University of Bath Featured Professional Doctorate Programmes

    Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology


    About This Professional Doctorate

    Course Description

    What you'll experience

    Our Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology (DForenPsy) will give you the knowledge and skills to become a practising forensic psychologist, through a 2-year programme combining guided knowledge, applied experience, specialist input and evidence-based practice. 

    This course is HCPC and BPS approved, so you'll be able to achieve Chartered status with the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Registered status with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a Practising Forensic Psychologist.

    Successful completion of this programme confers eligibility for Chartered Membership of the Society and full membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology.

    This course is also approved by the Health & Care Professions Council.

    Benefits of a Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology

    • Engage in specialist fields of forensic mental health and disorder
    • Learn how to use a minimum of two risk assessment tools
    • Be supported through placements by experienced and expert staff
    • Learn how to deliver expert evidence and training

    The title ‘forensic psychologist’ is a legally protected title – and this course will enable you to use it, and to apply the skills you develop with confidence. Routes our previous graduates have pursued include:

    • Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologists – within the prison service, the NHS, and private practices
    • Training design and delivery
    • Project management

    Structure and teaching

    Teaching will be delivered in blocks at the beginning and end of each semester so you'll be in regular contact with the University throughout your course. 

    We'll support your professional work placement and help you to develop practitioner skills including the use of supervision, workload management, professional relationships and reflection, assessment and formulation skills.

    You'll also learn intervention approaches which include desistance, environmental impact and rejection sensitivity research, forensic mental health and disorder – a unique unit not delivered anywhere else which focuses on a specialist area of increasing relevance in multi-disciplinary working approaches in forensic psychology.

    Core units

    Core units include:

    • Consultancy, Communication and Expertise
    • Professional Practice 1 and 2
    • Professional Research and Development Project in Forensic Psychology
    • Proposal for Professional Research and Development Project
    • Publication and Dissemination
    • Training and Reflection in Forensic Psychology

    We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

    Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

    Teaching and assessment

    Our staff are experienced practitioners who have held national leadership roles, Chartered and HCPC registered practitioner psychologists, and REF-entered psychologists – and they bring their extensive experience and expertise to their teaching. 

    How you're assessed

    You will complete a variety of assessments including:

    • Empirical Research Project
    • Systematic Review
    • Case Formulation Exercise (x2 – one for assessment and one for intervention)
    • Placement Reports and Reflective Practice Diaries
    • Design and Delivery of Training Package
    • Group Presentation/Discussion
    • Tool Training Completion
    • Report Writing

    Visit the Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology page on the University of Portsmouth website for more details!

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    Entry Requirements

    An undergraduate degree or conversion course in Psychology or Forensic Psychology which confers Graduate Basis for Chartered status, and a BPS accredited masters which confers Stage I of the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology. Should applicants not have completed these degrees, it is possible that they could complete these within the department before progressing onto the Professional Doctorate. Applicants must provide proof of GBC and a research proposal. Applicants would be expected to have at least 1 year experience in a forensic psychology setting. Applicants are subject to interview. All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.


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