Criminal Psychology at University of Portsmouth - UCAS

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Course summary

Overview If you're looking to start your career in criminal psychology, or you're already working in the field and want to progress, our MSc Criminal Psychology degree course will give you the knowledge and skills you need. Understanding the psychology of crime is essential to its investigation. On this course, you'll explore and analyse the role of psychology within complex criminal investigative techniques, such as police interviewing and deception detection, and gain insight into courtroom psychology and jury decision making. You'll delve into key issues such as offender profiling and the links between offending behaviour and mental health. You'll customise your degree by choosing specialist subjects, such as missing persons investigations or offender rehabilitation. When you graduate, you'll be ready to work with offenders or victims within any area of the criminal justice system, including policing, law enforcement, probation and intelligence analysis. This course is not accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • Understand the psychology of offending behaviour within the contexts of causation, intervention, rehabilitation and mental health, while also weighing up the efficacy of current legislation
  • Learn from an experienced team of criminal psychology specialists in our School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and hear from industry expert guest speakers from around the world
  • Have the opportunity to use our lab equipment to carry out your own research, such as our eye-tracking and VR technology, and crime scene and operational simulation spaces
  • Enrich your learning through events and field trips – examples include Bethlem Museum of the Mind, on the grounds of the infamous 'Bedlam' Hospital, and a Life Behind Bars conference, hearing from those with lived experience of incarceration
  • Be part of our community of researchers by getting involved with our criminology research groups, such as the Collaboration of Forensic Interviewing and the Probation, Prison and Penology research group
  • Interact and explore criminal psychology with fellow professionals from the world of criminal justice
  • Complete a major project based on your chosen area of research, with the support of qualified and enthusiastic experts in the field
Careers and opportunities On this Master's in Criminal Psychology, you'll gain a tailored postgraduate qualification to add to your undergraduate degree, or to back up your existing career knowledge from the field. You'll delve deep into the subjects you choose to study through research, gaining an evidence-based perspective and a greater ability to be analytical and evaluative. You'll graduate with the tools you need to not only understand the difference criminal psychology can make to the justice system, but also to challenge existing processes and make improvements. If you already work in the field of criminal justice, you'll be ready to pursue higher-level roles, or to break into a different area of the discipline. If you're still to embark on your career in criminal justice, you'll gain the knowledge and advanced research problem-solving skills you need to stand out to employers and contribute positively to justice system reform. You could also go on to further study, or progress on to a graduate scheme such as PoliceNow or the Civil Service Fast Track Apprenticeship Scheme. Graduates of this course can go on to roles such as:
  • police or law enforcement officer
  • probation or prison officer
  • data analyst
  • intelligence analyst
  • cybersecurity
Graduates of this course can go on to work for organisations such as:
  • the Civil Service
  • national and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs)
  • Government agencies and departments internationally
  • probation and prison service
  • the Courts
  • local administration / authorities
  • private security companies
  • charities


Core modules

  • Dissertation/Major Project (60 credits)
  • Investigation and Psychology (30 credits)
  • Psychology and Offending Behaviour (30 credits)
  • Research Methods and Research Ethics (30 credits)
Optional modules in this year include:
  • Dangerous Offenders and Vulnerable Victims (30 credits)
  • Missing Persons: Global Perspectives (30 credits)
  • Rehabilitation and Desistance From Crime (30 credits)
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies. Therefore, course content is revised and regularly reviewed. This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels

Assessment method

You'll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • reports
  • oral presentations
  • projects and portfolios
  • seminar participation and engagement
  • dissertation / major report
You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. You can get feedback on practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a relevant subject (Social Science, Humanities, Law, Psychology, Forensic Science or Management subject). Information Technology or science related subjects will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants with equivalent professional experience in a relevant organisation will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
TOEFL (iBT)91 with a minimum of 24 in Reading, 23 in Listening, 25 in Speaking and 24 in Writing.
PTE AcademicAn overall score of 61 with a minimum of 61 in each skill.
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) and Proficiency (CPE) (taken after January 2015) An overall score of 176 with no component score less than 176.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) and Proficiency (CPE) (taken after January 2015) An overall score of 176 with no component score less than 176.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £10400 Year 1
England £10400 Year 1
Northern Ireland £10400 Year 1
Scotland £10400 Year 1
Wales £10400 Year 1
Channel Islands £10400 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £10400 Year 1
International £17200 Year 1

Additional fee information

Students who are resident in EU countries: please note that the net fee is inclusive of the Transition Scholarship. Fees are accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may also go up in later years, in line with inflation.
Criminal Psychology at University of Portsmouth - UCAS