It is open only to psychology graduates who are registered with the BPS and who have the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC status). Candidates will also need to have some prior experience of working in a forensic setting. Please see entry requirements for further information.
The programme aims to provide the necessary knowledge and skills to work as a forensic psychologist; to analyse offending behaviour and its effect on victims; to manage, assess and plan treatment strategies for both victims and offenders; and to work as an expert providing consultancy, professional reports, and training. An evidence-based approach to forensic practice is emphasised, taking into consideration issues of diversity, equality, and inclusion, with the objective of developing skills in practice, research, and evaluation.
The doctorate can be completed on a full-time (3 years) or part-time (4 years) basis, and combines academic teaching, research, and professional training through the completion of forensic practice placements. Trainees will undertake 3 x 120-day practice placements across the course, evidencing work across a range of settings and with different populations.
The full-time option runs over three years. Placements are sourced and arranged by the course staff, who will discuss with the trainee prior experience, placement preferences and learning opportunities, as well as practicalities such as commutability. The course benefits from many long-standing relationships with practitioners in the field, and we have a range of different placements on offer across the country.
The programme runs part time over four years, to be sponsored (or self-funded) by employers who are willing to supervise employees in the workplace throughout the course. Please note: prior to acceptance on to the programme, University staff must be satisfied that the placement setting also meets the requirements of the course, in terms of providing sufficient breadth of experience. University teaching will be in line with those on the full-time programme, but placement days may extend across the 4 years, and thesis submission at the end of the 4th rather than 3rd year.
Why study this course?
The programme, which sits within the Centre for Applied Psychology, has a long and distinguished history and was the first doctorate in forensic psychology to be established in the UK. The course benefits from having a number of HCPC registered practitioner psychologists on the staff team (who continue to practice), and from the input of many visiting lecturers who are experts in their field. Applying theory to practice is a key focus on the course.
The course boasts an impressive post-training employment record, with most trainees being offered employment by their placement setting in their final year. The course continues to hold a high reputation and Birmingham is regarded as one of the leading Universities in the UK.
Involvement of Experts by Experience
In the Centre for Applied Psychology, we are committed to involving experts by experience in all the different aspects relevant to our teaching and research. The Experts by Experience Steering Committee (EBESC) is a group that meets regularly to discuss, organise and support the work of experts by experience linked to the Forensic Psychology Doctorate Programme. EBESC comprises members from various backgrounds, including local experts by experience who contribute to the course and staff from the Centre for Applied Psychology.
The committee contributes to our different courses in various ways:
- Contributing to teaching, including training workshops
- Reviewing, supporting, designing and contributing to research projects
- Co-ordinating feedback in the course subcommittee
- Involvement in the course admissions process