Dr Jennifer Bamford graduated in 2015 and went on to work as a Chartered and Registered Forensic Psychologist for Cygnet Hospitals. She also owns her own company, completing independent psychological assessments such as prison parole reports, where her Doctoral level knowledge and training has been critical to her work.
“At my MSc graduation I was speaking to a fellow graduate who told me about this 'up and coming' course at Nottingham University that enabled you to become a Registered Forensic Psychologist as well as receive a Doctorate level award, recognising the skill and study involved in the process. This sounded too good to be true although after some internet digging I came across the Top-Up Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology at The University of Nottingham and the rest is history.
The course was the perfect combination of lectures/university based work and clinical placement work. The university helped forensic psychologists in training to find placements but also gave us the freedom to find them ourselves. This was undoubtedly the biggest learning curve of my time in education yet; whilst dramatically improving my understanding and execution of clinical skills I also learnt how to complete empirical research fit for publication. I have since had a paper accepted for publication in a high-ranking journal. My supervisors went above and beyond their roles, offering me invaluable advice and support and treating me as an equal, not someone subservient to them. To my surprise they also later nominated me for the Junior BPS award for 'outstanding quality and innovation' and I was lucky enough to be the 2015 winner.
Although all of us in the cohort came from different parts of the UK, we felt very much ‘in it together’ during the course, offering each other advice and support after a hard day during the 4 block weeks of training, which are spread through the 2 years full-time programme. My supervisors never made me feel isolated despite being over 100 miles away from the campus. Unlike my previous degrees, this was a collaborative relationship, not that of 'teacher and student'.
Shortly before I finished the course I had three very good job offers in different parts of the country and it was hard to decide where I wanted my career, and life, to go. I now work for one of the top 3 medical providers in the UK, being responsible for a forensic ward of female patients with personality disorder as well as a locked rehabilitation facility for male service users. Alongside my clinical work at the hospital I also complete private reports through my own company. The doctorate has equipped me with the skills, knowledge and confidence to take on a lot of responsibility and to progress far beyond even my own expectations professionally in a relatively short space of time. I highly recommend the programme and the core team of dedicated staff.”
(Added: October 2015)