Forensic Psychology (Practitioner Programme) - PgD 

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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. 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.

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 case study presentations, 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 teconsultancy, 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.

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.

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.

We do accept Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) for this programme. This means that students may demonstrate that they have already demonstrated competency in areas assessed within this programme. Generally this will mean they can demonstrate that they have submitted, been assessed and passed aspects of a similar (HCPC Approved) programme in forensic psychology training. APEL is assessed individually and applicants should contact the Course Director with evidence of their APEL for further guidance

Additionally applicants must have (or be able to provide) a clear, Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report.  Students are required to agree to occupational health screening prior to their place on the programme being confirmed.  This screening may include recommendations or requirements for immunisation to allow them to undertake placements with an external provider.  Students will be asked to consent to participation in role play activities during the workshops associated with the programmes. Students unable to consent to such activities will be required to work with the programme team to achieve a suitable alternative experience. Finally students will need to able to evidence English language skills of IELTS level 7 with a minimum of 6.5 on each subtest.

Students on placements where they are not employed by their placement provider will be expected to take out appropriate liability insurance at their own cost.  The cost of liability insurance for students on placement varies, but should be less that £100.00 per year for most applicants.

Key Facts

Aprroved by: Health and Care Professions Council


School: Cardiff School of Health Sciences

Course Length: Two years full-time: usually 4 days per week for 45 weeks per year (students need to accrue no less than 360 days experience across the two year period).
Up to Five years part-time: Accruing 360 days experience across the period.

The programme is assessed by work based practice supervision reviews, and by coursework only, there are no exams. Examples of assessments include: case study exemplars, reflective reports, supervision and practice logs.

Selection Procedure:
Selection is normally based on a completed application form and interview.

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at
Next intake will be January 2015. Open for applications from 3rd July to 26th September. Proposed assessment day 3rd November (tbc). 

International Applicants:
Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), should contact the International Office at Cardiff Met to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us. For further information visit

Tuition Fees and Financial Support:
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available. Please refer to

Postgraduate Scholarships:
The university also offers a postgraduate scholarship scheme to help students whilst at university. To see if you are eligible, visit

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Student Recruitment Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme leader, Nic Bowes:
Tel: 029 2020 1169

See Also:
Cardiff School of Health Sciences Website