This course has concessions available

NEW:Forensic Psychology – Online

Philosophers and Social Scientists have long sought to identify what causes anti-social behaviour like aggression, violence and theft. Forensic Psychology is a rapidly developing speciality that applies Psychological research and theory to legal justice issues, in seeking to minimise the occurrence and sequelae of offending behaviour. Unlike much of Psychology practice, clients are not necessarily engaging with Forensic Psychology services of their own free will, which can raise a number of practical and ethical issues around the management of services.

There has been a rise in eye-catching and engaging media content where brilliant Detectives and Psychologists profile elusive offenders, and bring them to justice. The work portrayed in these is not necessarily accurate. If you are interested in what happens in both high-profile and mundane administration of justice, strategies to prevent re-offending, how victims are supported and a whole debate about these matters, this may be the course for you!

Who is this course for

Everyone with an interest in Forensic Psychology or the Criminal Justice system. Some previous interest in Psychology and/or criminal law may be beneficial, but certainly not essential - as we shall start from basics. Some learners may have an interest in developing their support for challenged clients, e.g. those in Youth Work roles, Medical or Nursing roles etc.; or understanding of professional roles they support e.g. Legal Secretaries, Court Administrators etc.

What does this course cover

The aim is to provide insights into the content and breadth of Forensic Psychology. Topics will include some history of the discipline, applying research evidence, Forensic Neuropsychology and Psychopathology, psychological constraints upon capacity to stand trial, culpability and mitigation; eye-witness testimony, assessing and supporting staff, victims & offenders. Beyond drawing upon the corpus of knowledge from mainstream Psychology, the course content will necessarily include some fundamental legal principles that the Forensic Psychologist must work with.

What will it be like

The course will be run online using Zoom for the live class sessions and either the Moodle page for the course or some other system for the distribution of the electronic resources for the session sitting alongside this. Although there will be some adjustments that need to be made for the online version of this course, we will aim to keep the experience as close as possible to that of a face to face course taught in the Centre.

Each week in class we will explore different aspects of Forensic Psychology, both in formal presentation and groupwork. This may include working with vignettes. Your participation in discussions and group activities is vital to successful learning in an applied topic such as this. You will also have an opportunity to research and present a relevant topic of your choice.

There is no formal assessment of your learning on this introductory Course, but you will receive informal feedback upon your progress at various times during the term.

What else do you need to buy or do

The course will be run on Zoom, please make sure you have installed it in advance of your first class on your computer or mobile device. You can sign up for free here:

You will need a microphone (it's fine to use whatever is built into your device) and camera, so we can see you via video. You may also want to use headphones during the session.

You can participate in class sessions through the use of a computer, laptop, tablet or other similar internet enabled device. Please note that if you only have access to a smartphone, you will be able to attend the class sessions and participate in them but you will find it more difficult to benefit from the full range of materials and activities involved in the course if this is your only means of connection.

Make sure you have a small space to work in during the session and that as far as possible that you can keep this space quite and clear of interruption so that you can concentrate on what is happening in the class.

By signing up to the course you are consenting to being on camera. The content of the lesson may occasionally be recorded by the tutor for internal education and training purposes but any such recordings will not be made available to anyone outside of the Mary Ward Centre organisation without us asking you again for further permission to do so.

You will not need any additional books, equipment or resources for this Course - just an open and enquiring mind! You can expand and deepen your learning by undertaking some private study using indicated reading and a range of resources/links specific to the topics we are exploring. These will be made available on Mary Ward's electronic learning platform (Moodle).

What this course could lead to

Many will be following this as a leisure interest - perhaps inspired by the media profile in this area. It could also introduce you to a competitive occupational pathway in Forensic Psychology which has applications in the NHS, Tribunal Work, secure Mental Health settings and offender management; as well as academic posts. Other possibilities include enrolling upon an Undergraduate Degree in Psychology or Criminal Law.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

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Why choose Mary Ward?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’