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Forensic Psychology (Practitioner Programme) (PgD)

Course Description

Course Overview

This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and, upon completion, provides students with eligibility to apply to the register to practice as Forensic Psychologists in the UK.

The course is designed to be placement based, with various workshops for students as well as clinical and academic supervision. Workshops are usually delivered in block teaching sessions and students are expected to be in Cardiff for around 15 days over the course of their study. We have students from all over the UK so we aim to make access to workshops as straightforward as possible for those students who have to travel long distances to attend.

Each student will be allocated both a clinical supervisor and an academic supervisor – at least one of these supervisors will be an appropriately qualified and experienced Forensic Psychologist. Students should consider the availability of a forensic psychologist who is willing and able to offer supervision in their workplace or placement site for the duration of their studies.

Next intake April 2016 - applications open 1st December 2015 to 29th January 2016

See the website https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/health/courses/Pages/Forensic-Psychology-(Practitioner-Programme)---PgD-.aspx

Course Content​​

There are 5 modules to the programme:
- Professional Portfolio in Forensic Psychology (80 credits, Level 8)
This is the largest assessed piece of work and it provides credits towards a Professional Doctorate qualification that students may wish to undertake following this programme or at a later stage in their career. The portfolio is a collection of exemplars of work students have undertaken to demonstrate competence in the application of forensic psychology to assessment and intervention work with service users. It will include exemplars of clinical practice (assessments, interventions, evaluation and recommendations) reflective evaluations, practice logs (detailing a minimum of 360 days of professional practice), supervision logs and a variety of placement checklists.

- Consultancy (10 credits, level 8)
This module explores the experience students have in demonstrating the application of psychology in the context of consultancy, developing policy and evaluating service provision.

- Teaching and Training (10 credits, level 8)
This module explores the experience students have in demonstrating the application of psychology in the context of teaching and training.

- Ethical and Professional Practice (10 credits, level 8)
This module explores the experience students have in demonstrating the application of psychology within the appropriate ethical and professional boundaries that are required by the Regulatory Body (Health and Care Professions Council, HCPC), by appropriate professional bodies (British Psychological Society, BPS) and by the relevant placement organisations.

- Functional Assessment and Formulation (10 credits, level 8)
This module explores the experience students have in demonstrating the application of psychology in applying psychological models of assessment, particularly functional assessment and case formulation.

Learning & Teaching​

​Our students are placement based and the programme follows an apprenticeship model, where students work under the supervision of a qualified forensic psychologist and aim to demonstrate their developing competency in the areas identified as relevant to the role (HCPC Standards of Proficiency). So, the primary mode of learning on this programme will be through supervised practice.

To support the learning of students we also offer workshops. Some of the workshops are compulsory and mean that students need to attend Cardiff for around 15 days over the course of their study with us.

We make no apology when stating that this course is challenging and will require a great deal of investment from students in order to complete it. Our students on placement (not employed by placement provider) we expect to be in placement 4 days a week and spend an additional day in study. It is very much a full time programme of study and whilst there are part time options, the commitment is something we urge applicants to consider.

Students are provided with a supervisory team which is comprised of a work placement supervisor (we refer to this supervisor as the clinical supervisor) and a supervisor from the University (we refer to this supervisor as an academic supervisor). Both of these supervisors will be forensic psychologists, except in exceptional circumstances where the course leader has approved a different arrangement. Both supervisors will provide support to the student and will encourage their development and provide pastoral support. Additional support is provided through the Peer Mentors, other students who are a step further along the process.


Students are assessed for competency and professionalism, these issues are reviewed in tri-partite supervision sessions every quarter for full time students. In addition to this there are 5 modules that students will complete. The largest of these is the Portfolio where students will gather exemplars of their work with forensic psychology service users following the processes of assessment, intervention, evaluation and recommendation. Additionally, students will complete four reflective report modules on aspects of their practice; Functional Assessment and Formulation, Ethical and Professional Practice, Teaching and Training and Consultancy.

Employability & Careers​

The purpose of the PG Dip in Practitioner Forensic Psychology is to allow students to progress on from Masters level study towards Practitioner status, thereby boosting their employability. At the end of the programme successful students can apply to the HCPC to be registered as Forensic Psychologists. This course is essentially for students who wish to progress on to clinical work within forensic settings or more widely with forensic clients. The programme is placement based and provides supervised support towards developing the competencies required to be an autonomous practitioner.

100% of the graduates from this programme are employed as Forensic Psychologists and so working in professional roles within a variety of organisations in the UK. Some of our graduates may consider returning to complete the Doctorate in Forensic Psychology (Top-Up) once they have decided which area they would like to specialise in.

Find information on Scholarships here https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/scholarships

Find out how to apply here https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply

Visit the Forensic Psychology (Practitioner Programme) (PgD) page on the Cardiff Metropolitan University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants will be expected to have a BPS accredited Masters in Forensic Psychology (or equivalent). In addition to the academic qualifications detailed above, applicants will be expected to demonstrate extensive experience in applied forensic psychology. This can be demonstrated by being employed as a forensic psychologist in training, or a similar role where you have practiced, under supervision, forensic psychology with forensic service users. For further information on entry requirements please see the Cardiff Met website.

Course Fees

UK/EU students: £5,100; International Students: £12,000

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