The MSc Forensic Psychology offers comprehensive professional training in forensic psychology. The programme combines expertise from academics and practitioners. We always ensure that the programme content is relevant, up to date and evidence-based.
You'll get the opportunity to develop theoretical and clinical skills. These skills will enhance your future employability and career progression. We focus on supporting you in becoming a scientist-practitioner in forensic settings. You'll gain an in-depth knowledge of:
- offending and victim pathways
- psychological assessments
- investigative and court processes
- topical issues within forensic psychology
You'll conduct risk assessments and case formulations during practical sessions. You'll conduct structured framework research relating to forensic psychology practice. The course has two different routes:
- Forensic Psychology, MSc (Accredited)
- Forensic Psychology, MSc (Non-accredited)
We offer both accredited and non-accredited courses:
Forensic Psychology, MSc (Accredited)
This route is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), thereby accounting for Stage 1 of the Qualification in Forensic Psychology. You must have a first-class degree in psychology providing Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC) with the BPS to apply to this course.
Forensic Psychology, MSc (Non-accredited)
This route is not accredited by the BPS. It does not fulfill Stage 1 of the BPS qualification in forensic psychology. If you want to progress onto Stage 2 of the Qualification in Forensic Psychology in the future, you need to go back and complete the necessary conversion programme. This is to give you the requisite GBC with the BPS.
This route is for those students who do not have a first degree in psychology providing GBC with the BPS. Their degree must cover research methods and statistics relevant to psychology. For example, a joint or combined degree that includes psychology or an international psychology degree that does not confer GBC with the BPS).
Other qualifications/experience may be acceptable. This will be considered by the Programme Director. Applicants may include:
- mental health specialists
- police officers
- prison officers
- social workers
- support workers
We've highlighted important information about your course. Please take note of any deadlines.
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.
Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the commitments outlined are subject to guidelines that may be in place from time to time.
View our COVID-19 Study page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2021-22.
See our terms and conditions and student complaints information
What you'll learn
You will gain demonstrable, advanced knowledge and critical understanding in:
- theories and professional issues of forensic psychology
- the breadth and depth of forensic psychology practice and clinically relevant legislations
- interdisciplinary nature of legal processes and psychological knowledge of criminal justice systems
- investigative psychology and forensic interviewing
- investigative processes, from pre-trial/conviction to through/after-care and restorative justice
- legal, ethical and contextual issues in the evaluation of research and practice
- interdisciplinary nature of legal processes and psychological knowledge to criminal justice systems
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.
Module information 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.
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.
Optional modules availability
Some course have optional modules. Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.
To find out more please see our terms and conditions.
How you'll learn
This course is typically taught and based on the Newcastle campus. It is delivered by the School of Psychology. Teaching is delivered on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 09:00 to 17:00. This is subject to occasional change. You’ll be taught using a range of methods, including:
- group work and discussions
- practical sessions
You'll be assessed through a combination of:
- Case study
- Professional skills assessments
- Oral presentation
- Research proposal
- Written exercise
Your specialist skills and knowledge will be developed through a combination of:
- written reports
- reflective journals
- interview guides
- oral presentations
- research project
You'll receive full support to become capable and confident in research techniques. You'll develop academic skills in analysing data and research report writing.
Your teaching and learning is also supported by Canvas. Canvas is a Virtual Learning Environment. You'll use Canvas to submit your assignments and access your:
Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to support from:
- our University Student Services Team
You'll also be assigned an academic member of staff. They will be your personal tutor throughout your time with us. They can help with academic and personal issues.
Our staff have extensive expertise in the field of forensic psychology. They offer a range of research specialisms, such as:
Dr Darren Johnson, Forensic Psychologist (Degree Programme Director). Expertise includes:
- assessment and treatment of offenders, including sexual and violent offenders
- assessments that explore risk, personality, mental illness, developmental disorder and functioning. This is for young and adult male and female offenders
- personality disorder and psychopathy
Faye Horsley, Forensic Psychologist (Deputy Programme Director). Expertise includes:
- 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). Expertise includes:
- the visuospatial processing links between visual social cues and visual non-social information
- 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
- gaze aversion as cognitive load management in people with neurodevelopmental disorders
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
You will gain professional skills in:
- writing professional and analytical reports
- developing forensic case formulations
- independent learning
- project planning
- time management
Graduates have successfully gained clinically relevant job roles including:
- assistant psychologist
- trainee psychologists
- forensics researcher
Our Careers Service
Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.
Quality and ranking
All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body
From 1 January 2020 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK
The Dame Margaret Barbour Building is home to the School of Psychology at Newcastle University. This bespoke facility is the newest addition to the Faculty of Medical Sciences. It offers psychology facilities such as:
- forensic interviewing suite
- nutrition and food preference unit
- media and behaviour lab
- medical consultation rooms
- psychological testing cubicles
Fees and funding
Tuition fees for 2021 entry (per year)
If your studies last longer than one year, your tuition fee may increase in line with inflation.
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.
What you're paying for
Tuition fees include the costs of:
- tuition (or supervision)
- library access
Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
Find out more about:
- additional costs
- living costs
- tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts
If you're applying for funding, always check the funding application deadline. This deadline may be earlier than the application deadline for your course.
For some funding schemes, you need to have received an offer of a place on a course before you can apply for the funding.
Search for funding
Find funding available for your course
The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.
Qualifications from outside the UK
English Language requirements
How to apply
Using the application portal
The applicant portal has instructions to guide you through your application. It will tell you what documents you need and how to upload them.
You can choose to start your application, save your details and come back to complete it later.
If you’re ready, you can select Apply Online and you’ll be taken directly to the applicant portal.
Alternatively you can find out more about applying on our applications and offers pages.
Applications for 2022/23
You'll be able to apply for 2022/23 entry from September 2021
Open days and events
The situation with Covid-19 means that we're unable to hold open days on campus. However, you don’t have to visit in person to experience Newcastle.
From the comfort of your sofa you'll be able to:
- explore our beautiful campus
- find out about our vibrant city
- discover what students think about studying at Newcastle
You'll also have the opportunity to speak to academic staff and find out more about the courses you're interested in.
We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.
We also hold various online and virtual events.
Get in touch
Questions about this course?
If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:
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
For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.
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