Research course

Forensic Psychology

University of Kent · School of Psychology

Entry requirements

A 1 or 2.1 in psychology or a closely related discipline.

Months of entry


Course content

Psychology at Kent offers a supportive, dynamic and diverse environment for creative research and learning.

We conduct both basic and applied research in several areas, and we are highly regarded as a leading European centre for postgraduate research. We have a long-established international reputation in social psychology, and this is complemented by our strengths in cognitive, developmental and forensic psychology. The School attracts excellent visiting scholars and postgraduate students from both within the UK and overseas. Some of our PhD students are self-funded, and others are funded by grants or awards either from the School, UK or their countries of origin. Some are also paid for doing part-time teaching within the School.

Our taught Master’s (MSc) programmes have been recognised by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as meeting the nationally recognised criteria for preparation training for PhD research. The MSc in Forensic Psychology at Kent is also accredited by The British Psychological Society as providing the first (academic) year of professional training for those who pass the course and wish to qualify as Chartered Forensic Psychologists. The School has a strong track record of attracting ESRC research studentship funding, which involves partnerships with external organisations such as Age Concern England and the Equality and Human Rights Commission and collaborative studentships with partners such as People United.

The breadth of our research interests allows us to offer supervision of research degrees in a number of areas of psychology, including: social psychology; developmental psychology; forensic psychology; cognitive psychology; existential psychology; personality and motivation. You should include an outline of your proposed research in your online application form.

The New Route PhD (NRPhD) is a special option for students who wish to commit to a programme combining taught and research elements. New Route PhD is a four-year degree that spreads the coursework of one of our taught MSc programmes throughout the first two years of registration, but otherwise proceeds as a normal doctorate.

Your research will be supported by a supervisory panel which will include a main supervisor and a secondary supervisor. Who you have as supervisors is decided by the compatibility between your own and the available supervisors’ research interests. Typically, you meet with your supervisors more frequently at the initial stages of research than during the phases of data collection and analysis.

We also provide substantial additional training for our doctoral students. If you have not already successfully completed an advanced statistics and methods course, in your first year you will need to take the Advanced Statistics and Methodology module from the taught MSc. Doctoral students at Kent are also provided with training in research-specific and broader ‘transferable’ skills, including academic writing, career management and presentation skills. You also have the opportunity to train for an advanced teaching qualification (ATAP). During term time, the research groups hold weekly meetings to discuss ongoing work, and there are also weekly seminars featuring external speakers. Numerous data analysis and research methods workshops (recent examples: structural equation modelling; hierarchical linear modelling; meta-analysis; EPrime experimental software), and individual training opportunities are available.

Department specialisms

Research is focused within four core collaborative, thematic groupings: Social Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Forensic Psychology and Developmental Psychology. The research environment is designed to sustain a strong, vibrant research culture, encourage collaboration, and unite staff and students with shared research interests. Our themes ensure critical mass and create a highly energetic and stimulating intellectual climate. Research activity is supported by: - centrally co-ordinated provision and use of laboratories and technical support - selection of speakers for our weekly departmental research colloquia - weekly research meetings within each theme - to develop, report and analyse research, and host our many visiting scholars - several monthly small meeting series on specific areas of cross-cutting research (such as forensic, social development, emotion, social cognition and health).

Information for international students

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways. See

Fees and funding

Please see our funding web pages for the most current information and application details.

Qualification and course duration


full time
36-48 months
part time
60-72 months

Course contact details

School of Psychology
+44 (0)1227 824775
+44 (0)1227 827030