Dr Caroline Oliver BA, MSc., ForenPsyD, CPsychol.

Dr Caroline Oliver

School of Psychology
Director of the Forensic Psychology Postgraduate Programmes
HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Oliver is a BPS Chartered Psychologist and HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist, and is Director of the Forensic Psychology Postgraduate Programmes at the University of Birmingham. Dr Oliver is also a part-time practitioner.


BPS Chartered Psychologist

HCPC Registered Forensic Psychologist


Dr Oliver worked on and off within the Health Service as a psychologist between 1995 and 2009. This included working within a Community Psychology Service, a Medium Secure Unit, and then for a Parenting Assessment Service. In December 2009, Dr Oliver commenced working part-time in private practice, undertaking independent psychological evaluations predominately for the Family Courts, as well as working within the High Security Estate (HMPPS), which she continues to do.

Dr Oliver commenced working part-time at the University of Birmingham in 2001 where she was initially part of a research team contracted by the Home Office to evaluate the Prison Service Sex Offender Treatment Programme, specifically with regard to rapists and sexual murderers. In 2003, she was employed on a part-time basis by the University of Newcastle and underwent training as a Polygraph Examiner. Subsequent to this, Dr Oliver worked on a Government contracted nationwide pilot study examining the usefulness of polygraph testing with sex offenders on Licence from prison or subject to a Community Rehabilitation Order, and has conducted over a hundred individual polygraph examinations

In 2001, Dr Oliver completed her Masters in Forensic Psychology (with distinction) at the University of Birmingham, receiving the ATSA Graduate Research Award for this research, which was presented at the annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. In 2012, Dr Oliver completed her Doctorate in Forensic Psychology practice. She has worked for the University of Birmingham on the Doctorate in Forensic Psychology Practice since 2006 and became Course Director within the Centre for Applied Psychology in October 2017.


Dr Oliver provides practice-related teaching on the practitioner doctorate programmes.

Postgraduate supervision

Dr Oliver currently provides academic supervision to trainee Forensic, Forensic Clinical, and Clinical psychologists on the practitioner doctorate programmes at the University. She also provides supervision to students studying for a PhD in Psychology.


Assessment of non-offending guardians in child sexual abuse cases, in terms of their perception of risk, and capacity to protect and support their children.

Research into the experiences of prison officers, in terms of work-related stress, and factors associated with readiness to access mental health support 

Other activities

Dr Oliver is a qualified polygraph examiner and was part of a Government funded nationwide study in 2003 examining the utility of polygraph with post-conviction sex offenders being managed in the community.


Recent publications


Beech, A, Oliver, C, Fisher, D & Beckett, R 2006, STEP 4: The Sex Offender Treatment Programme in prison: Addressing the needs of rapists and sexual murderers. University of Birmingham.


Oliver, C, Watson, DG, Gannon, TA & Beech, A 2009, 'The Effect of Sexual Priming Cues on Emotional Recognition in Nonviolent Child Sexual Abusers A Preliminary Study', International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 292-304. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X08317214

Oliver, C, Beech, A, Fisher, D & Beckett, R 2007, 'A comparison of rapists and sexual murderers on selected psychological measures', International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, vol. 51, pp. 298-312. https://doi.org/10.1177/0306624X06289157

Oliver, C, McClintock, K, Hall, S, Smith, M, Dagnan, D & Stenfert Kroese, E 2003, 'Assessing the severity of challenging behaiour: psychometric properties of the Challlenging Behaviour Interview', Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, vol. 16(1), no. 1, pp. 53-61.


Oliver, C, Beech, A, Proulx, J & Cusson, M 2007, A comparison of rapists and sexual murderers. in Sexual murderers: A comparative analysis and new perspectives.

Working paper

Beech, A, Oliver, C, Beckett, R & Fisher, D 2002 'Report for the English and Welsh Prison Service and the Research and Statistics Directorate of the Home Office: An investigation of the treatment for sexual murderers'.

View all publications in research portal