Accredited1 by the British Psychological Society (BPS), this course is designed to provide you with a thorough grounding in the theory, themes, issues and practical skills we consider to be central to forensic psychology.
The course has been designed to cover the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology's (DFP) core curriculum, which includes foundational topics such as the theoretical basis of forensic psychology across a range of settings and risk assessments associated with forensic psychology.
This course is designed for people who are embarking on, or who wish to continue in, a career associated with forensic psychology in a range of forensic settings without specialising at this point, or for those who wish to undertake a postgraduate programme before determining their future career trajectory in forensic psychology.
You will have an opportunity to study a range of topics associated with forensic psychology, including offending behaviour and the Criminal Justice System. You will also explore the theories, research and practice related to intervention with diverse client groups, with a specific focus on violence and sexual offending.
Throughout the course you will investigate what makes people think, feel and act in ways that lead to crime, and how our Criminal Justice System can respond to this. This course also offers coverage of legal approaches that we consider to be relevant to psychology.
Coventry, United Kingdom
Why you should study this course
This course is accredited1 by the British Psychological Society (BPS) providing Stage 1 requirements towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist (see accreditation section for full details).
Our current staff for this course have many years of combined, varied professional psychological experience, either as British Psychological Society Chartered/Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registered Members themselves, and/or as active researchers. Please note staff may be subject to change.
This course is delivered on campus full-time over one year, starting in September. It can also be studied online on a part-time basis over two years, starting in January – Forensic Psychology MSc (online). We recommend the part-time option for anyone who has significant responsibilities outside of university, life, because although the content is the same, the delivery is at half the intensity. There is also a sister course, the Forensic Psychology and Mental Health MSc which is available campus-based or online, if you’d prefer to specialise further at this stage. Please read the linked pages for information on each option, to ensure you choose the best option for you.
Five core mandatory modules will be delivered alongside students on these aligned MSc courses. Additionally, three mandatory pathway modules will then be delivered separately for students on the Forensic Psychology MSc to specialise the content and differentiate them from the Forensic Psychology and Mental Health MSc course. It is therefore important to read all course webpages related to the two pathways and compare the specific topic areas covered, to ensure you apply for the most appropriate course for you.
You will have the opportunity to gain a CMI Level 7 Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice, upon successful completion of the relevant module.
What you'll study
The content and assessment strategy are the same on the full-time campus-based and part-time online versions of the course. However, on this full-time version, all eight Modules are studied in one year, rather than four per year on the part-time online version. Five Core Modules are shared with the MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health. However, there are three pathway modules which differentiate the courses. It is important to read all four course webpages and compare the specific topic areas covered, and the number of modules studied at one time, and the number of modules studied at one time, to pick the most appropriate course to apply for.
Pathway mandatory modules
These modules are specialised and studied solely by students enrolled on the Forensic Psychology MSc courses only.
Offending Behaviour and the Criminal Justice System - 20 credits
This module aims to develop your understanding of the knowledge and contribution psychology has made to the understanding of criminal behaviour. A range of psychological theories will be examined, evaluated, and applied to processes within the criminal justice system from investigative settings (e.g., eyewitness testimony) to legal procedures (e.g. jury and legal decision making).
Intervention Across Different Client Groups - 20 credits
The aim of this module is to provide you with an opportunity to develop an understanding of the theories, research and practice related to interventions with diverse client groups, with a specific focus on violence and sexual offending.
Professional Practice in Forensic Psychology - 20 credits
The aim of this module is to engage you in considering professional and practice issues (e.g., ethical legal) in forensic psychology, which impact on the work carried out by forensic psychologists in the diverse settings in which they work.
Core mandatory modules
These modules are mandatory for the Forensic Psychology MSc and Forensic Psychology and Mental Health MSc courses.
Ethical Research and Methods in Forensic Psychology - 40 credits
This module aims to provide you with direct practical experience of how to design, conduct and report quantitative and qualitative research in forensic psychology. The module is intended to provide an interconnected understanding of research methods and designing projects, with the aim of enabling you to progress the conceptual understanding necessary to develop research proposals. The module is also designed to help you develop the skills and knowledge required to summarise, analyse and present research findings relevant to the subject area.
The Legal Process - 10 credits
This module seeks to provide you with a general awareness and understanding of comparative law and the legal systems (e.g. inquisitorial vs adversarial systems). This module is aimed at enabling you to appreciate the nature and functions of the criminal and civil justice systems, as well as the distinctions between them.
Risk Assessment and Management in Forensic Settings - 20 credits
This module is designed to provide you with a thorough grounding in the underpinning theory and methods of risk assessment and risk management utilised within forensic settings.
Dissertation in Forensic Psychology - 40 credits
The aim of the dissertation is to give you the opportunity to engage in supervised but independently undertaken empirical research (following successful ethical approval through the Coventry University ethics process) at an advanced level. You will be encouraged to integrate and practice the skills that you should have acquired during the course and to investigate, at master’s level, an area of specific interest to you.
Global Professional Development – Leading and Creating Organisational Health and Wellbeing (CMI module) - 10 credits
You will have the opportunity to learn how to critically evaluate and develop solutions to complex, inter-related and multi-faceted issues that can be found in a variety of organisations and professional contexts. Please see Accreditation and Professional Recognition section.
How you'll learn
On this full-time, campus-based version of the course, teaching and learning follows the traditional campus-based model of delivery, including face to face lectures and the expectation of full attendance during term-time.
The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.
You should hold the equivalent of a minimum 2:2 undergraduate degree in Psychology. Consideration will be given to applicants who hold the equivalent of a minimum of 2:2 undergraduate degrees in Science or Social Sciences, where a minimum of 50% of undergraduate study is in Psychology with evidence of studying curriculum including research methods. Such non-standard applications will be subject to approval by the Course Director.
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5.
£10,600 per year
£16,950 per year
International Pathways 2022 Scholarship
You could enjoy a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees.
Our high-quality foundation, international year one and pre-masters courses are for international students who do not meet the requirements for direct entry to their preferred Coventry University undergraduate or postgraduate course. We can support you to achieve the academic and/or English grades you need and help you gain the personal and professional skills required to study at university.
We want to encourage ambitious international students like you to study at Coventry University, so we’ve secured extra financial support for you worth £3,000, to help with the cost of tuition fees, living expenses and accommodation.
The scholarship application deadline is:
September 2022 intake: 31 July 2022
This course aims to set you on the path to obtaining the relevant skills required to become a Chartered Psychologist. Developed with a focus on your future employability, the highly practical nature of the course is intended to help you develop many of the core skills we consider to be necessary for effective practice.
On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and critical understanding of how psychology can be applied to a range of criminal justice, legal and forensic settings, and client groups.
Demonstrate competence in applying psychological knowledge and skills (e.g., critical evaluation) to practice-based scenarios in forensic psychology.
Demonstrate reflective and critical understanding of themselves as future practitioners.
Demonstrate and consolidate a range of transferable and professional skills that are applicable to a range of forensic practice settings.
Demonstrate a critical understanding of psychological research paradigms, research methods, ethical procedures, data analyses, psychological literature evidence and theory.
Critically evaluate the principles for leading and developing people and a culture of organisational health and wellbeing.
According to the British Psychological Society, the largest single employer of forensic psychologists in the UK is the HM Prison Service. Psychologists can also be employed in rehabilitation units, secure hospitals, Social Services, university research and in private consultancy.
There are two stages to becoming a practising Forensic Psychologist and Chartered Member of the BPS, requiring a combination of professional education and practice. In the first instance, you need the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), followed by an accredited master’s in Forensic Psychology, such as this course.
The second stage requires a minimum of two years of supervised practice and successful completion of Stage 2 of the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology before you are eligible to register with the HCPC and use the title of ‘Forensic Psychologist’.
You may also be interested in other relevant roles across the criminal justice system such as crime scene analyst; trainee forensic psychologist; trainee clinical psychologist; behavioural investigative advisor; lecturer in forensic psychology; Home Office, local government or police researcher; police officer; youth offending team worker; or probation officer.
Where our graduates work
Some of our previous Forensic Psychology MSc graduates have gone on to further study, or into Stage 2 of the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology.