Taught course

Forensic Psychology Practice

University of Portsmouth · Department of Psychology

Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree or conversion course in Psychology or Forensic Psychology or which confers Graduate Basis for Chartered status (GBC) and a BPS accredited Masters degree which confers Stage I of the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology. Should an applicant not have completed these prior degrees, it is possible that they could complete these pre-requisites within the department via the MSc Forensic Psychology course.
Applicants are expected to have at least 1 year experience in an applied Forensic Psychology setting, or equivalent. Applicants are subject to interview/assessment. All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

This course (currently subject to HCPC approval) is for students wishing to achieve Health and Care Professions Council registered status as practitioner psychologists, with an emphasis on guided knowledge, applied experience, specialist input and evidence based-practice.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Achieve Registered status as a Practising Forensic Psychologist (subject to HCPC approval)
  • Become fully versed in formulation-based assessment and ethical practice
  • Engage in specialist fields of forensic mental health and disorder
  • Be supported through placements by experienced and expert staff
  • Learn how to deliver expert evidence and training
  • Use the wealth of academic expertise at the University to underpin evidence-based practice
  • Enjoy a range of placement opportunities
  • Be well supported in a positive and collegiate atmosphere

What opportunities might it lead to?

The course is primarily aimed at those wishing to become practising forensic psychologists. ‘Forensic psychologist’ is a legally protected title and this course will enable you to use it (subject to approval) and apply your skills with confidence. You will be well equipped as a practitioner and supported by experienced practitioner academics throughout the process.

Here are some routes our graduates could pursue:

  • Working as BPS Chartered and HCPC Registered forensic psychologists in settings such as: prison, community and NHS secure units and developing their own private practice initiatives
  • Training design and training delivery
  • Project management
  • Academia

Module Details

Teaching will be delivered in blocks at the beginning and end of each semester so you are in regular contact with the University and feel well supported. Placements will be supported and a range of issues will be covered including: practitioner skills – the use of supervision, workload management, professional relationships and reflection; assessment and formulation skills; intervention approaches – to include desistance, environmental impact and rejection sensitivity research and 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 include:

  • Practitioner Skills
  • Forensic Mental Health and Disorder
  • Forensic Practice Placements
  • Training Skills
  • Approaches to Intervention

Options to choose from include:

  • Research Skills
  • Forensic psychology in context
  • Practitioner Skills 2

Programme Assessment

Staff are experienced practitioners and well regarded in the profession, having held national leadership roles including Chair of the British Psychological Society (BPS) Division, Chair of the BPS Training Committee and many others. Staff are BPS Chartered and HCPC registered practitioner psychologists supported by REF-entered psychologists in a department with long established forensic psychology links. They will bring this extensive experience as practitioners to their teaching which is applied, collegiate and supportive. Supervisors will engage with you in a positive working relationship and your needs will be addressed by staff at the earliest stage.

We assess you in a variety of ways throughout the course, including through empirical research, systematic review, oral presentations and more:

  • 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
  • Report Writing

Student Destinations

This course is specifically tailored for individuals seeking to become a forensic psychologist. This is a unique course which provides a blended approach to gaining these qualifications in one programme of work. We would expect this course to be appealing to those interested in a career in becoming a practising forensic psychologist.

Fees and funding

UK students
Full time: £TBC p/a* *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
International students
Full time: £5,030 p/a* *Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566