This MSc provides the academic training required for a career as a forensic psychologist.
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. Please check back for details of work placements available for the academic year 2019-20.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Adrian Scott.
What you'll study
For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the Programme Changes page
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 7 compulsory modules and 1 option modules.
The compulsory modules are:
- Assessment and Intervention in Forensic Psychology
- Psychology, Crime and Law
- Professional Issues in Psychological Practice
- Research Design and Analysis
- Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Crime
- Statistical Methods
- Research Project
You then choose one option module, which may be selected from a range of courses offered in the Department of Psychology, for example:
- Addictive Behaviours
- Developmental Cognitive Neuropsychology
- Social Psychology of Social Problems: Intergroup perspective
- Social-Moral Development
- Advanced Quantitative Methods
- Statistical Data Analysis Project
- Investigative Forensic Psychology
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
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, for example, be a Psychology graduate with the BPS Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) interested in working towards a BPS qualification in forensic psychology. Or you could be a practitioner working in the criminal justice and forensic mental health systems who doesn't plan to go on to qualify as a forensic psychologist but who wishes to gain further academic knowledge of the theories and practice of the discipline.
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.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Annual tuition fees
These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.
- Home - full-time: £9700
- Home - part-time: £4850
- International - full-time: £16120
It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.
If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.
In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.
There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.
Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.
How to apply
You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.
Before submitting your application you'll need to have:
- Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
- The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
- If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.
When to apply
We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.
Application deadline: 23 April 2021
Interviews: late April/early May 2021
Decisions: late May/early June 2021
Please note that we have a provisional application deadline of 23 April 2021. This is because the availability of places is likely to be significantly reduced after this date and we may not be able to consider applications after this date.
We strongly recommend that you submit your application by 23 April 2021. Applicants who are successfully shortlisted will be invited for a telephone or Zoom interview during late April/early May 2021. Further details will be provided via email correspondence.
If you're applying for external funding from one of the Research Councils, make sure you submit your application by the deadline they've specified.
Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.
Admission to many programmes is by interview unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.
Find out more about applying.
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.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.