Forensic Psychology MSc

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.

MSc, MSc Award
Full-time, Part-time Study Mode
12 months Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

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). See also relevant experience requirement below.

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.

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