The details
Location: Online Mode of study: Part-time Qualification: Online professional course (20 credits) Study duration: 13 weeks
Start date: Awarding body: University of Essex Delivered by: Kaplan Open Learning For queries: Call +44 (0) 1206 489 358

Develop a thorough understanding of forensic psychology – and its role in the assessment, treatment and management of mentally disordered offenders – with this online professional course.  

Designed by an expert in forensic psychology, this course delves into the links between mental disorder, personality disorder and crime – as well as how different types of offenders are dealt with in the UK criminal justice system.  

You’ll cover a range of interesting topics, including:  

  • risk assessment within forensic psychology 
  • theories of violent offending 
  • management of offenders within the community, hospitals or prison 

At the end of the course, you’ll have the opportunity to study one of our popular postgraduate criminology courses. 

Why we’re great 

  • Take the first step into an exciting new career or progress in your current one. 
  • Gain 20 credits at postgraduate level in just 13 weeks – transferable to further study.  
  • Study 100% online, part-time, with no need for a career break. 
  • Receive your certificate from the University of Essex, a top 30 UK university (Complete University Guide 2025).  
  • All modules are taught by experienced subject experts and industry leaders.

You’ll study the following topics as part of the online professional course: 

  • introduction to forensic psychology 
  • working with risk and ethical issues, and responsibilities  
  • multi-agency working and partnerships within the forensic mental health care system 
  • mental disorder and violent offending 
  • mental disorder and sex offending 
  • fire setting and arson 
  • working with offenders with learning disabilities  
  • psychopathy and severe personality disorder 
  • mentally disordered offenders within the community 
  • malingering and illness deception 

Teaching methods 

Studying online gives you the freedom to complete your qualification when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or in a café. 

Our online professional courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment (VLE) instead of a traditional campus. This means you’ll have access to your study materials 24/7, including: 

  • multimedia lecturecasts made up of written content, short videos, animation, audio recordings, infographics, short tests and mini-assignments 
  • discussion forums for you to chat about the module content with fellow students 
  • live Q&A sessions with your tutors 
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals 
  • support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team 

To ensure you receive high-quality tutor support, each class is capped at 20 students. 


Assessment methods 

You’ll be assessed exclusively through assignments. These include assessed discussion forums, written assignments and journal entries. 

We’re committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback in the following ways: 

  • our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent 
  • you’ll always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start 
  • you’ll be able to clearly view your marks in your gradebook whenever you log on to the learning platform 
  • there’s a seven-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work 
  • you’ll have regular contact with your Student Support team, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise 


Study duration 

Our Applied Forensic Psychology online professional course has a study duration of 13 weeks, including a one-week induction to help you settle into online study. 

The Applied Forensic Psychology online professional course offers a whole host of opportunities. This will be beneficial whether you’re looking to climb the career ladder or take the first step into criminology – helping you stand out amongst the competition. 

If you wish to continue your studies and boost your prospects, you could choose additional criminology online professional courses. Alternatively, you could progress on to the PG Cert Criminology and Criminal Psychology (60 credits); PG Dip Criminology and Criminal Psychology (120 credits); or the MSc Criminology and Criminal Psychology (180 credits). 

Please note, acceptance on to a postgraduate qualification is subject to meeting the entry requirements of your chosen programme. 

No formal qualifications or experience is necessary.  

As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency of English is required. If English isn’t your first language, your ability should be equivalent to an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5. Don’t worry if you don’t hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification – we offer a free online English test to assess your proficiency.  

You don’t need to prove your English ability if you’re a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries. 

Full tuition fee:
£1,386 UK / £1,455 International (2024-25) Δ

  • Our online professional courses are fully inclusive – all teaching materials and required reading are included. 
  • Alumni discount of 10% of the tuition fee available if you’re a previous graduate with the University of Essex or University of Essex Online.   
  • 10% anniversary scholarship available when you enrol by 31 July 2024.
  • We offer a 14-day moneyback guarantee, so if you decide your course isn’t for you during the first 14 days, we’ll give you a full refund. Terms and conditions apply. 

Δ All tuition fees shown are net of any applicable sales tax payable by you in your country of residence. Where we are required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the tuition fees shown and confirmed during the payment process. 

Subject specialists, industry authorities and experienced academics: the tutors who teach on our Applied Forensic Psychology online professional course are experts in the business field.

What our students say


Angeline Guarin -MSc Criminology and Criminal Psychology

I’m planning a career in criminal justice and victimology.

As a first-generation immigrant, I never imagined I'd be a successful university graduate. However, I studied my undergraduate degree in Arizona, where I majored in Public Policy and Public Service with a concentration in Homeland Security and Emergency Management. I then chose to study with the University of Essex Online because it offers remote studying and a wide range of student support. I’ve been studying for over a year now and can say the staff genuinely care about student success.  I was happy to see other students like me...

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