Forensic Psychology Practice Doctorate (ForenPsyD)

Start date
September
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years part-time for those employed in a forensic setting, employee sponsored, or self-funded,
Course Type
Postgraduate, Doctoral research
Fees

£12,150 FT (UK students)
£21,150 FT (International Students)

More detail

Our Forensic Psychology Practice Doctorate (ForenPsyD) confers the award of Doctorate in Forensic Psychology Practice and provides eligibility for BPS Chartered Psychology status, eligibility to apply for HCPC registration as a Forensic Psychologist, and full membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology.

This programme combines academic teaching, research, and professional training during forensic placements.

It is open only to Psychology graduates who are registered with the BPS (GBC status). On completion you are eligible for BPS Chartered Psychology status and full membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology. You will also be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Forensic Psychologist.

The full-time programme is offered by the Centre for Applied Psychology, and combines academic teaching, research, and professional training during forensic placements. It is open only to Psychology graduates who are registered with the BPS (GBC status) and have experience working in a forensic setting.

Programme aims

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 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 research and evaluation.

Part-time option

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. As with the full-time option, it confers the award of Doctorate in Forensic Psychology Practice (ForenPsyD) and eligibility for BPS Chartered Psychology status and full membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology. You will also be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (the statutory regulating body for Psychology) as a Forensic Psychologist on completion.

Why study this course?

The University’s Centre for Applied Psychology takes a risk, theory and practice approach to investigate the causes and consequences of serious crime, family violence, and child maltreatment. The development of risk assessment, theory, and practice are emphasised in work within prisons, community, and forensic mental health settings.

The Centre developed the first Practitioner Doctorate in Forensic Psychology to be accredited by the British Psychological Society. It is now proud to offer the Continued Professional Development route to this qualification. Birmingham is regarded as one of the leading Universities in the UK.

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

Modules

Both theory and practice are set in the context of the legal and institutional systems through which offenders and victims are managed.

Programme modules include:

  • Psychological Theories and the Understanding of Crime
  • Working with Offenders
  • Psychology, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
  • Assessment Issues (Offenders and Victims)
  • Forensic Psychotherapy and Forensic Issues
  • Psychology and the Court System
  • Forensic Practice Placements
  • Research Systematic Literature Review
  • Case Study Methods
  • Research Study Methods
  • Professional Writing, Training and Presentation
  • Development of Psychometric Measures
  • Advanced Research and Evaluation Methods

Fees

Fees for 2023/24

Please note that fees are per annum.

UK students: £12,150 full-time

International students: £21,150 full-time 

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. 

Find out about scholarships for international students. Please note: Some practice placements offer bursaries.

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Funding, Graduation & Awards via the online enquiries system.

How To Apply

Applications for 2023 entry are now open until 12th February 2023.

Interviews will be held at the end of March 2023.

  • Shortlisted candidates will be invited to be interviewed.
  • The interview will involve academic staff, practitioners from relevant services, and experts by experience.   
  • Candidates will sit a formal written test.

We do not require a research proposal for your application, nor do we need a name for a research supervisor. If the application will not progress without some details, please add in Dr Caroline Oliver as supervisor and mention any topic area. We do not use this information for selection processes and projects are not arranged until trainees have started the course.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the research programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

Full-time:

  • A good Honours degree (2:1 or above) in Psychology that confers the GBC (Graduate Basis for Chartership) with the BPS (British Psychological Society)
  • Trainees must complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (previously the Criminal Records Bureau check) before attending any placement. This course is exempt from the ‘Rehabilitation of Offenders Act’ and no convictions are considered ‘spent’
  • Relevant forensic experience, ideally as an assistant psychologist

NB: Qualifications must be completed and the required quota of experience gained at the point of application.

Part-time:

  • A good Honours degree (2:1 or above) in Psychology that confers the GBC (Graduate Basis for Chartership) with the BPS (British Psychological Society) and must be working in a forensic setting
  • Trainees must complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (previously the Criminal Records Bureau check) before attending any placement. This course is exempt from the ‘Rehabilitation of Offenders Act’ and no convictions are considered ‘spent’
  • Must be working in a relevant forensic setting and be given the title ‘Trainee Forensic Psychologist’ in their place of work. Trainees must also have access to supervision by a qualified forensic psychologist in their workplace.

International Requirements



International Students

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

Candidates must comply with the Health and Care Professions Council requirements of English language proficiency (Standard equivalent to IELTS level 7.0 with no element below 6.5)


  • IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any band
  • TOEFL: 95 overall with no less than 22 in any band
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) including online: PTE Academic 76 with no less than 67 in all four skills
  • Cambridge English (exams taken from 2015): Advanced or Proficiency – minimum overall score of 185, with no less than 176 in any component

In addition to lectures, seminars and student-led discussions, you undertake a doctoral level research project, which is usually linked to current research within the University, but may also be linked to other psychology departments or organisations. In addition to your time at the University, you are expected to spend three days a week in a forensic practice placement (or employed in a forensic setting) and one day a week on research for 40 weeks each year. You will have the chance to work with different offender groups (e.g. adults, young people, those with intellectual disabilities) both in community and institutional environments. 

The syllabus includes training in:

  • Quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Computer use for academic purposes
  • The history and philosophy of psychological science and the critical review of current research methods in psychology
  • Presenting information in written, oral, poster and web-based formats
  • The professional skills needed for research (such as applying for ethical approval for research projects, exploiting research findings and applying for research funds)

Assessment Methods

This programme is examined by continuous assessment, with you completing a series of assignments. Research is conducted in the second and third years. On completion of your doctorate research all trainees will receive a viva voce examination.

Successful applicants are registered on the Masters component for the first two years of the course.  Progression to the doctorate component is dependent on successful completion of course assignments (minimum standards are set) and forensic placements.  If this is not achieved, trainees may leave with a Masters in Forensic Psychology Practice, that does not confer eligibility to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council but does meet Stage 1 of BPS requirements and can apply for a reduction in stage 2 requirements.

This programme is subject to a Code of Professional Conduct and Fitness to Practise regulations, to which you are required to sign up.

The programme aims to provide the necessary knowledge and skills to work as a forensic psychologist; to analyse offending behaviour and its effects on victims; to manage, assess and plan treatment strategies for both victims and offenders; and to work as an expert providing professional reports and training. At the end of the course you will be eligible to apply for chartered status with the BPS and to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Forensic Psychologist. You will also hold the title of ‘Doctor’.

The course will equip you to work for employers such as the NHS, HMPPS, third sector, and private organisations, as a Registered Forensic Psychologist.

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