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Forensic Psychology (MSc)

Course Description

This MSc provides the academic training required for a career as a forensic psychologist- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/msc-forensic-psychology/

Are you interested in training to become a forensic psychologist?

Or are you already working in the criminal justice or forensic mental health systems and keen to learn more about the theory and practice behind forensic psychology?

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. For 2015 entry we offered up to five studentships that covered tuition fees and a placement opportunity, enabling students to study part-time while working part-time in an NHS or prison setting.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Fiona Gabbert.

Modules & Structure


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:

Develop your knowledge and understanding of the application of psychology to processes in the criminal and civil justice system (eg investigation, trial, the work of the expert witness)
Develop a thorough knowledge of psychological theories and interventions in relation to a range of specific client groups, such as sexual and violent offenders, people with personality disorder and mental health difficulties, juveniles and victims of crime
Be introduced to a range of psychometric instruments used widely within forensic psychology, and develop your skills in interpreting and communicating the outcome of these assessments
Develop the knowledge and skills required to undertake forensic psychological research, including the design, implementation and interpretation of service evaluations, clinical audit, and outcome research within forensic settings


The programme is comprised of 5 core modules totalling 150 credits and 2 option modules totalling 30 credits.

The core modules will include:

Psychology and Law
Investigation in Forensic Psychology
Assessment and Intervention in Forensic Psychology
Applied research design and analysis
Research project

Two option modules may be selected from a range of courses offered in the Department of Psychology, for example:

Addictive Behaviours
Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Self and Relationships
Psychology and Education
Social-Moral Development

Professional training

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:

-the criminal justice system
-health services
-civil society

Relevant career opportunities are available in the:

-prison and probation service
-police and voluntary sector organisations

Many of these posts will be training positions to allow the completion of the Stage Two qualification in Forensic Psychology described above.

Other entry requirements

Subject to having GBC accreditation, completion of this Masters course will fulfil the requirements of Stage 1 training to become a Chartered Psychologist. For non GBC candidates the qualification will not be recognised as fulfilling Stage 1 DFP training, but will apply retrospectively if GBC is obtained at a later date.


Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

Visit the Forensic Psychology (MSc) page on the Goldsmiths, University of London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Postgraduate placement opportunities for Masters programmes - 5 Awards

Each placement lasts for two years spread over a prison and NHS forensic mental health setting, and includes a bursary of £6,500 to cover part-time fees and travel expenses for travel outside London. The placement involves a minimum of 100 days on placement each academic year, which can be worked over the year on 2-4 days per week.These placements are available through the Department of Psychology's collaboration with the London Pathways Partnership Project, a consortium of local NHS Trusts led by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. The project provides psychologically informed treatment for offenders with personality and other psychological disorders at HMP Swaleside (Isle of Sheppey).

Value of Scholarship(s)

Bursaried placement opportunities


For new students starting in 2015 we are hoping to have five bursaried placement opportunities for people on the following programmes:MSc in Cognitive & Clinical Neuroscience
MSc in Forensic Psychology
MSc in Foundations in Clinical Psychology & Health Services

Application Procedure

Please check our website for details.

Further Information



Banco Santander Scholarships - 7 Awards

In partnership with Banco Santander, Goldsmiths will be awarding seven scholarships to outstanding candidates from within the Santander Universidades network. Each scholarship provides a £5,000 fee waiver and is tenable for one year only.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Scholarships will be open to students applying to study a taught masters degree (excludes MRes and Masters by Research) in any discipline starting in September 2016. The countries targeted (although not exclusively, should exceptional candidates apply from other eligible countries*) will be:Mexico
* The Santander Universidades scheme covers institutions in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Germany, Ghana, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, United Arab Emirates, UK, Uruguay and USA.

Application Procedure

Your scholarship application should be completed online through your myGoldsmiths account. This is the online account that you created in order to apply for a course at Goldsmiths.As part of the application, you'll be asked to answer three questions relevant to the award that you are applying for.For more information, please see the Banco Santander Scholarships page.

Further Information



Goldsmiths Masters Scholarships - 20+ Awards

Please note that scholarship schemes and awards are subject to the availability of funds, and the details given here are subject to change at any time. we therefore encourage you to check this information regularly.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Home and EU students (full-time and part-time).

Application Procedure

Applications for 2015 entry are now closed.

Further Information



The Goldsmiths' Company Postgraduate Bursaries - 4 Awards

Please see website for more details

Value of Scholarship(s)



Students on taught postgraduate programmes (not including MA Filmmaking or PGCEs) starting October 2015. You must be: a UK student; new to postgraduate study; experiencing financial difficulties. You should also demonstrate academic potential and you must not be in receipt of any Goldsmiths, AHRC or ESRC funding.

Application Procedure

Applications for 2015 entry are now closed.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in psychology or a similar relevant subject. You could be a Psychology graduate with the BPS Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) interested in working towards a BPS qualification in forensic psychology, or a practitioner working in the criminal justice and forensic mental health systems who wishes to gain further academic knowledge of the theories and practice of the discipline. IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0).

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Recipient: Goldsmiths, University of London
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