Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology
Learn skills to become a researcher and practitioner and to achieve registered status as a forensic psychologist
Why take this course?
This programme uses guided knowledge, applied experience, specialist input and evidence based practice, and you'll be well supported in a positive and collegiate atmosphere. There's also a range of placement opportunities.
This course is subject to HCPC and BPS approval which will mean you will be able to achieve Chartered status with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Registered status with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Practising Forensic Psychologist.
What will I experience?
On this course you can:
- Engage in specialist fields of forensic mental health and disorder
- Learn how to use a minimum of two risk assessment tools
- Be supported through placements by experienced and expert staff
- Learn how to deliver expert evidence and training
What opportunities might it lead to?
The course will give you the knowledge and skills to become a practising forensic psychologist. The title, ‘forensic psychologist’ is a legally protected title and this course will enable you to use it and apply your skills with confidence.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologists in a range of settings: prison, community, NHS (secure units), developing their own private practice initiatives
- Training Design and Training Delivery
- Project Management
Having the opportunity to develop my theoretical knowledge and applying it to my day-to-day work was invaluable. Evidence-based practice is key to modern NHS culture and the course helped me prepare for this.
Clare Mander, Psychology student
- 2 years full time. Start: September or February. First intake February 2018
- 2018 entry requirements
- An undergraduate degree or conversion course in Psychology or Forensic Psychology which confers Graduate Basis for Chartered status (GBC), and a BPS accredited masters degree which confers Stage I of the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology. Should you have not completed these prior degrees, it is possible that you could complete these prerequisites within the department before progressing onto the Professional Doctorate. Applicants are expected to have at least 1 year experience in a forensic psychology setting. Applicants are subject to interview. All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: £6,400 p/a*
Course is not eligible for Government Postgraduate Loan
2017/18 entry: £14,400 p/a*
*Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 6312
- Department of Psychology
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
Teaching will be delivered in blocks at the beginning and end of each semester so you are in regular contact with the University and feel well supported. We will support your professional work placement and help you to develop practitioner skills including the use of supervision, workload management, professional relationships and reflection, assessment and formulation skills. You will also learn intervention approaches which include desistance, environmental impact and rejection sensitivity research, forensic mental health and disorder - a unique unit not delivered anywhere else which focuses on a specialist area of increasing relevance in multi-disciplinary working approaches in forensic psychology.
Core and optional units
Core units include:
- Practitioner Skills 1 and 2
- Forensic Psychology in Context
- Forensic Mental Health and Disorder
- Forensic Practice Placements
- Tools of the Trade
- Training Skills
- Approaches to Intervention
- Empirical Research Project
Options to choose from include:
- Research Skills
Teaching and Assessment
Our staff are experienced practitioners and are well regarded in the profession having held national leadership roles including Chair of the Division, Chair of the Training Committee and many others. Staff are Chartered and HCPC registered practitioner psychologists supported by REF entered psychologists within a department with long established forensic psychology links. They will bring this extensive experience as practitioners to their teaching which is applied, collegiate and supportive. Supervisors will engage with you in a positive working relationship and your needs will be well noted and addressed by your tutor at the earliest stage. A positive, supportive approach is nurtured at all times, as with the current delivery of the BSc and MSc in Forensic Psychology.
How are you assessed?
You will complete a variety of assessments including:
- Empirical Research Project
- Systematic Review
- Case Formulation Exercise (x2 – one for assessment and one for intervention)
- Placement Reports and Reflective Practice Diaries
- Design and Delivery of Training Package
- Group Presentation/Discussion
- Tool Training Completion
- Report Writing
Facilities & Features
You will benefit from our range of modern, high quality facilities. Carry out your own investigations – monitor behaviour using our eye-tracking equipment or test minority influencing scenarios in our Observation Suite. Other labs include:
- A Toddler and Infant Laboratory
- A Psychophysiology Laboratory
- Digital Analysis and Video Editing Suite
- A Psychology of Applied Cognition Laboratory
Forensic Interviewing Suite
Train in the art of forensic interviewing. Use the suite’s state-of-the-art audio and video-recording facilities to uncover your subjects bluff. Or detect deception using our thermal imaging cameras, specifically looking for the blush reflex around the eyes, cheeks and neck.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
Budgeting for your studies
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
Other costs to consider
Placements are a core component of the course and you will be required to pay for the additional cost of travel to and from your work placement.
Careers & Opportunities
This course is specifically tailored for individuals seeking to hold a doctoral research degree and become a forensic psychologist. It's a unique course which provides a blended approach to gaining these qualifications in one programme of work. After completing this course, you will be will equipped for a career in academia (i.e., research, lecturing) and/or applied practice in the domain of forensic psychology.
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Benefits of Postgraduate Study
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
- Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
- Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
- Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
- Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
- If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.
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Online application form
Apply direct using our online form
Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.
Postgraduate Information Days
We will confirm the dates of events related to 2018 entry soon. Visit the link below to get a reminder when booking opens.
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Fees and Funding
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