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MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health

Year of entry: 2020

Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Science
Duration
MSc 24 months PT, 12 months FT
Entry requirements

We require you to have:

  • a BSc Psychology degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent , which confers Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) status with the British Psychological Society (BPS). If you are unsure whether your degree will give you eligibility for the GBC, you can check whether your degree was accredited for your intake year on the BPS website ;
  • evidence of attaining a minimum of an Upper Second across all BSc research methods taught units and the dissertation;
  • an understanding of forensic psychology via your personal statement.
  • ideally, you should have some relevant voluntary or paid experience involving forensic settings/forensic clients, eg working with offenders/people at risk of offending, victims, or observation of criminal courtroom proceedings.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants

20 places

How to apply

Please apply via our online application form . See the Application and selection section for details of the supporting documents that we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We process applications as soon as we receive them. The formal deadline is the end of July. We reserve the right to close applications earlier if the course is full.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y Y N N

Course overview

  • Specialise in forensic psychology if you already have a psychology degree and want to work in forensic or forensic mental health services.
  • Study on a course accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
  • Cover topics such as psychology applied to investigative and legal processes, forensic risk assessment, offending behaviour interventions, research methods, and assessment and interventions for personality disorders.
  • Study at a university ranked 7th in the UK for Psychology, according to the 2020 QS World University Rankings.
  • Learn when it suits you through our choice of full-time or part-time study.
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What is Forensic Psychology?

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what studying at Manchester is like. Find out about our  upcoming open days .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2020, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £10,500
    International students (per annum): £24,000
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £5,250
    International students (per annum): £12,000
The University of Manchester has a number of bursaries aimed at removing barriers to masters study for students. Find out if you are eligible.

Additional expenses

The University permits applicants with comparable previous experience to submit an application for consideration of AP(E)L Accreditation Prior (Experiential) Learning. The maximum AP(E)L is 15 credits to a PGCert, 45 credits to a PGDip and 60 credits to a master's.

If your AP(E)L application is successful, the University charges £30 for every 15 credits of AP(E)L. The overall tuition fee is adjusted and then the administrative charge is applied.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

We are dedicated to supporting you to develop your career and professional networks. As a student on this course you will be able to apply to our conference award scheme. The student with the best abstract will be awarded funding to attend a national conference.

Alumni Bursary

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (School of Health Sciences) offers an alumni bursary of a 10% reduction towards tuition fees for successful applicants who are recent University of Manchester graduates and who are commencing one of our postgraduate taught master's programmes in 2020.

The bursary is available to students or alumni who:

  • have graduated since 2015;
  • are registered for an MSc, PGDip or PGCert course at Manchester;
  • hold a first class or 2:1 honours degree;
  • have home or overseas fee status;
  • are applying for full- or part-time study;
  • are self-funded and not in receipt of any other funding support.

The bursary will be applied as a fee reduction automatically for those students and alumni who meet the alumni bursary criteria so there is no application process.

Contact details

School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Contact name
Postgraduate Admissions Team
Telephone
+44 (0)161 306 7604
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/psychology
School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

We require you to have:

  • a BSc Psychology degree (minimum Upper Second) or overseas equivalent , which confers Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) status with the British Psychological Society (BPS). If you are unsure whether your degree will give you eligibility for the GBC, you can check whether your degree was accredited for your intake year on the BPS website ;
  • evidence of attaining a minimum of an Upper Second across all BSc research methods taught units and the dissertation;
  • an understanding of forensic psychology via your personal statement.
  • ideally, you should have some relevant voluntary or paid experience involving forensic settings/forensic clients, eg working with offenders/people at risk of offending, victims, or observation of criminal courtroom proceedings.

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system. We ask for English language proof from applicants from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS : minimum 7.0 overall including 7.0 in the written section 
  • TOEFL: 100, including 25 in the written section

See further information about requirements for your country .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other entry requirements

GBC status is achieved by completion of a psychology degree that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

GBC status is necessary to become eligible for full membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP) within the BPS and subsequent status as a Chartered member of the Society. GBC status is also required as part of the application to register as a forensic psychologist with the HCPC. To graduate from this route, it is therefore important that you provide evidence of your GBC status. You may gain evidence of GBC status by applying to the BPS. Further information can be found on the BPS website

Application and selection

How to apply

Myles Chadwick

"Because the cohort is so small, you can build a pretty close bond within the first couple of weeks - we certainly have!

This makes for a great atmosphere in lectures and means you're not hesitant to share your ideas."

Myles Chadwick / Student

Please apply via our online application form . See the Application and selection section for details of the supporting documents that we require.

We recommend that you apply as early as possible. We process applications as soon as we receive them. The formal deadline is the end of July. We reserve the right to close applications earlier if the course is full.

Advice to applicants

Your application must include the following documents:

  • evidence of attaining a minimum Upper Second in BSc Psychology;
  • evidence of attaining a minimum Upper Second in all BSc research taught units and dissertation (e.g. copies of official degree certificates with translations if not in English);
  • two academic references on letter headed paper or sent from work emails. Professional references can be provided in instances where you have been out of university for more than 3 years. We do not contact referees directly so please inform them yourself;
  • a personal statement. This should be a page in length and must demonstrate your understanding of the role of the forensic psychologist, what you see as the future of Forensic Psychology and why you want to study Forensic Psychology, ideally also outlining your research interests and experience;
  • A 500 word (maximum [excluding references]) research proposal suitable to undertake for an MSc dissertation project. This should include: a summary of relevant background research; aims and research questions; proposed methodology; proposed analysis.
  • full CV including voluntary experience;
  • a scanned copy of your passport;
  • proof of English language proficiency (if required).

This is a very competitive course, so it's important to put a lot of effort into your personal statement.

Supporting documents can be uploaded with the online application form, or emailed to pgt.mentalhealth@manchester.ac.uk . We are unable to consider your application if you have not provided all of the necessary documents listed above.

Please make sure you include your University ID number on any correspondence and do not send any documents before you have submitted your application.

How your application is considered

Offers are made on the basis of application and interview. 

You must be able to demonstrate prior knowledge and understanding of the role of the forensic psychologist and psychological research skills as part of the application form/selection and interview process.

Skills, knowledge, abilities, interests

All applicants will be expected to have basic IT skills, familiarity with the internet and access to a PC and/or laptop.

Interview requirements

If your application is considered, you will attend a 30-minute interview. You will be required to present your research proposal, which you submitted with your application, as a ten-minute presentation. 

The interview will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions about the course and the University.

Interview dates for the September intake will be held monthly throughout the year, either face-to-face or via Skype.

Applications will be considered up until June for a September start. However, as we consider applications on a first come, first served basis, it is likely that the course will be full by March/April.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

Self-funded international applicants will be required to pay a deposit of £1,000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Please upload a copy of your current valid passport with your application showing the photograph page with your application. For CAS purposes, this must show your full name, date of birth, nationality, passport number and the date the passport is valid until - which must be later than the date of your planned arrival in the UK, and the start date of your course.

You cannot use your CAS to apply for a visa more than three months before the start date of your course.

Your CAS number is only valid for one Tier 4 application.

Deferrals

Deferrals are considered on an individual basis. Successful applicants may defer entry to the course for up to one year.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application, you should demonstrate how your application has improved.

We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course. 

Course details

Course description

Our MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health course is aimed at graduates who want to pursue a career as a Chartered Psychologist and/or register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Forensic Psychologist.

You will cover topics such as psychology applied to legal and investigative processes, forensic risk assessment, offending behaviour interventions, research methods, and personality disorders.

Teaching will comprise a blend of face-to-face and online delivery, and will be based on case examples from forensic and clinical practice.

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

The BPS outlined five commendations following the January 2018 BPS accreditation visit:

  • The Programme Director, programme team and administrative team have worked extremely hard to develop a high quality programme that meets all of the Society's standards.
  • The programme has been designed to have a fully embedded mental health flavour which makes the programme distinctive.
  • The programme team is approachable and supportive to the students and this is greatly valued.
  • The pilot of the reflective log for understanding the professional skills that the programme embeds is innovative and well thought-out.
  • The senior management team has shown commitment in supporting the programme and its team in their development for the future.

Aims

On completion of the course, you will demonstrate a number of competencies and have enhanced knowledge and skills including:

  • a systematic and critical awareness of current knowledge, theory and evidence base relevant to the discipline of forensic psychology;
  • a comprehensive understanding of relevant ethical, legal and professional practice frameworks;
  • a critical awareness of current psychological approaches to the understanding of the development and treatment of offending behaviour and mental health conditions;
  • appreciation of approaches to working with different client groups in forensic practice (eg victims of crime, offenders, professional groups, organisations);
  • advanced research skills to develop and implement a forensic-related research project.

Each unit enables you to develop a range of core and transferable skills central to the role of a forensic/practitioner psychologist. The course promotes the development of critical thinking and student engagement.

Special features

Mental health focus

Our unique focus on mental health throughout the units within this MSc may give you a distinct advantage over an MSc in forensic psychology at another university.

Expert teaching

The programme team comprises of psychologists with experience across a broad range of forensic/forensic mental health settings and specialist forensic/forensic mental health researchers. This enhances learning by offering numerous practice-based clinical examples and research-led teaching.

Conference award scheme

We are keen to support our students' career development. As a student on this course you will be able to apply to our conference award scheme. The student with the best abstract will be awarded funding to attend a national conference where they can showcase their research. This is a great opportunity to develop your skills and network with others in the field.

Teaching and learning

We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including face-to-face lectures, online activity, directed and guided independent study, and group tasks.

We aim to provide a grounding in current issues in forensic psychology while encouraging significant independent study, as would be expected at postgraduate level.

All teaching is delivered by clinicians currently practicing in forensic mental health and/or active researchers. This enhances learning by offering numerous practice-based clinical examples and research-led teaching.

All teaching is interactive and is supported by audio-visual stimuli such as PowerPoint slides, images and videos. All units are accessible via Blackboard, which contains timetable information, recommended reading lists, assignments, lecture materials and other material related to the course.

The scientist-practitioner approach will be advocated throughout the course, as will reflective practice and adherence to ethical and professional standards of practice as defined by the BPS and HCPC.

The teaching is designed to enable you to balance study alongside existing workplace demands. The full-time pathway is delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays, while part-time students would be required to attend only one day a week per semester (Tuesdays in year 1 and Thursdays in year 2).

All students will be assigned a personal tutor and regular individual and group tutorials will be held.

Coursework and assessment

We use a range of assessment methods to meet learning outcomes while also developing wider skills and capabilities in line with progression to a career in forensic psychology.

These include critical analysis of literature and theory, case reports, analysis of ethical and professional practice standards (as applied to clinical practice and research), a reflective account, oral presentations and the empirical research project.

You will be given detailed formal feedback for all summative assessments, with clear guidance on how to improve on skills and knowledge.

All students will complete the dissertation project (60 credits), which involves completing a forensic research project, and will take the lead on developing the research question and proposal, as well as conducting the data collection, analysis and dissemination.

You will receive approximately 28 hours of supervision throughout the dissertation project.

Course unit details

This course is offered on both a full and part-time basis. For the part-time option, you will be offered 60 credits per year over two years, one day per week. The second year will also include the dissertation.

For the full-time option, you will be offered 60 credits per semester over two days per week. The dissertation will commence as soon as possible within the academic year.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Introduction to Forensic Psychology and Professional Practice PSYC62301 30 Mandatory
Psychology Applied to Investigative and Legal Processes PSYC62401 15 Mandatory
Offending Behaviour Interventions PSYC68762 15 Mandatory
Personality Disorder Assessment and Intervention (FP) PSYC68772 15 Mandatory
Clinical Risk Assessment, Formulation and Management (FP) PSYC68782 15 Mandatory
Dissertation (Forensic Psychology) PSYC68790 60 Mandatory
Research methods I: Design and principles PSYC68801 15 Mandatory
Research Methods II: Advanced analysis PSYC68812 15 Mandatory
Reflective skills portfolio PSYC68880 0 Mandatory

What our students say

Find out more about what it's like to study Forensic Psychology and Mental Health at Manchester on our student blog .

Facilities

The University of Manchester offers extensive library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

Careers

Career opportunities

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How to qualify as a Forensic Psychologist

Forensic psychologists work across all agencies within the criminal justice system, primarily in prison and probation services, secure hospitals, the police and the courts. These agencies and organisations will be your primary employers if you graduate from this MSc.

Our course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Discover more about a career in forensic psychology on the BPS website and the University's careers website .

Qualifying as a Forensic Psychologist after gaining an MSc

Gaining a BPS accredited MSc is the first step towards becoming a Forensic Psychologist. The next step is to complete approved applied training, one route is the Qualification in Forensic Psychology provided by the BPS. This short video offers information about the training route.

Career opportunities

For more information about a career as a Psychologist in Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service please see the following videos.

  • Hear Sagheer's story reflecting on his changing role in the Prison and Probation service over the years.
  • Hear Georgia's story reflecting on her development in the Prison and Probation service over the years.
  • Hear Karensa's story reflecting on her development in the Prison and Probation service over the years.
  • The Prison and Probation Service is the biggest single employer of psychologists in the country. It works hard to understand the  real story  inside the people it works with.

Accrediting organisations