There are 6 modules to the programme:
Professional Practice Portfolio in Forensic Psychology 1 (60 credits, Level 8)
Professional Practice Portfolio in Forensic Psychology 2 (20 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 9 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 one 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 who use their employment as a placement for the programme are encouraged to consider their ability to meet the requirements of this study time.
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
Students are assessed for competency and professionalism, these issues are reviewed in tri-partite supervision sessions every quarter for full time students. There are 6 modules that students will complete. The largest of these are the Portfolio modules 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. See Course Content tab for more information.
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.
Entry Requirements & How to Apply
Applicants will be expected to have a BPS accredited Undergraduate degree and a BPS accredited Masters degree in Forensic Psychology (or equivalence of BPS Stage 1 training in forensic psychology). 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 recommend at least 1 year (full time) experience in these roles.
We do accept Accredited Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) for this programme and our rules of applying this mean we accept prior certified learning. 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.
Successful applicants require a DBS check for year of entry. The fee will be covered by the department, however if a place is deferred applicants will be required to cover the cost of an updated DBS check in the year of entry (unless registered for the DBS update service). Further information on these requirements can be found at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/DBS. Students who are not using their current employment for their entire placement will also need to engage with an Occupational Health screening process.
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. Students will need to able to evidence English language skills of IELTS level 7 with a minimum of 6.5 on each subtest.
Before starting the programme, students must have an approved placement where appropriate supervised experience is offered by the placement site. For some students, their employment can be used as the placement (e.g. forensic psychologists in training employed by justice or health organisations). We support students who have been offered a place on the programme to find suitable placement opportunities. 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 than £100.00 per year for most applicants.
Selection is normally based on a completed online application form and interview.
PLEASE NOTE: Liability insurance:
If offered a place on the programme students must ensure they have
appropriate liability insurance. If students are employed by placement
providers in an appropriate role, which covers all core competencies of the
programme, it is probable they will be covered by their employer and students
are required to provide details of this cover. If students are voluntarily on
placement they will need to take out professional liability insurance which
costs less than £100.00 per year. The University will ask students to sign a
form to indicate they are covered, and that they will be responsible for
renewing it when appropriate.
How to Apply:
Applications should be made direct to the university via our Self Service facility and requires a mandatory Personal Statement, MSc Forensic Psychology (or BPS stage 1) certificate, and two completed references from qualified Forensic Psychologists that have observed your practice (reference template provided). All must be uploaded with your online application.
Please visit Advice for Applicants for further information on the mandatory documentation and making your application. The mandatory information can also be accessed directly via www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/practitionerforensic.
Health and Care Professions Council
Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Health Sciences
Two years full-time (minimum): 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 candidature: Accruing no less than 360 days experience across the period.
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 www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/fees.
Please see fee table for exact costings for this programme. For information on modules to be studied part time please contact the programme leader.
The university also offers a postgraduate scholarship scheme to help students whilst at university. To see if you are eligible, visit www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/scholarships.