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Course Content

Course content

The MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology and MSc in Forensic Psychology Studies (for students without Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society) are renowned for producing high calibre graduates. Feedback from employers indicates they are consistently impressed with the ability of York graduates to apply theory to practice and this is reflected in the destinations of many of our recent graduates.

The courses provide an equal balance of practice-based, methodological and theoretically driven modules designed to foster autonomy within the bounds of professional practice, independent learning and self-directed reflection. The highly specialist forensic modules, delivered by practising experts in the field, combined with generic practice-based modules, tutorials and the support of a highly experienced core course team, will provide you with the requisite practitioner-based skills, understanding, and knowledge to work effectively and increase your employability in a forensic setting. The MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology will also facilitate chartership within the British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology for students who go on to undertake a further two years of forensic practice as outlined in the conditions for membership.

The MSc Applied Forensic Psychology course is formally accredited by the British Psychological Society.


The MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology and MSc in Forensic Psychology Studies are full-time (51-week), 180-credit programmes divided into seven modules (6 taught, 1 independent study):

The practitioner skills modules will facilitate confidence in your ability to work as a practitioner in a forensic setting and will also provide you with leading edge information technology, presentation and communication skills required for a wide variety of roles.
The research evidence and theory modules will provide a grounding in theory, research methods and statistics that will provide the key skills for employment in a variety of settings (e.g., prisons, secure units, the police, prison and probation services) and the key skills for those who wish to pursue a research degree in a forensic or a related field.

The empirical research project will provide the academic grounding for those wishing to pursue an academic career or gain more specialist knowledge in a particular topic area.


Students on both courses are encouraged to write concisely to a high academic standard for a range of different audiences. Hence, assessment methods are varied and include assessed coursework and closed exams:
-Short answer paper
-Briefing paper
-Case formulation
-Open essay
-Research protocol
-Multiple choice paper
-Practical reports
-Empirical research project

Students will be allocated a personal supervisor to monitor their progress throughout the academic year and provide support and guidance if necessary.


The MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology course does not include a placement component. However, some students may be able to obtain voluntary work experience in forensic settings to complement their studies. In addition, the course team is sometimes able to help secure placements for students who have little or no forensic experience, although this cannot be guaranteed. As well as receiving supervision from the provider, students will also be assigned to a member of the course team who will oversee their performance throughout the placement. Since they are not a required or essential component of the MSc course, placements are not assessed.

You are advised to contact local organisations at the start of the Autumn Term if you are considering undertaking work experience during your studies. Please also be aware that some placement providers (particularly charities) may require volunteers to commit for a full year and this should be borne in mind when arranging accommodation.

Our students have succeeded in securing placements with the following establishments/organisations:
-HMP Doncaster
-HMP Full Sutton
-Durham and Tees Valley Probation Trust
-The Farndon Unit
-Strength to Change, Hull
-Stockton Hall Hospital, York
-North Yorkshire Probation
-Rampton Secure Hospital

In the 2015/16 academic year, students have undertaken work experience with:
-Stockton Hall Hospital, York
-Circles of Support and Accountability
-The Petros Organisation, York
-The University of York (supporting PhD students)
-Springwood Lodge Hospital, Leeds

On some occasions, students have managed to secure full or part-time employment with the placement provider after graduating from the MSc programme.

Visit the Applied Forensic Psychology - MSc page on the University of York website for more details!




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