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Forensic Psychology MSc

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 1 year Two days throughout the academic year, plus two days in placement over a consecutive period of 15 weeks, plus other days by arrangement September 2017
Part time 2 years Please contact us to discuss September 2017

Choose Kingston's Forensic Psychology MSc

This course has been designed to meet the significant growth in the job market for forensic psychologists. It draws on the University's established expertise in criminology and psychology, and includes the opportunity to undertake a work placement, enabling you to put what you have learnt into practice and gain valuable skills and experience. On successful completion, you will be able to develop your career as a forensic psychologist in, for example, prison settings, probation, crime analysis units and academia.

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

You can also study the joint degree of Criminology with Forensic Psychology MA.

Find out more about this course:

Key features

  • This course is accredited by the Forensic Psychology Division of the British Psychological Society (BPS) as an accredited Stage 1 masters programme.
  • A minimum of 15 weeks will be spent on an organised placement at a number of settings including high and medium security hospitals and in-reach prison teams.
  • The course content is underpinned by research, and modules will be informed by the latest research in the subject area, keeping it up to date with the latest developments.
  • You will benefit from the close links our staff have with forensic settings located in the southwest of London and the surrounding area.

What will you study?

Forensic psychology is concerned with the psychological issues associated with criminal behaviour and the treatment of those who have committed offences. It refers to the investigation of deception fraud, crime and the psychological aspects of legal and judicial process. You will learn how psychology is applied in various forensic settings and will be introduced to the role of the forensic psychologist in practice. You will also gain knowledge of the legal aspects of forensic psychology, such as considerations for courts and sentencing, and will examine the aetiology of criminal behaviour in depth.


A variety of assessment methods is employed on this course, including essays, reports, presentations, evaluation of placement activities, laboratory reports and a dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • This module will enhance students understanding of the key processes that underpin prosocial and antisocial behaviour. Students will gain understanding of how biopsychosocial processes can impact on the development of criminal behaviour and neurodevelopmental disorders. Students will extend their understanding of the organisation of prisons and forensic mental health services and will achieve some understanding of the assessment and treatment of offenders. Students will also learn to evaluate the evidence that supports psychological and biological treatments for those with mental disorders which will enable them to consider its application to forensic psychology practice.

  • This module will enhance students’ understanding of the application of forensic psychology. Students will gain knowledge and understanding about organisations in which they might work as a forensic psychologist and the systems and structures within these settings. Students will gain an understanding of the skills required when working as a reflective scientist-practitioner. Students will also gain knowledge of the foundations of assessment and intervention including theory practice links, critical evaluation, training and consultancy. Students will engage with this material through a series of interactive workshops and their participation in either a forensic work based placement or an applied research placement.

  • This module covers a range of theoretical and applied topics regarding investigative and judicial processes. For example, psychological principles may be applied to investigative approaches to interviewing, detecting deception, bearing false witness, offender profiling, case linkage, eyewitness memory, jury behaviour and decision-making, examining the state of mind and assessment, and expert psychological testimony (ethics, code of practice, report writing and practice). By taking this approach the student develops a critical understanding of pertinent stages in the investigative process where psychology may be used to improve interviewing strategies, as in the employment of the cognitive interview to assist in the improvement of witnesses’ memory recall. This course then develops upon the investigative knowledge base provided by encouraging students to identify areas within the courtroom process where psychological techniques could be utilised. Thus, students are taken on an analytical and evaluative journey of the key criminal justice processes of the investigation and presentation of evidence in cases.

  • The dissertation project will be based on a critical literature review addressing complex and contradictory evidence and will usually require carrying out an empirical study using one or more methodologies of data collection such as experiments, observation, psychometric testing, surveys and questionnaires, interviews and field studies. In all cases, the dissertation will involve the analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative data, as well as the presentation and critical evaluation of research findings. Through independent study and meetings with a project supervisor, the dissertation project will allow students to better understand the role of research methodologies, theoretical considerations and ethical issues in psychological research.

  • The module provides an advanced coverage of the design and analysis of psychological research. Building on a revision of intermediate inferential statistics (e.g. ANOVA, factorial ANOVA, regression and multiple regression), the course moves quickly towards a consideration of more advanced and specialised quantitative methods (e.g., multivariate statistics, co-variance, structural equation modelling, factor analysis, meta-analysis and advanced regression techniques) and their applications. The course introduces principles of questionnaire design, evaluation and data analysis, along with advanced qualitative research methods. The laboratory workshops combine formal teaching with hands-on activities. The material provides an important foundation for the development and execution of the master’s level research dissertation.


Optional modules to be confirmed.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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Contact us

Admissions team


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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