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Forensic Mental Health MSc



Our flexible Forensic Mental Health course is designed for students with a clinical or academic interest in the complex relationship between mental disorders and criminal behaviour. You will be taught by a multi-disciplinary team of clinical academics. The programme constitutes an ideal first step towards clinical psychology training or a PhD.

Key benefits

  • Focus on the neuroscientific understanding of the development of prosocial and antisocial behaviours across the lifespan.
  • Excellent links with clinical services.
  • Strong emphasis on evidence-based practice and developing the critical skills to evaluate new research.

Key information

Application status Open

Duration One year FT, Two years PT, September to September.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90 (MSc)

Programme accreditations MSc Clinical Forensic Psychology pathway: accredited by the British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology for Stage 1 chartered forensic psychology training

Course intake Approximately 40 FTE (includes 20-25 FT Clinical Forensic Psychology pathway); 25 PT.

Course leaders

Dr Joel Harvey (Clinical Forensic Psychology pathway), Dr Nigel Blackwood (Forensic Mental Health Research pathway); Dr Shubulade Smith (Clinical Forensic Psychiatry pathway)

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 7000 fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions enquiry form

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Department Department of Forensic & Neurodevelopmental Sciences


Entry requirements & how to apply

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

General entry advice

 The following criteria apply to all applicants:

Applicants should have, or be predicted to achieve, a good 2:1 honours degree (minimum) or the equivalent, including an introduction to empirical research, in a relevant subject, eg psychology, neuroscience, criminology, psychiatry, mental health nursing or occupational therapy

Non-graduates (eg nurses with a Diploma) will be asked to provide evidence of their capacity to study at postgraduate level and will be expected to have considerable relevant work experience since qualifying.

Degrees from outside the UK are assessed individually. US graduates should have an overall GPA of at least 3.3.

All teaching is conducted in English and it is therefore essential that students have a sufficient command of the language. Candidates who have not been educated to degree level in English will be required to provide proof that they possess an adequate level of English competence. The minimum levels are set out here.

Pathway specific entry criteria:

Clinical Forensic Psychology

Applicants must have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the BPS. For more information on GBC and careers in forensic psychology in the UK, please consult the BPS website: 

Note - By the time of starting the programme, it is recommended that students have some relevant clinical or forensic experience working with people with psychological difficulties, people who have offended, or victims of crime. Please contact us for advice if necessary to establish whether your work experience would be considered relevant.

Clinical Forensic Psychiatry

*Please note this pathway is not available for the 2017/18 academic year*

Applicants should be qualified and experienced clinicians, e.g. psychiatrists (staff grade, ST4-6, consultant), senior mental health nurses, occupational therapists in a forensic service or working with forensic patients.

Forensic Mental Health Research

Applicants should display  evidence of a genuine interest in the relationship between mental illness and crime, and an aptitude for research. Please supply your degree transcript: we are particularly interested in your marks for research methods, statistics and your undergraduate dissertation

Application procedure

Applications for the Forensic Mental Health Research pathway: We aim to process these as soon as possible after receipt of all information required. Programme admission offers are typically based solely on the application information, although interviews by Skype may be sought to help to inform admission decisions. 

Applications for the Clinical Forensic Psychiatry pathway: 

*Please note this pathway is not available for the 2017/18 academic year*

Applications for the Clinical Forensic Psychology pathway: Shortlisting decisions for the Clinical Forensic Psychology pathway will be made after the deadline and shortlisted applicants will be called for interview in April or May. No application can be considered until full details of academic and employment history are received, including transcripts and copies of degree certificates. We require two references. Please nominate one clinical/forensic referee and one academic referee. Please state explicitly that you have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society (GBC) and provide evidence. 

All shortlisted applicants will be invited to a formal panel interview. Interviews will last 20-30 minutes. 



Personal statement and supporting information

These form part of the application process.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications for September 2017 entry is 31st March 2017. After this date, programmes will remain open if places are available, and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full, so we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. For programmes with spaces remaining, no further applications will be accepted from non-EU (Overseas) nationals after 30th July 2017 or from UK/ EU nationals after 3rd September 2017.


Course detail


Our programme aims to equip you with the knowledge and advanced skills necessary for a career that will involve clinical work and/or research with mentally disordered offenders. There is an emphasis on the clinical relevance of research findings. You will develop the necessary skills to assess and manage risk of antisocial and criminal behaviour as well as establish, manage and evaluate programmes for reducing such behaviour.

You will be required to choose one of three pathways. This means that the combination of modules chosen will lead to a qualification which reflects your chosen focus of study. There are specific entry criteria for each pathway.

The three pathways are:

  • Clinical Forensic Psychology (full-time only)
  • Clinical Forensic Psychiatry *Please note this pathway is not available for the 2017/18 academic year*
  • Forensic Mental Health Research

Students on the Clinical Forensic Psychology pathway will undertake a 75-day clinical forensic placement working at the level of an assistant clinical psychologist and complete a module on Forensic Psychology Practice.

Students on the Forensic Mental Health Research pathway will complete additional research methods and statistics training and may benefit from a voluntary clinical placement.

Students on the Clinical Forensic Psychiatry complete additional training in structured professional risk assessment and management. *Please note this pathway is not available for the 2017/18 academic year*

Further literature

For information on open events visit

Course format and assessment

You will be taught through a mix of lectures, seminars and tutorials. In order to get the most out of the course students, should expect to devote at least one day per week to their studies (part-time students) or 2-3days a week (full-time students)


You will be assessed through a combination of coursework and examinations.

Year 1

Examination (20%) | Coursework (60%)| Practical (20%)



Career prospects

  • PhD programmes
  • Forensic or clinical psychology training
  • Research assistants or assistant psychologists


Forensic Mental Health - The Video

In the heart of London

Hear from current students and graduates on why they chose King's & the Forensic Mental Health programme. We also see what these students have gone on to do after completing their degree

Watch more videos

Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£9,450 p.a (MSc, 2017/18)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£25,950 p.a (MSc, 2017/18)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,725 p.a (MSc, 2017/18)*

Part time tuition Fees - Overseas

£12,975 p.a (MSc, 2017/18)*

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Please note: Current regulations allow some students to pay UK tuition fees on the basis of their EU citizenship or residency. Until these eligibility criteria are changed, the EU tuition fee will remain the same as the UK tuition fee. 


When you receive an offer for this course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure your place. The deposit will be credited towards your total fee payment.

The UK/EU deposit is £500.

The INTERNATIONAL deposit is £2,000. 

  • If you receive an offer on or before 31st March 2017, payment is due by 30th April 2017.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st April 2017 and 30th June 2017, payment is due within one month of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer between 1st July 2017 and 31st July 2017, payment is due within two weeks of receiving the offer.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1st August 2017, payment is due within one week of receiving the offer.

 Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.


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