Forensic Psychology - MSc *

Attendance:
Full Time, Part Time
Starting:
September 2017
Campus:
Fees:
£7,900 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2017 entry (view all fees)

This MSc Forensic Psychology course offers you the chance to learn about some of the most dangerous offenders in society, their victims, approaches to assisting police with their enquires (investigative psychology), the criminal justice system from a psychological perspectives and to enhance your skills in communication, group work, professionalism and ICT.

We will also improve your research skills and knowledge, through teaching you how to design high-level research projects, conduct statistical analysis, and to evaluate and scientifically report research findings.

The core aim of the course is to prepare students to work with clients and professionals in a range of forensic and forensic-related settings. Equipped with a sound knowledge of key theoretical and applied issues in forensic psychology, you will gain not only a critical appreciation of theoretical and factual concepts, but an awareness of the strengths and limitations of research evidence. The course integrates psychological theory with the development of practical skills and an understanding of professional practice.

What's covered in the course?

The aims of the programme are to:

  • Equip you with a detailed critical understanding of the key theoretical and applied issues in forensic psychology, including the development of offending behaviour, re-offending, the effects of offending on victims, and the assessment and treatment of offenders;
  • Provide training in forensic methods primarily from a psychological standpoint, but also to familiarise you with the perspectives of a range of professions involved in the assessment and treatment of offenders;
  • Enable you to acquire an advanced ability to design research, conduct statistical analysis, and evaluate and scientifically report research in forensic psychology;
  • Enhance your skills in communication, group work, professionalism and ICT so that you can perform at a high level of competence in these respects;
  • Satisfy the academic requirements for Master’s-level knowledge, set out by the Division for Forensic Psychology, British Psychological Society.

On successful completion of the course, you will be able to demonstrate an advanced knowledge and critical understanding of the applied issues in forensic psychology.

You’ll also be able to apply a range of academic, intellectual and professional skills to forensic psychology, as well as being able to display significant insight into the application of forensic skills in the assessment and treatment of both offenders and victims.

Graduates of this course are expected to have developed strong academic, intellectual and professional skills, with the ability to work autonomously and in groups

Why Choose Us?

  • Completion of this MSc course enables you to gain specialist knowledge of dealing with people within the Criminal Justice System, including sex offenders, offenders with personality disorders, victims of crime, the police and probation services.
  • You’ll be provided with training in forensic methods primarily from a psychological standpoint, but you'll also be familiarised with the perspectives of a range of professions involved in the criminal justice system
  • We have expert practitioners, such as Professor Michael Brookes OBE, who will support you throughout your study.
  • We have expert academics, such as Dr Chrisa Pornari, who can supervise your research project in a wide range of areas, including investigative psychology, jury decision making, interpersonal violence, rape myths and offender cognition.
  • With full or part-time options on offer, you can choose whether to study over one year or two. 
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities. You can't book your place just yet, but register your interest and we'll send you an email when you can book.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

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Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

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*Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust
  • Victim Support (Victim Care Unit)

And in jobs such as:

  • Approved Premises Supervisor
  • Victim Care Officer

New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

This course is aligned to the following organisation:

The British Psychological Society

Subject to approval

The content of this course has been refreshed and updated to make sure you graduate with the skills employers need in an ever-changing job market.

Our quality control experts are currently reviewing the content and we anticipate receiving formal approval shortly.

Find out more...

Entry Requirements

UK students
Essential

A minimum of an Upper Second Class Honours degree in Psychology or an MSc or Graduate Diploma in Psychology, with evidence of strong research methods skills. 

The degree must provide eligibility to apply for Graduate Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and provide the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the BPS.

Experience of working with offenders and/or victims of crime in either a paid or voluntary capacity is desirable. Part-time students will normally be expected to be working in a forensic or forensic-related setting or have experience of this.

Proficiency in the English language will need to be demonstrated where English is not the first language. Where this is the case students are expected to have an IELTS score of at least 6.0.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2017 FT 12 months £7,900 per year
PT 24 months £3,950 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2017 FT 12 months £12,000 per year

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

You will need to apply online direct to the university for this course. A link to the form will be available soon as well as details of the course fee. We'd like to send you an email once the link is available to save you checking back - just sign up for an update.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Additional costs

While there are no additional costs associated with purchasing text books, there may be other costs to you. If you are joining the course which has a professional body accreditation you may be required to pay membership or examination costs. For details of these costs, please click on the link below.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?

Postgraduate loans

How you learn

We use a range of learning, teaching, and assessment techniques on this programme.

Learning takes place in the University, through the University’s virtual learning environment which is an online based tool, giving you the flexibility to study conveniently both in the university and at home. You will study in lectures and workshops, through electronic learning, reflective practice, court visits, prison visits, case studies and discussion groups.

In order to allow you to fully demonstrate the acquisition of learning and skills throughout the course, a range of assessment strategies are used, both formative and summative. These include essays, report writing and structured literature reviews; data analysis reports; preparing and delivering  presentations; reflective practice reports and examinations

There are 24 staff directed hours per module which needs to be combined with a least 130 hours of independent study.

Student stories

Nisha Pushpararajah

I chose to study a postgraduate course in Forensic Psychology at Birmingham City University after learning that many of the lecturers had been officially recognised for their research in the area. This showed me how dedicated they were to their subjects and helping others to learn about it. The tutors were instantly welcoming and did their utmost to suit every student’s needs.

This course is aligned to the following organisation:

The British Psychological Society
The British Psychological Society

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society, which not only demonstrates the high quality of our teaching provision, but also ensures our course remains cutting-edge, fresh and relevant.

The Society and its members develop, promote and apply psychology for the public good. They enhance the efficiency and usefulness of psychologists by setting high standards of professional education and knowledge, and cover all areas of psychological research and practice.

Find out more about British Psychological Society accreditation.

*Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2016

Student stories Dani Beck

Forensic Mental Health Care Assistant

Originally from Norway, Dani studied Psychology before he came to Birmingham City University. Alongside his studies, Dani is working as a Forensic Mental Health Care Assistant to gain the experience and skills to help him get a job as a Forensic Psychology Trainee. Following this, he hopes to work until he is chartered as a Forensic Psychologist.

My attraction to the course mainly came from my ambition to study forensic psychology. Prior to applying, I knew I had a passion for mental health and those who suffer from mental health problems, so after my degree, I needed a course that could direct my career in the right direction.

Enhancing your employability

You will have the opportunity to visit a local prison such as HMP Birmingham, attend court hearings and gain practical experience in one of the University’s mock courtrooms.

We will also assist in identifying work experience opportunities and the Centre for Academic Success offers 1:1 and small group private tutorials in English (including academic writing), study skills, maths, statistics, Word, Excel, programming, networking and project management.

Many graduates go on to gain employment within the health, charity and policing industries, such as working as a trainee forensic psychologist in a prison or mental health facility or as an assistant in one of these settings. You can also develop your academic career and choose to undertake further research within a higher education setting.

The research methods you will have practiced will provide you with the skills to embark on postgraduate research opportunities alongside your professional development if you wish to combine the professional and academic routes together.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

Many graduates go on to gain employment within the health, charity and policing industries, in roles such as Forensic Mental Health Care Assistant and Forensic Psychologist. You can also develop your academic career and choose to undertake further research within a higher education setting.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Curzon facilities eatery
Curzon facilities staircase
Curzon facilities student hub

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The Curzon Building

This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law, business and English students.

The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.

Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’re also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.

For those studying on the BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation pathway, you’ll experience simulations of police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis.

Crime investigation files are prepared using computer-based technology, and the crime data analysis requirements of the degree are supported by appropriate statistical and analytical software.

Psychology students can look forward to using state-of-the-art equipment as well, including the latest in eye-tracking software, and our new EEG machine, all geared towards giving you true hands-on experience with tools you’ll be using in your later career.

The Curzon Building also features:

  • An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
  • Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
  • A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
  • Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
  • Shared facilities with the wider campus including the recently opened Parkside Building and Millennium Point

Professor Michael Brookes OBE

MSc Forensic Psychology Programme Director

Professor Michael Brookes OBE was formerly Director of Therapeutic Communities at HMP Grendon where for eleven years he was the clinical lead within this accredited therapeutic community prison. He was responsible for the effective delivery of therapy.

Chrisa Pornari Profile

Dr Chrisa Pornari

Lecturer in Forensic Psychology, Admissions Tutor for Psychology, Research Participation Scheme (RPS) Administrator

Dr Chrisa Pornari is a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology and a Chartered Psychologist (BPS). She joined Birmingham City University in January 2013 and she teaches in the MSc Forensic Psychology and the BSc Psychology courses.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295