BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology

Should someone in prison for life be released into the community? Explore the minds of victims and offenders.

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply


Psychology is the science of human behaviour and mind. It is concerned with individual psychological processes and the social context of how we think and interact with the world around us. Forensic Psychology applies these processes and knowledge to legal domains, helping shape how the police, courts, prisons and probation services understand and react to victims, witnesses and offenders.

Our course is the first step to training as a Forensic Psychologist. Forensic psychologists assess and treat offenders, work with victims and witnesses to crime, and give evidence in court. They might carry out risk assessments on offenders with mental health issues, work with children with anti-social behaviour or create treatment plans to help rehabilitate offenders.

Through studying with us, you’ll develop a thorough understanding of psychology, studying core British Psychological Society (BPS) content, such as Freud’s personality theory, Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, the social factors that affect our behaviour, and what makes us individuals. As well as developing a thorough understanding of key psychological research, theory and principles, you’ll also explore a wide range of topics focusing on psychology in legal contexts, including offender behaviour, eyewitness testimony, jury decision-making, police investigations, and the assessment and treatment of offenders.

Work-based learning really helps you to see how psychology applies to everyday life, and gives you valuable experience of working in professional settings.

Our degree courses are accredited by the British Psychological Society, which has also ranked the Department of Psychology at Manchester Met as outstanding.


Features and Benefits

  • Accredited course- Our course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

  • Outstanding facilities- You’ll have access to our specialist facilities for psychology demonstration and practice, which includes an fNIRS imaging research device, 12 experimental testing laboratories and six psychology laboratories.

  • Teaching expertise- Our teaching staff includes practicing researchers, counsellors, and forensic and community psychologists.

  • Study abroad- You’ll have the option to choose our Study Abroad route. Completing your third academic year at one of our partner institutions in Europe, America, or Australia. 

"The staff offer drop in sessions on the psychology floor nearly every day, so it we need help they are always around to guide us or offer us some advice, which I think it really useful and important” Kira Maw, BSc (Hons) Psychology student

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

“I was quite surprised about how much Manchester Met push you to strive for the best. There are loads of workshops available to help us.”

ALICE SUSAN DEE ALLEN, BSc (Hons) Psychology

Career Prospects

Perhaps you see yourself in sports coaching or counselling children? Maybe you’re fascinated by business or finance?

As a forensic psychology graduate, there’s a diverse range of career paths you could take. You might decide to complete further training in order to pursue a career as a forensic psychologist, or work for the police, prison service or in a charity supporting ex-offenders or victims of crime. Alternatively, you can use your transferrable skills to work across sectors as diverse as education, social care and human resources (HR). Some of the places you might work in are local authorities, social services, prisons, sports clubs, NHS or private hospitals, schools or rehabilitation centres.

Where do some of our graduates work? In housing services at Manchester City Council, as a probation case manager for Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company, as a psychology assistant for an Early Intervention in Psychosis Team at an NHS Trust, and as a trainee High Intensity CBT therapist.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required


A Levels - Grades BBB excluding General Studies.  

Acceptable alternatives e.g. BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/Diploma/Extended Diploma at Level 3 (Grades DDM) in Applied Science or Health Professions.

We do not accept Extended Project or CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education & Care (Early Years Educator - VRQ).

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or grade 4.

Equivalent qualifications such as Functional Skills Level 2 in Numeracy and Literacy and Key Skills are not accepted for this course.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with an overall Tariff point score of 120.  Acceptable subjects are Psychology, Social Sciences, Biology/Human Sciences and Health Professions.

International Baccalaureate points

26 IB Diploma Points

IELTS score required for international students

6.0 with no component below 5.5, taken within two years of course start date

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Additional Requirements

Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be required prior to enrolment.

Further information

In addition to formal qualifications it is recognised that students who wish to study psychology may have diverse backgrounds.

Therefore, it would be helpful if the following could be outlined in the application:

a) Your reason for choosing psychology

b) Any work experience you may have undertaken

c) Any interests of hobbies that you enjoy or take part in

Furthermore, remember that it is vital your personal statement is clear and well presented.

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course you may be eligible for our foundation year

Course details

The department offers a diverse psychology teaching curricula. We cover a whole spectrum of subjects within psychology. Our BSc Forensic Psychology course has a real focus on understanding how forensic psychology applies to real world settings. As such, we introduce and examine a range of contemporary issues within society, and consider how forensic psychology has helped to shape practices within the criminal justice system to the benefit of victims, witnesses, suspects and legal professionals. Individual and group work focuses on problem solving and developing excellent transferrable skills of critical evaluation, communication and teamwork.

You may study units in Difference and Diversity in Forensic Psychology, Contemporary Issues in Forensic Psychology, and Achieving Best Evidence. Some of the topics you’ll learn about include child witnesses to crime, police interviewing of suspects, theories of offending and working with vulnerable witnesses.

You’ll have lots of variety each week, as you’ll experience different teaching methods across each psychology topic. You’ll usually have days with a mix of lectures, practical sessions (such as role plays and debates) and group work.

Assessment is normally through a combination of formal examinations and course work, which may include essays, reports, group projects, practical exercises and presentations.

In your first year, you’ll explore a wide range of topics within forensic psychology and explore the contemporary issues within the field. You’ll study core British Psychological Society (BPS) content to comply with the guidelines and give you a thorough understanding of key theory.

You may study units in Social and Community Psychology and Developmental and Individual Differences. Some of the topics you’ll learn about include stress in the workplace, learning styles, problem solving, and emotional intelligence.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Personal and Professional Development in Psychology

This unit will enable you to prepare and engage with work-based learning opportunities. It will enable you to develop your knowledge and skills whilst reflecting on theoretical frameworks and concepts that relate to the psychology of group work, learning and study.

The unit will also enable you to personally develop your employability skills and the knowledge necessary for the competitive psychology graduate job market, including `"professional behaviour" and "emotional intelligence". You will engage in developing a professional etiquette, and through psychological theory, will be able to identify and apply theoretical concepts related to social and community psychology to enhance work-based learning. Reflective practice and critical thinking will be a key component of this unit.

Term one will provide you with pre-placement preparation information in a classroom setting.

Key Topics in Psychology

Key Topics is an introductory unit covering foundational theories and practices from five core psychological disciplines.

The unit is designed to provide an overview of key theories and practices from five British Psychological Society core psychological disciplines. Unit content, whilst integrated and complimentary, is subdivided into distinct sections: Biopsychology, Cognitive, Developmental, Individual Differences and Social. Central topics will be covered within each discipline.

Investigating Psychology 1

In this unit, we introduce you to commonly used research designs and statistics within psychology, including methods of analysing quantitative and qualitative data and the conventions of reporting psychological research, including the displaying of data.

Contemporary Issues in Forensic Psychology

This unit aims to introduce you to the different ways in which forensic psychology issues can be understood, by covering a range of topics linked to staff research interests.

In this unit, contemporary issues in forensic psychology are placed in their social, historical and applied setting. A number of contemporary issues and debates in forensic psychology will be explored from a variety of theoretical perspectives. Topics covered will reflect recent topical news stories, real life cases, and reflect challenges and advances in practice and policy developments

Transitions into Forensic Psychology

This unit introduces alternative pedagogies in forensic psychology, in which you will work independently and collaboratively, to negotiate unit content and modes of assessment.

This unit will employ small group student led teaching, as part of the tutorial system. During this unit, you will be encouraged to develop a collaborative approach to your learning of psychology. During unit tutorials small groups will be encouraged to work collaboratively to select a topic from a predefined range, which focus on a key debate or challenge within forensic psychology. This approach will foster independent learning and team working as a forerunner to employability, as well as a sense of belongingness within your student group.

In your second year, you’ll continue to build on the knowledge and skills learnt in year one. You’ll learn how to put academic knowledge into practice, working with victims and witnesses to crime.

In your second year, you’ll also complete a period of work-based learning to help you apply psychology to a work environment. And in the summer between years two and three, you’ll have the opportunity to apply for an internship to work with our academics on a research project.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Investigating Psychology 2

Development of knowledge and skills in using advanced research designs, including quantitative and qualitative analysis. Content will cover the collection, analysis and reporting of both quantitative and qualitative data.


The unit will address core topics in biopsychology, providing a biological perspective to understanding human and animal behaviour.

Cognitive Psychology

This unit covers a range of key areas in cognitive psychology. It provides a foundation for understanding contemporary issues, debates and methods in this interesting and core psychological field.

You will critically explore key areas of cognitive psychological theory and research. This will include discussion and evaluation of the theory and methodological issues.

Lifespan Development

This unit is designed to explore a range of developmental psychological topics over the course of the lifespan.

You will explore a range of theoretical, methodological and applied aspects of developmental psychology. The unit will cover a range of developmental psychological topics across lifespan.

Critical and Social Psychology

This unit explores social psychological topics, and differences in approaches to social psychological knowledge.

It will cover areas of social psychology outlined by the British Psychological Society, for example social cognition, attribution, attitudes, group processes and intergroup relations, culture, close relationships, social constructionism, self and identity, and leadership. Through the exploration of these topics you will consider alternative paradigms, perspectives and approaches in social psychology and the ways in which social psychological knowledge is impacted by the context in which it is gained.

Extended Forensic Psychology Project

The unit will support the development of our personal self-efficacy and your ability to work in groups by requiring you to form a
community of practice to produce a presentation informed by ethical research principles.

Building on skills developed across level 4 study, you will work collaboratively to design a project around an issue in forensic
psychology. Working in groups, you will be required to complete a literature review to identify an appropriate research question in forensic
psychology and design a research project taking into account barriers and ethical considerations to carrying out this project. You will
not be required to collect data to carry out this study.

Difference and Diversity in Forensic Psychology

This unit explores approaches that understand individual differences in personality, intelligence, and in other aspects of mental life applied to forensic psychology.

Differences and diversity in forensic populations (victims, witnesses, suspects, offenders) throughout their engagement within the criminal justice system will be explored. The relevance of individual differences within forensic psychology will be explored together with the need to tailor approaches within the criminal justice system to individual needs. The 'difference' section will focus on the related areas of personality and individual differences while the diversity section may cover historical and contemporary issues relating to diversity and inclusivity.

You’ll be able to choose optional units in your final year in areas that you’re particularly interested in, themes may include cybercrime, substance misuse and addiction, and psychoanalysis.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Forensic Psychology Dissertation

On this unit you will design, conduct, analyse and report on an empirical psychological research project. The dissertation may be in any area of Forensic Psychology, subject to the availability of a supervisor.

Dissertation supervisors will hold regular supervision meetings with you. These meetings will provide ongoing guidance and formative feedback to enable you to plan your forensic psychology research and construct your report.

You will only be able to collect data once ethical approval has been gained within the `Preparing for your forensic psychology dissertation' unit.

Preparing for your Forensic Psychology Dissertation

Preparing for your Forensic Psychology Dissertation is a unit covering issues pertinent to the development of a research proposal and ethics application in preparation for empirical research.

The unit is designed to equip you to develop suitable research aims and questions for an empirical forensic research project based on a literature review, and to plan for appropriate methodologies that will cohere with these. The unit will engage you with consideration of ethical implications of your proposed dissertation research in line with Faculty and British Psychological Society guidelines and Code of Ethics.

Achieving Best Evidence

This unit will cover forensic psychology in practice.

In this Unit, students will explore the structure of the criminal justice system, legal processes and the roles and responsibilities of professionals working within the criminal justice system. The unit will examine how psychology has been applied to the investigation of crime, working with victims, witnesses, suspects, courtroom processes and rehabilitation.

Ethical Practice in Forensic Psychology

The unit aims to introduce the skills needed to work ethically and professionally within forensic contexts. 

This unit will introduce students to knowledge and skills related to forensic assessment and treatment. The unit will explore working with offenders in an ethical and professional manner. The role and relevance of ethical standards set out by the BPS and HCPC in shaping practice in forensic settings will be discussed.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:


Department of Psychology

Our Department of Psychology is a large, diverse team of accredited psychologists, which includes practicing researchers, counsellors, and forensic and community psychologists.

The department aims to bring a real, relevant and modern perspective to teaching, with a view to using its wealth of knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to inspire the next generation of psychologists.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £15,000 to £16,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs


All of the books required for the course are available from the Library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. You may also need to print your assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop and up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Placement Costs


Professional Costs


Other Costs



Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

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How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

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UCAS code(s)


Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
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All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.