Postgraduate study

You will apply your knowledge to practice while on placement in forensic environments. You will experience interventions with children and adults in community and secure settings.


DForenPsy Forensic Psychology - top up programme
2 years full-time
Entry requirements
Minimum of 2:1 class honours degree in Psychology (BA/BSc single or joint or international equivalent) recognised by the BPS as conferring Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBCM) with a grade of 60%+ overall & 60%+ in their final research project.
Other requirements
A Masters in Forensic/Criminological/Investigative Psychology recognised by the BPS as conferring GBCM with a minimum grade of 60% + overall & 60% + in their final research project. THE FOLLOWING ARE ESSENTIAL 1): Minimum of 100 days forensic experience supervised by a registered/chartered forensic psychologist; 1 clinical reference & 1 academic reference from most recent academic and clinical experiences respectively; academic transcript(s); personal statement; abstract of your most recent research project; Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate issued within the last 12 months (can be issued by the University). 2) DESIRABLE: Regular access to a car.
7.5 (no less than 7.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
British Psychological Society (BPS)
Jubilee Campus

Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology, Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Medicine




The aim of the top-up programme is to allow postgraduate psychologists already holding a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited MSc Criminological/Forensic/Investigative Psychology to obtain a doctorate through applying their knowledge to practice with victims or offenders.

These individuals will be eligible to fast track onto the two-year doctorate component of the full DForenPsy course.

We only consider applications submitted between 1 October to 31 May. If people apply after 31 May their applications won’t be considered until the following academic year.



This programme is approved by the Health Professions Council (HPC) and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and confers eligibility to apply for HPC registration and BPS chartered membership respectively.

Those applicants working in a forensic setting may use this setting as a placement, if appropriate.

Frequently asked questions

1. Do I have to already be in forensic psychology employment to apply?

No, we have a range of national and international placement opportunities. However, those in employment may be able to use their employment as a placement during the supervised practice years (years two and three of full programme, either of the top-up programme years).


2. Are there any scholarships available?

Yes we have some scholarships that you can apply for during years two or three of the full doctorate or at point of interview/acceptance of the top-up (i.e. these are during the placement/supervised practice years).

These are usually fee payment scholarships that vary in nature but are dependent on the placement providing these. There is no guarantee of any scholarship and if you are awarded a scholarship it is usually only for the duration that you are working with the awarding placement e.g. half year fees or one year for a double placement. We do not currently have any scholarships that would fund the fees of an individual to complete the whole course.

Please only enquire about these if you are interviewed, we cannot respond to queries about these in advance.


3. Do I have to submit a research proposal in the application, and can I select a supervisor?

We do not accept research proposals at the time of application. Nor do candidates select a supervisor.

This is a glitch in the form aimed at PhD candidates and not our DForenPsy programme – if you do have a work-based forensic or clinical psychologist identified in your current employment and would plan to use this as a placement please (with their permission) name them, but if not please write TBC.


4. The application form asks for a research proposal. Do I have to have a full proposal before I apply for the programme?

You do not have to have a proposal ready at this stage. If you do have a proposal then write this in and if not please state areas of interest within forensic psychology that you may wish to research if you are offered a place on the programme.


5. Are you having an open day?


6. Do I need to write a personal statement?

A: Yes, this is mandatory.


7. Which school do I apply to/under?

A: We are in the School of Medicine and not the School of Psychology.


8. Are the placements all in Nottingham/Do I have to live in Nottingham when on placement?

No, you don't have to live in Nottingham. Placements are all over the country. You are required in Nottingham for two weeks per year of mandatory block teaching (usually October and January & October and May) in the placement years (years two and three of full Doctorate and both of the two top-up years). There may be additional training, reviews or supervision that you need to attend in Nottingham. You are required to attend teaching approximately three days per week in the MSc (or year one of the three year programme) so for this part of their training, most students live nearby or commute.


9. What are the fees?

Please check the fees section (under Postgraduate research courses under the School of Medicine) of the website before you accept your place.


10. Do I need a driving license?

This is not a requirement but is desirable. Your placement may be difficult to get to on public transport and students find that driving is an advantage.


11. Are there any expenses other than fees?

There will be living expenses, and also expenses involved with travelling to placements, printing costs and so on. There are no bursaries for this type of expense.


Full course details

During the doctorate component, you will apply your knowledge to practice while on placement in forensic environments. You will experience interventions with children and adults in community and secure settings and develop skills and competency in four core areas:

  • conducting psychological applications and interventions

  • case studies, research and evaluation

  • communicating knowledge to other professionals

  • training other professionals in psychological skills and methods

At the end of the course, you will submit a thesis on your research and practice in a specific area of forensic psychology.




Theoretical basis of offending behaviour, the development, prevention and intervention of offending behaviour, legal psychology regarding policing and the courtroom and forensic organisational psychology.

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

We appreciate that many potential PhD students may not have sufficient funds to see their way through a PhD. However, a variety of sources of funding exist for which both UK/EU and International students may be eligible to apply. Supervisors provide assistance and guidance in helping students to complete applications for competitive scholarships.

The University of Nottingham offers advice on funding opportunities that are available to UK/EU and international students, to support fee payment and living costs while you study. 

Find out more

See also the following for some of the postgraduate funding opportunities available for UK, EU and international students.



Home students

This course is not eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan. Find out more.

Additional funding opportunities

Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) funding

Applicants who will be employed by the NHS in the East Midlands while they are undertaking their studies may be eligible to apply for Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) funding through the Health Education England East Midlands. Funding will be available for both full programmes and individual modules.



Careers and professional development

Find out what our students say

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 95.7% of postgraduates from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The median starting salary was £28,625 with the highest being £76,001.*

* Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

The Graduate Market 2013–2019, High Fliers Research



This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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Forensic & Criminological Psychology MSc (by research)

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