Forensic Psychology

Key Information


1 year


2 years

Start Date

September 2024

Typical Offer

See More


Brayford Pool

Academic Year

Course Overview

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.

Why Choose Lincoln

Continuing career support after your course finishes

A focus on theoretical knowledge, understanding, and practical experience

Teaching delivered by experts in the field

Emphasis on the development of professional and research skills

Complete a research project in a specialist area

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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.

One of the standout features of the program is the exceptional faculty. Their wealth of experience in both the field and research brings a dynamic perspective to the curriculum. Inclusivity is a core value, with diverse perspectives seamlessly integrated into lectures and assignments, fostering an enriching learning environment.


† 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.

Advanced Research Methods and Skills 2024-25PSY9003Level 72024-25The aim of this module is to introduce students to the basic principles of a range of advanced procedures for the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, typically using appropriate software packages such as SPSS and NVIVO. Familiarity with the use of SPSS is assumed in this module. The module focuses on the use of research methods in an applied context and works towards an understanding of more complex methodologies.CoreForensic Child Psychology 2024-25PSY9006Level 72024-25This module is designed to consider forensic issues and mental disorders and how they affect children, and the perpetration of offences by children. The focus is on providing the opportunity to develop an understanding of how critical events result in developmental pathways which lead to emotional and psychological problems and possibly of offending behaviour. The module includes developmental trauma and attachment, child protection, effects of victimisation and child/youth offending.CoreMSc Thesis (Forensic Psychology) 2024-25PSY9278MLevel 72024-25The thesis is designed to allow students to explore their interests in a specific area of research in more detail. It provides the opportunity to design, implement, analyse, and write-up a substantial piece of empirical work.CoreProcesses of Investigation and Justice 2024-25PSY9011Level 72024-25This module sets the context for those wanting to work, or research, within the criminal justice system by providing students with a critical understanding of the psychological theories and research that are relevant to processes in the criminal justice system. The legal frameworks and court processes for criminal law are explored, including developing an understanding of the different sources of English law, identifying differences between criminal and civil justice systems, understanding the hierarchy and structuring of English courts, identifying different types of offences, and the process of detention and bail. The module also explores the way in which the criminal justice system works with litigants, criminal appellants, and individuals seeking arbitration and mediation. Investigative processes are also addressed including police investigations techniques, interviewing suspects and witnesses, false confessions and suggestibility, the use of intermediaries, offender profiling, and eyewitness identification. The role of psychology in the courtroom will also be explored including evidence presented in court, questioning during cross-examination, witness preparation, judge and jury decision-making behaviour, safeguarding, and expert psychological evidence. There will be a focus on developing a critical understanding of how key psychological theories and research evidence have informed practice, guidance and policy within the criminal justice process. This module invites guest lecturers who are actively working within the criminal justice system, with the aim of supporting students understanding of applied practice and developing an understanding of the knowledge and skills required to work in a range of settings and contexts relevant in Forensic Psychology. Guest lecturers on this module include police officers and individuals who advise, and train, officers in the use of key investigative interview techniques.CoreProfessional Practice and Risk 2024-25PSY9013Level 72024-25This module focuses on a range of issues related to professional conduct and practice. Students will have the opportunity to learn about professional guidelines, producing reports and the preparation and presentation of evidence within the context of undertaking a risk assessment. In particular, this will include currently used risk assessments to provide the opportunity to experience the conduct, preparation and development of practitioner reports (e.g. violence risk assessment using the HCR-20).CoreResearch Methods and Skills 2024-25PSY9219MLevel 72024-25This module discusses research designs, research ethics, data collection, data preparation and data analysis and dissemination. Both quantitative and qualitative research methods and skills are covered in this module.CoreUnderstanding Criminal Behaviour 2024-25PSY9224MLevel 72024-25This module will examine theories and research related to the psychology of offending behaviour across a range of offence types. The module aims to offer psychological insight into why some people offend, providing good ground for understanding certain forensic practices.CoreWorking with Client Groups 2024-25PSY9012Level 72024-25This module has been extended to ensure students have the opportunity to focus on what works with different client groups, undertaking assessments, providing appropriate interventions and measuring outcomes, as well as exploring how victim issues impact on different client groups. The module covers a range of topics including: sexual offending, violence offending, arson, women offenders, acquisitive offences, and drug/alcohol related crime. System and organisational factors are also covered including consultation and project management.Core

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

Research Areas

Academics across the School of Psychology have a diverse range of interests and many are members of research groups. The areas of interest within the School include:

  • 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
  • Addictions
  • Homelessness and criminality.


The School of Psychology is suitated within the Sarah Swift Building. The building houses specialist teaching and research spaces, as well as general teaching and learning facilities for the wider University.

British Psychological Society

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.

A drawing of someone kneeling with The British Psychological Society written next to it

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.

Assessment Feedback

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.

Career Development

Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future. It can help you to further or completely change your career, develop your knowledge, enhance your salary, or even prepare you to start your own business. 

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 also 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.

Why Postgraduate Study?  

How to Apply

Postgraduate Application Support

Applying for a postgraduate programme at Lincoln is easy. Find out more about the application process and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page. Here, you'll also be able to find out more about the entry requirements we accept and how to contact us for dedicated support during the process.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

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: 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

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.

Course Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below.

Course Fees

The University offers a range of merit-based, subject-specific, and country-focused scholarships for UK and international students. To help support students from outside of the UK, we offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course -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.

Funding Your Study

Postgraduate Funding Options

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate study, from Master's Loans to scholarship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Academic Contact

If you have any questions about this course you can contact the Programme Leader.

Rachael Dagnall

Postgraduate Events

To get a real feel for what it is like to study at the University of Lincoln, we hold a number of dedicated postgraduate events and activities throughout the year for you to take part in.

Upcoming Postgraduate Events
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The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.