forensic psychology students using kit
Mode of Study
2 years part-time
Start Date
September 2020


If you want to apply your psychology studies in the legal field, this Forensic Psychology Practice PgDip course will give you the tools, skills and knowledge to reach your ambition.

With a focus on guided knowledge, applied experience, specialist input and evidence based-practice, you'll explore research at the forefront of the discipline, and have the opportunity to get involved with ongoing projects in the department.

Our Forensic Psychology Practice PgDip course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is ideal if you want to achieve HCPC registered status as a practitioner psychologist. It's also a perfect springboard into a career as a Forensic Psychologist.

Approved by:

This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.

Entry requirements​

PgDip Forensic Psychology Practice entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 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 an applicant not have completed these prior degrees, it is possible that they could complete these pre-requisites within the department via the MSc Forensic Psychology course. Applicants must provide proof of GBC at the time of applying.
  • Applicants are expected to have at least 1 year experience in an applied Forensic Psychology setting, or equivalent.
English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Selection process
  • Applicants are subject to interview/assessment.
  • All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Study the key issues in the field of forensic psychology, including practitioner skills, assessment and formulation skills, intervention approaches, and forensic mental health and disorder
  • Learn from the largest group of actively researching forensic psychology academics in the UK
  • Put your investigative techniques to the test in our Forensic Interviewing Suite
  • Benefit from our connections with the Ministry of Justice, NHS and the Mental Health Foundations Charity
  • Use our laboratories to carry out investigations, with specialist facilities including eye-tracking equipment, an observation suite, and a digital analysis and video editing suite
  • Complete a work placement, where you will gain skills in the field including reflective practice

Careers and opportunities

The Forensic Psychology Practice PgDip course is primarily aimed at those wishing to become practising forensic psychologists. When you graduate, you'll be able to apply your skills with confidence.

What can you do with a Forensic Psychology Practice qualification?

Career opportunities include:

  • working as an HCPC Registered forensic psychologist in settings such as prisons, the community or NHS secure units
  • private practice
  • social work
  • training design and training delivery
  • project management
  • further study

What you'll study on this PgDip Forensic Psychology Practice course

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits. You need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. 


Core modules include:

  • Professional Practice 1
  • Training and Reflection in Forensic Psychology

Core modules include:

  • Consultancy, Communication and Expertise
  • Professional Practice 2

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry.

Work experience and career planning

We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your forensic psychology skills to work.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.


Staff are experienced practitioners and Fellow and Associate Fellows in the British Psychological Society (BPS). You'll be taught by experienced practitioners that have held national leadership roles in the field.

How you'll spend your time

The course starts in February. Teaching takes place in 4 week-long blocks each year, held at the beginning and end of each semester, Monday to Friday from 9–5pm.

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • case formulation exercise
  • placement reports and reflective practice diaries
  • design and delivery of training package
  • group presentation and discussion
  • report writing

​Course costs

Tuition fees (September 2020 start)

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students

  • Part time: £3,500 a year (subject to annual increase)

International students

  • Part time: £5,470 a year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. 

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Placements are a core component of the course and you'll need to pay for the additional cost of travel to and from your work placement.

You may also have to pay for indemnity insurance and an enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check if your placement provider doesn't cover these costs. Indemnity insurance costs up to £45 a year (organisational insurance alone is not enough) and an Enhanced DBS check is £85.


International students

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study with us, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply. 

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