Duration: 1 year full time or 2 years part time
Institution code: R72
UK fees*: £13,200
International/EU fees**: £23,900
Forensic Psychology (MSc)
Our Forensic Psychology Masters degree is jointly delivered by the Department of Law and Criminology and the Department of Psychology. By choosing this course at Royal Holloway you will be trained in the research-practitioner model for careers either in forensic psychology or applied psychology, and gain transferable skills that provide a valuable basis for careers in a wide range for fields.
A solid foundation in scientific research methods is developed so that you can design, conduct and analyse empirical psychological research. Teaching will be provided by academics from Psychology, Criminology and Law which will enable you develop skills in integrating concepts and communicating on multidisciplinary levels. You will be trained in qualitative and quantitative methods and in ethical issues relating to research and practice.
Our balanced approach to research and teaching guarantees high quality teaching from both research and practice-led internal and external professionals, cutting edge materials and intellectually challenging debates. You will receive individual attention to enhance your personal and professional development.
On graduating you will have the foundation level knowledge to work towards becoming a qualified Forensic Psychologist and the understanding of the necessary interrelationship between scientific research and forensic psychological practice.
This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society. Successful completion of the course fulfils stage one of the requirements towards Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society and full membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology.
From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.
In this module you will develop an understanding of many of the key research techniques that are used in social, health, forensic, clinical and developmental research. You will look at both qualitative and quantitative research techniques, covering forms of data collection such as questionnaires, online data, interviewing and focus groups, observational research methods, computerised cognitive measures, and social neuroscience techniques. You will also consider other forms of data analysis, including grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, thematic analysis, content analysis, and the use of secondary data and meta-analytic and systematic review techniques.
In this module you will develop an understanding of the main statistical methods used in psychology research. You will look at basic descriptive statistics before covering more complex techniques, including analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, correlation analysis, and simple and multiple regression. You will examine advanced statistical methods, such as structural equation modelling and factor analysis. You will gain hands-on experience in applying these methods of analyses to actual datasets and problems using statistical software, considering their respective strengths and weaknesses, and what type of problems each approach is best suited to address.
This module aims to provide knowledge of the legal and criminal justice context for forensic psychology, including theory relevant to legal and criminal justice processes. In addition, the module aims to engage you with key debates and issues in the legal and criminal justice context, such as the safeguarding of vulnerable witnesses and defendants, sentencing practices and disposal (including mentally disordered offenders). The module will address: The legal process pre-trial, Judicial contexts (civil, criminal, family, youth courts; tribunals; MHRTs; judicial review) Criminal Law and procedure, including the law of evidence, The Mental Health Act (1983, as amended in 2007) and the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and more.
The module aims to provide you with the context of research and practice in forensic psychology, including appreciation of ethical and professional considerations of forensic practice. You will learn to use and communicate information in forensic psychological practice, including approaches to assessment, treatment and consultancy and organisational interventions. A series of professional skills sessions will run alongside the core teaching and will address various topics.
In this module you will develop an understanding of cognitive, social and neuroscience approaches to forensic psychology. You will look at social approaches to different victim and offender groups, the neuroscience of psychopathy, interviewing victims, physiological approaches to deception, detection, and the role of eyewitness identifications in the legal system. You will also examine receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis and confidence relationships as they apply to decision makers and estimator and system variables.
This module aims to provide forensic psychology students with a multidisciplinary perspective on young people and families in the criminal justice system. Criminological and psychological theories are integrated to inform the unique context of understanding and working with children and young people in conflict with the law or involved in the criminal justice system, and this forms the main emphasis of the module. The unique considerations of working with families and older adults as victims are also discussed. The aim is to engage with key debates and issues in the legal and criminal justice context for young people and families, such as the youth court processes, risk assessment, and systemic approaches to intervention and rehabilitation from offending.
You will carry out an independent empirical research project on a topic of relevance to forensic psychological theory and practice. You will have an academic supervisor from either the School of Law or the Department of Psychology who will aid you in the formulation of your research, oversee the process of applying for relevant ethical permissions, and offer guidance in the management of the research. You will identify a target journal for your research and write up your dissertation according to that journal's author submission guidelines.
This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.
Teaching & assessment
Knowledge and understanding is assessed by a broad range of both informal (i.e. class exercises and feedback) and by formal means (i.e. examination, presentations and oral reports, coursework and dissertation).
Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in Psychology or any Psychology joint degree accredited by the British Psychological Society.
Applicants studying overseas will need to have been awarded their Bachelor degree before they can begin an application for British Psychological Society membership.
Applicant may be required to attend an interview.
Normally, we require a UK 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent in Psychology or any Psychology joint degree accredited by the British Psychological Society. Applicants are expected to have 60% or equivalent in dissertation from their undergraduate studies. Applicants should have relevant practical experience and/or a relevant dissertation, project or other relevant research experience. Applicants should have at least a basic appreciation of forensic psychology as well as good references. Applicants will be interviewed before being given an offer.
International & EU requirements
English language requirements
MSc Forensic Psychology requires:
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 6.5. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 61. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
- TOEFL ib: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 22.
- Duolingo: 120 overall, with 125 in Literacy & Production. No subscore lower than 100.
Your future career
A Forensic Psychology masters degree at Royal Holloway, University of London can lead into a variety of career paths. Your career aspirations might change as you are exposed to the breadth of the subject through your course. You will be in a strong position to embark on a career in applied forensic psychological research and undertake a PhD or to pursue a career as a Practitioner Forensic Psychologist. You will also have developed an enviable amount of transferable skills that will be an advantage to you in a wide variety of fields.
- Graduates will have completed the requirements of Stage 1 of the Qualification in Forensic Psychology, then you will be able to apply for Stage 2.
- The knowledge gained and skills developed will make you highly employable in a variety of fields, such as: the NHS and private sector, prisons, probation, the police, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, Home Office, Youth Support and Justice Services or research units (in Universities, charitable organisations and private companies).
Fees, funding & scholarships
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £13,200
EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £23,900
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course.
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.
All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree (if longer than one year’s duration). This means that the overall cost of studying the course part-time will be slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year.
** This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25. Find out more
*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.