The programme is full time for four years, delivered partly at the University and partly in supervised practice on placement. The general pattern throughout is of one taught day a week during term-time, one day study leave and three days a week on placement. Attendance at University sessions is compulsory for all four years, and placements continue outside of term-time.
The first two years of the programme provide clinical training with some additional specialist forensic input, taught alongside clinical doctorate students. In their first year trainees receive a block of full time teaching in preparation for their placement at the University prior to the start of a ten month placement. Individual placements are negotiated with each student to provide foundation competencies in forensic-clinical psychology. Monday is available as a study day and teaching at the University continues on Friday during term-time. In their second year trainees follow two individually tailored placements of five months each in the community, within an adult, child or older adult service to complement experience that has been gained in Year 1.
In their third and fourth years trainees receive forensic training alongside forensic psychology postgraduate students. Teaching takes place on Thursdays following placements which are generally Monday to Wednesday; Friday becomes a study day. In their third year trainees are placed in prison or probation settings in the community, or with a provider of clinical forensic services where equivalent experience can be obtained, normally in either a single ten-month or two five-month placements. In their fourth year trainees return to a forensic-clinical setting for a final placement that ensures that all of the required competencies and specialities for clinical and forensic training are covered. Placements are assessed by the placement supervisor in conjunction with appraisal tutors from the University, under the direction of a Coordinator of Training. Given the broad range of competencies and core roles that are required to be both a forensic and clinical psychologist we do not anticipate trainees having a great deal of choice in the selection of placements. Trainees may also have to travel some distance to and while on placement.
Throughout their four years trainees also pursue a research interest that builds into a research thesis to be completed in Year 4. It consists of two volumes. The forensic-clinical volume contains five Forensic Clinical Practice Reports (FCPRs) which are submitted and assessed at intervals during the programme, and the research volume reflects research work carried out over the four years of the programme, containing a literature review, a report of an empirical study and a lay summary. . All trainees have to demonstrate competence in applying two therapeutic models in clinical and forensic settings over the course of the four years. These models include Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and one of either Behavioural or Systemic Psychotherapy.