Rachael Dagnall - Programme Leader
Rachael is a BPS-chartered and HCPC-registered Forensic Psychologist and Programme Leader for MSc Forensic Psychology. Prior to joining the University in February 2018, Rachael worked for the prison service for 17 years supporting those living and working within prison environments. She has considerable experience of delivering both group-based and individual intervention for inmates to support them in reducing their risk of re-offending. Rachael has experience in undertaking assessments to assess future risk of violence, arson, stalking, and sexual offending. More recently, she was the clinical lead of a male personality disorder service within a custodial setting. As the programme leader for the MSc she utilises her practical experience gained throughout her career to support the delivery of teaching.Academic Staff List
Welcome to MSc Forensic Psychology
This MSc focuses on case formulation and the applied aspects of forensic psychology. There is an emphasis on working with different groups, including children/adolescents, violent or sexual offenders, and those with forensic mental health concerns.
The programme has a clear focus on practice-based topics in forensic psychology. Students are able to conduct a research project alongside academics who are active researchers in their fields. Areas of expertise amongst staff include understanding deception and interviewing skills; investigative and courtroom processes; sexual fantasy and sexual offending; and online sexual exploitation material.
The School's forensic psychology team draws on the expertise of a range of practitioners working in applied forensic psychology settings to provide specialist input into the programme.
Accreditations and Memberships
This programme is accredited with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and for those with BPS Graduate Basis of Chartership (GBC), acts as Stage 1 training towards becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist.
How You Study
Teaching will take the form of direct lectures, small group exercises, and workshop style activities.
The programme is usually delivered on Monday and Tuesdays.
Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour spent in class, students are expected to spend at least two to three hours in independent study. For more detailed information please contact the Programme Leader.
An Introduction to Your Modules
† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.
How you are assessed
Assessment methods vary for each module and could include coursework (such as a dissertation or essay), written exams, case studies, group work, or presentations.
The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly - usually within 15 working days after the submission date.
We have a number of external lectures that deliver teaching on our programmes across our modules.
These provide students with an opportunity to gain insight into real-world settings as well as a chance to network with practitioners working in relevant areas of forensic practice.
Research Areas and Topics
Areas of interest within the course team include but are not limited to:
- Personality disordered offenders
- Occupational stress in prisons
- Investigate procedures
- Courtroom procedures
- Physical violence and violent fantasy
- Sexual violence and sexual fantasy
- Sexual arousal and decision-making
- Sexual behaviour
- Compulsive and impulsive behaviour
- Gambling and criminality
- Homelessness and criminality.
The Sarah Swift Building is the home of the Schools of Health and Social Care and Psychology. The building houses specialist teaching and research spaces for both Schools, as well as general teaching and learning facilities for the wider University.
Fees and Funding
For eligible students, there are more ways than ever before to fund your postgraduate study, whether you want to do a taught or research course. For those wishing to undertake a Master's course, UK students can apply for a loan as a contribution towards the course and living costs. Loans are also available to those who wish to undertake doctoral study. The University offers a number of scholarships and funded studentships for those interested in postgraduate study. Learn how Master's and PhD loans, scholarships, and studentships can help you fund your studies on our Postgraduate Fees and Funding pages.
Programme-Specific Additional Costs
For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on your course. Some courses provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and your meals may be covered by the University and so is included in your fee.
Where these are optional you will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay your own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.
With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.
Graduates of this programme may pursue careers in many different forensic settings and roles such as working in Her Majesty's Prison Service, rehabilitation units, secure hospitals, social services and within university departments. Practitioners could also go into private practice and consultancy.
This MSc acts as Stage 1 training for those with Graduate Basis for Chartered membership accredited psychology degrees to become a Chartered Forensic and HCPC Registered Psychologist.
Entry Requirements 2023-24
First or upper second class honours degree in psychology. All offers made to those still completing their BSc are contingent upon the applicant meeting these requirements.
To use the MSc in Forensic Psychology as Stage 1 in the route towards becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist, an essential pre-requisite is that you must be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society.
This means that you will have undertaken an undergraduate degree in psychology approved by the British Psychological Society. Those without an approved psychology degree must undertake a BPS accredited conversion course, before stage two training can begin.
Whilst the conversion course can be undertaken after the MSc, completion of the MSc assumes a base level knowledge of psychological theory. Therefore, applications without a BPS accredited psychology degree should consider undertaking the conversion prior to the completion of the MSc. However, some individuals without GBC may choose to take the MSc to further their understanding of Forensic Psychology but should be aware that the course could not then be used to work towards Chartership as a Forensic Psychologist.
You should normally have at least an upper second class degree in psychology. It is helpful if you have experience (voluntary or paid) working in a forensically relevant area or have undertaken a research project relevant to the forensic psychology field.
If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages:
https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/ for information on equivalent qualifications.
Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/
If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses.
These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.
Students that apply for the programme will, alongside their application, be required to submit a personal statement (maximum of 1,000 words) and an academic reference. All students who meet the entry requirements will be shortlisted based upon their personal statement and academic reference. Shortlisted applicants will be called for interview. The interview will be a formal panel interview and will last 30-45 minutes.
The interview will typically cover applicants':
- Interests in forensic psychology
- Knowledge of basic psychological theory and how this applied to forensic issues.
- Knowledge of research methods and ability to talk about previous research conducted (e.g. dissertation project).
All shortlisted candidates will be informed of interview dates in advance.
Find out more about how postgraduate study can help further your career, develop your knowledge, or even prepare you to start your own business at one of our postgraduate events.Find out More
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