Forensic Psychology (MSc)

Newcastle University the United Kingdom

For more information about Forensic Psychology at Newcastle University, please visit the webpage using the button above.

The award
MSc

How long you will study
12 months

Domestic course fees
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How you will study
full-time

Course starts
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International course fees
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All study options

About Forensic Psychology at Newcastle University

This course will provide you with an advanced understanding of the theoretical and applied issues in forensic psychology. Our scientist-practitioner approach equips you with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in forensic psychology practice.

The MSc in Forensic Psychology offers comprehensive professional training in forensic psychology. You will gain an in-depth experience of offending and victim pathways, as well as the investigative process. Through the use of a structured framework, you will also study theory and conduct research relating to forensic psychology practice. The course has two different routes:

Forensic Psychology, MSc (Accredited)

This route is fully accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), thereby accounting for Stage 1 of the Qualification in Forensic Psychology. Students enrolling on this route must have a first degree in psychology providing Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the BPS. We will attempt to provide you with a placement within local forensic units (ie HM Prison Service, NHS, Police, or the Forensic Interview Laboratory within the School of Psychology), however, this is not always guaranteed for all students.

Forensic Psychology, MSc (Non-accredited)

This route is not accredited by the BPS and therefore does not fulfil Stage 1 of the BPS qualification in Forensic Psychology. If a student on this non-accredited route wanted to progress onto Stage 2 of the Qualification in Forensic Psychology in the future, they would need to go back and complete the necessary conversion programme to give them the requisite GBC with the BPS.

This route is aimed primarily at those students who do not possess a first degree in psychology providing GBC with the BPS, but whose degree covers research methods and statistics relevant to psychology (eg a joint or combined honours degree which includes psychology, or an international psychology degree that does not confer GBC with the BPS). Other qualifications/experience may be acceptable and will be considered by the Programme Director (eg mental health specialists, police officers, prison officers). 

No placements will be provided on this route (with the exception of the Forensic Interview Laboratory within the School of Psychology - space permitting). You are, however, free to gain access to your own placement.

Northumbria Police are proud to support this course and to be working in collaboration with the School of Psychology at Newcastle University.

You will develop your understanding of forensic psychology in a multi-disciplinary and professional context. We promote collaborative teaching and research through our strong links with UK forensic psychology practitioners, including Her Majesty's Prison Service, the National Health Service (NHS) and Police.

You will gain demonstrable, advanced knowledge and critical understanding in:

  • theories and professional issues of forensic psychology
  • the breadth and depth of forensic psychology
  • the role of psychology within the legal system (civil and criminal)
  • the National Offender Management system
  • legislation under which forensic psychologists work
  • investigative psychology and forensic interviewing
  • investigative process from pre-trial/conviction to through/after-care and restorative justice
  • legal, ethical and contextual issues in the evaluation of research and practice
  • debating and using evidence from appropriate literature
  • legal processes

You will also gain professional skills in:

  • writing parole board and analytical reports
  • developing forensic case formulations
  • independent learning
  • project planning
  • problem solving
  • time management
  • teamwork
  • reflection

Your specialist skills and knowledge will be developed through a combination of:

  • written reports
  • reflective journals
  • interview guides
  • oral presentations

Our staff

Our staff are experts in the field of forensic psychology and offer a range of research specialisms, such as:

Professor Gavin Oxburgh, Forensic Psychologist (Degree Programme Director):

• investigative Interviewing and the use of empathy during suspect interviews
• the social and cognitive processes associated with achieving co-operation and the elicitation of memories from eye-witnesses and suspects of crime
• miscarriages of justice
• the interviewing of high-interest groups (HIGs), such as sex offenders and murderers

Faye Horsley, Forensic Psychologist (Deputy Programme Director):

• formulation of offenders
• assessment and Treatment of offenders
• working with personality disordered offenders
• adult fire setting and arson

Professor Gwyneth Doherty-Sneddon, (Head of School)

• the visuospatial processing links between visual social cues and visual non-social information (as in mental imaging) 
• how children adapt to different communication media (eg face-to-face versus live video links) 
• children's patterns of gaze as indicators of internal cognitive states like thinking and concentration 
• gaze aversion as cognitive load management in people with neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and Williams syndrome

Other notable members of staff include Professor Dame Vicki Bruce, and Dr Amy Fielden.

We also welcome guest lecturers from:

• members of The Judiciary
• HM Prison Service
• the NHS
• Northumbria Police
• the Norwegian Police University College
• staff from the Newcastle Law School

Delivery

This course is taught and based on the Newcastle campus and delivered by the School of Psychology. Teaching is delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 5pm, however, some days and timings may change.

Facilities

The School of Psychology provides high quality facilities to all our students, researchers and staff. We are located in the Ridley Building where you will have access to a postgraduate resources room with networked computers and printer.

Accreditation

This course has been accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). The accreditation shows that the course meets the standards set by the BPS.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMScHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study12 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out
  • The awardMScHow you will studyPart-timeHow long you will study24 months
    Course starts find outDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Notes about fees for this course

See our course fees and funding webpage - http://www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/degrees/forensic-psychology-msc/#fees&funding

Entry requirements

The course has two different routes and entry requirements for those with, and without the Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Council.

Forensic Psychology, MSc (Accredited)

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in psychology, which provides Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Forensic Psychology, MSc (Non-accredited)

A minimum of a 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in psychology (joint or combined honours which includes psychology, or an international psychology degree) that does not confer GBC with the BPS.

Other qualifications/experience may be acceptable and will be considered by the Degree Programme Director (eg mental health specialists, police officers, prison officers).

If shortlisted for interview, students on this route must be able to satisfy the interview panel that they have the ability to successfully complete a module in advanced research methods and statistics.

Given the applied nature of the course (accredited and non-accredited routes), you must have either: (i) an undergraduate dissertation in forensic psychology (or relevant area), and/or; (ii) relevant work/research experience in a forensic environment (voluntary or paid), such as:

  • victim/witness support
  • the police
  • Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
  • the NHS
  • forensic-relevant charities
  • non-forensic charities which may link to forensic work
  • relevant research assistant experience

International Students

To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:

Direct Entry: IELTS 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 7.0 in all sub-skills).

Pre-sessional English Language courses are not accepted as an alternative entry to this course.

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

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