- Complete Stage 1 of the BPS chartership process
Study with highly active practitioner Forensic Psychologists and researchers
Receive case-based hands-on training in assessment, intervention, and consultation
- Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
Forensic Psychology at Winchester provides the academic component (Stage 1) of the route to becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist with the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology and Practitioner Forensic Psychologist status with the Health and Care Professions Council. The programme also supports you with the transition towards Stage 2 of the chartership process by incorporating practice-based assessments.
The course introduces the context and application of psychology in various forensic settings including the legal and criminal justice system, forensic psychological practice and forensic mental health. You are introduced to the role of a forensic psychologist in practice. The programme focuses on core theoretical models of crime with an emphasis on theoretical, practical and methodological limitations.
When considering applied skills in forensic practice, there is a focus on specialist assessments, core treatments and interventions utilised when working with various client groups in a forensic setting. Client groups include offenders in prison, secure hospitals and the community, as well as offenders on probation and within the legal system (court assessment). You gain the ability to design, conduct, analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological research in a chosen specialised research area.
There is an emphasis on reflective practice skills, and professional and ethical practice in the workplace. There are also opportunities for volunteering in optional forensic practice placements via the university’s volunteering department. Core modules include Foundations of Forensic Psychology Practice, The Criminal Justice System and the Legal Framework, Specialist Skills in Treatment and Interventions, and Investigative Psychology.
You have access to excellent facilities including numerous research cubicles and laboratories equipped for conducting forensic interviews, developmental research, EEG and social observation. There is a strong criminal investigation representation and practitioner focus within the teaching team, and there is a departmental forensic research group which complements the programme.
Graduates of the course pursue careers in various specialisms within forensic psychology, including the legal and criminal justice system, forensic psychological practice and forensic mental health.
Find out more about the Department for Psychology
Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) for the purpose of eligibility to apply for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership, provided the minimum standard of qualification of second-class Honours is achieved and the empirical project is passed.
MSc Forensic Psychology is scheduled for a Partnership Visit with the British Psychological Society during 2022/23 to confirm reaccreditation.
The programme provides the first step (Stage 1) towards gaining Chartered Forensic Psychologist status with the BPS.
ABOUT THIS COURSE
Suitable for applicants from:
UK, EU, World
Students have the opportunity to volunteer on optional forensic practice-related placements.
Learning and teaching
A diverse range of teaching methods are employed including laboratory classes, lectures, seminars, tutorials and individual project supervision. Students have access to excellent facilities including numerous research cubicles and laboratories equipped for conducting forensic interviews, developmental research, EEG and social observation.
There is a strong criminal investigation representation and practitioner focus within the teaching team, and there is a departmental forensic research group which complements the programme.
Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester.
Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. A variety of assessment methods are employed including essays, literature reviews, report writing, presentations, and examinations, as well as a quantitative or qualitative empirical project.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.
We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.
For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.
A first or second-class Honours degree (or recognised equivalent qualification) in Psychology and Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Students who do not fulfil this GBC entry requirement are considered on an individual basis by the programme team.
If English is not your first language:
IELTS 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent
You will be required to attend an interview.
For applicants who are unable to travel to Winchester (such as those who reside outside the UK), an interview may be conducted via Skype at the discretion of the programme team.
Course enquiries and applications
Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at International@winchester.ac.uk or calling +44 (0)1962 827023
Late applications can be accepted throughout the remainder of the application year, for more information see our How to Apply section.
Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Evenings.
Year 1: Level 7
|Foundations of Forensic Psychology Practice||20|
Students are introduced to the fundamental theoretical perspectives within the field of Forensic Psychology. The range and focus of the material covered links with some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) recommendations, namely, good health and wellbeing, reduced inequalities and peace justice and strong institutions. Core theories and perspectives about the criminal behaviour of specialist client groups encountered in a forensic setting are discussed. Theoretical understandings of criminal behaviour will be discussed more generally initially. Following this, the focus will be on the theoretical understandings of specific offending behaviours such as sexual offending, violence, fire-setting, terrorism, stalking, and hostage taking. In addition, theoretical perspectives regarding the offending of specialist client groups encountered in a forensic setting will be discussed, for example male, female and adolescent offending, the offending of individuals with mental illness, personality disorders, learning disability and Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Core theories of offending will be critically evaluated, in particular their applicability, key methodological and theoretical strengths and limitations. There will also be a focus on discussing theories and perspectives regarding victimology to provide a holistic theoretical background. Students will be expected to demonstrate reflective skills using a reflective log. Suggested topics for reflection will be provided.
|The Criminal Justice System and the Legal Framework||20|
This module introduces students to the Criminal Justice System and legal framework. The range and focus of the material covered links with some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) recommendations, namely, good health and wellbeing, reduced inequalities and peace justice and strong institutions. Specifically, students are informed about the role and function of key institutions that form the Criminal Justice System. There is a particular focus on the role of a Forensic Psychologist in practice within these. Students are informed about criminal and civil law, including considerations about cultural aspects (such as a session on case law for refugees and asylum seekers). The applicability of the law to vulnerable populations and the contribution of Forensic Psychology in safeguarding vulnerable individuals are discussed within the module. The law applied within specialist settings such as Mental Health Review Tribunals and Parole Board Hearings is reviewed. Students are invited to consider the key practical and ethical considerations involved in the role of the Forensic Psychologist as an Expert Witness. To encourage reflection and awareness of biases and stereotypes, students are invited to participate in group reflection and self-reflection tasks (using anonymous Padlets and practice diaries).
|Research Methods in Psychology||20|
The module provides a framework for the consideration of research within psychology and spans a wide range of methods and methodologies both quantitative and qualitative. Issues such as validity, reliability, representativeness, sampling, reflexivity and generalisability will be addressed through a variety of different examples of research. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to examine the assumptions underpinning research and its interpretation and to adopt a critical stance to evaluating the methods and analysis they have previously been taught and those they encounter while undertaking this module. Students will also be encouraged to compare research within frameworks (e.g., between correlational, regression and ANOVA designs) and across frameworks (e.g., between experimental designs and focus group interviews), in order to explore different ways of asking questions and the fundamental processes of discovery and knowledge in human and scientific research.
|Assessment and Consultancy within Forensic Practice||20|
Assessment and consultancy approaches within forensic psychology practice are introduced. The material covered links with some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) recommendations, namely, good health and wellbeing, reduced inequalities and peace justice and strong institutions. Specifically, assessment of various types of offending behaviour is discussed with particular emphasis on risk and clinical factors. Students are encouraged to critically appraise risk assessment approaches and structured professional judgement tools, whilst exploring different formulation approaches. There is also an emphasis on forensic consultancy practice such as the production of professional reports, training, policy development, organisational interventions, and project management and evaluations. Students are expected to identify key learning points to reflect on regarding the ethical and professional practice challenges of risk assessment, including awareness of biases and heuristics. Students are expected to work co-operatively with peers during practical elements of the module but also demonstrate originality in problem solving skills in their written work. Lastly, students are expected to remain sensitive to differences relevant to the diverse group in contact with the Criminal Justice system (such as honour-based violence explored in violence risk assessment) and develop self-awareness of their own biases and stereotypes.
|Specialist Treatment and Interventions||20|
This module introduces the various treatments, interventions and therapy approaches provided to clients within a forensic setting. Material covered links with some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) recommendations, namely, good health and wellbeing, reduced inequalities and peace justice and strong institutions. Specifically, there is coverage of offence focused treatments (e.g., KAIZEN, Schema-Focused Therapy) and forensic psychotherapy (e.g., CAT, CFT) approaches for offenders. In addition, intervention for victims of crime such as Restorative Justice, CFT and EMDR are discussed. Core therapeutic skills are introduced throughout the module, including boundaries, informed consent, and limits to confidentiality. Challenges such as therapeutic relationship ruptures and transference/ countertransference within the forensic contexts are explored. As part of this module, students are encouraged to critically consider and evaluate the various approaches to offending behaviour treatment, considering evidence-based practice. Throughout the module, students are expected to identify and reflect on key learning points from the teaching material. Students will be reminded to remain sensitive to cultural differences (such as a session on building a therapeutic alliance with culturally diverse individuals) in terms of the origins and treatment of mental illness (using specific examples about the boundaries to receiving therapy in BAME communities).
This module will introduce students to the investigative psychology components of forensic psychology in practice. Some material covered links with some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) recommendations, namely, reduced inequalities and peace justice and strong institutions. In particular, students will be informed about the various psychology based techniques utilised during an investigation such as eyewitness testimony, identification methods, and offender profiling. Various interviewing techniques utilised within the process of investigation will be discussed, specifically with vulnerable suspects and victims. The difficulties of techniques utilised within investigations will be reviewed such as false confessions, suggestibility, false allegations, and lie detection/polygraph. The approaches utilised within the process of investigation will be evaluated from a theoretical, methodological and ethical perspective.
|Empirical Research Project||60|
This module provides students with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth and independent empirical study within the field of forensic psychology. Students will demonstrate originality in the development and application of knowledge and research skills gained elsewhere in the programme. They will be required to resolve the complex conceptual, methodological and practical problems that are often encountered by psychological researchers. Completion of a dissertation will demonstrate their comprehensive understanding of all stages in the research process, an ability to deal with complex issues creatively and systematically, and to communicate information in a clear and appropriate fashion. The module will prepare students to undertake future psychological research through the practical experience that they have gained under the supervision of a member of academic staff.
Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.
Progression from one level of the programme to the next is subject to meeting the University’s academic regulations.
2024 Course Tuition Fees
UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man
Full-time entry | £9,775
Part-time entry | £4,888 p/a
Total Cost | £9,775
Full-time entry | £18,300
Part-time entry | £9,150 p/a
Total Cost | £18,300
As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services
Printing and Binding
The University is pleased to offer our students a free printing allowance of £20 each academic year. This will print around 500 A4 mono pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing.
Disclosure and Barring Service
A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check may be required if you undertake a placement, volunteering, research or other course related activity where you will have contact with children or vulnerable adults. The requirement for a DBS check will be confirmed by staff as part of the process to approve your placement, research or other activity. The indicative cost is £40.
SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES AND AWARDS
We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.
Key course details
- Full-time: 1 year Part-time: 2 years
- Typical offer
- A first or second-class Honours degree (or recognised equivalent qualification) in psychology and Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)...
- On campus, Winchester