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MSc-PGDip in Forensic Psychology

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  • Objectives
    Forensic psychology examines psychological theories, methods and processes within the context of the legal, criminal and civil justice systems. In particular it looks at the treatment and assessment of offenders, especially those who are mentally disordered, and contributes to the investigation of crime by examining issues such as identification of suspects, investigative interviewing, psychological profiling and detecting deception. Forensic psychologists work in collaboration with criminal justice practitioners such as the police and the probation service, as well as other psychologists within the special hospitals and the prison service. This programme provides you with knowledge of the contribution that psychology can make in forensic contexts, and in particular with initial core academic subjects which future members of the British Psychological Society's Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP) will be expected to possess. The DFP highlights the need for recognised academic qualifications in forensic psychology and our programme, accredited by the DFP, provides the academic component (Stage 1) on the route to becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist. Graduates of the programme go on to work in all areas of the criminal justice system, with recent students taking posts in the NHS, prison and probation service, as well as with the police force. A number of students each year choose to continue to study for a PhD and a proportion of our graduates eventually return to university to complete clinical training.
  • Entry requirements
    Typical entry requirements Programme requirements include having graduate basis for registration (GBR) with the British Psychological Society, an Upper Second or First in psychology and some relevant research and/or practical experience in a forensic setting.
  • Academic Title
    MSc/PGDip in Forensic Psychology
  • Course description
    MSc/PGDip in Forensic Psychology Module overview

    You will take eight compulsory modules, comprising six core forensic modules and two core research methods modules.

    Core research methods modules

    Research Methods and Data Analysis

    This module provides students with a background in the philosophy underlying research methods and the skills to assess qualitative and quantitative research effectively.

    Research and Professional Skills
    This module provides students with advanced knowledge and understanding of different research strategies through the teaching of practice-based skills that will transfer into working environments.

    Core forensic modules

    Psychology and Criminal Behaviour

    This module introduces students to theories of criminal behaviour, the contexts within which criminal behaviour occurs and the means for managing and evaluating interventions designed to reduce crime and re-offending.

    Treatment and Management of Violence
    This module provides students with advanced knowledge and skills in the treatment and management of violence, risk assessment methods, and dealing with violent offenders, as well as an appreciation of the theoretical underpinnings of violent and aggressive behaviour.

    Aspects of the Investigative Process
    This module introduces students to a range of areas of forensic research that have direct practice implications for police work and the investigation of crime.

    The Legal Process
    This module provides students with an understanding of the processes associated with criminal as well as civil courts and tribunals. A range of issues are addressed, including fitness to stand trial, the role of expert witnesses and the safeguards that exist for the interviewing of children and mentally disabled persons.

    Research and Practice in Forensic Psychology
    This module introduces students to the range of contexts in which forensic psychologists practise, develops communication and team-working skills, and models a professional and ethical approach to colleagues and potential clients.

    Treatment and Management of Sexual Offenders
    This module provides students with advanced knowledge and skills in the treatment and management of sexual offending, along with an appreciation of a range of sexual offending patterns, risk factors, and their interaction with various forms of mental disorder.

    You will also be required to present a dissertation comprising an original piece of empirical research within an area of forensic psychology. The dissertation will be supervised by one of the Department's forensic team, and must be completed within the eleven month span of the Masters programme.

    Programme length
    12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

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