Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology - full programme DForenPsy

    Course Description


    This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society and approved by the Health Professional Council.

    The Professional (practitioner) Doctorate Forensic Psychology aims to educate and train psychology graduates to work with victims and/or offenders under the supervision of registered forensic psychologists and to attain the highest standards of research and practice. In collaboration with Institute of Mental Health (IMH), the course aims to develop skills such as assessment, management, intervention, treatment and evaluation.

    A Top-up Doctorate in Forensic Psychology (DForenPsy) is also available to allow postgraduate psychologists already holding a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited MSc Criminological/Forensic/Investigative Psychology to obtain a doctorate through applying their knowledge to practice with victims or offenders.

    Academic Team

    Professor Kevin Browne, Professor of Forensic Psychology and Child Health, Director of the Centre for Family and Forensic Psychology and Director of the D.Foren.Psy. Programme

    Dr Vince Egan, Associate Professor, Forensic Psychology Practice, Year 3 Director

    Dr Simon Duff, Lecturer in Forensic Psychology Practice, Year 2 Director

    Dr Shihning Chou, Lecturer in Forensic Psychology Practice, Year 1 Director

    Year 1

    In the first year you will study a masters programme consisting of eight modules. On successful completion of the masters component, you may progress on to the doctorate component or exit with an MSc Criminological Psychology.

    Years 2 and 3

    During the doctorate component, you will apply your knowledge to practice while on placement in forensic environments. You will experience interventions with children and adults in community and secure settings and develop skills and competency in four core areas:

    • conducting psychological applications and interventions
    • case studies, research and evaluation
    • communicating knowledge to other professionals
    • training other professionals in psychological skills and methods
    • At the end of the course, you will submit a thesis on your research and practice in a specific area of forensic psychology.


    In the first year you will study a masters programme consisting of eight modules:

    • Theories of Criminal Behaviour
    • Forensic Child Psychology
    • Forensic Mental Health
    • Law and Criminal Justice
    • Forensic Organisational Psychology
    • Forensic Practice Interventions
    • Research Methods and Analyses
    • Research Project

    Visit the Forensic Psychology - full programme DForenPsy page on the University of Nottingham website for more details!

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    (Student Profile)

    Sarah Ashworth

    "I explored other masters degree opportunities but the fact that you could to progress through to the Doctorate component was a big selling point.

    The financial aspect of doing the doctorate is a really big barrier for some people (me included!) so I spent a long time trying to work out the most cost effective way of completing it.

    I decided to complete the masters part time whilst working as an Assistant Psychologist and as I moved into the final two years I was able to complete the doctorate component full time, using my work as a placement.

    I loved completing my masters as being out of academic education for three years working full-time. I liked returning to theory and its application to practice. The breadth of modules together with the variety of guest lecturers provided a strong theoretical basis to working clinically. There’s a big focus on getting this research published which did feel stressful at times but was actually a real positive and I got a lot of support in getting my research ready for publishable standards.

    The doctorate component focuses on supervised practice in forensic settings, returning to the University for only two block weeks of teaching. I think that one of the strengths of the course is the push to develop a breadth of experience, allowing for skill transfer between different settings and the opportunity to adapt to different environments. I tried to make sure I got a breadth of experience including different settings (community, medium and low secure), diverse client groups (learning disability, mental illness, adults and children) and varied organisations (NHS, private hospitals and charitable organisations). Any concerns I had about the academic evidenced based approach of the course were negated by the clinical experience I already had.

    I believe the course’s structure provides a combination of clinical experience (across a range of settings/client groups etc.) and academic rigour (with a complete, potentially published, academic thesis in tow!). This, in addition to personal clinical experience has placed me in a competitive position within job applications and prepared me for life as a Forensic Psychologist!”

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    Entry Requirements

    Applicants must hold an accredited 1st or upper 2nd Class Honours degree in Psychology (BA/BSc single or joint or international equivalent) recognised by the BPS as conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership; a minimum grade of 60% in their final year research project; a minimum of 100 days relevant forensic experience supervised by a chartered forensic psychologist; one clinical reference and one academic reference; DBS check; English language requirements: IELTS 7.5 (no less than 7.0 in any element).

    Course Fees

    Please see the University website for details

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