Forensic Mental Health Studies MSc/PG Diploma/PG Certificate

Designed for experienced professionals working in forensic mental health and those who are aspiring to work with mentally disordered offenders or patients who require similar services the programme provides you with:

  • knowledge of the diverse needs of mentally disordered offenders
  • an in-depth understanding of service provision for this group
  • skills in promoting empowerment and quality of life of service users
  • an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of relevant agencies and disciplines

Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, taught

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: MSc – 1 year full-time (2 afternoons per week), 2 years part-time (1 afternoon per week)

Start date: October; applications must be made as early as possible


If you are currently working, or intend to work, with mentally disordered offenders or those individuals who require a similar spectrum of care and are interested in updating and expanding your knowledge of theory and practice, this course provides and opportunity to learn alongside other experienced professionals from a range of backgrounds.

Subjects within this course include:

  • the history of forensic mental health service provision
  • mentally disordered offenders and then law
  • the treatment of mentally disordered offenders
  • diverses and complex needs
  • risk assessment
  • management and research methods

Why study this course

The Forensic Mental Health Studies course will provide you with:

  • knowledge of the diverse needs of mentally disordered offenders
  • an in-depth understanding of service provision and development for mentally disordered individuals at various stages in the criminal justice system
  • skills in promoting empowerment and quality of life of service users
  • the ability to critically evaluate theory and practice
  • an understanding of the roles and responsibilities of different agencies and disciplines involved in the care of mentally disordered offenders 

On completion of the Forensic Mental Health Studies Masters course you will have gained:

  • an understanding of the spectrum of care facilities required in relation to mentally disordered offenders and others who require similar services 
  • a comprehensive knowledge of assessment and treatment interventions available at various stages of the criminal justice system.
  • an understanding of the principles of mental health legislation and specifically practical application of the law in the care of mentally ill individuals within the criminal justice system and on transfer to health service care 
  • a knowledge of ethical and policy issues involved in providing services for mentally disordered offenders 
  • the ability to appraise and organise research in the workplace and apply findings that are practical, as well as at a theoretical level


Fees and funding

2015/16 course fees
UK/EU students
MSc £6210/PGDip £4140/PGCert £2070

Non UK/EU students
Full - time £17,960

Applicants will need to pay a £250 non-refundable deposit at the point of accepting an offer to study on this programme. The deposit is put towards payment of fees when students join the course.

Self funding students can choose to pay in instalments by direct debit.

Learn more about fees and funding.


The College of Medical and Dental Sciences is offering a number of Global Scholarships for Excellence for outstanding Home/EU and International students on our postgraduate taught programmes.

For 2015 entry the Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme offers 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Visit our website for information about scholarships for international students.

For information about all Home/EU and International funding opportunities please visit the Postgraduate Funding Database.

For other funding queries contact the School directly or get in touch with the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system.

Entry requirements

A relevant first degree (2:1 or equivalent) or an appropriate professional qualification at sub-degree level and experience of working with mentally disordered clients.

Learn more about entry requirements.

International students:

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

English to IELTS 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component).

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

Lectures are held at the University of Birmingham on one afternoon a week (part-time) and two afternoons a week (full-time).

The course leads to a Master of Science Degree after the completion of all assignments and the dissertation, or a Postgraduate Diploma for the completion of the assignments alone.

The course involves inter-disciplinary learning in small group settings along with personal tutorials with course organisers. You are encouraged to contribute directly to planning the course content and required to continuously evaluate the taught modules. In addition, student representatives are elected to the course advisory panel.

You will also have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Our facilities

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences houses state-of-the art facilities to support a range of teaching, learning and research activity. 

Our facilities ensure that students receive the best possible learning experience by working in a modern environment. Among our most recent developments include a refurbishment of the Medical School foyer, Barnes library and Wolfson Centre for Medical Education.

Explore our facilities and take a tour by moving around our 360-degree panoramas:


Assessment methods

The Forensic Mental Health Studies course assesses a students ability through practical assignments and a dissertation of 15,000 words based on original research. See individual modules for further details.


The course will keep your knowledge up to date, improve your promotional prospects within your current profession or help you realise your potential in a new area and give you the tools and the incentive to do your own research into a subject of interest within forensic mental health care. 

Find out more about where our postgraduate students go

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market.

Here are just a few ways in which we can help postgraduates to get ahead:

  • Careers Networking opportunities
  • Effective careers strategy toolkit
  • Year planner for all postgraduate students
  • Masters Career Coaching Workshops
  • One to one careers guidance

The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. They also have a dedicated careers website for international students where you can find useful resources and information.

For more information visit the Careers Network website.