1. Degree requirement
a. GBC status You must hold, or have applied for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC, formerly GBR) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Please note that Graduate Membership of the BPS is not accepted. You will normally have GBC status if you hold a Psychology honours degree accredited by the BPS. Otherwise, you can apply to have your existing degree assessed by the BPS, or take a conversion course. If you are not sure whether you hold GBC status, please contact the BPS directly.
b. Adequate level of academic achievement You must also hold a Bachelor's or Master's degree with a classification (grade average) of a high 2:1 (i.e. average grade of 65 or over) or Merit in the UK system (the second highest classification after First/Distinction). Results from institutions in other countries will be assessed individually according to this standard.
c. Statistics and research methods training in the social sciences This programme includes a one-year statistics sequence which you must normally pass in order to receive your award. The teaching assumes that you are familiar with the following topics:
- Means and standard deviations
- Distributions, hypothesis testing and statistical significance
- Correlation coefficients
- Variables and measurement Therefore, your existing degree transcript should note that you have taken and passed a minimum of one term each in statistics and social science research methods courses (or two terms of a joint statistics and research methods course).
2. Forensic-related work/research experience
We favour applicants with voluntary (or in some cases paid) work/research experience in a forensic setting, for example victim support, the police, the prison service, the NHS, or forensic-relevant charities. A reference is required from the relevant organisation.
Months of entry
The MSc in Forensic Psychology at Kent is accredited by The British Psychological Society as providing the first (academic) year of professional training for those who wish to qualify as Chartered Forensic Psychologists.
The programme was introduced in October 1995, and the School of Psychology has a long tradition of research in the area of criminal justice and legal psychology. Currently, several members of the School are actively involved in research and consultancy, and several PhD students are currently conducting research under their supervision.
This MSc is the only programme that offers an entire module on offender cognition, which helps you to understand how offence-supportive thinking can increase the chances of sexual offenders, firesetters and other individuals committing offences. With the support of forensic psychology staff you will also gain real-world writing skills such as journal writing, risk assessment reports, court reports and government research reports.
We are particularly interested in receiving applications from suitably qualified graduates who have direct experience of the application of psychological principles in custodial or other forensic settings, although such experience is not essential. As a significant element of the programme involves training in advanced methodological and statistical techniques, we are unable to consider applications from candidates who do not qualify for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS - Graduate Membership of the BPS is insufficient.
Teaching on core forensic modules is enhanced by the contributions of several honorary teaching staff, all of whom are Chartered Forensic Psychologists working in applied settings (eg in Special Hospitals, RSUs and prisons).
Recent research projects undertaken have included:
- an evaluation of the relapse prevention module of the Prison Service Sex Offender Treatment Programme
- an investigation of the incidence of sexual and physical abuse in the backgrounds of sex offenders with learning disabilities
- an investigation into non-verbal cues to lying in police interrogations
- an examination of organisational and psychological factors related to the treatment of offenders in a Maltese prison
- a study of the incidence of ADHD indicators in a young offender population
- a comparison of socio-demographic and psychological factors related to women who do, and do not, self-harm in a Special Hospital
- a study of the incidence of PTSD indicators in the prison population of the Channel Islands.
Teaching and Assessment
The MSc in Forensic Psychology aims to satisfy the academic component of professional training in forensic psychology (that is, to become a Chartered Forensic Psychologist). Throughout the programme, you attend non-assessed seminars and go on site visits.
The programme includes lecture, workshop and seminar-based teaching, as well as an individually supervised empirical research project.
Advanced Statistics and Methodology is assessed by examination. All other taught modules are assessed by written work and presentations. Research is assessed by two articles: one empirical paper and one review article on your chosen topic.
Information for international students
For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.
Fees and funding
Please visit our funding web pages for the most current opportunities and application details.
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- School of Psychology
- +44 (0)1227 824775