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Course content

Upon completion of two years full-time supervised practice (or equivalent), attendance at workshops and completion of the thesis portfolio, the Professional Doctorate will equip you with the appropriate experience and qualifications to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a registered psychologist with the right to use the title forensic psychologist.

More about this course

The course aims to produce competent, informed, reflective, and ethically and professionally sound practitioners of forensic psychology who are able to work in different settings. There will be a synthesis between taught workshops and your practical placements. Trainees are required to demonstrate core forensic psychology competencies at an advanced level and to complete D-level research. In addition to general forensic competencies and research, key areas of the course include consultancy, teaching and training, and assessments and interventions.

The course is delivered by a combination of professional workshops, supervised practice, research, and individual, group, and peer supervision. Course leaders are registered forensic psychologists with experience working in prisons, secure hospitals, and independent forensic practise in the UK and the US. Because working in multidisciplinary environments is increasingly important, some lectures are taught by registered psychologists in other fields, including health, occupational, and counselling psychology.

Throughout the course, critical reflection is encouraged on current discourses within contemporary forensic issues. We expect you to adopt a questioning stance to forensic practice that constantly looks to the multplicity of clients’ needs and expectations.

The course is assessed through a thesis portfolio (46,000 words in total) and a Viva Voce that assesses the thesis portfolio. Components that make up the portfolio include the following:
-D Level Research Dissertation
-Assessment Case Study
-Treatment Case Study
-Consultancy Case Study
-Communication Portfolio
-Teaching Portfolio (including DVD of teaching)
-Training Portfolio
-Professional Skills Competency Portfolio
-Competency Log Book as appendix

Professional accreditation

The course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), meaning that students who successfully complete the course are eligible to apply for registration as a forensic psychologist.

Modular structure

All teaching takes place in small groups, including presentations, visiting experts, seminars and workshops. Training begins with a two-week Induction period, during which time seminars will be given both morning and afternoon Wednesday through Friday. Subsequently, workshops take place every three to four weeks on a Friday.

Individual supervision sessions are arranged at the convenience of trainees and supervisors. As a trainee, you can expect supervision every 3-4 weeks during your first year and every 1-2 months during your second year. You will meet with your supervisory team at least four times a year. Supervisors will also provide telephone and email supervision throughout the year. We also expect trainees to take part in peer supervision through group meetings and through the use of Weblearn discussion forums.

The course does not have a module structure. However, several essential themes are addressed by lectures, supervision, and teaching and learning exercises throughout the course. These include, for example:
-Working with clients, eg developing a working alliance, giving feedback/cultural diversity, Intervention approaches, risk assessment approaches, trauma-informed intervention
-Working with other professionals, eg leadership and group process, multidisciplinary working and case conferences, providing supervision and directing the work of others
-Ethical and reflective practice, eg ethical decision making, reflective thinking and writing, evaluating practice including quality control
-Research skills, eg systematic review, writing for publication.

After the course

You can expect to go into careers within the prisons service, health service, charity sector, or academic sector in a professional capacity as a chartered psychologist and registered forensic psychologist.

Moving to one campus

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2017. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Visit the Forensic Psychology - Professional Doctorate page on the London Metropolitan University website for more details!

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