Forensic psychology is an expanding field. Opportunities to work in this area have increased in line with the development of the scientific base for this subject. As a branch of applied psychology, it draws on many facets of its parent discipline such as clinical, occupational, social and cognitive psychology. It also interfaces with other disciplines such as criminology and law in order to address issues of often major concern to the justice system, organisations, individuals and society.
The proven versatility of forensic psychologists is one of the reasons for the growth in their employment - employers within or linked to the criminal justice system appreciate the fact that forensic psychologists can be useful in many different ways. Practitioners work in prisons, probation, policing, social work, health services, the courts, academia and private practice.
Why study forensic psychology at Portsmouth?
Portsmouth is a unique place to study forensic psychology. We house the International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology (ICRFP), which comprises the largest group of forensic psychology researchers in the UK and are internationally renowned for our work on:
* offending behaviour
* detecting deception
* investigative interviewing
* courtroom psychology
* false/recovered memories
* custodial environments and other operational contexts
We publish widely, regularly hold conferences and also have excellent connections with a variety of custodial establishments including adult male and women's prisons, young offenders' institutions and secure hospitals, enabling us to provide a varied and interesting curriculum and range of opportunities. We have received a British Psychological Society (BPS) commendation for preparing people for professional practice.
Our course leader, Dr Adrian Needs, is a Chartered and Health Professions Council Registered Forensic Psychologist with 14 years' experience of working in the Prison Service. He chaired the original BPS panel that formulated the accreditation criteria for forensic Master's courses in the UK and has been described as the architect of the system for supervised practice that completes postgraduate qualification in this field.
Members of faculty have been involved in the evaluation of several major innovations in the treatment of offenders; others have provided specialised training to police services across the globe. The course also draws upon its own network of visiting speakers from external organisations.
Coming to Portsmouth will therefore furnish you with a very strong foundation in both professional practice and research skills, in a friendly and supportive environment. We also have a British Psychological Society commendation for our student support.
Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS), our Master’s degree is recognised as providing an important step towards eventual chartered status as a forensic psychologist. It aims to provide you with a systematic knowledge and understanding of forensic psychology, in accordance with the academic requirements of the Division of Forensic Psychology (DFP), the British Psychological Society (BPS) for accredited courses and eventual progression to autonomous practice.