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Course content

The MSc Forensic Psychology course provides a strong emphasis on the application of Forensic Psychology in professional practice, and practising Forensic psychologists are employed by the School to lecture on the course. All of the more theoretical modules include topics on how the theory is applied in practice. The MSc reflects the academic skills underpinning the application of psychology to a forensic setting.

MSc Forensic Psychology attends to victims and offenders. With regard to the latter, it follows the progression of an offender from their first contact with the criminal justice system until their eventual release into the community and/or transfer to conditions of less security. The role of on-going assessment, intervention and throughcare are emphasised throughout.


This course is delivered through lectures, seminars, practical workshops and independent learning sessions. Taught units account for 75 per cent of the award. The primary purpose of the taught component is to further students’ academic knowledge (including of advanced research methodology) and how this can be applied to Forensic Psychology in practice. The remaining 25 per cent of the course is based on an advanced research project; a substantial empirical investigation that will make a contribution to Forensic Psychology.


A number of our graduates acquire trainee forensic psychologist positions, or go on to other careers associated with the Legal and/or Criminal Justice System.

The MSc Forensic Psychology course does not directly source work experience and does not offer placements, yet does actively support students in seeking employment, being paid or voluntary.


The major aim of this postgraduate course is to equip psychology graduates with the British Psychological Society Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) for Stage 1 professional training in Forensic Psychology, and to equip them with some of the knowledge needed for future practice as Chartered Forensic Psychologists, following completion of Stage 2 training - a minimum of two years supervised practice.

MSc Forensic Psychology reflects the academic skills underpinning the application of psychology to a forensic setting. It is currently accredited by the British Psychological Society to provide Stage 1 (academic) training for Full Membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology. In common with other accredited MSc courses, Stage 2 training for Full Membership (supervised practice element) is not provided via the MSc.

This course incorporates changes reflecting the demand for quality training within the UK and other EU countries. The course aims to facilitate and evaluate student competence in core academic areas of forensic psychology, through supportive seminars, lectures, coursework, examination and independent study and research supervision. A final aim is to facilitate and evaluate student competence in the production of a research project designed to assess their ability to integrate core information from the course, implement it within a research setting, and demonstrate a good level of organisational and communication skills. Stage 2 training (a minimum of two years supervised practice) is not provided by the MSc and students will need to complete Stage 2 in order to qualify a Forensic Psychologists. The MSc does not contribute towards Stage 2 training.

The course comprises nine compulsory modules, which include advanced methods in psychology, applying psychology to the legal process, attributes of offenders and victims, forensic mental health, forensic risk assessment (including HCR-20 training), professional practice, intervention with offenders, and a research dissertation. Teaching methods include lectures, seminars and self-directed study and assessment is by a combination of exam and coursework.

Visit the Forensic Psychology - MSc page on the University of Central Lancashire website for more details!




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