Forensic Psychology MSc

Forensic Psychology MSc

Full time: 12 months, part time: 24 months


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.

Your course during COVID-19

Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to COVID-19.

Further information

Our COVID-19 Study page gives more information about your Newcastle University study experience.

Terms and conditions and student complaints

The University has terms and conditions which create a positive environment for learning and academic achievement.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to the guidelines that may be in place at the time.

Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK.

Read our detailed explanation.

About the course

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:

Northumbria Police are proud to support this course and to be working in collaboration with the School of Psychology at Newcastle University.

Northumbria Police are proud to support the Forensic Psychology MSc 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:

Dr Darren Johnson, Forensic Psychologist (Degree Programme Director) 

  • assessment and treatment of offenders, including sexual and violent offenders
  • assessments that explore risk, personality, mental illness, developmental disorder and functioning for young and adult male and female offenders 
  • personality disorder and psychopathy

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 Carla Chivers.

We also welcome guest lecturers from:

• members of The Judiciary
• Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service
• the NHS
• Northumbria Police
• the Norwegian Police University College
• staff from the Newcastle Law School

Quality and Ranking

We rank in the top 100 for Psychology - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020


This course is typically 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.

Student Profile

The lectures are very two-way communication based, involving lots of questions, group discussions and debates and group work.

Beki's student profile
Beki H

Related Degrees

  • Foundations in Clinical Psychology MSc

    This course will introduce you to clinical psychology. You'll learn through expert-led clinical, health and forensic psychology, cultural and historical perspectives on mental health issues, and research apprenticeships.

All related programmes


You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

Modules for 2020 entry

Module changes

Course content changes 

The information above is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability

Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Fees & Funding

2021-2022 fees

The fees displayed here are per year. If your studies last longer than a year your fee maybe subjected to an annual inflationary increase.



Full time: £8,100
Part time: £4,050


Full time: £23,400

EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals

For courses commencing from September 2021 and beyond, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fees or Student Finance England support.

If you are from the EU you will pay international tuition fees.

All students

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements

The course has two different routes and entry requirements for those with, and without the Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Council.

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: for further information.

Given the applied nature of the course (accredited and non-accredited routes), you must have either: (i) an undergraduate dissertation in forensic psychology (or relevant area), and/or; (ii) relevant work/research experience in a forensic environment (voluntary or paid), such as:

  • victim/witness support
  • the police
  • Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS)
  • the NHS
  • forensic-relevant charities
  • non-forensic charities which may link to forensic work
  • relevant research assistant experience

English Language Requirements

Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.

Please email us at for further information.

Pre-sessional English Language courses are not accepted as an alternative entry to this course.

Your application will not be considered if any sub-skills are below 7.

How to Apply

You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step-by-step guide can help you on your way.

When applying please ensure you choose the appropriate course title and code.

Applications for 2022/23

You'll be able to apply for 2022/23 entry from September 2021

Start dates

The next intake is September 2021

Closing date

The closing date for September 2021 is Friday 5 March 2021.


If you are short-listed, you'll be interviewed as part of the selection process (via Zoom). Interviews will be held in April 2021 on the following dates:

  • week commencing Monday 19 April 2021
  • week commencing Monday 26 April 2021

Members of staff from the forensic psychology course will conduct the interview.


If you are an international student or a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you need a visa to study in the UK, you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study with us. The deposit is non-refundable, but we will deduct it from your tuition fees when you register.


Dr Darren Johnson
Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist
Lecturer in Forensic Psychology and Degree Programme Director
School of Psychology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 5914

Karen Wilson
Senior Programme Administrator
School of Psychology
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7925