Forensic Psychology MSc

Forensic Psychology MSc

School of Psychology


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Full-time: 12 months, Part-time: 24 months

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

The MSc Forensic Psychology course provides a strong emphasis on the application of Forensic Psychology in professional practice, and practising Forensic psychologists are employed by the School to lecture on the course. All of the more theoretical modules include topics on how the theory is applied in practice. The MSc reflects the academic skills underpinning the application of psychology to a forensic setting.

MSc Forensic Psychology attends to victims and offenders. With regard to the latter, it follows the progression of an offender from their first contact with the criminal justice system until their eventual release into the community and/or transfer to conditions of less security. The role of on-going assessment, intervention and throughcare are emphasised throughout.

Register Now for Our Virtual Open Day & Online Chat Events Register Now for Our Virtual Open Day & Online Chat Events

Entry Requirements

Students should have a minimum of an upper second class honours degree in Psychology (or an equivalent Psychology qualification) recognised by the BPS as conferring GBC.

Students with a degree that does not confer GBC are advised to apply for the MSc Psychology (Conversion) course and then to consider applying for this course. Students with a relevant lower second class honours degree, but showing a good final year performance, including a good quality dissertation/research project, will be considered on an individual basis.

A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent qualifications.

Programme at a Glance

Year 1

  • Advanced Methods in Psychology 1 (full- and part-time)
  • Psychology and the Legal System
  • Personal Attributes of Offenders and Victims
  • Forensic Risk Assessment (full- and part-time)
  • Advanced Methods in Psychology 2 (full- and part-time)
  • Professional Practice: Forensic Consultancy and Supervision
  • Psychology, Investigation and the Courtroom (full- and part-time)
  • Violent and Sexual Offenders: Intervention
  • Forensic Mental Health (full- and part-time)
  • Advanced Forensic Psychology Project (year-long module)

Year 2

Part-time only:

  • Psychology and the Legal System
  • Personal Attributes of Offenders and Victims
  • Professional Practice: Forensic Consultancy and Supervision
  • Violent and Sexual Offenders: Intervention
  • Advanced Forensic Psychology Project (year-long module)


Further Information

The major aim of this postgraduate course is to equip psychology graduates with the British Psychological Society Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) for Stage 1 professional training in Forensic Psychology, and to equip them with some of the knowledge needed for future practice as Chartered Forensic Psychologists, following completion of Stage 2 training - a minimum of two years supervised practice. MSc Forensic Psychology reflects the academic skills underpinning the application of psychology to a forensic setting. It is currently accredited by the British Psychological Society to provide Stage 1 (academic) training for Full Membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology. In common with other accredited MSc courses, Stage 2 training for Full Membership (supervised practice element) is not provided via the MSc.

This course incorporates changes reflecting the demand for quality training within the UK and other EU countries. The course aims to facilitate and evaluate student competence in core academic areas of forensic psychology, through supportive seminars, lectures, coursework, examination and independent study and research supervision. A final aim is to facilitate and evaluate student competence in the production of a research project designed to assess their ability to integrate core information from the course, implement it within a research setting, and demonstrate a good level of organisational and communication skills. Stage 2 training (a minimum of two years supervised practice) is not provided by the MSc and students will need to complete Stage 2 in order to qualify a Forensic Psychologists. The MSc does not contribute towards Stage 2 training.

The course comprises nine compulsory modules, which include advanced methods in psychology, applying psychology to the legal process, attributes of offenders and victims, forensic mental health, forensic risk assessment (including HCR-20 training), professional practice, intervention with offenders, and a research dissertation. Teaching methods include lectures, seminars and self-directed study and assessment is by a combination of exam and coursework.

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).

In addition to the postgraduate application form please can you also complete and return the Research Interest Form


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £8,500 (UK/EU)
Part-time: £945 per 20 credits (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information

Industry Links

BPS logo

Dr Carol Ireland, MSc course director – Winner of the ‘Excellence in Forensic Psychology’



Learning Environment and Assessment

This course is delivered through lectures, seminars, practical workshops and independent learning sessions. Taught units account for 75 per cent of the award. The primary purpose of the taught component is to further students’ academic knowledge (including of advanced research methodology) and how this can be applied to Forensic Psychology in practice. The remaining 25 per cent of the course is based on an advanced research project; a substantial empirical investigation that will make a contribution to Forensic Psychology.

In the spring of 2019 the library dedicated additional space for postgraduate students, the Postgraduate Room in the Library (LIB242). This is a quiet study space with networked PC’s, a small meeting area and a large presentation screen. This area provides an additional resource for our postgraduates alongside the extensive laboratory facilities in the Darwin Building.

Online timetable available here


A number of our graduates acquire trainee forensic psychologist positions, or go on to other careers associated with the Legal and/or Criminal Justice System.

The MSc Forensic Psychology course does not directly source work experience and does not offer placements, yet does actively support students in seeking employment, being paid or voluntary.