Forensic Psychology and Mental Health MSc

Part of: Psychology and Medicine


Study options

Starting in
September 2020
Charterhouse Square
UK/EU: £9,250
International: £20,850

What you'll study


Programme changes for 2020

At Queen Mary, we have been adapting to the challenges of Covid-19 so we are ready for the new academic year, with all the academic, pastoral and community support you need to settle in and thrive. For your chosen programme of study, the result is an innovative blended learning offering, giving you access to a world-class education whether or not you can join us on campus from September. For more information, please visit our dedicated FAQ pages.


Please note that the modules listed below are for students starting the programme in September 2020.

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Compulsory/Core modules

Evidence, Policy and Global Health

The module provides an introduction to the philosophy of science and debates about the nature of data and evidence from a public policy and practical / applied public health perspective. The literature covered in the module will draw attention to the nature of social systems that are influenced by a range of socially, culturally and politically mediated factors and variables. Its approach to the study of the social factors that influence health, public health programmes and health policy will differ from, but complement, the teaching and methods of study that are covered in the Epidemiology and Statistics module (ICM6040). Overall the module will develop and strengthen critical appraisal skills and help intercalating students develop a command of the multi-disciplinary field of Global Health. These are skills that will be new, and crucial throughout their studies and in particular during the second semester as students begin to consider their dissertation project.

Forensic Mental Health Dissertation

In this module, students will work on a piece of independently produced research relevant to forensic mental health, which can be clinical (based on clinical work), empirical (based on new research data) or synthetic (an evidence synthesis). Students will be assisted in topic choice and guided through the process by a personal tutor but will be expected to collect data themselves, or organise access to it, and write the thesis independently. Topics will be identified in consultation with potential supervisors draft from QMUL academic staff and ELFT clinical staff involved with the programme, and a topic list will be made available in Semester 1. Students will be asked to select three potential topics (with identified supervisors) and the module organiser will endeavour to facilitate students' first or second choices. Some topics (e.g. 'evidence base for forensic mental health practice') may be broad enough to accommodate more than one student at a time.

Applied Research Methods

This 15-credit module provides students with advanced-level training in research techniques appropriate for postgraduate research projects. It includes lectures on key research principles, such as research methodology; writing up research; and conducting ethical research projects, as well as practical workshops focused on developing skills in data analysis.

Introduction to Forensic Psychology and Mental Health

This module provides an overview of the theory, practice and evidence base for forensic mental health services in the UK and internationally. It provides a focus on the practices of violence prevention, risk assessment and management, as well as legal frameworks and the role of different professionals with the forensic mental health system.

Psychological, Psychosocial, and Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Working with Offenders

Recent government policy acknowledges that professionals from criminal justice, mental health and third sector agencies are expected to work with personality-disordered offenders. These individuals¿ complex emotional, inter-personal, behavioural and social difficulties can result in great personal distress, and ¿ sometimes ¿ a significant risk of harm, to themselves and/or those around them. In this module, students will developing a better understanding of the interpersonal, team and organisational dynamics that can help or hinder this work.

Investigative and Legal Processes in Forensic Psychology and Mental Health

This module equips students with knowledge of practical application of theoretical knowledge bases related to investigative and legal processes within the discipline of Forensic Psychology and Forensic Mental Health. The contribution of Forensic Psychology to the English Legal System will be introduced prior to students reviewing involvement of related theory and practice in the investigative system. Theory and research are drawn from a number of related areas, including the link between forensic psychology and: policing; interrogative interviewing; working with witnesses; eyewitness testimony; behavioural investigation, and offender crime scene behaviour.

Professional Practice in Forensic Psychology and Mental Health

This module equips students with knowledge of core skills employed by Forensic Psychology and Mental Health professionals in their workplace. The module maps out both classic and contemporary work in these settings and relates theory and research to practice with a particular focus on risk assessment. The module commences with a period of intensive teaching prior to offering individual teaching days later in the semester. Teaching will review the evidence base relating to risk assessment in addition to covering such topics as engaging with patients, and administration and interpretation of psychometric tests. The teaching develops understanding of the role of the Forensic Psychologist within assessment and risk management processes. The module will introduce participants to key risk assessment principles, such as an overview of different assessment methods (e.g. Structured Professional Judgement; Actuarial; Clinical) in addition to revisiting specific frameworks (e.g. HCR20, SAPROF). Participants will be required to apply learning to practical exercises, with the use of case examples to assist in the development of risk assessment and formulation skills. The module will also notionally include a placement within a clinical forensic psychology/mental health service, or a service allied to forensics (e.g. a Community Rehabilitation Company or the National Offender Management Service). However this will be optional, and will not be credit bearing. If students wish to undertake a placement this will be chosen by the student from a set of placements arranged by the Module Organiser with collaborating NHS Trusts or other providers (e.g. private providers; NOMS).