MSc Forensic Psychology or MSc Criminal Investigation?

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psych95
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Hi there,

I'm stuck between two courses/pathways and wanted some advice for people who have studied/are studying psychology-related courses, particularly postgrad.

I did BSc Psychology (Hons) almost 3 years ago and I'm currently trying to decide between the following two options:

Option 1: MSc Forensic Psychology and Criminology
PRO - BPS accredited. I can work towards becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist by doing the MSc and then 2 years of training afterwards. Broader range of opportunities (I am assuming) ahead.
CON - Long and expensive process.

Option 2: MSc Criminal Investigation
PRO - Follows the PIP qualification standards (e.g. for police, NCA, etc.). Cheaper than MSc Forensic Psych and less time-consuming. Specific to investigative work.
CON - Not BPS accredited so I don't think it would allow me to work towards being a BPS Chartered Forensic Psychologist.


I have toddler twins and a busy life with them. Don't have loads of money to throw at my education at the moment as we have other priorities but I really want to get back into academia and eventually work in Child Protection/NCA-related work. That's my (sort of) long-term plan.

Any advice from anyone who's been through the process already? I'm really stuck and want to apply ASAP.


Thank you!
Last edited by psych95; 1 month ago
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psych95
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username5365206
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"CON - Not BPS accredited so I don't think it would allow me to work towards being a BPS Chartered Forensic Psychologist." - I'm pretty sure as long as your UG degree was BPS accredited, your Master's doesn't need to be as well as you will already hold GBC. If this is the case, you wouldn't be limited from eventually pursuing the DFornPsy and becoming a chartered Forensic Psychologist if option 2 is better suited to you now.

Tagging bones-mccoy and Lord Asriel as I think their input will prove particularly helpful!
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bones-mccoy
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(Original post by ChangeDirection)
"CON - Not BPS accredited so I don't think it would allow me to work towards being a BPS Chartered Forensic Psychologist." - I'm pretty sure as long as your UG degree was BPS accredited, your Master's doesn't need to be as well as you will already hold GBC. If this is the case, you wouldn't be limited from eventually pursuing the DFornPsy and becoming a chartered Forensic Psychologist if option 2 is better suited to you now.

Tagging bones-mccoy and Lord Asriel as I think their input will prove particularly helpful!
(Original post by psych95)
Hi there,

I'm stuck between two courses/pathways and wanted some advice for people who have studied/are studying psychology-related courses, particularly postgrad.

I did BSc Psychology (Hons) almost 3 years ago and I'm currently trying to decide between the following two options:

Option 1: MSc Forensic Psychology and Criminology
PRO - BPS accredited. I can work towards becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist by doing the MSc and then 2 years of training afterwards. Broader range of opportunities (I am assuming) ahead.
CON - Long and expensive process.

Option 2: MSc Criminal Investigation
PRO - Follows the PIP qualification standards (e.g. for police, NCA, etc.). Cheaper than MSc Forensic Psych and less time-consuming. Specific to investigative work.
CON - Not BPS accredited so I don't think it would allow me to work towards being a BPS Chartered Forensic Psychologist.


I have toddler twins and a busy life with them. Don't have loads of money to throw at my education at the moment as we have other priorities but I really want to get back into academia and eventually work in Child Protection/NCA-related work. That's my (sort of) long-term plan.

Any advice from anyone who's been through the process already? I'm really stuck and want to apply ASAP.


Thank you!
Thanks for the tag ChangeDirection!

It really does depend what you'd want to do career-wise. If you wanted to become a Chartered Forensic Psychologist you'd either have to:

1. Accredited MSc + Doctorate/Stage 2 qualification

2. Unaccredited MSc (but still in Forensic Psychology) + Doctorate

The Stage 2 route is only open to you if you graduate with the accredited MSc Forensic Psychology

Also be aware that the routes afterwards often take longer than 2 years (which is the minimum) - the doctorate route takes 3 years and the BPS qualification route is usually completed within 3-4. It is possible to complete the BPS qualification in the two years but you'd have to be very, very committed and motivated to do so.

So really it all swings on whether you'd want to become a Psychologist or not. I guess if you had the money in the future there's nothing to stop you from re-training in psychology at a later date, though I'm fairly sure Forensic Psychologists don't do a lot of Child Protection work, it's more about rehabilitation, interventions, reducing re-offending, risk assessments etc.
Last edited by bones-mccoy; 1 month ago
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psych95
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Thank you ChangeDirection - I didn't know that!

Also thank you bones-mccoy, that was helpful. I'm just getting a bit anxious/confused because now I'm wondering if Forensic Psychology is the route for me... I'm leaning towards doing the MSc Criminal Investigation for now and then deciding on a Psychologist route afterwards. Funnily enough, I've only just gotten interested in ForenPsych. It used to be either Educational or Clinical for me. But the main thing I want to do is child protection so... I don't even know.

Thank you both, I'll continue looking into this to make a decision.
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bones-mccoy
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(Original post by psych95)
Thank you ChangeDirection - I didn't know that!

Also thank you bones-mccoy, that was helpful. I'm just getting a bit anxious/confused because now I'm wondering if Forensic Psychology is the route for me... I'm leaning towards doing the MSc Criminal Investigation for now and then deciding on a Psychologist route afterwards. Funnily enough, I've only just gotten interested in ForenPsych. It used to be either Educational or Clinical for me. But the main thing I want to do is child protection so... I don't even know.

Thank you both, I'll continue looking into this to make a decision.
No problem

In all fairness, you don't have to become a Forensic Psychologist after doing the MSc, it's just the only MSc you can do if you that's the role you 100% want to go into. Plenty of people end up working in probation, offender management, as a prison officer, interventions facilitator, restorative justice practitioner, or research after completing a Forensic Psychology MSc.

MSc Criminal Investigation sounds really interesting as well though, it's such a difficult choice!
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psych95
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(Original post by bones-mccoy)
No problem

In all fairness, you don't have to become a Forensic Psychologist after doing the MSc, it's just the only MSc you can do if you that's the role you 100% want to go into. Plenty of people end up working in probation, offender management, as a prison officer, interventions facilitator, restorative justice practitioner, or research after completing a Forensic Psychology MSc.

MSc Criminal Investigation sounds really interesting as well though, it's such a difficult choice!
Thanks for humouring my utter confusion, I appreciate the help.

The only thing that attracts me to Criminal Investigation is the direct link/modules on child protection and the process of an investigation. I wouldn’t say it’s easier but it’s definitely more straightforward than ForenPsych which would include modules on quantitative methods, qualitative research, etc. I’ve been looking at the course content and MSc CI is also based on PIP which makes it really relevant.

Hmmm. I might just apply to both and see what happens along the way.


If anyone else has any advice on these two pathways then do add it here, would love to hear more from forensic psychologists!
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bones-mccoy
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(Original post by psych95)
Thanks for humouring my utter confusion, I appreciate the help.

The only thing that attracts me to Criminal Investigation is the direct link/modules on child protection and the process of an investigation. I wouldn’t say it’s easier but it’s definitely more straightforward than ForenPsych which would include modules on quantitative methods, qualitative research, etc. I’ve been looking at the course content and MSc CI is also based on PIP which makes it really relevant.

Hmmm. I might just apply to both and see what happens along the way.


If anyone else has any advice on these two pathways then do add it here, would love to hear more from forensic psychologists!
Yeah I've had two modules this year based purely on research methods/ethics/projects so you do need a fairly good grasp of it all. Like you say, though, there's no harm applying for both and seeing what happens!
Last edited by bones-mccoy; 1 month ago
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