DForenPsy Doctorate in Forensic Psychology / Programme details

Year of entry: 2024

Programme description

Programme Aims

The Post Qualification Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology programme aims to provide you with the opportunity to:

  • Create and interpret new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication;
  • Systematically acquire and understand of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of the forensic psychology;
  • Develop the general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems;
  • Develop qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations, in professional environments.

Programme learning outcomes

At the end of the Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology programme successful graduates are expected to be able to:

  • Make informed judgements on complex issues in the specialist field of forensic psychology, often in the absence of complete data;
  • Communicate ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • Undertake applied research and development at an advanced level, contributing to the development of new techniques, ideas or approaches;
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry.

Special features

Training and development

All of our postgraduate researchers attend the Doctoral Academy Training Programme delivered by the Researcher Development team . The programme provides key transferable skills and equips our postgraduate researchers with the tools to progress beyond their research degree into influential positions within academia, industry and consultancy. The emphasis is on enhancing skills critical to developing early-stage researchers and professionals, whether they relate to effective communication, disseminating research findings and project management skills.

Teaching and learning

Teaching will be based on individual learner needs. You will develop a bespoke training plan with your supervisor at the start of the programme. Teaching will be accessible from the Doctoral Academy training programme, MRes Health and Social Care or University of Manchester Worldwide (UMW). The teaching is designed so as to enable you to balance study alongside existing workplace demands; with the majority of the MRes and UMW content delivered online.

Teaching aims to provide grounding in embedding advanced research methods in applied clinical practice. Significant independent study is expected at doctoral level. All teaching is delivered by experienced researchers and academics at the University of Manchester. All supervisors are currently practicing in forensic mental health and/or active researchers. This will enhance your learning by offering multidisciplinary applied research and professional experience.

Face to face teaching is interactive and is supported by audio-visual stimuli such as PowerPoint slides, images and videos. All units are accessible via our virtual learning environment which contains course information, recommended reading lists, assignments, lecture materials and other material related to the course.  Lecturers may set tasks to be completed via the virtual learning environment. This facilitates shared learning and networking with peers/teaching staff.

A range of assessment methods are employed in the programme to meet the learning outcomes whilst also developing wider skills and capabilities.

You will be required to complete:

  • publishable systematic review (5000 words)
  • completion of relevant training (e.g. 30 credits from MRes Health and Social Care)
  • continuation report
  • ethics application
  • final written thesis (30-40,000 words)
  • viva examination.

You will be required take the lead on developing the research question, proposal, conducting the data collection, analysis and dissemination. You will be supervised and mentored throughout to support the research project. All research projects are subject to University Ethical Approval protocols and require attendance at an ethics committee meeting. Supervisors, or a nominated representative, may also attend this meeting.

You will be given detailed formal feedback from your supervisors, with clear guidance on how to improve on skills and knowledge.

There may be additional summative assignments required from the taught units you select. Details of specific assessments for each unit are contained in the unit specifications. Units available will be contained in the programme handbook. Assessments are conducted in line with University guidance.

What our students say

Find out more about what it's like to undertake a postgraduate research degree at Manchester on the Doctoral Academy Blog and the support available through our Faculty Doctoral Academy.


You will have access to a range of research and learning facilities across the University and at some of our partner organisations.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk