msc forensic psychology open university

Last Updated on July 29, 2023

MSc in Forensic Psychological Studies

This masters degree enables you to gain an advanced understanding of the fascinating area of forensic psychology, while enhancing your analytical and communication skills, and your research literacy. Taking a case-based approach where you examine real life criminal cases you’ll learn about a broad range of topics relevant to forensic psychology. You’ll develop an understanding of the relationship this field of research has with law enforcement, legal practice, policy, public opinion and the media. You’ll also develop your critical analytical skills and your understanding of the principles driving different research methods. By completing this qualification you’ll be able to source, select and review forensic psychological research independently, evaluate its relevance for complex real life issue/cases, assess its validity and clearly communicate your findings to a range of audiences. 

Key features of the course

  • Provides professional development for careers where research literacy, analytic and communication skills are valued
  • Experienced tutors and bespoke teaching materials provide an exploration of engaging topic areas and research
  • Relevant for existing professionals or those with an interest in all areas of the UK criminal justice system and civil or social services.

Please note that this masters degree is not accredited by The British Psychological Society and be aware that when studying forensic psychology you will encounter sensitive topics and case details (e.g. relating to murder, rape, child sexual abuse) which may be upsetting.   

Masters degree

Course codeF73Credits 180How long it takes2 years
Read more about how long it takesStudy methodDistance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?Course costSee Fees and fundingEntry requirements

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Course details


To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

Compulsory modulesCreditsNext start
Principles of social and psychological inquiry (DD801)6001 Oct 2022
Investigating forensic psychology (DD802)12001 Oct 2022

Please note that Investigating forensic psychology (DD802) is worth 120 credits. Fees for postgraduate modules are based on the number of credits you study. Therefore, the fee for this 120-credit postgraduate module will be double that for the 60 credit module Principles of social and psychological inquiry (DD801).

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

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