Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology DForenPsy

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Mode of Study
3 years full-time
Start Date
September 2020

What you'll experience

Our Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology (DForenPsy) will give you the knowledge and skills to become a practising forensic psychologist, through a 3-year programme combining guided knowledge, applied experience, specialist input and evidence-based practice. 

This course is HCPC and BPS approved, so you'll 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.

Accredited and approved by:

Successful completion of this programme confers eligibility for Chartered Membership of the Society and full membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology.

This course is also approved by the Health & Care Professions Council.

Benefits of a Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology

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

The title ‘forensic psychologist’ is a legally protected title – and this course will enable you to use it, and to apply the skills you develop with confidence. Some of our previous graduates have gone on to become:

  • Highly Specialist Forensic Psychologists
  • Forensic Psychologists (Band 7)

What is forensic psychology, and what careers can it lead to? Watch this video to find out more.

Structure and teaching

Teaching will be delivered in blocks at the beginning and end of each semester so you'll be in regular contact with the University throughout your course. 

We'll 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'll 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 units

Core units include:

  • Consultancy, Communication and Expertise
  • Professional Practice 1 and 2
  • Training and Reflection in Forensic Psychology
  • Proposal for Professional Research and Development Project
  • Publication and Dissemination
  • Professional Research and Development Project in Forensic Psychology

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 and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Teaching and assessment

Our staff are experienced practitioners who have held national leadership roles, Chartered and HCPC registered practitioner psychologists, and REF-entered psychologists – and they bring their extensive experience and expertise to their teaching. 

How you're 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

Entry requirements

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 an applicant not have completed these prior degrees, it is possible that they could complete these pre-requisites within the department before progressing onto the Professional Doctorate. Applicants must provide proof of GBC and a research proposal at the time of applying. Applicants would be 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.

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.

Tuition fees

2020 start

  • Home/EU/CI students: £9,000 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students: £16,400 a year (subject to annual increase)

This course is eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.

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

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.


Contact us if you're interested in applying for this course.

Before you start your application, you'll need to have the following documentation ready:

  • A personal statement
  • An outline of your research topic
  • Proof of your first degree and grades (officially certified and translated copies if not in English)
  • Proof that your undergraduate degree confers Graduate Basis for Chartered membership (GBC)
  • Details of 2 referees or 2 references on official headed paper, one of which should be an academic reference
  • Proof of your English language proficiency (if English is not your first language)
  • An up-to-date copy of your CV
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