Forensic Psychology and Mental Health MSc Online 2021/22 entry

Course code:

HLST253

Study options:

2 years part-time (online)

Location:

100% online study

Starting:

September 2021
January 2022

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

Recruitment and Admissions Office

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321
Request information

Course code:

HLST253

Study options:

2 years part-time (online)

Location:

100% online study

Starting:

September 2021
January 2022

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

Recruitment and Admissions Office

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321
Request information

Course code:

HLST253

Study options:

2 years part-time (online)

Location:

100% online study

Starting:

September 2021
January 2022

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

Recruitment and Admissions Office

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321
Request information

Overview

This course 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. It is part of a suite of courses in the field of forensic psychology at Coventry University, which also includes MSc Forensic Psychology (campus-based and online versions), and the campus-based MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health course.

You will examine a number of topics including psychological theories and evidential processes used in the justice system, and the range of interventions available to forensic psychologists, working with diverse client groups including the various 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.

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 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.

Coventry University has extensive experience of on-line learning, utilising simulation and virtual reality with the aim to enhance teaching and learning.  In a recent (2020) article in The Guardian Coventry University was listed as one of just 6 UK universities with the capacity and will to develop high-quality online education. This recognition is supported by Coventry University being ranked top of Mooclab’s World University Rankings by MOOC Performance 2021.

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 (staff may be subject to change).

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.

COVID-19

The University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via emerging online technologies and methods across all courses. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2020/2021 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.

Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to Covid-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

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

British Psychological Society

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society for the 2021/22 intake. 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, ). Any subsequent attempts are capped at 40%. 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 a minimum of 40% pass mark for all modules contributing to the award.


Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

The course includes the Consultancy module, accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Please visit the CMI website for full details on the CMI accreditation.

Students who successfully complete the Global Professional Development ‘Consultancy’ 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 can enable you to apply for Chartered Manager status via the CMI qualified route once all other entry criteria have been met. For more information, please visit the CMI website.

Coventry University’s accreditation with CMI is currently ongoing for the relevant modules, but is frequently reviewed and monitored by the CMI through their quality systems. If any changes occur with respect to our accreditation related to these modules, we will seek to notify applicants and students as soon as possible.

Course information

The MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health (online, part-time) course is primarily for those who wish to progress in a career associated with forensic psychology and specifically work in forensic mental health settings, or with offenders with mental health issues. It focuses on mental health issues in forensic settings, and examines the role of forensic psychologists throughout the criminal justice system, not only in working with offenders in developing and implementing treatment programmes, but in areas such as provision of expert testimony or conducting research into the impact of mental health on aspects of the criminal justice system. The course is designed to cover the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology's (DFP) core curriculum, covering diverse topics such as the theoretical basis of forensic psychology across a range of settings, through all stages of the criminal justice process. However, there is a specific focus on mental health and offenders.

Five core mandatory modules will be delivered for all students on the four aligned MSc courses: MSc Forensic Psychology (campus-based and online) and MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health (campus-based and online). An additional three mandatory pathway modules will then be delivered solely to students on the MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health (campus-based and online) courses to specialise the content of each degree and differentiate them from the MSc Forensic Psychology courses. It is therefore important to read all course webpages related to the two pathways and compare the specific topic areas covered, to ensure you apply for the most appropriate course for you.

Top 200

For the 3rd year in a row Coventry University has been ranked one of the top 200 universities in the world to study psychology.
Read news article

Times Higher Education

Modules

Overview

Throughout the course you will examine core areas of forensic psychology, including an understanding of different types of criminal behaviour, including how psychological theories have enhanced our understanding. You will also investigate mental health issues prevalent in different client groups and the role of forensic psychologists throughout the criminal justice system.

For online part-time students, the modules are delivered over two years. Depending on your start date, the modules will be studied in different semesters. For more information contact the course director.

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

Modules

  • Pathway mandatory modules

    These modules are specialised and studied solely by students enrolled on the MSc Forensic Psychology and Mental Health (campus-based or online only).

    • 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).

  • Core mandatory modules

    These modules are studied by all of the Forensic Psychology and Forensic Psychology and Mental Health MSc courses (whether online or campus-based).

    • 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 you with 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 module is also designed to help you develop the skills and knowledge required to summarise, analyse and present research findings relevant to the subject area.
    • 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.
    • Global Professional Development – Consultancy (CMI module) - 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. Please see Accreditation and Professional Recognition section.

Overview

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

Modules

  • Pathway mandatory modules:

    • 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.
    • 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.

  • Core mandatory modules:

    • 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.
    • 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 university’s ethics process) at an advanced level. You will be encouraged to integrate and practise the skills that you should have acquired during the course and to investigate, at master’s level, an area of specific interest to you.

In more detail...

  • Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 can enable you to apply for Chartered Manager status via the CMI qualified route once all other entry criteria have been met. For more information, please visit the CMI webpage.

The main study themes are: 

  • 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 aim to 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.
  • 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. 

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. 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. (Staff may be subject to change)

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 Online to achieve this qualification. To be awarded an accredited degree, graduates must achieve a minimum of 50% pass mark on first attempt for all modules contributing to the accredited MSc degree (British Psychological Society Standards for the Accreditation of the Masters Programme in Forensic Psychology ). Any subsequent attempts are capped at 40%. 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 a minimum of 40% pass mark for all modules contributing to the award.

Upon successfully completing this course, you will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • 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 yourself as a future practitioner 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.

This course has been designed specifically to allow you to study when it is convenient for you. You can access materials any time of the day or night, seven days a week. The course material is presented online and contains interactive activities. You can interact with students and staff through forum and peer-feedback activities.

Please note that each module credit requires 10 hours of study, thus a 20-credit module requires 200 hours of study including lectures, workshop and independent study. Self-directed study includes, completing the recommended reading that accompanies your lectures, working on coursework assignments, taking part in group work and exam revision. 

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

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 2018/19, we were able to provide a total of 5,469 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 2016/17


5,469

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2018/19


12,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally since 2016

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 2021

£10,400 (per year)


January 2022

£10,400 (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 2021

£16,600 (per year)


January 2022

£16,600 (per year)


Scholarships

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

Starts

Fee


September 2021

£16,600 (per year)


January 2022

£16,600 (per year)


Scholarships

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

Course essentials - additional costs

This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to) travel, accommodation, activities and visas.

This course may incur additional costs associated with any equipment or materials.

Career prospects

Graduate Immigration Route visa

Based on current information from the UK Government, international students whose study extends beyond summer 2021 may be eligible for a visa under the UK Government’s Graduate Immigration Route, which will enable students to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to two (2) years. Check the most up to date guidance available to check your eligibility and any updates from the UK Government before making an application or enrolment decision.

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 universities 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 master’s 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

This is a new course so there are no previous graduates. However, graduates from the related course, MSc Forensic Psychology graduates have gone on to further study, or into Stage 2 of the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology. Others have gone on to work for HMPPS (Prison and Probation Service), 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 2020/21 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 course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.