This British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Forensic Psychology Masters degree is designed to prepare psychology graduates with the academic knowledge and skills necessary to conduct practical work and research within a forensic context. The BPS accreditation means that by obtaining the MSc in Forensic Psychology you'll be completing the first stage in your professional training required by the BPS to become a qualified practitioner within the field of forensic psychology (Chartered Forensic Psychologist).
The focus on blending research and practical expertise is reflected in the course team, which consists of forensic practitioners or academics who each have considerable experience working with offenders and victims in a range of forensic contexts in the UK. Attached to the MSc in Forensic Psychology is the Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU), which incorporates a group of active researchers currently engaged in collaborative work with:
- HM Prison Service
- the Police Service
- the National Health Service (NHS)
- High Secure Hospitals.
How you're taught
The course is delivered primarily through lectures, interactive workshops and discussions, small group teaching and one-on-one supervision.
A particular feature of the MSc in Forensic Psychology at NTU is the weekly small group Reflective Practice tutorials, designed to facilitate emotional as well as cognitive development in students as they enter the frequently taxing world of forensic psychology. This is a great opportunity that this course offers to develop in reflective practice, a key skill for the stage two training and your future career as a Forensic Psychologist.
Assessments will be diverse in format and will include:
- examinations (seen and unseen)
- practical reports
- a consultancy report
- a research project
- a forensic practice portfolio.
A supportive and active research environment
The team working on the Masters have a variety of different backgrounds in Forensic Psychology with a strong emphasis on practice and applied research. Due to their vast experience, including three chartered and registered forensic psychologists with a combined experience of over 40 years, and internationally renowned researchers, the staff at NTU have wide-scale ongoing collaborations with forensic organisations. These include HMP Whatton, HMP Nottingham and Brixton (Local and resettlement prisons) and Rampton High Secure hospital. Thus, students' forensic projects typically involve 'hands on' experience within a forensic environment, supervised by an experienced forensic member of the team.
Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU)
SOCAMRU was set up in 2007 to build upon the collaborative relationship of ongoing research between the Psychology Department at NTU and HMP Whatton (which holds approximately 850 convicted male sex offenders). The unit's primary aim is to conduct and facilitate applied forensic research in the area of sexual offending and sexual crime, with the research unit sitting at the juxtaposition between the world of prison and that of academia. The unit has continued to broaden its focus and develop new collaborations, including research within HMP Nottingham, HMP Lowdham Grange and Rampton High Secure hospital. The unit is continually developing specialism in mixed method evaluations of interventions to provide comprehensive and reliable findings.
You may also be interested in finding out about our Addiction and Aberrant Behaviours research group.
Careers and employability
Becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist
In order to become eligible to obtain Chartered Forensic Psychologist status you will need to be a Graduate Member of the Society with the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership and have successfully completed a Society accredited MSc in Forensic Psychology, which this course provides.
With this course completed, you will need to complete a Qualification in Forensic Psychology Stage 2 (QFP Stage 2) consisting of two years' full time supervised practice (or part-time equivalent). Further information can be found on the BPS website.
During the course you will study selected modules which cover the key knowledge and research skills recommended by the Division of Forensic Psychology in the British Psychological Society. The course will also equip you with core practical skills that will facilitate your progression towards becoming a practitioner in the field of forensic psychology.
Students generally choose the MSc Forensic Psychology because they wish to qualify as a BPS Chartered and Health and Care Professions Council Registered forensic psychologist and to pursue a career in forensic psychology. Others may choose to use their qualification as a stepping stone toward doctoral training in clinical psychology, to work in criminal justice and mental health settings, e.g. police, prison, probation services, the NHS, and so on.
It is also possible to pursue an academic and / or research career in psychology following graduation (for example by working as a research assistant or associate, or by studying for a PhD). Indeed, your qualification in forensic psychology is likely to be popular with a whole range of potential employers because, in addition to possessing in-depth theoretical knowledge of forensic psychology, you will also have demonstrated an ability to write essays and reports and to present in front of other people (amongst other transferable skills).
What are graduates of the MSc Forensic Psychology doing now?
The job titles below give you an indication of the careers our recent MSc Forensic Psychology graduates are following.
- Offender coordinator
- Probation service officer
- Psychological assistant
- Research assistant
- Offender behaviour programme facilitator
- Trainee forensic psychologist in a secure hospital
- Behavioural support mentor in a school
- Mental health recovery worker
- Forensic support worker
- OBP facilitator and assistant forensic psychologist
- Therapy coordinator
- Mental health adviser at a university.
*Data extracted from the Nottingham Trent University Graduate Destinations Database 2009-10 to 2013-14
You may also be interested in pursuing a place on a clinical psychology doctoral route or research roles or PhD study on a forensic area.
As a psychology student you will benefit from our dedicated learning environment. We have specialist research laboratories including eye trackers, motion capture labs and an £80,000 EEG system. These facilities support staff research as well as student projects in the exciting areas of human cognition, behavioural neuroscience, human interaction and communication, and human development.
You will also have easy access to fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings including:
- Lecture theatres and teaching classrooms;
- Open access PCs and secure wireless points;
- Study areas and social spaces;
- Chaucer cafe serving drinks and light snacks;
- Our brand new School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff.