Taught course

Forensic Psychology

University of Portsmouth · School of Psychology, Sport and Health Sciences

Entry requirements

A 2:1 honours degree in Psychology or a Pass in an MSc Psychology conversion course.
In either case, the course must be recognised by the British Psychology Society as conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).

Consideration will also be given to applicants with a 2:2 degree where the applicant can demonstrate, through their account of their relevant education and experience in their personal statement, commitment to and awareness of diversity and inclusion (eg. caring responsibilities, disability, exclusion/unconscious bias).

Applicants are expected to have some relevant experience at the time of application. This can be one or more of three kinds. First is paid employment directly within or related to the criminal justice system (e.g. Assistant Psychologist in the Prison Service/Forensic Mental Health Setting, a role in probation/the police, Youth Offending Team or similar). Second is paid work in a setting where you have used transferable skills (e.g. interpersonal skills/problem-solving) with relevant populations such as the homeless, individuals with learning disabilities, those with mental health/substance related problems. The third is voluntary work with relevant agencies that again work with populations relevant to the criminal justice system (e.g. Victim Support, NACRO, Circles, SOVA, Motiv8, Appropriate Adult services).
English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content


If you want to apply what you learned through your undergraduate psychology studies to the field of offender behaviour, then this Master's in Forensic Psychology will give you the knowledge and skills to work in the criminal justice system, or train to become a qualified forensic psychologist.

The course brings together the disciplines of clinical, social and cognitive psychology, with criminology and law. You'll address the major issues concerning the justice system in relation to individuals, organisations and society, and when you successfully complete your studies, you'll be able to apply your knowledge in a range of contexts from criminal investigations, to welfare, wellbeing and rehabilitation.

Accredited by the British Psychological Society, the course represents the first of 2 stages of training required to become a Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist.

Course highlights:

  • Learn from the largest group of actively researching forensic psychology academics in the UK
  • Work with professionally qualified practitioners and researchers in forensic psychology
  • Use our specialist facilities for interview observation including eye-tracking and digital analysis
  • Study themes including professional competence, assessment and interventions with offenders, and investigative psychology and the legal process
  • Complete a research project on a topic of your choice, applying your research and data analysis skills to produce a piece of work to a publishable standard
  • Fulfill stage 1 of 2 stages of training required to become a Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist

Careers and opportunities

Forensic psychologists usually start by doing a minimum of 2 years full-time supervised practice in an employment setting. The work of forensic psychologists is varied, ranging from criminal investigations to organisational change, and from matters of civil justice such as child access to operational emergencies such as hostage incidents.

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as:

  • Trainee Forensic Psychologist
  • Research Officer
  • Assistant Psychologist
  • Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner
  • Probation Practitioner
  • Wellbeing and Recovery Practioner
  • Interventions Facilitator
  • Resettlement Facilitator
  • Police Staff
  • Mental Health Consultant
  • Support Worker

Fees and funding


Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566