Mobile menu icon
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type

Advanced Practice in Forensic Mental Health (MSc)

Explore the relationships between mental disorders and criminal behaviour through our skills-based course.

Advanced Practice in Forensic Mental Health Overview

Year of entry: 2017

View tabs | View full page


Our flexible MSc course will help you put your knowledge and experience of mental healthcare into practice in a forensic setting.

This course is suitable if you currently work or want to work in secure hospitals, prisons, the Ministry of Justice, the police, probation or other community-based services for mentally disordered offenders.

You will be taught by leading authorities in forensic mental health, with Manchester Medical School having affiliated staff who are experts in forensic and related mental health issues.

The key course units you will study are:

  • clinical psychiatry
  • risk assessment
  • personality disorders
  • applied law
  • research methods
  • advanced risk analysis including sex offender assessment and treatment.

Optional course units are also available, including CBT and family interventions.

You can choose from full-time and part-time study options to suit your current working circumstances.

CPD opportunities

We offer two units from this MSc as standalone courses for continuing professional development (CPD). Please visit the Advanced Practice in Forensic Mental Health (CPD units) page for more information.

You can also attend high-quality training events aimed at forensic mental health professionals and run by the Forensic Academy.

Learn more

More information on this course is below, including details of how to apply. If you would like to sign up for advice on the application process or ask a specific question, please fill in our online contact form.

Degree awarded
Master of Science, PG Diploma
MSc 1year FT/3years PT, PGDip 9 months/2years PT
Entry requirements

An honours degree (minimum 2:2) or equivalent from a recognised institution and an approved and relevant professional experience, which the University accepts as qualifying the candidate for entry. In the case of non-UK applicants, an institution that is recognised and approved by the University and the School must award the degree.

Relevant research or professional experience may be acceptable in place of an academic qualification or first degree, but enrolment will only be on the Diploma in the first instance.

All applicants will be expected to have basic IT skills, familiarity with the internet and access to a PC and/or laptop.

International students must have an equivalent classification and should refer to entry requirements from your country for further information.

Applicants who fail to meet the required entry criteria for the programme will be considered on an individual basis, but may be required to enrol initially on another route of the programme such as a postgraduate certificate or diploma. These people may be allowed to progress to the full MSc course if they pass the course at the required, MSc level.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants
Contact email
Contact telephone
+44 (0) 161 306 7604
How to apply

We recommend that you apply as early as possible; the formal deadline is the end of July. We reserve the right to close applications earlier if the course is full.

Please apply via our online application form , following any instructions for completion carefully. All supporting documents, including the Employer Support Form  (Word, 90KB), should be uploaded with the online application form. Contact if you have any problems.


Your application form must have the following documents:

  • two academic references on letter headed paper or sent from work emails. Professional references can be provided in instances where you have been out of university for more than 3 years. We do not contact referees directly so please inform them yourself;
  • copies of official degree certificates (with translations if not in English);
  • copies of official university transcripts (with translations if not in English);
  • a personal statement;
  • a scanned copy of your passport;
  • proof of English language proficiency (if required);
  • an Employer Support Form  (Word, 90KB) signed by your manager.

Supporting documents can be uploaded with the online application form, or sent directly to . After applying, please do not submit documents in any other way without telling us first so we can provide you with the most efficient service.

Please make sure you include your University ID number on any correspondence.

Course options

Full-timePart-timeFull-time distance learningPart-time distance learning

Course description

The course is a flexible evidence-based postgraduate course in contemporary advanced forensic mental health practice and research that is open to students from a multidisciplinary and multiagency background.

The course is suitable for clinical or social care staff who are currently employed in, or who desire to be employed in, a forensic setting or those settings where service users have forensic mental health needs.

This would include settings such as:

  • secure hospitals;
  • prisons;
  • Ministry of Justice;
  • probation;
  • community-based services for mentally disordered offenders;
  • private/independent secure sector providers.

The course would also be suitable for staff currently employed in settings where service users present with complex mental health/psychological needs with risk behaviours or vulnerabilities that place them at risk of contact with the criminal justice system or forensic mental health services.

This would include settings such as:

  • patient intensive care units;
  • early intervention services;
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) inpatient services;
  • substance misuse services;
  • learning disability services.

Staff not holding a professional qualification may be eligible to apply but will need to seek advice from the Programme Director as regards the suitability of the course.

The course aims to be skills-based, so that students return to services with demonstrable skills to meet service objectives.

The part-time course will be run on a part-time modular basis with four units per year for the first two years.

The full-time course will feature eight units from September to May and a dissertation from June to September.

Teaching will be a blend of face-to-face teaching, e-learning and supervised clinical practice. The third year will be dedicated to completion of the Masters dissertation under close supervision from University staff.

The course is designed to be flexible, to enable students to balance academic work with existing workplace demands. Students can also choose one optional unit within the course.

Subject to availability these include:

  • structured family interventions for psychosis;
  • developing practice and managing change.

Teaching sessions will be prepared and presented by leading authorities in the field of forensic mental health. We have a number of affiliated staff who are leading authorities in forensic and related mental health issues including Professor Jenny Shaw, Professor Louis Appleby, Dr Caroline Logan, Dr Jane Senior, Dr Roger Webb and Dr Charlotte Lennox.

There will be an initial induction at the commencement of the course, which is generally two-days. Following this, the course requires one day per week dedication for the part-time pathway, and two days per week full-time during term-time, which will involve periodic attendance at University.

In order to achieve the practical-skills outcomes associated with some course units, the equivalent of one day per week in practice will be required.

Students are required to identify a suitable practice supervisor/mentor to oversee and assess the clinical and/or practice work required for the course units.

Full-time students will require access to a suitable clinical or similar placement.


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2017, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £9,500
    International students (per annum): £21,500
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): Year 1 £3,800; Year 2 £3,800; Year 3 £1,900
    International students (per annum): Year 1 £8,600; Year 2 £8,600; Year 3 £4,300
  • PGDip (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £3,800
    International students (per annum): £8,600

Additional expenses

The University permits applicants with comparable previous experience to submit an application for consideration of AP(E)L `Accreditation Prior (Experiential) Learning. The maximum AP(E)L is 15 credits to a Certificate, 45 credits to a Diploma and 60 credits to a Masters.

If an AP(E)L application is successful, the University charges £30 for every 15 credits of AP(E)L. The overall tuition fee is adjusted and then the administrative charge is applied.


The University of Manchester has a number of bursaries aimed at removing barriers to masters study for students. Find out if you are eligible.