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Forensic Psychology (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

Course Description

MSc Forensic Psychology at Winchester provides the academic component (Stage 1) of the route to becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist with the British Psychological Society (BPS's) Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP) and Practitioner Forensic Psychologist status with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The programme also supports students with the transition towards Stage 2 of the chartership process by providing opportunities to volunteer in forensic practice placements to gain suitable experience and by incorporating practice-based assessments.

Programme Content

The programme introduces the context and application of psychology in various forensic settings - this includes the legal and criminal justice system, forensic psychological practice and forensic mental health. Students 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).

Students gain the ability to appropriately design, conduct, analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological research in a chosen specialised research area within forensic psychology.

An important feature of the programme is to provide students with the skills and knowledge requirement for Stage 1 of the chartership process, as well as supporting the transition towards Stage 2. There is an emphasis on reflective practice skills, and professional and ethical practice in the workplace. There are also opportunities for volunteering in forensic practice placements.

See the website http://www.winchester.ac.uk/Studyhere/Pages/msc-forensic-psychology.aspx


- Foundations of Forensic Psychology Practice
- Investigative Psychology
- Assessment and Consultancy within Forensic Practice
- Specialist Skills in Treatment and Interventions
- The Criminal Justice System and the Legal Framework
- Psychological Research Methods
- Empirical Research Project

Learning and Teaching

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, eye tracking, EEG and social observation.


A variety of assessment methods are employed including essays, literature reviews, report writing, presentations, court reports, training proposals, treatment case scenarios and examinations.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that 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 in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.


The programme provides the first step (Stage 1) towards gaining Chartered Forensic Psychologist status with the BPS.

Visit the Forensic Psychology (MSc/PgDip/PgCert) page on the University of Winchester website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

A first or second-class Honours degree (or recognised equivalent qualification) in psychology and Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Students who do not fulfil this GBC entry requirement are considered on an individual basis by the programme team. If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.5 (including 6.5 in academic writing) or equivalent.

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