Online course details

Study options

Full-time: 2 years

UK fee

£6,330 (2023/24)

International fee

£6,330 (2023/24)

Course level



PG Dip

Start dates

September, January, May



The highlights

*If you are an international student, you will need to identify suitable placements, as well as an approved clinical supervisor. Overseas training is unlikely to qualify the trainee to practice in the UK, but may be acceptable in their home country. Please confirm this before starting the programme — it is your responsibility.

The final stage of your forensic psychology training

This new, Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology Practice is unique in that it combines online teaching with practice-based learning and independent study. Once you successfully complete the programme, you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and, if this is granted, you will be able to practice as a forensic psychologist in the UK.

We expect that most students will already be working in a forensic setting where they can carry out the necessary 360 days of practice, but if you are not, there may be placements available provided by University of Derby, though these are not guaranteed.

It will train you to be both the ‘scientist’ and the ‘practitioner’. You will develop an advanced understanding and independent judgement of psychological perspectives, theories, policy, and practices relevant to criminal behaviour.

It will also help you to become critically aware of issues at the forefront of forensic psychology, and encourage your enquiring, analytical and creative skills.


We will provide you with an Academic Supervisor who will help you meet the academic requirements of the programme and support you to apply the academic learning to your practice setting. They will be a HCPC registered Forensic Psychologist.

You will also need a Clinical Supervisor, who will be based within your workplace or placement setting. They will be a HCPC registered Forensic Psychologist, with at least two years’ experience post-qualification. They will provide you with suitable practice opportunities and help you make sense of your learning experiences.

Expert tutors and strong industry links

You will be taught by a team of enthusiastic and experienced lecturers who are experts in their fields, including chartered psychologists and registered forensic psychologists.

Our staff are involved in internationally renowned research that is helping to shape understanding and practice across the criminal justice sector. They have expertise in topics such as psychopathy, sex offending, domestic violence, stalking, and personality disorders. As a result, your teaching sessions will often feature the latest thinking and contemporary materials.

We also have strong links with a wide range of criminal and community justice agencies including the police, probation services, prisons, youth justice, courts, and victim support organisations. This means you might hear guest lectures from some of these organisations, or you might be able to undertake research projects with them.

What you will study

You will need to complete six core 10-credit modules and the two 30-credit modules so, on the full-time programme, you will study three 10-credit modules and one-30 credit module in each year, applying that to practice.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

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Online Discovering Online Learning webinar: June 2024

Thursday, 6 June 2024 12.00 - 13.00

During this hour long webinar, we'll take you through how online learning works and what you can expect as an online student with the University of Derby.

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How you will learn

Whilst this is a professional programme, it is delivered entirely online so you can study this course virtually, from any location and have the flexibility to fit your studies around your work. You will engage in all course materials and live sessions through our virtual learning environment, which is easy to use and offers a highly interactive study experience.

You will learn through:

Professional Practice

You will be required to undertake and evidence a total of 360 days of supervised practice-based work experience to develop competencies in four key areas:

Through your professional practice, you will build a portfolio of evidence and reflections which will count toward your final assessment.

Support for your learning

You will get plenty of support, so if you are new to online learning or haven’t studied for a while, you don’t need to worry. Alongside our expert academics and your Academic Supervisor, there will also be a team of online learning advisors who will help you with any non-academic queries.

Pace of study

The academic year is made up of three, ten-week terms, known as trimesters. For the full-time course, you will need to study the equivalent of 20 credits each trimester.


This course is assessed through coursework. There will be assessments for each module that count towards your final qualification (‘summative assessments’), which may include things like:

At the end of the programme, each assessment with contribute to your final practice portfolio.

Student support and guidance

Whilst we encourage our students to become independent, life-long learners, we also recognise that offering the right support and guidance will help you to achieve your goals. There is a wealth of support available to you at the University, from your dedicated Personal Tutor and Online Learner Advisor, through to our:

All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.

Who will teach you

Dr Rachael Wheatley
Programme leader

Rachael is the Professional Psychological Practice Programme Manager (PG Dip in Forensic Psychology Practice) and module leader on the MSc in Forensic Psychology. Rachael has a Doctor of Psychology degree and is an experienced Forensic Psychologist. Her primary professional/academic interests are in understanding stalking as a problem behaviour and a crime.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Get a taste of the course content

Our Forensic Psychology Practice Postgraduate Diploma course taster will give you an idea of how online learning works. It includes a selection of content from a course module so you can see what some of our learning material looks like.

You will need to complete a short form to access the course taster.

Try our course tasterTry our course taster

Entry requirements

All eligible applicants will be subject to an interview prior to admissions onto the course.

Alternatively, you may apply to the university for one of our few ‘time-limited’ placements. It is important to note that the university placements are extremely limited in availability and allocation will be subject to an interview process. Securing a university placement cannot be guaranteed.

As this programme confers eligibility to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a practitioner psychologist, the good health and good standing of students need to be assured. All applicants will be required to complete an annual declaration of this.

If you have studied at another institution you may be able to translate some of this prior learning into credits (a maximum of two taught modules or 40 credits) towards this course. This is called Recognition of Prior Learning or RPL. This could potentially reduce the course length to a minimum of 12 months. Learn more about RPL.

Liability Insurance

Applicants will be required to have appropriate liability insurance to cover you during your practice placement. This may be provided through your employer where you are undertaking your placement within your place of work.

If you secure a placement independently, or through the University, you will be required to take out your own professional liability insurance. Costs are approximately £100 per year.

You will be required to supply evidence of your liability insurance cover. It is your responsibility to renew your liability insurance as appropriate.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required when going on placement during this course. Applicants are required to obtain/hold a valid DBS themselves in advance of applying for this course.

English language qualifications

If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

Find out more about our English language requirements


Fees and funding

2023/24 for new entrants

Starting between September 2023 and August 2024.

UK/EU fee: £6,330

International fee: £6,330

2024/25 for new entrants

Starting between September 2024 and August 2025.

UK/EU fee: £6,300

International fee: £6,300

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course based on the fee in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

If you are required to undertake any associate study or additional study as a condition of your offer for the programme, please be aware that the cost for this will be in addition to the programme cost stated above.

Breakdown of fees for academic year 23/24

  Cost per 10 credit module Cost per 30 credit module Modules Cost
UK/EU/International £527.50 £1582.50 8 (six 10-credit modules and two 30-credit modules) £6,330

Breakdown of fees for academic year 24/25

  Cost per 10 credit module Cost per 30 credit module Modules Cost
UK/EU/International £525 £1,575 8 (six 10-credit modules and two 30-credit modules) £6,300

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from two payment plan options:

*Please note: the discount for paying your fees up front will only be available to students enrolling for eligible online studies between August 2023 and July 2024 and will not be available for the September 2024 intake onwards.

How to apply

Please note that this course has earlier application deadlines.

To apply for this course, please note the below application deadlines:

Intake Application deadline
September 2024 19 July
January 2025 8 November

Entry to this course is assessed via a gathered field approach; we review all applications for each intake once the application deadline has passed.

Apply directly to the University.

Apply now

For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.

Documents to support your application

In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Please note: failure to submit any documentation when requested, may result in your application being withdrawn.


Completing this Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Psychology Practice will enable you to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and, if granted, you will be able to practice as a forensic psychologist in the UK.

The largest employers of registered forensic psychologists in the UK are Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and the National Health Service (NHS). However, forensic psychologists can also work in rehabilitation units, private secure hospitals, social services, the police, local and central government, and academia.

Alternatively, you could choose to use your qualification to pursue an academic or research career, for example by working as a research assistant or associate, or by taking your studies to the next level with a PhD.

Utilise our Careers and Employment Service​

Whilst you are a student at the University of Derby, and for 3 years after you graduate, our Careers and Employment Service can assist you with job search advice, CV creation, workshops and events, as well as one-to-one appointments with employment advisers to help with career planning and interview preparation.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

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