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MSc in Forensic Psychology

  • Length
    1 year full-time, or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Psychology
  • Funding available

Course overview

This MSc provides the academic training required for a career as a forensic psychologist.

The degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society as conferring eligibility for Graduate Membership of the Society and also the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, which is the first step towards becoming a Chartered 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.

Placement

One of the major strengths of this course is our strong links with local forensic mental health services. Our studentships cover tuition fees and a placement opportunity, enabling students to study part-time while working in an NHS or prison setting.

If you will be doing a placement with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust your offer will be conditional on meeting our Fitness to Train requirements before you begin your studies. Other placements will not have these additional conditions.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Adrian Scott

Modules & structure

Overview

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

Structure

The programme is comprised of 7 core modules and 1 option modules.

The core modules are:

  • Assessment and Intervention in Forensic Psychology
  • Psychology, Crime and Law
  • Investigative Forensic Psychology
  • Professional Issues in Psychological Practice
  • Research Design and Analysis
  • 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:

  • Psychopathology
  • Addictive Behaviours
  • Developmental Cognitive Neuropsychology
  • Social Psychology of Social Problems: Intergroup perspective
  • Social-Moral Development
  • Advanced Quantitative Methods
  • Statistical Data Analysis Project

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Department

Psychology at Goldsmiths is ranked joint 3rd in the UK
for the quality of our research*, and in the world's elite**

Psychology

How does music affect mood?
Why do some people believe in the paranormal?
How do people with autism think?

In the Department of Psychology we try and investigate questions like this, conducting research that’s relevant to a range of sectors and industries – from advertising to education, and from banking to the public sector.

You’ll be taught by experts in the field, who are carrying out research that’s world class. And you’ll learn in a department with excellent specialist and general-purpose research laboratories, including:

  • EEG and brain stimulation labs for neuroscience research
  • a visual perception and attention laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art eye tracking systems
  • an infant lab
  • in-house technical support staff

Find out more about the Department of Psychology

*Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
**QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

Skills & careers

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.

Careers

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
  • NHS
  • 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.

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, 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.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

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
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • 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: 30 April 2016.

Applications will be considered as they are submitted so we strongly reccommend you apply as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

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.

Please note that if you want to apply for a placement in a prison setting then we must receive your application by 30th April. Interviews for all shortlisted applicants will take place in May 2017. 

Selection process 

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.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Scholarships

New students starting in 2015 were eligible for a placement opportunity that includes a part-time fees bursary.

There were also up to five funded studentships available, which provided bursaries to cover part-time fees and travel expenses.

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