Masters degrees in Forensic Psychology involve advanced study of the intersection between Psychology and the justice system, examining the causes of crime and criminal behaviour from a psychological perspective.
Related subjects include Investigative Psychology and Applied Forensic Psychology. Entry requirements usually include an appropriate undergraduate degree such as Forensic Science, Criminology or Psychology.
These courses aim to build your awareness of the factors at play in criminal behaviour and their implications. Investigating the causes for crime, you’ll study the criminal mind and its psychological processes. You’ll also develop your understanding of recognition memory and juror decision-making, along with effective protocols for testing witness memory and detecting deception.
Placements are often a key component of these courses, where you will learn to assess offenders and design training procedures for other personnel directly involved with criminal proceedings. This includes techniques for countering manipulation and managing aggression.
Forensic psychologists typically assist with criminal and civil law proceedings, and judicial and custodial processes. As such, careers may involve working in prisons, probation services and the police force, as well as social work and health services.
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.
This programme offers an exciting opportunity to study forensic psychology within a department with an established expertise in a range of therapeutic skills and therapies. It is especially designed to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of practical skills and the latest research in preparation for a career in the forensic field.
Our MSc Forensic Psychology degree will introduce you to the key theoretical concepts and practical approaches relevant to the legal and criminal justice system. The core philosophy of the course is to promote an understanding of the role of forensic psychologists in various forensic settings, whilst preparing you for a rewarding career or doctoral study in the field of forensic psychology.
You will be taught by leading experts in the field who are chartered psychologists and HCPC registered Forensic Psychologists to learn about the latest developments in the field of Forensic Psychology. You will develop knowledge of contemporary psychological theories of understanding crime. You will be encouraged to develop the ability to critically evaluate research, start thinking reflectively and communicate the knowledge you acquired to a wider, multidisciplinary, audience.
From an investigative standpoint, you will develop a strong scientific understanding of the current theories of aetiology of criminal behaviour and the assessment of risk. You will gain an understanding of evidence for legal aspects in consideration for court cases, and sentencing and parole boards. You will be encouraged to think critically about methodological challenges and limitations arising from these topics. You will also learn how to appropriately conduct and disseminate your own research in preparation for the doctoral level, if you decide to pursue your studies further.
During this one year course, you will gain a strong foundation in understanding the field of forensic psychology, study real-life case studies and apply theory to practical work with an emphasis on career preparation. You will develop the necessary clinical and practical skills to carry out assessments for treatment of criminal behaviour. To support your professional development, the programme will introduce you to the ethical principles and the codes of conduct in forensic psychology and the concept of evidence-based practice.
You will also have the opportunity to undertake a dissertation in which you will specialise in a research area of Forensic Psychology. Our expert teaching staff will support you in developing your work. You will also benefit from our network of connections within the field of Forensic Psychology.
This MSc provides the academic training required for a career as a forensic psychologist.
The programme will introduce you to a range of psychological theories, methods and processes within the context of the legal, criminal and civil justice systems.
Based at a research-led London university with strong links to forensic services, you’ll be taught by world-class researchers, and experienced practitioners from the NHS, and the prison and probation service.
Led by chartered forensic clinical psychologist Dr Caoimhe McAnena, the MSc also includes contributions from world-class researchers and practitioners who will teach on the programme and supervise research projects.
We have been awarded full British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation, which will give you the opportunity to gain Graduate and/or Chartered Membership of the Society.
One of the major strengths of this course is our strong links with local forensic mental health services. Our studentships cover tuition fees and a placement opportunity, enabling students to study part-time while working in an NHS or prison setting.
If you will be doing a placement with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust your offer will be conditional on meeting our Fitness to Train requirements before you begin your studies. Other placements will not have these additional conditions.
The course will cover the assessment and treatment of offenders, risk assessment methods, and treatment of offenders with mental health and personality disorders.
There will be a focus on criminal investigations by examining psychological issues in eyewitness identification, investigative interviewing of witnesses and suspects, psychological profiling and detecting deception.
You'll also explore legal and criminological concepts relevant to contemporary social issues and organisations. Issues relating to ethics, human rights, professional practice and research will be emphasised to provide a firm grounding for further professional training and practice.
By completing this programme you will:
The programme is comprised of 7 core modules and 1 option modules.
The core modules are:
You then choose one option module, which may be selected from a range of courses offered in the Department of Psychology, for example:
This new programme aims to satisfy the academic component of professional training in forensic psychology. Accreditation by the British Psychological Society (BPS) as meeting the requirement for Stage One of the BPS Diploma in Forensic Psychology has been applied for. When accredited, successful completion will allow you to enrol in the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology (Stage Two) with the aim of achieving the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP) Qualification in Forensic Psychology, and becoming a Chartered Psychologist with the DFP and Practitioner Forensic Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council.
Graduates of the programme will be well-qualified a wide range careers in:
Relevant career opportunities are available in the:
Many of these posts will be training positions to allow the completion of the Stage Two qualification in Forensic Psychology described above.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
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.
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
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.
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:
In the first year you will study a masters programme consisting of eight modules:
Forensic Psychology at Winchester provides the academic component (Stage 1) of the route to becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist with the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology and Practitioner Forensic Psychologist status with the Health and Care Professions Council. The programme also supports you with the transition towards Stage 2 of the chartership process by incorporating practice-based assessments.
The course introduces the context and application of psychology in various forensic settings including the legal and criminal justice system, forensic psychological practice and forensic mental health. You are introduced to the role of a forensic psychologist in practice. The programme focuses on core theoretical models of crime with an emphasis on theoretical, practical and methodological limitations.
When considering applied skills in forensic practice, there is a focus on specialist assessments, core treatments and interventions utilised when working with various client groups in a forensic setting. Client groups include offenders in prison, secure hospitals and the community, as well as offenders on probation and within the legal system (court assessment). You gain the ability to design, conduct, analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological research in a chosen specialised research area.
There is an emphasis on reflective practice skills, and professional and ethical practice in the workplace. There are also opportunities for volunteering in optional forensic practice placements via the university’s volunteering department. Core modules include Foundations of Forensic Psychology Practice, The Criminal Justice System and the Legal Framework, Specialist Skills in Treatment and Interventions, and Investigative Psychology.
You have access to excellent facilities including numerous research cubicles and laboratories equipped for conducting forensic interviews, developmental research, EEG and social observation. There is a strong criminal investigation representation and practitioner focus within the teaching team, and there is a departmental forensic research group which complements the programme.
Graduates of the course pursue careers in various specialisms within forensic psychology, including the legal and criminal justice system, forensic psychological practice and forensic mental health.
Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
The programme provides the first step (Stage 1) towards gaining Chartered Forensic Psychologist status with the BPS.
UK, EU, World
Students have the opportunity to volunteer on optional forensic practice-related placements.
A diverse range of teaching methods are employed including laboratory classes, lectures, seminars, tutorials and individual project supervision. Students have access to excellent facilities including numerous research cubicles and laboratories equipped for conducting forensic interviews, developmental research, EEG and social observation.
There is a strong criminal investigation representation and practitioner focus within the teaching team, and there is a departmental forensic research group which complements the programme.
King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester
Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. A variety of assessment methods are employed including essays, literature reviews, report writing, presentations, and examinations, as well as a quantitative or qualitative empirical project.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.
We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.
For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.