Masters (MSc) Forensic Mental Health

MSc Health and Social Care (Forensic Mental Health)

The SoFMH are delighted to announce the transfer of our postgraduate Master of Science degree to the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), where it received validation earlier this year.  The programme is currently in a transition stage and we look forward to welcoming applicants for this new course in September 2017.  Two new modules are being developed, these are; Substance Misuse and Mental Health through the Criminal Justice System.  As new information on the new course and these new modules becomes available we will update the page.  In the meantime, to express an interest in commencing this course in September 2017 please contact Deborah Walker

The course provides graduates with in-depth research-informed knowledge and critical awareness of theoretical, methodological and practical issues in forensic mental health, equipping students with the core skills necessary to apply for senior clinical or managerial positions.

The programme is designed for those who are currently, or are looking to be employed in a Forensic setting such as a secure Hospital, the Scottish Prison Service, the Scottish Police Service and Community based services, with mentally disordered offenders. Staff undertaking the course will have access to lectures from leading practitioners and academics that have extensive experience in a range of forensic settings. A huge advantage of the course is that it is delivered through online distance learning, enhancing its flexibility for practicing professionals.

There are seven modules plus a masters dissertation to be completed within the Programme, these include:

Mental Disorder & the Law and Treatment & Interventions for Mentally Disordered Offenders 
The aim of this module is to explore the relationship between mental health and the legal system including civil issues and matters concerning mentally disordered offenders. The module will also enable students to understand the approaches to and core features of a range of treatments and interventions in a forensic context. The topics covered include: the legal system; inquiries; psychiatric defences; medical, psychological, occupational and social interventions.

Problem Behaviours in Forensic Mental Health
The aim of this module is to enable students to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the theory and empirical evidence linked with sexual offending and with personality disordered offenders. The module will introduce students to a variety of assessment and risk management strategies to deal with problem behaviours in sexual offenders and personality disordered offenders.

Risk Assessment and Management 
The aim of this module is to enable students to explore the subject of risk assessment and risk management in relation to mentally disordered offenders at each stage of the patient journey. The students willacquire a comprehensive knowledge of and an ability to appraise the different approaches associated with risk assessment and risk management. There is a further expectation that on completion of this module students will have developed the skills to carry out various risk assessments under supervision, they will also be capable of employing a number of risk management strategies and be able to report this competently.

Evaluating Evidence to Develop Research and Inform Practice 
This module is designed to direct learning and facilitate independent study in relation to furthering knowledge on evaluation of literature, research design and interpretation of data that relates to the student’s field. The module will provide further knowledge on appraising evidence from published literature, qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, ethics, data collection and relevant analysis. The intention is for students to be able to discriminate between different research methodologies suitable to answer specific pertinent practice-based questions.

Masters Dissertation (60 Credits): This module involves independent work on an original area of research – enabling students to develop creativity and originality in the application of knowledge and theory. This can be done by either traditional methods of data collection and analysis or a meta-analysis of the existing research. Each of these approaches will enhance planning, evaluation and management skills and will provide the oportunity to apply the principles of research in order to make a significant contribution to the existing body of knowledge in the chosen area of interest.

It is envisaged that two of these modules will be completed in the first year and two within the second year. The programme is fully online and is taught during the academic session teaching times of September through to May.  The third year will concentrate on the completion of the Masters dissertation. Although we would encourage everyone to undertake the full MSc, we understand that this may not be feasible, therefore the modules can be completed on an individual basis for CPD purposes.

Applications are being invited for the September 2017 intake and entry requirements include familiarity with forensic settings and access to the forensic population. A degree in a relevant subject is desirable but not essential. An articulation route exists between HNC Healthcare (Forensic) at New College Lanarkshire (Mothewell Campus) and the Postgraduate Certificate in Forensic Mental Health.

Enquiries regarding the MSc should made to Deborah Walker, SoFMH Administrator in the first instance. Deborah can be contacted at or on 01555 842212.