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Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Forensic Medical Studies People With Mental Health Problems: Social Work

Course type


Course Summary

We are proud to have been awarded an IoPPN Excellence Award in 2018 for student satisfaction in the Postgraduate Taught Education Survey (PTES).

Unravel the complex relationship between mental disorders and criminal behaviour. At the same time, develop the skills to establish, manage and evaluate programmes designed to reduce antisocial behaviour.

You’ll have a choice of two pathways: forensic psychology, clinical forensic psychology or forensic mental health research. With different entry criteria, you’ll need to pick the one that suits your interests and matches your level of experience.


Students join this course from a range of backgrounds – you might be a psychologist or psychiatrist, work as nurse or occupational therapist or have a background in criminology. Being part of this multidisciplinary community gives you a real flavour of working in this field.

You’ll take a developmental approach to understanding why people develop prosocial or antisocial behaviour. Then we’ll help you explore the relationship between neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia, and offending.

An important element of this course is looking at how forensic services are set up. You’ll think about different ways to effectively manage offenders in the community and explore the journey through the criminal justice system – from the point of arrest to sentencing.

As a student on this course, you’ll have access to highly specialist services including prisons, secure units and the courts. The amount of time you spend in practice depends on your pathway – the clinical pathway has a 60 day placement whereas the research and forensic psychology pathways have ten days of observation.

Career prospects

Most graduates from this course apply their knowledge to their career in the forensic mental health field. Other students continue their training, take on roles as research assistants or apply for a PhD.

Different course options

Full time | Denmark Hill Campus | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date



This module helps you to gain an understanding of the assessment and treatment of mentally disordered offenders in specialist forensic services; the extent to which assessment and treatment in specialist forensic services is an evidence based practice and the organisation, evaluation, development and oversight of specialist forensic mental health services.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK / EU students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or be predicted to achieve, a 2:1 honours degree (minimum) or the equivalent, including an introduction to empirical research, in a relevant subject, e.g. psychology, neuroscience, criminology, psychiatry, mental health nursing or occupational therapy. In order to meet the academic entry requirements for this programme you should have a minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree with a final mark of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. If you are still studying you should be achieving an average of at least 60% or above in the UK marking scheme. Non-graduates (e.g. nurses with a Diploma) will be asked to provide evidence of their capacity to study at postgraduate level and will be expected to have considerable relevant work experience since qualifying. All teaching is conducted in English and it is therefore essential that students have a sufficient command of the language. Candidates who have not been educated to degree level in English will be required to provide proof that they possess an adequate level of English competence. The minimum levels are set out here. Pathway specific entry criteria: Clinical Forensic Psychology Applicants must have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS. For more information on GBC and careers in forensic psychology in the UK, please consult the BPS website. Note - By the time of starting the programme, it is recommended that students have some relevant clinical or forensic experience working with people with psychological difficulties, people who have offended, or victims of crime. Please contact us for advice if necessary to establish whether your work experience would be considered relevant. Forensic Mental Health Research Applicants should display evidence of a genuine interest in the relationship between mental illness and crime, and an aptitude for research. Please supply your degree transcript: we are particularly interested.