MSc in Forensic Psychology Studies (MSc FPS)
We also offer a MSc in Forensic Psychology Studies course which shares many of the same elements as the MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology. For more information, see the MSc in FPS tab.
The MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology at York is renowned for producing the highest callibre graduates who are very well prepared for forensic practice. Feedback from employers indicates they are consistently impressed with the ability of York graduates to apply theory to practice and this is reflected in the destinations of many of our recent graduates. Since completing their studies, our students have managed to secure jobs in:
The MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology and MSc in Forensic Psychology Studies (for students without Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the British Psychological Society) were developed in partnership with HM Prison Service Directorate of High Security Prisons. They provide an equal balance of practice-based, methodological and theoretically driven modules designed to foster autonomy within the bounds of professional practice, independent learning and self-directed reflection. The programmes also have strong links with a variety of other forensic practice settings, including Yorkshire and Humberside National Offender Management Services (prisons and probation) and private and public forensic mental health services.
The highly specialist forensic modules, delivered by practising experts in the field, combined with generic practice-based modules, placement opportunities, tutorials and the support of a highly experienced core course team, will provide a sound basis for any trainee forensic psychologist or those interested in the application of psychological principles, including theories of child development and child & juvenile mental health, to the forensic setting.
The course team comprises academics from the University of York and Chartered Psychologists from HM Prison Service Directorate of High Security and related agencies. The Department of Psychology has consistently achieved the highest possible rating for research (rated as 5A* in the recent Research Assessment Exercise) and teaching (24/24). It is ranked among the leading UK universities for national and international levels of excellence for its teaching and research achievement.
The MSc Applied Forensic Psychology course is formally accredited by the BPS/Division of Forensic Psychology. More information on the process of accreditation can be found on the British Psychological Society website.
Both MSc programmes aim to help you make the transition from either undergraduate study or the workplace to the demands of graduate work and, above all, to train you in methods of research and raise your level of critical reflection and intellectual ability. Successful completion of either programme will provide you with the requisite practitioner-based skills, understanding, and knowledge to work effectively and increase your employability in a forensic setting. The MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology will also facilitate chartership within the British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology for students who go on to undertake a further two years of forensic practice as outlined in the conditions for membership.
The three main elements of both courses embody these objectives:
The modules incorporate a range of teaching, supervision and learning strategies including activity-based workshops supported by academic and practitioner lectures, tutorials, seminars, and practical sessions. You will also benefit from visits to various forensic settings. Students will be allocated a personal supervisor to monitor supervision of progress, in addition to both Academic and Practitioner supervisors to oversee completion of the empirical research project.
Students are encouraged to write concisely to a high academic standard for a range of different audiences. Hence, assessment methods are varied and include:
The courses commence with a five-day induction programme designed to equip all students with the requisite work and study skills. The programme includes computer literacy, familiarity with use of the internet and email communication systems, the library and online databases and the Data Protection Act. Induction Week occurs in Week 1 of the Autumn Term (8-12 October, 2012). Attendance is mandatory for all MSc students.
The MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology is a full-time (51-week), 180-credit programme divided into eight modules. The programme includes a 20-credit module offering exposure to, and training in forensic psychology practice, a 20-credit module to familiarise you with legal and contextual issues and two 10-credit modules to equip you with the more generic professional skills required for forensic psychology practice and research. There is one further 20-credit module looking at the impact of mental health issues on offender behaviour, assessment and treatment. Additionally, two 20-credit modules cover research methods, the first of which covers quantitative research methods. The second addresses a range of more applied techniques.
Students undertaking the MSc also design and implement an empirical research project either in small groups or individually. Depending on the research question, this can involve collecting data from a forensic setting. Further research training is provided to assist you in your chosen topic area. The work for the project is time-tabled over the Easter vacation, summer term and summer vacation, although students are expected to provide an outline of their proposed project towards the end of Term 1. The dissertation is a maximum of 10,000 words and is completed independently. It should aim to demonstrate evidence of the integration of theory and practice with the evidence-base.
|Term 1||Induction programme|
|Forensic Psychology in Practice||Research Design and Statistics||Legal and Contextual issues||Forensic and Generic Skills|
|Term 2||Forensic Psychology in Practice||Additional Research Methods||Forensic Mental Health||Transferable Skills|
|Term 3 / vacation||Empirical research project / Dissertation|
|Term 1||Induction programme|
|Forensic Psychology in Practice||Research Design and Statistics|
Forensic Psychology in Practice
|Additional Research Methods|
|Term 3||Empirical research project / Dissertation|
|Term 4||Legal and Contextual issues||Forensic and Generic Skills|
|Term 5||Forensic Mental Health||Transferable Skills|
|Term 6 / vacation||Empirical research project / Dissertation|
To complement their studies, many students are able to organise voluntary placements in forensic settings. The course team is sometimes able to help secure placements for full-time and part-time students who have little or no forensic experience. In addition to receiving supervision from the provider, students will also be assigned to a member of the course team who will oversee their performance throughout the placement.
In the past, students have managed to secure placements with the following:
The course team aim to organise a number of student visits to various settings throughout the Autumn and Spring Terms. These visits provide students with the opportunity to sample the conditions in which they may be expected to work as forensic psychologists. They can, as a result, prove invaluable in helping students decide which areas they wish to pursue after graduating from the programme.
In previous academic years, there have been student visits to:
The research interests of the course team offer you a wide range of expertise over a diverse range of topic areas covered in forensic psychology. The course team comprises:
The course team is supported by staff from the Department of Psychology. Additional tuition is provided by Chartered Forensic practitioners (or their equivalent), drawn from HM Prison Service and other forensic agencies. These include:
'I studied for both my BSc in Psychology and my MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology at York University. Due to the prestige of the lecturers in the department, the content and structure of the course at York and the facilities of the psychology department itself, I decided to complete my MSc at York. The content covered in the course, which included numerous lectures with leading experts in the field made the MSc both enjoyable and essential to securing voluntary work in the forensic field and then gaining an assistant post which required an MSc in Forensic Psychology. I have also recently been offered a trainee post after 6 months as an assistant. The speed of progression in this job is due to the excellent teaching at York into the practical applications of forensic psychology into forensic settings. There is a perfect balance between theory and application, especially through a core module taught in forensic psychology in practice. I thoroughly enjoyed and value my experience at York University on the MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology and would and have recommended the course to anyone wishing to undertake a forensic psychology.
Emily Needham, full-time student
MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology
'I have thoroughly enjoyed studying at York on the Applied Forensic Psychology MSc. Seminars and talks by professionals have provided me with great insight into the role of the Forensic Psychologist in different settings and confirmed my ambition to become chartered as such. I have taken full advantage of the various placement opportunities available and am confident that these will increase my chances of attaining a position of Trainee Psychologist after graduation.
Jo Leeming Sykes, full-time student
MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology
'I have been pleased to complete my Applied Forensic Psychology MSc at York for a number of reasons; the course's links to professionals working throughout the discipline, having a number of chartered psychologists directly involved with the programme and the university's excellent reputation to name a few. As someone currently employed in the field, the course helps me link theory to practice, improve my understanding of forensic psychology's role outside my specific area and develop my own skills as a psychologist. This should facilitate progression to a trainee post as well as improve my professional practice."
Jonathan Derbyshire, 1st year, part-time student
MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology
'I am completing the MSc part time alongside working as a Forensic Psychologist in Training on the Westgate Unit at HMP Frankland. I chose to study at York because the course structure is designed to support those who are combining both work and study. I think that one of the main strengths of the department is the emphasis it gives to linking theory with practice. As a student, I have been encouraged to think about how the material covered in lectures can be applied to the work I do. Completing the MSc at York is part of my qualification route to becoming a chartered forensic psychologist. I feel confident that the material I have covered over the last two years will continue to be useful as I pursue this career.'
Aiveen Fox, 2nd year, part-time student
MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology
'The course content surpassed my expectations. The teaching staff are highly specialised and the educational material was delivered in the most interesting and engaging way, covering all the basic domains and applications of forensic psychology. I recommend this course for all psychologists who want to expand their knowledge in this field, demystify stereotypes and understand the broader canvas of forensic populations. The MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology will challenge your ideas and stimulate your mind with an array of modules and seminars that are grounded in reality and contain up-to-date information.'
Stavros-Ioannis Tsompanidis, full-time student
MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology
We normally look for a UK bachelor degree in psychology with first or upper second class honours (or the overseas equivalent). To be eligible for entry on the MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology programme of study, you must have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS), as this is a BPS accredited programme. You need to submit a letter from your institution stating your eligibility for GBC, or this should be clearly stated by your referees in the reference they provide for you.
Applicants without GBC may apply for the equivalent non-BPS accredited MSc in Forensic Psychology Studies (MSc FPS) but their first degree should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of psychological principles together with competency in research design and analysis.
When assessing your academic record, we take into account your grade average, position in class, references and the standing of the institution where you studied your qualification. It is therefore important to state, where your degree has been awarded, what your GPA and/or grade was (i.e. above 65%) in addition to your degree class obtained. We particularly welcome applicants from institutions of high ranking and repute and give preference to students with relevant forensic experience, although this is not essential.
Your personal statement should answer the specific questions outlined below. Applications will not be successful without this statement.
Please let us know your current average or final mark for the subjects you have studied for your degree, and if possible your position in class. It is particularly helpful for us to know what your results have been for the research design and statistical analysis components of your degree.
Please tell us why you are interested in studying forensic psychology at the University of York and how the course will impact on your future.
Please let us know about any relevant experience you have gained (full-time job, summer job, internships etc.).It is competitive to gain a place on the course.
Please tell us what makes you stand out as an applicant compared to others.
Please include a proposal for your research project within your statement. This should summarise your area of interest and comment on which member of the course team you wish to be supervised by.
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of competence in the English Language. We normally look for a score in the British Council's IELTS test of 7.0 or above (with no individual element below 6.5) or a TOEFL score of 620 in the paper-based test or 260 in the computer-based test, but please note that we may ask for higher scores than this in some cases.
The closing date for applications is normally 31 March for October start. However, due to heavy demand for places, applicants are strongly advised to apply at the earliest opportunity (i.e. October - December of the year before entry), particularly if they have already obtained their first degree (2.1 or higher). Applicants are also advised to make the course team aware if they make any changes to the application.
Applications are considered online using EVISION and cannot normally be processed without copies of the following:
Where all documentation is provided, we endeavour to process your application within six weeks.
Course fees for the MSc AFP and FPS are set at the higher rate for overseas students.
For full details and current fees see the non-standard fees section of the Student Recruitment and Admissions pages.
MSc in Forensic Psychology Studies
The Masters in Forensic Psychology Studies will suit students who are keen to undertake a postgraduate qualification in Forensic Psychology but who do not posesses an undergraduate degree which grants them the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). The Masters in Forensic Psychology Studies follows the same programme of study as the MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology and both are examined to the same high standard.
In order for a psychologist to become chartered by the British Psychological Society's Division of Forensic Psychology, a student should preferably complete an accredited Masters programme in Forensic Psychology in addition to undertaking a period of practice supervised by a Chartered Forensic Psychologist. Therefore, students who complete the Masters in Forensic Psychology Studies will not be eligible to register for Chartership as a Forensic Psychologist with the British Psychological Society. Applicants who are looking to become a Chartered Forensic Psychologist should consider applying instead for the Masters in Applied Forensic Psychology so long as they already possess GBC.
AFP & FPS attract non-standard fees
The tuition fees for 2013/2014 are:
Further information on fees is available from Student Recruitment and Admissions.
Who to contact
For more details, please contact:
- Postgraduate Administrator