Psychology and Therapeutic Studies
Start date(s)
September 2023
Study Mode
Full time (1 year)
Part time (2 years)

Course overview

Are you planning to pursue a career as a forensic psychologist? Would you like to learn from expert psychologists with specialist skills and experience working in prisons, including with young offenders and vulnerable prisoners?

Examine the role of psychologists in legal settings and develop your understanding of crime, criminal behaviour and the assessment and rehabilitation of offenders.

Our MSc Forensic Psychology course is specifically designed to meet the criteria of the British Psychological Society (BPS) as the first stage of becoming a forensic psychologist.

This specialist programme is aimed at students who hold a BPS-accredited Psychology degree or professionals working within the Criminal Justice arena looking to secure a forensic psychologist trainee position.

About this course

On this course, you’ll develop a robust understanding of the psychology research on which forensic psychology practice is based.

The course is delivered by psychologists with experience across a broad range of forensic and forensic mental health settings and by specialist forensic or forensic mental health researchers. They will use this experience to enhance your learning through numerous practice-based clinical examples and research-led teaching.

Following a critical and theoretical introduction to forensic psychology and the development and context of research in forensic psychology and its application, you’ll explore the practice of forensic psychology including the role of the forensic psychologist.

We’ll help you develop your understanding of approaches and techniques used when working with forensic populations as well as research methods needed for psychological enquiry and how to apply these to research projects in forensic settings.

You’ll also complete a supervised piece of research in an area relevant to Forensic Psychology.

Due to its strong applied forensic focus, this postgraduate degree offers excellent preparation for psychology work in prisons and other related settings.

You’ll benefit from our established links across the industry, including prisons throughout the UK, and from opportunities to volunteer in a relevant professional environment, so you’ll graduate equipped with the knowledge, practical skills and experience needed to be a forensic psychology trainee.

If you already work in the field, the course will allow you to develop both your theoretical and practical understanding to become a qualified forensic psychologist and the confidence to take the next step in your career.

Career progression

The next step is to complete approved applied training, such as the Qualification in Forensic Psychology provided by the BPS. The Prison Service is the largest employer of forensic psychologists, but opportunities also exist in the wider Criminal Justice System, the Home Office, the NHS (in special hospitals and rehabilitation units), the police and social services. Alternatively, graduates may choose to pursue a career in academia and research, including progressing to PhD study.


You will study a variety of modules across your programme of study. The module details given below are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

Forensic Psychology: Context, Theory and Application

This module provides core curriculum content from the BPS, including a critical and theoretical introduction to forensic psychology and the development and context of research in forensic psychology and its application.

Professional Development in Forensic Practice

You’ll study forensic psychology practice, including the role of the forensic psychologist, and the critical thinking and reflective practice needed to work in this type of role as well as the importance of professional ethics and other related issues.

Assessment, Formulation and Treatment in Forensic Settings

We’ll help you to develop an in-depth understanding of approaches and techniques for assessment, management and treatment with forensic populations.

Advanced Research Methods for Practitioner Psychologists

You’ll be introduced to the techniques and research methods needed for psychological enquiry at an advanced level, including systematic reviewing skills and ethical considerations. This module will enable you to apply these research method skills to designing research projects in forensic settings, applying for research ethics approval and collecting and analysing research data.

Applied Research Project

You’ll complete a supervised piece of research work in which you’ll develop your independent research skills and apply them to an area relevant to forensic psychology.

Course Structure

Teaching is delivered in three one-week blocks at University in September, January and April, and is supported by online learning. A wide range of teaching and learning approaches are provided including lectures, tutorials, specialist guest speakers, time for self-study and online supervision throughout.

While this course is delivered in a way which is flexible enough to allow you to continue to pursue existing work commitments, it is also possible for you to study on a part-time basis. In the first year, you would attend the one-week block of teaching in September, as well as completing any associated online learning and assessment and in the second year, you would attend the week long blocks in January and April, as well as the associated online learning and assessments.

Learning and Teaching

At Leeds Trinity we aim to provide an excellent student experience and provide you with the tools and support to help you achieve your academic, personal and professional potential.

Our Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy delivers excellence by providing the framework for:

  • high quality teaching
  • an engaging and inclusive approach to learning, assessment and achievement
  • a clear structure through which you progress in your academic studies, your personal development and towards professional-level employment or further study.

We have a strong reputation for developing student employability, supporting your development towards graduate employment, with relevant skills embedded throughout your programme of study.

We endeavour to develop curiosity, confidence, courage, ambition and aspiration in all students through the key themes in our Learning and Teaching Strategy:

  • Student Involvement and Engagement
  • Inclusion
  • Integrated Programme and Assessment Experience
  • Digital Literacy and Skills
  • Employability and Enterprise

To help you achieve your potential we emphasise learning as a collaborative process, with a range of student-led and real-world activities. This approach ensures that you fully engage in shaping your own learning, developing your critical thinking and reflective skills so that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and use the extensive learning support system we offer to shape your own development.

We believe the secret to great learning and teaching is simple: it is about creating an inclusive learning experience that allows all students to thrive through:

  • Personalised support
  • Expert lecturers
  • Strong connections with employers
  • An international outlook
  • Understanding how to use tools and technology to support learning and development


You will be assessed through a variety of projects and coursework such as:

  • Case formulation reports
  • Reflective accounts
  • Research reports
  • Presentations

The type of assessment will vary from module to module, with the focus on helping you to develop your knowledge, skills and understanding of the application of forensic psychology in practice.

Entry Requirements

Leeds Trinity University is committed to recruiting students with talent and potential and who we feel will benefit greatly from their academic and non-academic experiences here. We treat every application on its own merits; we value highly the experience you illustrate in your personal statement.

The following information is designed to give you a general overview of the qualifications we accept. If you are taking qualifications that are not included below, please contact our Admissions Office who will be happy to advise you.

  • Applicants should hold an Honours degree (minimum 2:1) in Psychology (or equivalent, e.g. MSc Psychology (Conversion)) which confers Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) status with the British Psychological Society (BPS). To check whether your degree gives you eligibility for the GBC, visit the BPS website.
  • Ideally, you should have some relevant voluntary or paid experience involving forensic settings or forensic clients, e.g. working with offenders, people at risk of offending or victims or observation of criminal courtroom proceedings.

This course is not available to students on a Student Route Visa.

Fees and finance


UK Home Students:

For information about our tuition fees please visit our Student Fees and Finance pages.

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Leeds Trinity University, you may be eligible for a discount of up to 50% on the cost of your tuition fees.

Leeds Trinity Alumni Discount

Some Leeds Trinity graduates are eligible for a tuition fee discount on postgraduate courses of up to 50%, excluding PGCE Provider-led, School Direct or SCIT courses and Masters by Research courses. You will need to achieve a 2:2 or above in a Leeds Trinity undergraduate course to qualify.

MA/MSc programmes and LLM Law 50% for graduates with a 1st class honours degree
MA/MSc programmes and LLM Law 35% for graduates with a 2:1 honours degree
MA/MSc programmes and LLM Law 20% for graduates with a 2:2 honours degree

MA Childhood and Education/MA Education/MA Family Support

MA Mental Health in Children and Young People

20% for PGCE graduates if none of the above apply

How to apply

How to apply

This course is not available to students on a Student Route Visa.

There is no official closing date for applications, but the course will be closed when it is full. We therefore encourage you to make your application as early as possible.

Please ensure you complete the application form in full and supply all the required supporting documentation when you make your initial application. Incomplete applications may be rejected.

If you need advice on your application, please contact our admissions team on 0113 283 7123 (Monday to Thursday, 9.00am to 5.00pm, or Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm) or

What happens next?

Our admissions team will acknowledge receipt of your application by email. Where applications are submitted but references are still in progress, admissions will wait for the reference(s) to be received and then will process it, and forward to the relevant Programme Leader within five days of receipt of the reference(s).

The Programme Leader will make a decision based on your application. You may be asked to provide a reference to demonstrate your academic and non-academic experiences, or you may be invited to attend an interview. If you are successful and made an offer, the conditions will be outlined in your offer letter. 

Applications will be acknowledged within five working days. Applicants will be contacted within 15 working days with a request for additional information, invite to an informal interview or an application decision.

Made an offer?

You should accept or decline your offer by emailing

If you accept, you'll need to prove you satisfy the conditions outlined in your offer letter.

You may be asked to present the relevant supporting documentation in person to the student information point on campus, if originals are not needed you’ll be contacted and given details of how to provide the supporting documentation.

Receive an alumni discount

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Leeds Trinity University, you may be eligible for a discount of up to 50% on the cost of your postgraduate tuition fees. 

Visit our Student Finance pages to find out more.