FAQs - Forensic Psychology (Practitioner Programme) - PgD


How many days will I need to be in Cardiff?

It depends on the student and their needs, but usually between 12-15 days here. The rest is placement based.

Do I need to have a placement in Cardiff or Wales?

No you don't - we have students all over the UK studying with us.

Can I bring forward work from another training route to this one?

Yes you can - as long as it has been assessed and passed from another HCPC approved training route in Forensic Psychology. The process is called Recognition of Prior Learning and means you can apply for credits towards your study with us for work that has been passed by other education providers. If you do this, it is likely the minimum time period of study will be reduced for you in recognition of the work you have already achieved. Applications for this are individually assessed and it is not really possible for us to say how long the programme will take for you - as this depends how quickly you are able to provide evidence of the remaining competencies.

Do I need to have a placement organised before I apply?

No you don't - we can help you with placements with our partner organisations but you do need to provide a reference from forensic psychologists who have observed your work, so you do need experience in forensic settings. We suggest at least a year in a psychological assistant or trainee role - but this varies by student and placement experience.

Will my work be acceptable as a placement?

If you are employed as a forensic psychologist in training, then yes it is likely your role will be acceptable as a placement. If you are not, it is likely you will need an additional placement to ensure you have scope to meet the competencies of the programme. For a placement to be approved there needs to be a registered forensic psychologist willing to supervise the student, a breadth of experience possible from the role. We look at placements in more detail once we have offered a place.

Why do you have an assessment centre?

We believe that training to be a forensic psychologist is not just an academic journey, it is also a journey that challenges aspects of an applicant's personality and their relationships with others. We ask applicants to attend assessment centres so that we can assess their skills against a list of competencies and over a range of activities. We use the assessment centre to help us make decisions on whether to offer a place and to feed in to supervision arrangements for students.

How is your route different to BPS Stage 2?

Our route retains the apprenticeship approach of Stage 2, but we don't equally weight the activities like Stage 2 does. We place greater emphasis on the clinical roles of forensic psychology (assessment, intervention, evaluations and recommendations with forensic service users) and we weight our assessments of these more than we do other aspects like consultancy or teaching and training. We also expect students to be able to use research to inform their practice so research becomes embedded in what they do rather than standing outside of practice. Our route is equivalent to Stage 2 and provides eligibility to apply to the HCPC to practice as a forensic psychologist once students have completed their study with us.

How many intakes do you have each year?

Usually two; one in September and one in January each year.

How many people to you take on the programme?

We don't have a set number of places each year. Instead we assess applicants against the competencies and offer places based on their ability. If we need to increase resources to meet the demand for the programme, we do that.