Doctor of Psychology

Forensic Psychology

Prison barbed wire
  • Level(s) of study: Postgraduate research
  • Study mode(s): Part-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September
  • Course duration: Two and a half years part-time

The Doctor of Psychology in Forensic Psychology (DPsych in Forensic Psychology) is a research-based professional doctoral course for practicing forensic psychologists and aims to develop reflective researching practitioners.

This DPsych in Forensic Psychology is a two and a half year part-time research-based programme which allows experienced practicing forensic psychologists the opportunity to further develop their knowledge, understanding, skills, qualities and attributes in a specialist area of forensic psychology. Throughout the course you will be encouraged to engage in a process of continuous reflection on yourself, your practice and your research, which will ensure that you develop as a reflective researching practitioner.

What you'll study

The DPsych in Forensic Psychology will provide you with an opportunity to explore the complex relationships between knowledge, theory and practice in forensic psychology and to explore the complex relationship between understanding the sector and changing it.

You'll develop as a reflective researching practitioner in the field of forensic psychology through the synthesis of practice with research and you'll develop your ability to design and implement independent and original research at the boundaries of knowledge of forensic psychology.

The course will enable you to undertake critical investigation and evaluation of a forensic psychology topic in order to develop the intellectual and personal adaptability to be able to inform organisational and societal change.

You'll develop a range of skills including your judgement, foresight and problem analysis by applying theoretical and philosophically tuned skills to the research material. You'll also develop your communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively with the academics and practitioners from the academia and the communities in which people live, and to act as interpreters between the two.

This course comprises of two modules designed to allow you to specialise in an area of forensic psychology that interests you. The course also incorporates individual learning plans which are reviewed regularly and include your written reflections on development.

The DPsych in Forensic Psychology consists of 540 credits with 180 level 7 credits awarded as Accredited Prior Learning (APL), at admission, for completion of an MSc in Forensic Psychology (or equivalent). A further 60 level 8 APL credits can be awarded on evidence of Doctoral level research competence which will exempt you from Module One.

To obtain a DPsych in Forensic Psychology you will need to successfully complete the full 540 credits. You may be awarded an MProf in Forensic Psychology at any point from the end of Year Two of the course. If you wish to withdraw before completion of the DPsych, if meeting the criteria for the MProf award, you may submit for examination for this award.

  • Course modules

    Module One: Foundations in Research (60 credits)

    This module aims to develop research competence suitable to undertake the DPsych thesis portfolio. The aims of the module are to allow you to:

    • research a topic or issue in forensic psychology at Doctorate level
    • understand how the process of research and analysis can be utilised to structure developments in forensic psychology professional practice
    • conceptualise, design and implement appropriate research methodologies and adjust the project design in light of unforeseen problems and contradictions
    • nurture professional development as a reflective researching practitioner in the field of forensic psychology
    • exercise personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in undertaking research in complex and unpredictable situations in professional environments.

    Module Two: Thesis Portfolio (300 credits)

    The aim of this module is to develop doctoral level researching practitioners in the field of forensic psychology. The aims of the module are to:

    • allow you an opportunity to explore the complex relationships between knowledge, theory and practice in forensic psychology and to explore the complex relationship between understanding the sector and changing it
    • enable you to develop as reflective researching practitioners in the field of forensic psychology through the synthesis of practice with research
    • develop your ability to design and implement independent and original research at the boundaries of knowledge of forensic psychology
    • get an opportunity to develop your judgement, foresight and problem analysis by applying theoretical and philosophically tuned skills to the research material
    • enable you to undertake critical investigation and evaluation of a forensic psychology topic in order to develop your intellectual and personal adaptability to be able to inform organisational and societal change.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

Explore the complex relationships between knowledge, theory and practice in forensic psychology and explore the complex relationship between understanding the sector and changing it.

How you’re taught

Course induction

As part of the course induction you will meet your course leader, other members if the cohort and a range of teaching staff. You will also be provided with a course handbook which will include a range of information about studying at NTU.

Teaching and learning

There are no mandatory teaching elements in the course but there will be optional DPsych research workshops provided. These workshops will combine teaching with practical application and consideration of your own research and will enhance and support your learning. Although the workshops and additional training are optional, if placed within your Individual Learning Plan (ILP), you will be expected to attend the workshop during your registration on the course.

Throughout the course you will be supervised by a minimum of two expert supervisors who will be chartered forensic psychologists or experienced forensic academic staff members. Your supervisors will provide academic supervision across the course modules and assessments.

You will be directed to appropriate websites, specialist texts and primary literature by your supervisors and workshop lecturers. You will undertake extensive independent studies without direction from staff as part of your independent learning time. This will involve independent reading in the appropriate topic areas and undertaking applied research projects.

Assessment methods

The DPsych utilises a variety of methods of assessment to capture the researching practitioner focus on the course. The assessments include research projects, a structured evaluation report and a reflective commentary. The thesis portfolio assessment is completed through a Viva Voce examination.

The indicative content of the thesis portfolio may include:

  • a structured evaluation of a contemporary topic in forensic psychology
  • a disseration based on primary research
  • an Individual Learning Plan and reflections on progress.

During the course you will be provided with feedback on progress from supervisors, through annual reviews including feedback from an independent staff member.

An active research environment

The course team are actively engaged in practice informed applied research and many are members of NTU's Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU).

World-leading research

Psychology at NTU has an established international research reputation and is one of the top risers in the REF 2014 research rankings. The 2014 Assessment also showed:

  • 60% of our research outputs were considered to be internationally excellent or world leading in REF 2014
  • 100% of our research impact is internationally excellent with 73% described as world-leading
  • Our research impact and output is the highest of any UK psychology department with an equivalent research environment.

Find out more about our 2014 Research Excellence Framework results.

The course team are actively engaged in practice informed applied research and many are members of NTU's Sexual Offences, Crime and Misconduct Research Unit (SOCAMRU).

Careers and employability

Develop higher-level research and evaluation skills for senior positions within forensic and non-forensic organistions.

Entry requirements

  • All applicants must have a British Psychological Society chartership with Full Membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology or Health and Care Professions registration as a Forensic Psychologist to undertake this course.
  • A Master's-level qualification or equivalent (e.g. Stage 1 of the BPS Diploma in Forensic Psychology or 180 M-level credits) in a relevant subject which included research teaching and assessment.
  • It is recommended, but not required that you have five years (including training) of experience in a forensic setting or at least two years of experience post-training.
  • Applicants will be required to provide two academic references.
  • Final selection is based on an interview with members of the course team.

Although not required for entry onto this course, it is ideal that you have access to a population on which you can undertake your research.

As you’re applying for a Research degree, you will need to submit a statement about the subject you wish to research. Please see our Doctoral School pages for more information about this.

Application for DPsych in Forensic Psychology: Additional Guidance Notes

Within your application, you will need to:

  1. Outline the quantity and quality of research experience using the four overarching domains of the 'Vitae Researcher Development Framework'. This will be used to consider the current level of your research experience and aid supervisors to provide individual guidance. Further details on the RDF framework can be found here.
  2. Attach a maximum of three recent research papers or reports (published or unpublished).
  3. Provide Evaluation and Research Proposals.
  4. Outline in your Personal Statement the date and membership numbers confirming your: DFP Full Membership and BPS Chartership and / or HCPC Registration as a Forensic Psychologist.
  5. Provide details if you have completed the BPS Qualification (or Diploma) in Forensic Psychology.

Research Proposal Coversheet

Please provide a document of between 1,000 and 2,000 words setting out your proposal as follows. This will assist the academic team in identifying appropriate supervision. Please include any previous work in the area of interest and attach any relevant research to your application.

1. Evaluation Topic

Please outline the area of interest on which you would like to complete a structured (i.e. thorough) exploration of the current literature. This should include:

  • a provisional title
  • the topic or area to be reviewed and how this might be linked to professional practice
  • the aims of the review
  • a brief outline on the topic area and brief bibliography
  • an outline detailing why it is important for this area to be reviewed
  • how your proposed project might relate to existing discussion, debate, research or literature.

2. Project Proposal

In your proposal you should focus initially on one topic in detail, and should address the following areas:

  • a provisional title
  • the topic or area to be investigated, showing how this is linked to your own professional practice
  • the problem or hypothesis to be tested (the research question or problem to be addressed)
  • the methods and techniques you wish to consider for your research in as much detail as possible. Please also outline if you have previous experience in using those methods
  • possible analysis (if known)
  • provisional timetable
  • a brief bibliography of any sources you have already consulted or identified as being of relevance.

If you have already discussed your proposed research with a member of staff at NTU and / or identified a possible title, please indicate this within your application.

Getting in touch

For more information, please contact the Doctoral School Administrator by email or telephone +44 (0)115 848 8154

  • All applicants must have a British Psychological Society chartership with Full Membership of the Division of Forensic Psychology or Health and Care Professions registration as a Forensic Psychologist to undertake this course.
  • A Master's-level qualification or equivalent (e.g. Stage 1 of the BPS Diploma in Forensic Psychology or 180 M-level credits) in a relevant subject which included research teaching and assessment.
  • It is recommended, but not required that you have five years (including training) of experience in a forensic setting or at least two years of experience post-training.
  • Applicants will be required to provide two academic references.
  • Final selection is based on an interview with members of the course team.

Although not required for entry onto this course, it is ideal that you have access to a population on which you can undertake your research.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.

If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

As you’re applying for a Research degree, you will need to submit a statement about the subject you wish to research. Please see our Doctoral School pages for more information about this.

Application for DPsych in Forensic Psychology: Additional Guidance Notes

Within your application, you will need to:

  1. Outline the quantity and quality of research experience using the four overarching domains of the 'Vitae Researcher Development Framework'. This will be used to consider the current level of your research experience and aid supervisors to provide individual guidance. Further details on the RDF framework can be found here.
  2. Attach a maximum of three recent research papers or reports (published or unpublished).
  3. Provide Evaluation and Research Proposals.
  4. Outline in your Personal Statement the date and membership numbers confirming your: DFP Full Membership and BPS Chartership and/or HCPC Registration as a Forensic Psychologist.
  5. Provide details if you have completed the BPS Qualification (or Diploma) in Forensic Psychology.

Research Proposal Coversheet

Please provide a document of between 1,000 and 2,000 words setting out your proposal as follows. This will assist the academic team in identifying appropriate supervision. Please include any previous work in the area of interest and attach any relevant research to your application.

1. Evaluation Topic

Please outline the area of interest on which you would like to complete a structured (i.e. thorough) exploration of the current literature. This should include:

  • a provisional title
  • the topic or area to be reviewed and how this might be linked to professional practice
  • the aims of the review
  • a brief outline on the topic area and brief bibliography
  • an outline detailing why it is important for this area to be reviewed
  • how your proposed project might relate to existing discussion, debate, research or literature.

2. Project Proposal

In your proposal you should focus initially on one topic in detail, and should address the following areas:

  • a provisional title
  • the topic or area to be investigated, showing how this is linked to your own professional practice
  • the problem or hypothesis to be tested (the research question or problem to be addressed)
  • the methods and techniques you wish to consider for your research in as much detail as possible. Please also outline if you have previous experience in using those methods
  • possible analysis (if known)
  • provisional timetable
  • a brief bibliography of any sources you have already consulted or identified as being of relevance.

If you have already discussed your proposed research with a member of staff at NTU and / or identified a possible title, please indicate this within your application.

Getting in touch

For more information, please contact the Doctoral School Administrator by email or telephone +44 (0)115 848 8154

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Most of our postgraduate and professional courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can.

To apply for this course you'll need to complete an application form, produce a research proposal, provide appropriate references and then submit your application to the Doctoral School. Further information can be found on the Doctoral School pages.

As you’re applying for a Research degree, you may like to have a look around our Research pages. This may help you to spot academic staff, research areas or projects that interest you.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Open days

Attending one of our Doctoral School open events is a great way to find out more about research opportunities at NTU.

  • Chat to academics and current students
  • Attend workshops by members of the Doctoral School
  • Learn about funding and scholarships opportunities
  • Find out how NTU can support you through your study and application process.

Please check this page for a full list of events.

Getting in touch

For more information, please contact the Doctoral School Administrator by email or telephone +44 (0)115 848 8154

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Most of our postgraduate and professional courses are popular and fill up quickly though, so apply as soon as you can.

To apply for this course you'll need to complete an application form, produce a research proposal, provide appropriate references and then submit your application to the Doctoral School. Further information can be found on the Doctoral School pages.

As you’re applying for a Research degree, you may like to have a look around our Research pages. This may help you to spot academic staff, research areas or projects that interest you.

Writing your application

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. Make sure you include as much information as possible, including uploading evidence of results already achieved, as well as a personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Getting in touch

For more information, please contact the Doctoral School Administrator by email or telephone +44 (0)115 848 8154

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

You can find information about fees and funding for Research students here.

You can find information about fees and funding for Research students here.

Information on how to pay your fees to the University please visit our international fee payment page.

Still need help?

Graduate School Administrator
+44 (0)115 848 8154