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Psychology×

University of Portsmouth, Full Time MSc Degrees in Psychology

We have 5 University of Portsmouth, Full Time MSc Degrees in Psychology

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Forensic psychology is an expanding field. It interfaces with other disciplines such as clinical, social and cognitive psychology, as well as criminology and law in order to address issues of major concern to the justice system, organisations, individuals and society. Read more

Why take this course?

Forensic psychology is an expanding field. It interfaces with other disciplines such as clinical, social and cognitive psychology, as well as criminology and law in order to address issues of major concern to the justice system, organisations, individuals and society.

This is a unique course informed by research at the forefront of the field, with many opportunities to get involved with ongoing projects within the Department.

Applications for this course close 15 January 2016 to be considered for interview on 23 or 25 February and close 15 February 2016 to be considered for interview on 22 and 24 March.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Be taught by the largest group of actively researching academics at the cutting edge of forensic psychology research in the UK
Put your investigative techniques to the test in our Forensic Interviewing Suite
Benefit from our connections with a variety of custodial establishments including adult male and women's prisons, young offenders' institutions and secure hospitals

What opportunities might it lead to?

Accredited by the BPS, our Master’s degree is recognised as providing an important step towards eventual chartered status as a forensic psychologist. It aims to provide you with a systematic knowledge and understanding of forensic psychology, in accordance with the academic requirements of the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP), the British Psychological Society (BPS) for accredited courses and eventual progression to autonomous practice.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Working in prisons
Probation work
The police force
Social work
Health services
The courts
Academia
Private practice

Module Details

The course content is structured to reflect developments and priorities in the field of forensic psychology and is kept under constant review to keep it up-to-date.

Here are the units you will study:

Theory into Practice: Foundations of Professional Competence in Forensic Psychology: This unit provides a foundation for working as a scientist-practitioner. From an early introduction to concepts of reflective practice, personal development and core skills relevant to completing the course, it moves to encouraging an awareness of factors involved in criminal behaviour and their implications. The focus is on the application and development of skills in analysis and less on the learning of facts and theories. In the second part of the unit, the focus moves to tasks and challenges that forensic psychologists encounter in applied settings. Some, such as the design and evaluation of training for other personnel or consultancy skills, are of major relevance to Stage 2 of the system for progression to chartered status that usually follows the course. Others such as countering manipulation, stress and managing aggression can be crucial to survival as well as effectiveness as a practitioner.

Assessment and Interventions with Offenders: This unit is concerned with providing an understanding of the theoretical and empirical underpinnings, contents and methods of current and widely-used approaches to assessment (including risk assessment) and interventions with offenders. These approaches are linked and provide a framework for the organisation and evaluation of information, particularly in relation to efficient, useful and accurate formulation and what works in the delivery of interventions. It will build upon knowledge of factors related to criminal behaviour with a focus on effective approaches and context-related factors in the understanding and management of offenders in a variety of settings.

Empirical Research Project for Forensic Psychology: For this unit you will undertake a complete piece of empirical research in an area of forensic psychology that you find particularly interesting. It provides an opportunity to develop and integrate a range of skills and areas of knowledge including creative formulations, problem-solving, ethics, handling interpersonal demands, use of IT and analytical techniques, and writing to a publishable standard.

Investigative Psychology and the Legal Process: This focuses on the contribution made by psychology in the context of forensic investigations and the role of psychologists in criminal and civil law proceedings. It is concerned with the application of psychological research and theory in an effort to critique (and improve) practice in criminal and civil justice systems as an applied context for testing the validity and efficacy of psychological theories and innovative practice derived from these theories. Topics cover relevant procedural information to ensure you appreciate investigative, judicial and custodial processes, and the role of psychologists within these frameworks. Theory and research relevant to applied cognitive and social psychology are presented to inform an understanding of eyewitness recall and recognition memory (and memory errors), effective protocols for testing/probing witness memory, detecting deception and juror decision making.

Research Methods and Data Analysis: This unit is designed to provide a familiarity with psychological research methods and data analysis commensurate with understanding and conducting research at the postgraduate and professional level. Specific methodologies and issues of relevance to specific research areas are addressed within a perspective that emphasises creative problem-solving.

Programme Assessment

We give high priority to integrating our research activities with your teaching programme. This ensures that you learn about the most important and current issues in forensic psychology that effect real-life practice.

Teaching usually takes the form of lectures and small tutorial groups, together with practical sessions in our labs and studios.

We assess you in a variety of ways throughout the course. Here’s how:

Written examinations
Briefing reports and essays
Oral presentations
The giving of expert testimony
A research dissertation

Student Destinations

The work of forensic psychologists is varied. Depending on where practitioners work, it can range from criminal investigations to organisational change, from work with offenders to work with staff who work with offenders, and from matters of civil justice such as child access to operational emergencies such as hostage incidents.

Accredited by the BPS, our Master’s degree is recognised as providing the next important step towards eventual chartered status as a forensic psychologist. Following successful completion of this course, you will usually go on to do a minimum of two years full-time supervised practice in an employment setting.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

Clinical psychologist
Forensic psychologist
Educational psychologist
Counsellor
Health planning analyst

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The psychology of human performance in sport and exercise environments is fundamental to helping individuals to realise their physical, technical and health performance potential. Read more

Why take this course?

The psychology of human performance in sport and exercise environments is fundamental to helping individuals to realise their physical, technical and health performance potential.

This course aims to train you to understand how the mind can impact human behaviour and performance within competitive sport and everyday physical activity settings.

What will I experience?

On this course you will:

Be taught by our BPS Chartered Psychologists and BASES Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientists who have a wealth of experience in research and applied practice in sport and exercise psychology
Use specialist facilities and benefit from our strong links with UK Sport and the Fuchs Foundation

What opportunities might it lead to?

The global sport industry is estimated to be worth in excess of £110 billion and is growing rapidly. You can expect to find a career in many specific areas such as teaching, research, sport science support, or the health and fitness sectors.

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society, which means that graduates are eligible to apply for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). It also opens up a wide range of training and development opportunities.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

UK Sport
NHS
Sport governing bodies
Health and fitness companies
Private healthcare companies

Module Details

You can choose to study for this course in either full-time or part-time mode. You will study several key topics and have the valuable opportunity to complete a professional practice placement, where you will be required to perform the role of a trainee sport and/or exercise scientist within a related setting.

Here are the units you will study:

Psychology of Elite Performance: This unit will provide an advanced theoretical, research and practical insight into the psychology of expertise and the role of psychology in optimising performance across a range of elite domains.

Applied Sport Psychology: For this unit you will study contemporary approaches to applied practice and develop a range of professional skills associated with the theory to practice transfer in sport and exercise.

Psychology of Exercise and Physical Activity: This unit covers the emerging field of psychology in physical activity and exercise settings. You will study topics relevant to understanding how psychological theory can influence the promotion and prescription of exercise and physical activity to optimise health and wellbeing.

Applied Research Methods: This unit will provide you with an opportunity to independently investigate a particular topic related to sport/exercise psychology.

Research Project: This unit will provide you with an opportunity to independently investigate a particular topic related to sport/exercise psychology.

Programme Assessment

Our teaching approaches include lectures, seminars, laboratory workshops, and tutorials.

The varying teaching formats are reflected in the assignments. Here’s how we assess you:

Essays
Scientific reports
Reflective accounts
Product development
Presentations
Projects

Student Destinations

Specific careers directly related to this qualification include becoming an applied practitioner, and a researcher and/or a lecturer in sport and/or exercise psychology. Researchers tend to be employed by commercial companies and academic institutions. Lecturers in this field are employed by further and higher educational establishments.

Given the range of general employability skills developed throughout the programme, you could go on to a variety of careers in other sectors, for example, business, the police and the armed services.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

Sports and exercise scientist
Lecturer in sport and/or exercise psychology
Researcher in sport and/or exercise psychology

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Why take this course?. Health and well-being is key thematic area for research and teaching in the University and its Department of Psychology. Read more

Why take this course?

Health and well-being is key thematic area for research and teaching in the University and its Department of Psychology. You will be taught by professionals with expert knowledge of the theory, practice and research in health psychology who include chartered, HCPC registered and research active psychologists.

This course is one of only a few in the UK that offer a credit-bearing placement working with either a healthcare professional or academic psychologist.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Learn from experts in the field of health psychology, in small groups.
  • Undertake a placement and achieve unique and valuable workplace experience, whilst supported by a placement tutor.
  • Have access to our wide range of Research Suites and Laboratories and attend regular research seminars.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Many students undertaking an MSc Health Psychology choose to go on to their Stage 2 training to become a Chartered Health Psychologist. However, on completion of the course, you may also choose to:

  • Work in the NHS or other health care related services – e.g. smoking cessation, health promotion, mental health, and chronic illness management
  • Undertake research and/or teaching positions in Higher Education
  • Do a PhD in a related area
  • Join a clinical research organisation and become involved in setting up and carrying out research projects
  • Gain a place on a clinical training course or other related training such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Treatment)


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This distance learning degree is designed especially for graduate students or professionals already working with children caught up in the legal system. Read more

Why take this course?

This distance learning degree is designed especially for graduate students or professionals already working with children caught up in the legal system.

Supported by academics who have research interests and expertise in child witnessing and children as suspects/offenders, this course provides a chance for you to study relevant specialist topics.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Be taught by actively researching academics at the cutting edge of child forensic psychology research
Participate in live web-based chat forums to discuss your work with lecturers and other students
Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources or access library facilities and borrow books locally via the SCONUL scheme

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course provides an opportunity for those supporting or working with child victims, witnesses or suspects to enhance their knowledge and skills, and gain an academic qualification.

Module Details

Year One

Full time students will study all units in one full year.

Part time students - Year One:

You will normally study three units each year, and will begin to explore potential research ideas and research methodologies in your first year.

Here are the units you will study:

Child Development and Young Offenders: This unit discusses child development theories including cognitive, emotional, social, and sexual development and in the second half of the unit, it critically discusses the factors, prevention, and intervention strategies for children as perpratators. A summary of research on adolescent violent offenders and adolescent sex offenders is followed by a section on child suspects, criminal responsibility, and false confessions and suggestibility.

Law and Procedures Relating to Children: This unit provides an historical overview of what influenced the changes to the law that have provided the special measures to help children have greater access to the criminal justice process. It also outlines current laws and procedures in England and Wales.

Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods: This unit introduces experimental and survey-based research methods, as well as quantitative data analysis techniques. It also covers qualitative methods for data collection and analysis, as well as to how to write research reports in both traditions.

Year Two

Part time students - Year Two

In your second year you will cover several other applied topics and carry out an independent research project relevant to children caught up in the legal system.

Here are the units you will study:

Interviewing Child Witnesses and the Detection of Deception: This unit introduces the issue of suggestibility and outlines the current advocated interview protocols for the investigative interviewing of child witnesses. It discusses Statement Validity Assessment, a technique for assessing the truthfulness of statements based solely on what is spoken by the child. The second part of this unit includes discussion of risk factors, prevention and intervention strategies for children as perpetrators.

Research Project: The research project requires you to initiate, conduct and report upon an original piece of research. The work is conducted to deadlines agreed with a project supervisor and must include empirical quantitative or qualitative research – data collection and relevant analysis must be included. Any statistical analysis must be both descriptive (e.g. means, standard deviations and graphs and so on) and inferential (i.e. statistical tests).

An option unit – the current choices are one unit from these two options:

Communication and Investigative Interviewing of People with Intellectual Disabilities: This unit aims to promote communication skills and opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities and outline the status of the law concerning vulnerable adults as witnesses/victims. It aims to provide you with the opportunity to examine issues that arise when people with intellectual disabilities are interviewed as witnesses/victims of crime.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: This unit outlines and discusses the efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy. You are strongly encouraged to view this course as an introduction to the academic literature on this subject, rather than as training to be a therapist.

Programme Assessment

Despite its distance learning mode, this course is still extremely student focused. You will be given resources, materials, help and guidance to complete your studies to your full ability. Using our virtual learning environment you can participate in group discussions with other students in a friendly yet challenging online class environment. Plus real-time text based 'chat sessions' with lecturers will ensure you receive all the support you need for the topics you study.

You are assessed in a variety of ways to reflect the individual topics, however there are no examinations and all assessment is coursework based. Here’s how we assess your work:

Essays
Critical reviews
Information leaflets
Wikis
Presentation slides
A research project

Student Destinations

Many of our students are already employed or involved with children caught up in the legal system. Others, however, are new graduates and have yet to work in this environment. Whatever your experience, this course aims to enable you to have a greater understanding of many aspects concerning children as victims, witnesses or suspected offenders.

Previous graduates of the course frequently make significant progress in their careers. Some are just in the beginning stages while others move on to senior manager positions and upwards. Those yet to embark on a career have gone on to find work in related professions, such as the police. Others have chosen to complete more studies such as a social work qualification to be able to work directly with children. More recently, students have gone on to study for advanced academic qualifications.

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The term 'learning disabilities' is used interchangeably with 'intellectual disability' to describe those who have significant problems with learning and who need support with many aspects of life. Read more

Why take this course?

The term 'learning disabilities' is used interchangeably with 'intellectual disability' to describe those who have significant problems with learning and who need support with many aspects of life.

This distance learning course enhances knowledge and skills of graduates and experienced practitioners wishing to develop their understanding of people with learning disabilities.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Be taught by academics who are active researchers in learning disability
Participate in live web-based chat forums, e-conferencing, and individual tutorials, to discuss your work with lecturers and with other students
Tap into the Library’s vast selection of electronic resources or access library facilities and borrow books locally via the SCOLNUL scheme

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course provides an opportunity for those supporting children and adults with intellectual disabilities and their families to enhance their knowledge and skills, and gain an academic qualification.

Module Details

Full-time students will study all 180 Level M credits (i.e. six units) in one full year. Part-time students will normally study three units each year, and will begin to explore potential research ideas and research methodologies in the first year. All units are Level 7, 30 credits, and are core units.

Here are the units you will study (part-time students will study these in the first year):

Critical Disability Studies and Intellectual Disability: The perspective of Critical Disability Studies (CDS) is about how society and its agents respond to the labelled person's circumstances rather than how intellectual disability inhabits the person. This unit will address the relationship between workers and disabled people that CDS might call for. Here disability and intellectual disability in particular will be a standpoint or position from which to view society, in contrast to disability as a categorisation of people.

Autistic Spectrum Conditions: A Critical Approach: this unit aims to provide knowledge about autistic spectrum conditions and promote understanding of the key issues in providing support to people with autistic spectrum conditions and their families.

Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods: This unit provides an introduction to experimental and survey-based research methods, and quantitative data analysis techniques. It covers qualitative methods for data collection and analysis, as well as to how to write research reports in both traditions.

The following units will be studied in the first year by full-time students and in the second year by part-time students:

Families and Systemic Therapy: This unit aims to provide you with an understanding of families including an appreciation of experiences of families with an intellectually disabled member. It aims to enhance your abilities to support families via theoretically informed, partnership-based empowering practices.

Research Project: The research project requires you to initiate, conduct and report upon an original piece of research. The work is conducted to deadlines agreed with a project supervisor and project must include empirical quantitative or qualitative research – data collection and relevant analysis must be included. Any statistical analysis must be both descriptive (e.g. means, standard deviations and graphs etc.) and inferential (i.e. statistical tests).

Communication and Investigative Interviewing of People with Intellectual Disabilities: This unit aims to promote communication skills and opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities and outline the status of the law concerning vulnerable adults as witnesses/victims. It aims to provide you with the opportunity to examine issues that arise when people with intellectual disabilities are interviewed as witnesses/victims of crime.

Programme Assessment

Despite its distance learning mode, this course is still extremely student focused. You will be given resources, materials, help and guidance to complete your studies to your full ability. Using our virtual learning environment you can participate in group discussions with other students in a friendly yet challenging online class environment. Plus real-time text based 'chat sessions' with lecturers will ensure you receive all the support you need for the topics you study.

You are assessed in a variety of ways to reflect the individual topics, however there are no examinations and all assessment is coursework based. Here’s how we assess your work:

Practice files
Essays
Wikis
Statistical analysis and reports
Literature reviews
A research project

Student Destinations

When embarking on this course, you may benefit from having completed paid or voluntary work with children or adults with intellectual disabilities.

Previous graduates of the course frequently make significant progress in their careers. Some are just in the beginning stages while others move on to senior manager positions and upwards. Past students have also progressed to advanced academic qualifications such as PhDs or professional doctorates.

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