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COURSE OVERVIEW

  • Complete Stage 1 of the BPS chartership process
  • Study with highly active practitioner Forensic Psychologists and researchers

  • Receive case-based hands-on training in assessment, intervention, and consultation

Forensic Psychology at Winchester provides the academic component (Stage 1) of the route to becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist with the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology and Practitioner Forensic Psychologist status with the Health and Care Professions Council. The programme also supports you with the transition towards Stage 2 of the chartership process by incorporating practice-based assessments.

The course introduces the context and application of psychology in various forensic settings including the legal and criminal justice system, forensic psychological practice and forensic mental health. You are introduced to the role of a forensic psychologist in practice. The programme focuses on core theoretical models of crime with an emphasis on theoretical, practical and methodological limitations.

When considering applied skills in forensic practice, there is a focus on specialist assessments, core treatments and interventions utilised when working with various client groups in a forensic setting. Client groups include offenders in prison, secure hospitals and the community, as well as offenders on probation and within the legal system (court assessment). You gain the ability to design, conduct, analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological research in a chosen specialised research area.

There is an emphasis on reflective practice skills, and professional and ethical practice in the workplace. There are also opportunities for volunteering in optional forensic practice placements via the university’s volunteering department. Core modules include Foundations of Forensic Psychology Practice, The Criminal Justice System and the Legal Framework, Specialist Skills in Treatment and Interventions, and Investigative Psychology.

You have access to excellent facilities including numerous research cubicles and laboratories equipped for conducting forensic interviews, developmental research, EEG and social observation. There is a strong criminal investigation representation and practitioner focus within the teaching team, and there is a departmental forensic research group which complements the programme.

Graduates of the course pursue careers in various specialisms within forensic psychology, including the legal and criminal justice system, forensic psychological practice and forensic mental health.

Accreditation

Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

Careers

The programme provides the first step (Stage 1) towards gaining Chartered Forensic Psychologist status with the BPS.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work placements

Students have the opportunity to volunteer on optional forensic practice-related placements.

Learning and teaching

A diverse range of teaching methods are employed including laboratory classes, lectures, seminars, tutorials and individual project supervision. Students have access to excellent facilities including numerous research cubicles and laboratories equipped for conducting forensic interviews, developmental research, EEG and social observation.

There is a strong criminal investigation representation and practitioner focus within the teaching team, and there is a departmental forensic research group which complements the programme.

Location

King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester

Assessment

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. A variety of assessment methods are employed including essays, literature reviews, report writing, presentations, and examinations, as well as a quantitative or qualitative empirical project.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

2018 Entry: A first or second-class Honours degree (or recognised equivalent qualification) in Psychology and Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society (BPS). Students who do not fulfil this GBC entry requirement are considered on an individual basis by the programme team.

If English is not your first language: 

IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent

Selection process

You will be required to attend an interview.

For applicants who are unable to travel to Winchester (such as those who reside outside the UK), an interview may be conducted via Skype at the discretion of the programme team. 

Course enquiries and applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234

Send us a message

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at International@winchester.ac.uk or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

The Priority Application Deadline is 31 May. Late applications can be accepted throughout the remainder of the application year. For more information see our How to Apply section.

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Evenings.

Year 1: Level 7

Modules Credits

Assessment and Consultancy within Forensic Practice 20

This module introduces students to assessment and consultancy approaches within forensic psychology practice. The assessment process of various types of offending behaviour will be discussed with particular emphasis on risk and clinical factors. Students will be encouraged to critically evaluate assessment approaches, and consider the importance of integrated assessment and formulation. Assessment considerations in various client groups will be considered (e.g. victims and offenders). There will also be an emphasis on forensic consultancy practice, for example the production of professional reports, training, organisational interventions, policy development, and project management and evaluations. There will be a focus on key skills required within this role such as reflective and ethical practice, and the ability to provide advice to non-psychologists within an accessible, efficient and competent manner. Key strengths and difficulties/ barriers encountered within this consultancy role will be discussed.

Empirical Research Project 60

This module provides students with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth and independent empirical study within the field of forensic psychology. Students will demonstrate originality in the development and application of knowledge and research skills gained elsewhere in the programme. They will be required to resolve the complex conceptual, methodological and practical problems that are often encountered by psychological researchers. Completion of a dissertation will demonstrate their comprehensive understanding of all stages in the research process, an ability to deal with complex issues creatively and systematically, and to communicate information in a clear and appropriate fashion. The module will prepare students to undertake future psychological research through the practical experience that they have gained under the supervision of a member of academic staff.

Research Methods in Psychology 20

The module provides a framework for the consideration of research within psychology and spans a wide range of methods and methodologies. Issues such as validity, reliability, representativeness, sampling, reflexivity and generalisability will be addressed through a variety of different examples of research. Throughout the module students will be encouraged to contemplate the relationships between theoretical positions taken by researchers and their approach to research. This will allow them to examine the assumptions underpinning research and its interpretation. Students will be encouraged to compare research within frameworks (e.g., between correlational and ANOVA designs) and across frameworks (e.g., between experimental designs and focus group interviews), in order to explore different ways of asking questions and the fundamental processes of discovery and knowledge in human and scientific research.

The Criminal Justice System and the Legal Framework 20

This module will introduce students to the criminal justice and legal framework.  In particular, students will be informed about the role and function of key institutions that form the criminal justice system. This includes the prison service, the court system, the police, probation service, youth offending and the secure services. There will be a focus on the role of a forensic psychologist in practice within these key forensic institutions. Students will also be informed about criminal and civil law, where cultural aspects will be discussed (e.g. refugees). The applicability of the law to vulnerable populations will be discussed, in particular, children, vulnerable adults/ mentally disordered individuals. The law applied within specialist settings such as mental health review tribunals and parole board hearings will be reviewed, Finally to further build on discussions regarding the cultural aspects of forensic psychology, international variations in the legal system will be explored.

Specialist Skills in Treatment and Interventions 20

This module introduces the various treatment, interventions and therapy approaches provided to clients within a forensic setting. There will be coverage of traditional offence focused treatments (e.g. SOTP) and forensic psychotherapy  (e.g. CAT) approaches for offenders. In addition, intervention for victims of crime such as Restorative Justice, CBT and EMDR will be discussed. There will be a discussion of the evidence-based versus the practice-based treatment debate. The ‘what works’ literature will be discussed, as well as responsivity issues in various client groups.  Students will consider the importance of an integrated approach to treatment and they will be encouraged to critically evaluate current treatments and interventions available for clients within a forensic setting.

Investigative Psychology 20

This module will introduce students to the investigative psychology components of forensic psychology in practice. In particular, students will be informed about the various psychology based techniques utilised during an investigation such as eyewitness testimony, facial composites and offender profiling. Various interviewing techniques utilised within the process of investigation will be discussed, specifically with children and vulnerable suspects and victims. The difficulties of techniques utilised within investigation will be reviewed such as false confessions, suggestibility, false allegations, and lie detection/polygraph. Consultancy within this setting such as expert witness testimony, and crisis negotiation and hostage taking will be discussed.  The approaches utilised within the process of investigation will be evaluated from a theoretical, methodological and ethical perspective.

Foundations of Forensic Psychology Practice 20

Students are introduced to the fundamental theoretical perspectives within the field of Forensic Psychology. Core theories and perspectives about the criminal behaviour of specialist client groups encountered in a forensic setting are discussed. Theoretical understandings of criminal behaviour will be discussed more generally initially. Following this, the focus will be on the theoretical understandings of specific offending behaviours including sexual offending, violence, fire-setting, terrorism, stalking and hostage taking. In addition, theoretical perspectives regarding the offending of specialist client groups encountered in a forensic setting will be discussed, in particular female and adolescent offending, the offending of individuals with mental illness and personality disorders, learning disability and Autistic Spectrum Disorders. These core theories of offending will be critically evaluated, in particular their applicability, and key methodological and theoretical strengths and limitations. There will also be a focus on discussing theories and perspectives regarding victimology to provide a holistic theoretical background.

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Course Tuition Fees

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

Full-time entry | £6,900
Part-time entry | £3,450 p/a

Total Cost | £6,900

International Students

Full-time entry | £12,950
Part-time entry | £6,475 p/a

Total Cost | £12,950

ADDITIONAL COSTS

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services

SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES AND AWARDS

We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards.

Key course details

Duration
Full-time: 1 year Part-time: 2 years
Typical offer
A first or second-class Honours degree (or recognised equivalent qualification) in psychology and Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)...
Location
King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester