Forensic Psychology and Mental Health MSc 2020/21 entry

Course code:

HLST191

Study options:

1 year full-time
2 years part-time (online)

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2020

 

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

Recruitment and Admissions Office

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321
ukpostgraduate@coventry.ac.uk

Overview

This course, part of a suite of courses in the field of forensic psychology at Coventry University, which also includes MSc Forensic Psychology, and MSc Forensic Psychology and Offender Rehabilitation, is designed to provide you with a thorough grounding in the theory, themes, issues and practical skills we consider to be central to forensic psychology and forensic mental health settings.

In 2017, the National Audit Office estimated that 10% of the prison population in England was receiving treatment for a mental health problem. Further, that 37% of people in prison had reported mental health problems to HM Inspector of Prisons. In this course, you will have the opportunity to study the types of mental health disorders commonly found in prisons, and be taught how to assess and work with individuals in forensic settings, including understanding appropriate treatment programmes and the psychological challenges that can be faced by staff working in the prison service.

The course has been designed to cover the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology's (“DFP”) core curriculum, which includes foundational topics such as the theoretical basis of forensic psychology across a range of settings and risk assessment, as well as focusing on mental health issues in forensic settings. The aim of the course upon successful completion is for you to have gained an understanding of the influence mental health can have on how offenders and victims think, feel and act, as well as the opportunity to consider how our criminal justice system can respond to such individuals.

Our current staff for this course have over 100 years’ worth of combined, varied professional psychological experience, either as British Psychological Society Chartered/Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Registered Members themselves, and/or as active researchers.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city

Accreditation & Professional Recognition

This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:

British Psychological Society

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society. As such, the course will continue to fulfil Stage 1 requirements towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist (for students who also have the required Graduate Basis for Chartership).

To be awarded an accredited degree, graduates must achieve the necessary 50% pass mark for all modules contributing to the accredited MSc degree (British Psychological Society Standards for the Accreditation of the Masters Programme in Forensic Psychology and Crime, October 2017). Graduates who do not meet this requirement will exit with a non-accredited award. To achieve the necessary number of credits for all non-accredited awards, graduates must achieve the necessary 40% pass mark for all modules contributing to the award.

Course information

The MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health course is primarily for those who wish to continue in a career associated with forensic psychology and specifically work in forensic mental health settings, or with offenders with mental health issues.

Five core mandatory modules will be delivered alongside students on the three aligned MSc courses; MSc Forensic Psychology, MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health and MSc Forensic Psychology and Offender Rehabilitation. An additional three mandatory pathway modules will then be delivered solely to students on the MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health to specialise the content of each degree and differentiate them from each other. It is therefore important to read all course webpages related to the three pathways and compare the specific topic areas covered, to pick the most appropriate course to apply for.

Modules

Overview

For full-time students, all core and individualised modules are studied in one academic year. For part-time online students, the materials will be made available over a two-year period.

Core Modules are common to all three MSc courses. Pathway Modules are individualised specifically for each course. It is important to read all three course webpages and compare the specific topic areas covered, to pick the most appropriate course to apply for.

Modules

  • Core mandatory modules

    These modules are studied by all three Forensic Psychology MSc courses:

    • Ethical Research and Methods in Forensic Psychology: This module aims to provide direct practical experience of how to design, conduct and report quantitative and qualitative research in forensic psychology. The module is intended to provide an interconnected understanding of research methods and designing projects, with the aim of enabling you to progress the conceptual understanding necessary to develop research proposals. The course is also designed to help you develop the skills and knowledge required to summarise, analyse and present research findings relevant to the subject area. 
    • Dissertation in Forensic Psychology: The aim of the dissertation is to give you the opportunity to engage in supervised but independently undertaken empirical research (following successful ethical approval through the Coventry University ethics process) at an advanced level. You will be encouraged to integrate and practice the skills that you should have acquired during the course and to investigate, at Masters Level, an area of specific interest to you. 
    • Risk Assessment and Management in Forensic Settings : This module is designed to provide you with a thorough grounding in the underpinning theory and methods of risk assessment and risk management utilised within forensic settings.
    • The Legal Process: This module seeks to provide you with a general awareness and understanding of comparative law and the legal systems (e.g. inquisitorial vs. adversarial systems). This module is aimed at enabling you to appreciate the nature and functions of the criminal and civil justice systems, as well as the distinctions between them.
    • Global Professional Development – Consultancy: You will have the opportunity to learn how to critically evaluate and develop solutions to complex, inter-related and multi-faceted issues that can be found in a variety of organisations and professional contexts. 

  • Pathway mandatory modules

    These modules are studied solely by students enrolled on the MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health:

    • Forensic Clinical Assessment and Case Formulation: This module will cover the contribution psychology has made to our understanding of criminal behaviour, with psychological theories examined and evaluated in an attempt to understand how these are situated in the real world context and applied and used in forensic case formulations. 
    • Mental Health Disorders in Client Groups: You will have the opportunity to study the contribution psychology has made to our understanding of mental health disorders in forensic client groups (e.g. different types of offenders, patients and at risk individuals, victims / survivors, individuals across the life span). 
    • Professional Practice in Forensic Mental Health: The aim of this module is to consider professional and practice issues in forensic mental health and how they impact on the work carried out by forensic psychologists across different client groups with mental health issues. 

     

Overview

For online part-time students, the modules are delivered over two years.

Modules

  • See Year One

In more detail...

  • Coventry University is ranked 16th in the UK for Psychology in the Guardian University Guide 2020.
  • According to the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2018, 97% of Psychology students reported that they felt the staff on the MSc Forensic Psychology were enthusiastic about what they were teaching.
  • Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Students who successfully complete the Global Professional Development module and meet the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) evidence requirements can gain a Certificate in Strategic Leadership and Management and an Award in Professional Consulting, based on the following units: Strategic Leadership, Strategic Leadership Practice and Tools and Techniques for Effective Consultancy. Completion of this module will enable you to apply for Chartered Manager status via the qualified route, once the other entry criteria have been met.
  • We have links with a variety of relevant external organisations, such as Secure Mental Health Services, the National Offender Management Service (“NOMS”), Community Rehabilitation Companies (“CRCs”), Her Majesty’s Prison service, privately operated prisons and the National Crime Agency.
  • Our current staff have years of professional psychological experience, either as Chartered/Registered Members themselves or as active researchers. Their recent projects have ranged from understanding multiple-perpetrator rape and police responses to domestic violence.
  • Library with Forensic Psychology texts and journals, access to equipment and software such as Biopac and SuperLab, as well as a range of laboratories, including sound-proofed cubicles, a closed-circuit TV observation suite, ‘mock’ prison cells and light and dark multisensory laboratories, all of which are supported by psychology technicians.

The main study themes are: 

  • Research and research methods:  We will cover how to conduct qualitative and quantitative research of relevance to forensic psychology, using a range of techniques and research methods to collect and analyse data and enable evidence-informed practice. 
  • The legal and criminal justice context for forensic psychology:  Aims to develop an understanding of the psychological theories and evidential processes used in the justice system, including the legal framework of the civil and criminal justice systems; processes of investigation; the legal process; the process of detention; working with litigants, appellants, and individuals seeking arbitration and mediation; and interdisciplinary and multi-agency working.
  • Interventions:  We examine the range of interventions available to forensic psychologists, identifying strengths, weaknesses and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions.
  • Client groups:  We look at the various types of client groups that forensic psychologists work with, such as the different types of offenders, patients and at risk individuals of all ages and both sexes, including children and young people in conflict with the law, as well as professionals, groups and organisations.
  • Forensic settings:  Aims to develop the knowledge and skills relevant to forensic psychology, understanding issues of organisational culture and systems. These include prisons; secure units; hospitals; mental health; police; courts (including criminal, family and civil); community settings; charities and social enterprise. 
  • Development and training:  We'll teach you how to take responsibility for your own professional development and appreciate the psychological theories and evidence underpinning the development and training of others.
  • Advice and consultancy:  Explores forensic psychological theories, principles, procedures and evidence when working with organisations on a consultancy basis to contribute to the development of practice, guidance and policy. 

For the one-year full-time cohort, teaching and learning follows the traditional campus-based model of delivery, including face to face lectures and the expectation of full attendance during term-time.

For those wishing to take the part-time option, all teaching and learning materials are provided online, over a two-year period. This version of the course provides flexibility and part-time continuing professional development, potentially (but not limited to) practitioners who are already working in forensic psychology settings. Our current staff have experience in delivering high quality online provision and understand how online learning is substantially different when compared with face-to-face courses. Regardless of teaching mode, online content and library access is provided, and there is the opportunity to be part of a learning community in order to discuss topics online with course tutors, as well as access resources, including online journals and ebooks, through the library. Students are encouraged to engage with each other in online forums and share formative learning opportunities together to enhance the experience.

During the course you will study a range of mandatory modules that carry between 10 and 40 credits each, and then complete a 40-credit dissertation. You will be assessed using approaches such as case studies, risk assessment report, video log, reflective practice, literature review, and empirical reports. Some of the assessments have elements linked to real world tasks. We aim to provide guidance on how to tackle each assessment during the course.

For an MSc award, you are required to complete 180 credits, including the 40-credit dissertation. i.e. you must pass all modules on the MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health to achieve this qualification. As the course is accredited graduates must achieve the necessary 50% pass mark for all modules contributing to achieve a BPS accredited MSc degree (BPS Standards for the Accreditation of the Masters’ Programme in Forensic Psychology and Crime MSc, October 2017). Graduates who do not meet this requirement will exit with a non-accredited award MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health Studies. To achieve the necessary number of credits for all non-accredited awards, graduates must achieve the necessary Coventry University 40% pass mark for all modules contributing to the award.

Upon successfully completing this course, you should be able to demonstrate the following Course Learning Outcomes:

  • A comprehensive knowledge and critical understanding of how psychology can be applied to a range of criminal justice, legal, and forensic settings and client groups (including forensic mental health settings). 
  • Applying psychological knowledge and skills (e.g., critical evaluation) to practice-based scenarios in forensic psychology in mental health settings. 
  • Reflective and critical understanding of yourselves as future practitioners in forensic mental health settings. 
  • Transferable and professional skills applicable to a range of forensic practice settings with a particular focus in forensic mental health. 
  • A critical understanding of psychological research paradigms, research methods, ethical procedures, data analyses, psychological literature evidence and theory. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of the principles of consultancy and the theories and practices found in leadership.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five days.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA 2016/17)


3,482

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17


21,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far

12

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses


Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a minimum 2:2 undergraduate degree in Psychology. Consideration will be given to applicants who hold the equivalent of a minimum of 2:2 undergraduate degrees in Science or Social Sciences where a minimum of 50% of undergraduate study is in Psychology with evidence of studying a curriculum including research methods. 

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) and Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning AP(E)L: The Accreditation scheme provides the opportunity for applicants to make claims for both certificated and experiential (non-certificate) learning, in accordance with the University Regulations (Section 4: Regulations for the Admission of Students).  The learning claim submitted by the applicant may be against credit or exemption.  The claims made will be against the fulfilment of the learning outcomes associated with specific modules of study.

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a minimum 2:2 undergraduate degree in Psychology. Consideration will be given to applicants who hold the equivalent of a minimum of 2:2 undergraduate degrees in Science or Social Sciences where a minimum of 50% of undergraduate study is in Psychology with evidence of studying curriculum including research methods.   

English as a Foreign Language This course requires IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a minimum 2:2 undergraduate degree in Psychology. Consideration will be given to applicants who hold the equivalent of a minimum of 2:2 undergraduate degrees in Science or Social Sciences where a minimum of 50% of undergraduate study is in Psychology with evidence of studying curriculum including research methods.    

English as a Foreign Language This course requires IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

Starts

Fee


September 2020

TBC* (per year)


UK Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2020

TBC* (per year)


EU Scholarships

We're investing into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2020

TBC* (per year)


International Scholarships

We're investing into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Career prospects

According to the British Psychological Society, the largest single employer of forensic psychologists in the UK is the HM Prison Service. Psychologists can also be found employed in rehabilitation units, secure hospitals, the Social Services, conducting research in University Departments and working in private consultancy.

There are two stages to becoming a practising Forensic Psychologist and Chartered Member of the BPS; requiring a combination of professional education and practice. In the first instance, you need the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), followed by an accredited Masters in Forensic Psychology, such as this course.

The second stage requires a minimum of two years of supervised practice and successful completion of Stage 2 of the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology before you are eligible to register with the HCPC and use the title of ‘Forensic Psychologist’.

By studying Forensic Psychology and Mental Health, you should be able to develop knowledge and skills that are relevant across the criminal justice system in a variety of roles, including: crime scene analyst; trainee forensic psychologist; trainee clinical psychologist; behavioural investigative advisor; lecturer in forensic psychology; Home Office, local government or police researcher; police officer; youth offending team worker; offending behaviour programme facilitator, or probation officer.

Where our graduates work

Some of our previous MSc Forensic Psychology graduates have gone on to further study, or into Stage 2 of the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology. Other Graduates have gone on to work for HMPPS, including a range of prison settings such as those dedicated to the rehabilitation of sexual offenders.

Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. A copy of the 19/20 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the University will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University.

The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the webpage and in the prospectus will apply. If the duration of the course is longer than one academic year, the University may increase the fee for each subsequent year of study but any such increases will be no more than inflation.

*2020/2021 course fees have not yet been determined by the University or government legislation. Once the course fees have been determined, the course web page will be updated to reflect your first year course fee. Please continue to revisit the course web page to identify the fee before you accept an offer of a place on the course and/or before you enrol at the University.

Coventry University ranked 15 in the UK
Coventry University awarded TEF GOLD Teaching Excellence Framework
University of the year for student experience
QS Five Star Rating 2019
Coventry City of Culture 2021