are taken on an analytical and evaluative journey of the key criminal justice processes of the investigation and presentation of evidence in cases.
For information on the Criminology side of the course, please view the Criminology page: http://www.kingston.ac.uk/postgraduate-course/criminology-ma/
With 10 focused forensic psychology specializations such as Family Violence, Sex Offender Behavior, Cybercrimes, Terrorism, and Police Psychology, you can gain the expertise you need to drive positive change within the legal system.
Walden’s online Master of Science (MS) in Forensic Psychology degree can prepare you to apply new insights, skills, and perspectives to a variety of nonclinical roles in areas like cybercrimes, criminal investigative analysis and profiling, terrorism, and victim advocacy. Explore the biological, psychological, and social factors impacting criminal behavior. Evaluate psychological approaches and their effectiveness in dealing with offenders. Examine research methods used in forensic assessments, and learn to evaluate and enhance systems and programs aimed at forensic populations.
By earning your online master’s in forensic psychology at Walden, you can develop a stronger understanding of specific criminal behavior—and develop the expertise needed to make a difference within the criminal justice system. You can also make a positive impact on communities as well as the first responders and professionals who serve those communities.
Through Walden’s master’s in forensic psychology degree program, you can:
Graduates of this forensic psychology degree program will be prepared to:
Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.
Walden’s MS in Forensic Psychology allows you to choose the General Program or from a variety of specializations that focus on a specific population or subject. The programs of study for the General Program and specializations each consist of 10 courses.
Note on licensure: The MS in Forensic Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.
Statistics like this point to a growing need for nonclinical professionals who understand these forensic populations and others, including substance abusers, sex offenders, victims of violence, at-risk youth, and military veterans.
The MS in Forensic Psychology can help prepare you to work in a variety of positions, including:
Career options may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.