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York launches new MSc in Forensic Psychology

Posted on 6 October 2003

Director-General of the Prison Service gives inaugural talk

A new MSc in Forensic Psychology has been launched at the University of York. The MSc course, designed for prospective forensic psychologists, is run jointly by the Psychology Department and the Centre for Criminal Justice Economics and Psychology, in partnership with the High Security Directorate of the Prison Service. It has been developed in response to the specific needs of high secure forensic services, and a number of practitioners are employed as Teaching Fellows on the course.

30 students begin the course this month. They come from a range of backgrounds, and more than half are currently employed within the High Security Directorate of the Prison Service.

The Director-General of the Prison Service, Philip Wheatley, gives an inaugural talk to the postgraduate students on Wednesday 8 October. He will describe the important contribution which can be made by forensic psychologists to the Prison Service, both in providing treatment programmes for offenders and in providing information to senior managers in the Prison Service on the basis of their forensic psychological knowledge.

The course includes academic and practical modules and a research project. Students will be trained in forensic psychology practice, learn about the legal context, and study research methods. They will also cover topics such as Severe Personality Disorder, and Personality, Emotional Behaviour and Mental Health.

Graduates of the course are likely to seek jobs in the prison and probation services, the police, secure units and other high secure services. Visits to sites where forensic psychology services are used will be included in the course.

Cynthia McDougall, the Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice at York, said: "This unusual and important course has been developed in partnership with the Prison Service and will provide sound building blocks for new forensic psychologists.

"We are delighted that the Director-General is visiting the first students in their first week. The connection between practical application and research will be important to these students throughout their careers."

Notes to editors:

  • The Department of Psychology at York has the highest possible ratings for both teaching (24/24) and research (6*) quality.
  • The Centre for Criminal Justice Economics and Psychology opened in 2001. It is jointly funded by the Home Office and the University of York.
  • Professor Cynthia McDougall OBE is one of Britain's leading forensic psychologists and is the former Head of Psychology for the Prison and Probation Services.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153