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MSc Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology students have the opportunity to develop their knowledge of police investigative processes and considerations for courts and sentencing.

The Course

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.

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.

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
  • Addictions
  • Homelessness and criminality.
Most teaching will take place on Monday and Tuesday for full-time students. However, meetings and assessments may take place on other days. Students are expected to engage in at least 2-3 hours of independent self study for each contact hour.
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.

Advanced Research Methods and Skills (Core)
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Advanced Research Methods and Skills (Core)

The 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.

Forensic Child Psychology (Core)
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Forensic Child Psychology (Core)

This 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.

MSc Thesis (Core)
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MSc Thesis (Core)

The 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.

Processes of Investigation and Justice (Core)
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Processes of Investigation and Justice (Core)

This module is designed to cover elements of the investigative and judicial processes in order to develop an understanding of criminal justice system prior to disposal into community, prison or hospital settings. Therefore offending behaviour is considered in relation to police investigation (e.g. interviewing, psychological profiling, and credibility assessment) and the legal process (e.g. expert evidence, juries and witnesses).

Professional Practice and Risk (Core)
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Professional Practice and Risk (Core)

This 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).

Research Methods and Skills (Core)
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Research Methods and Skills (Core)

This 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.

Understanding Criminal Behaviour (Core)
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Understanding Criminal Behaviour (Core)

This module covers theories of the psychology of crime and criminal conduct including the context of crime and the impact different factors have on reducing crime. Also covered is an appreciation of the ethical issues relevant to working in forensic contexts.

Working with Client Groups (Core)
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Working with Client Groups (Core)

This 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.

† 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.

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.

Candidates who meet the entry requirements will be invited to the University of Lincoln for an interview with two members of the Course team (normally the Programme Leader and one other staff member).

The interview will typically cover a student’s:

  • Interests in Forensic Psychology
  • Knowledge of basic psychological theory
  • Knowledge of research methods and ability to talk about your own undergraduate research (either completed or in progress)
  • Students' own research interests and subjects within psychology that interest you
  • Students' ability to apply basic psychological theory to the solving of real world problems.

Interview questions are designed to help us understand a student’s level of knowledge of psychological theory and ability to apply it to real-world problems. For example, questions might take the form of “pick a psychological theory and use it to explain X; how would you design a study to test that hypothesis?” For these questions there is no right or wrong theory to pick. We are, however, interested in a student’s knowledge of the theory they choose and how they use it to attempt to solve the problem. In this regard, we are not expecting students to fully explain “X” but are more interested in how they attempt to solve the problem.

Applicants should expect to be able choose, explain, and discuss psychological theories and research topics that are of interest to them.

Whilst we encourage applicants to attend face-to-face interviews, for those who are based overseas or are unable to travel to the University of Lincoln, there may be an opportunity to undertake a Skype interview.

 2020/21 Entry*
Home/EU £7,700

(including Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction )**

International £16,000
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)**
 Part-time Home/EU £43 per credit point
 Part-time International £89 per credit point

 * Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


A Postgraduate Master's Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study. Individuals** will be able to borrow up to £10,906 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate Master's qualification. The amount available will depend on the start date of your course.


As a postgraduate student you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Master's Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £49, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2,940.

Fees for enrolment on additional modules

Tuition fees for additional activity are payable by the student/sponsor and charged at the equivalent £ per credit point rate for each module. Additional activity includes:

- Enrolment on modules that are in addition to the validated programme curriculum

- Enrolment on modules that are over and above the full credit diet for the relevant academic year

- Retakes of modules as permitted by the Board of Examiners

Exceptionally tuition fees may not be payable where a student has been granted a retake with approved extenuating circumstances.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

Other 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.

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.

Learn from Experts

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may also be supported in their learning by other students.

Rachael Dagnall

Programme Leader


Your Future Career

Career and Personal Development

Graduates of this programme may pursue careers in many different forensic settings and roles. 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.

Careers Services

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.
The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages here


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

Specialist psychology research facilities include a sleep laboratory, motor lab and EEG laboratories, a psychophysiology laboratory and the Lincoln Infant and Child Development Lab.

The University has invested more than £300 million in its buildings and facilities. Further plans to invest in additional facilities, along with the refurbishment of existing buildings across our campus, are underway. Based on the picturesque Brayford Pool marina, everything you need is either on campus or a short walk away.

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.