This Doctorate programme in Forensic Clinical Psychology is aimed at psychologists wishing to work in forensic and clinical settings who need skills from both forensic and clinical disciplines. Self funding trainees will also be considered. The programme is four years long in duration, and took its first intake of five trainees in September 2013.
Approval for the programme has been granted by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accreditation has been received from the British Psychological Society (BPS) for dual recognition in Forensic and Clinical Psychology.
Candidates who complete the programme successfully will be eligible to become Chartered Forensic and Clinical Psychologists within the BPS and to apply for registration with the HCPC as Forensic and Clinical Psychologists.
The programme seeks to train reflective scientist-practitioners who are able to use their core knowledge and skills to formulate problems in psychological terms and draw creatively on theories and techniques from the discipline of psychology to find feasible solutions to a wide range of presenting issues, considering both clinical and forensic approaches, and in both clinical and forensic contexts.
There is an increasing need in prisons and in the community for skills that draw upon both forensic and clinical disciplines. A large number of individuals within prison and probation settings have mental health problems, while those in forensic mental health settings need robust risk assessment to identify criminogenic need and inform release decisions.
The programme is deliberately generic to promote flexibility but also emphasises evidence-based practice. In line with NICE guidelines and the ‘What Works’ approach, special consideration is given to cognitive-behavioural approaches.
A number of principles underpin the provision of training:
- The core principle is to apply psychological theories, principles, knowledge, models and methods in an ethical and evidence based way to promote the wellbeing and effectiveness of individuals, families, groups, organisations and civil society, respecting the dignity and rights of both victims and offenders and remaining mindful of the need to protect the public from harm.
- The programme encourages an attitude of ‘critical open-mindedness’ to a range of approaches and theories.
- The programme team works in close partnership with forensic mental health, clinical and correctional colleagues in setting the direction of the programme, in its delivery and in its review.
- The programme recognises that trainees are mature students who bring a rich variety of experiences to their training and have a clear voice on programme matters.
- The programme is situated in an area of rich ethnic diversity, and ethnic and cultural issues are fully addressed during training.
- The essential aim of the programme is to provide professional, doctorate level training, commensurate with the requirements of the HCPC and BPS to qualify individuals to work as both forensic and clinical psychologists in forensic mental health, clinical, prison and other forensic settings.
- Trainees are required to gain specialty specific competencies in both forensic and clinical psychology over the four years of training and to complete placements with each of the following four clinical client groups:
1. Children and Young People
2. Adults (Mental Health)
3. Older People
4. People with Disabilities
as well as victims of crime and/or offenders, appellants and litigants in forensic settings. To achieve this two of the six placements will be in clinical settings, two in forensic settings and two in forensic clinical settings.
- The HCPC requirements for both forensic and clinical psychology training are defined through a set of Standards of Proficiency (SoPs), which trainees need to achieve by the end of their training and a set of Standards of Education and Training (SETs) that the training provider needs to meet. Full details can be found at: www.HCPC-uk.org/assets/documents/10002963SOP_Practitioner_psychologists.pdf and at: http://www.HCPC-uk.org/assets/documents/1000295EStandardsofeducationandtraining-fromSeptember2009.pdf.
For more information download the course brochure (PDF 97KB)
Teaching and learning
In the first year a block of University based study prepares trainees for a ten-month forensic clinical foundation placement with a shorter teaching block part way through the year.
In the following years trainees follow individually tailored programmes with two five month clinical placements in Year 2, forensic placements in Year 3 and a ten month forensic clinical placement in Year 4.
Further teaching takes place a day a week during term time complemented by teaching blocks to prepare trainees for forensic and clinical work and provide space for reflection, review and integration of theory and practice.
The course is assessed by means of:
- A thesis containing a practice volume with five clinical practice reports and a research volume compiled over four years
- Two credit bearing forensic clinical practice courses completed in the first two years
- Seven credit bearing forensic courses related to practice in the criminal justice system completed in the third and fourth years