Quality Manual

Doctor of Forensic Psychology Regulations

Regulations for the Doctor of Forensic Psychology (DForenPsy)

The regulations for the DForenPsy are those which govern the PhD except where the following modify or supplement them.

Admission Requirements

1. A candidate for the Doctor of Forensic Psychology must be a graduate of this or any other approved university holding either a first or second class honours degree from a psychology programme accredited by the British Psychological Society and some relevant experience for the full entry into year 1.  Alternatively, candidates holding a Master's degree in Forensic Psychology which is accredited by the British Psychological Society and who have completed at least 100 days of relevant practice experience in a forensic setting under supervision from a psychologist may join the programme from year 2.

Course of Study

2. A candidate for the degree of DForenPsy must have pursued at this University a full-time course of study comprising a taught component and a thesis.  Subject to the entry requirements of section 1 above, completion of the DForenPsy programme requires a minimum of 3 years of full-time supervised study (2 years if entry is to year 2), or part-time equivalent.

Taught Component

3. The taught component requires the successful completion of 60 credits of modules as specified in the DForenPsy course handbook and the equivalent of a 120-credit research dissertation, normally carried out during the first year of the course.  Candidates wishing to exit the course at the Masters stage may be eligible for the MSc (by Research) in Criminological Psychology subject to the University's Regulations for the Degree of Master of Arts by Research (MA by Research) and Master of Science by Research (MSc by Research) which also apply with regard to satisfactory progression on the taught element of this degree. The MSc (by Research) award is only available to candidates who exit the programme without completing the doctoral element.


4. For progression to the doctoral component students will normally have achieved an overall average of at least 60% (merit level) in the taught element, the research dissertation and have completed at least 100 days of relevant practice experience in a forensic setting under supervision from a psychologist.


5. Each candidate will have at least two academic supervisors, and one supervisor for each of the forensic placements who will be a HCPC registered Forensic Psychology Practitioner and act as a ‘Co-ordinating Supervisor’.  The  responsibility of the ‘Co-ordinating Supervisor’ is to help plan the placement experience and research work to ensure the student has adequate breadth and depth of study to fulfil the professional registration requirements and fitness to practise.

6. The University's policies with regard to supervision and annual review of progress shall apply.

Thesis Pending Period

7. Submission of the doctoral thesis and practice portfolio must be made within 4 years from initial registration for full-time students and accordingly the majority of candidates shall be entitled to a thesis pending period after completing 3 years of registered study.  For part-time students submission must be made within 8 years from initial registration.

Submission of Thesis

8. The candidate shall submit for examination, a doctoral thesis of a maximum of 50,000 words, which shall comprise of four components: a systematic review (10,000 words); a large primary research study (or 2 smaller related studies - 10,000 words); a case study related to the research topic (10,000 words); and a critique of a psychometric measure used in the research (6,000 words).

9. The candidate shall also submit a practice portfolio which shall comprise of six components: four placement reports (maximum of 6,000 words each); a diary of evidence (maximum of 30,000 words); a case study NOT related to the doctoral thesis (10,000 words); and a training report (6,000 words).

Examination of Doctoral Thesis

10. Candidates shall be examined by one Internal Examiner and one External Examiner and in accordance with the PhD regulations.  A viva voce examination shall be held on both the doctoral thesis and practice portfolio, weighted equally at 50%/50%.

Outcomes of Examination

11. The degree of DForenPsy will be conferred on candidates who have successfully completed the taught element of the programme and have satisfied the Examiners as to the standard of the doctoral thesis and practice portfolio.

12. Candidates who either do not undertake, or fail, the research thesis or practice portfolio, but successfully complete part or the whole of the taught programme, may be considered for the following awards: Postgraduate Certificate in Criminological Psychology (60 credits) or MSc (by Research) in Forensic and Criminological Psychology (180 credits) subject to MSc (by Research) regulations.


Last updated 03/07/18

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