MSc in Forensic Psychological Studies - Learning Outcomes

Educational aims

This qualification aims to provide:

  • an advanced understanding of forensic psychology, its relationship to society and the criminal justice system in the UK and other countries
  • skills in research literacy, investigation, writing and presentation
  • the ability to communicate effectively with academic and non-academic audiences (including via online contributions)
  • support and guidance to improve your own learning, collaborative skills, performance and reflective capacities as an independent learner.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this masters degree, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • key concepts, theories and research methods relevant to forensic psychology, demonstrating a critical and advanced understanding of them
  • the complex interrelationship between theory, research, policy and practice in the field of forensic psychology; including professional and everyday applications, and socio-legal processes that define crime
  • the role of power, cultural values, and ethics for practices, concepts and assumptions that influence research and professional practice in forensic psychology.

Cognitive skills

On completion of this masters degree, you will be able to:

  • define, critically examine and apply concepts, theories, evidence and research methods in forensic psychology
  • independently select, interpret, evaluate and utilise different types of data, evidence and research, demonstrating a clear awareness of their strengths and weaknesses
  • interrogate forensic psychology at an advanced level, to independently evaluate the relevance and application of evidence, research methods and findings to related policy and practice
  • construct sophisticated, and explicitly reasoned and evidenced arguments applying forensic psychological knowledge to complex real-life scenarios/cases/issues
  • critically and independently review the existing research policy evidence base in a specific subject area.

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to:

  • independently plan, conduct and manage a sequence of work to meet agreed deadlines
  • recognise the relevance of reflective, analytic and evaluative skills developed through learning, applying these to other contexts such as the workplace
  • use and reflect on your learning to further develop knowledge and understanding, cognitive skills and other key transferable skills that can help achieve personal and/or career goals.

Key skills

On completion of this degree, you will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

  • apply self-direction to identify key issues and generate key questions in the field of forensic psychology
  • work independently to produce complex reports/proposals suitable for academic, professional and/or lay audiences
  • effectively use diverse types of data (numerical, textual), from different sources (academic, policy-research, secondary material) and media (print, electronic, verbal) in a sophisticated evaluative and critical manner
  • develop and display an advanced ability to learn through reflection and through giving/receiving feedback, using appropriate scholarly language/presentation skills.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding is acquired through published distance-learning materials, including specially written module materials, study guides, assignments and project guides; through a range of multimedia material; through work on original texts; and through feedback on assignments as well as peer review, peer feedback and personal reflection.

Assessment is via tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and end–of-module assessments (EMAs), including a substantial dissertation project in which you can choose your own relevant subject specialism. There will be low-weighted group tasks and assessments requiring non-academic styles of presentation (including blogs and wikis). Overall there is an emphasis on the selection (from diverse electronic sources), evaluation and use of material from a range of sources including original academic texts.

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