Our Forensic Clinical Psychology Doctorate (ForenClinPsyD) offers broad comprehension in two varying branches of Applied Psychology. Upon successful completion, the course leads to a dual qualification, accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

This is the first practitioner Doctorate in the UK to provide people who complete the course eligibility to practise in two different branches of applied psychology, in this case Forensic and Clinical Psychology.

Successful completion of the course will lead to a dual qualification conferring eligibility to practise as a Forensic and Clinical psychologist.

The course is run in collaboration with St Andrew’s Healthcare who regularly sponsor their assistant psychologists on the course.  Trainees on the course are also sponsored by a range of other partners including Newcastle and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust.  We also welcome applications from people who wish to self-fund.

In the Centre for Applied Psychology, we are committed to involving experts by experience in all the different aspects relevant to our teaching and research. The Experts by Experience Steering Committee (EBESC) is a group that meets regularly to discuss, organise and support the work of experts by experience linked to the Forensic Clinical Psychology Doctorate Programme. We comprise members from various backgrounds, including local experts by experience who contribute to the course and staff from the Centre for Applied Psychology.

We contribute to our different courses in various ways:

  • Contributing to teaching, including training workshops
  • Reviewing, supporting, designing and contributing to research projects
  • Co-ordinating feedback in the course subcommittee
  • Involvement in the course admissions process

This Doctorate programme in Forensic Clinical Psychology is aimed at psychologists wishing to work in forensic and clinical settings who need skills from both forensic and clinical disciplines.  St Andrews Health Care and other employers also sponsor trainees. Sponsorship generally amounts to the payment of fees and the provision of a modest bursary however this is normally limited to current employees of these organisations.  Self funding trainees will also normally be considered. The programme is four years long in duration, and took its first intake of five trainees in September 2013.

Approval for the programme has been granted by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and accreditation has been received from the British Psychological Society (BPS) for dual recognition in Forensic and Clinical Psychology.

Candidates who complete the programme successfully will be eligible to become Chartered Forensic and Clinical Psychologists within the BPS and to apply for registration with the HCPC as Forensic and Clinical Psychologists.

The programme seeks to train reflective scientist-practitioners who are able to use their core knowledge and skills to formulate problems in psychological terms and draw creatively on theories and techniques from the discipline of psychology to find feasible solutions to a wide range of presenting issues, considering both clinical and forensic approaches, and in both clinical and forensic contexts.

There is an increasing need in prisons and in the community for skills that draw upon both forensic and clinical disciplines. A large number of individuals within prison and probation settings have mental health problems, while those in forensic mental health settings need robust risk assessment to identify criminogenic need and inform release decisions.

The programme is deliberately generic to promote flexibility but also emphasises evidence-based practice. In line with NICE guidelines and the ‘What Works’ approach, special consideration is given to cognitive-behavioural approaches.

  • The core principle is to apply psychological theories, principles, knowledge, models and methods in an ethical and evidence based way to promote the wellbeing and effectiveness of individuals, families, groups, organisations and civil society, respecting the dignity and rights of both victims and offenders and remaining mindful of the need to protect the public from harm.
  • The programme encourages an attitude of ‘critical open-mindedness’ to a range of approaches and theories.
  • The programme team works in close partnership with forensic mental health, clinical and correctional colleagues in setting the direction of the programme, in its delivery and in its review.
  • The programme recognises that trainees are mature students who bring a rich variety of experiences to their training and have a clear voice on programme matters.
  • The programme is situated in an area of rich ethnic diversity, and ethnic and cultural issues are fully addressed during training.
  • The essential aim of the programme is to provide professional, doctorate level training, commensurate with the requirements of the HCPC and BPS to qualify individuals to work as both forensic and clinical psychologists in forensic mental health, clinical, prison and other forensic settings. 
  • Trainees are required to gain specialty specific competencies in both forensic and clinical psychology over the four years of training and to complete placements with each of the following four clinical client groups: 
    1. Children and Young People
    2. Adults (Mental Health)
    3. Older People
    4. People with Disabilities 
    as well as victims of crime and/or offenders, appellants and litigants in forensic settings. To achieve this two of the six placements will be in clinical settings, two in forensic settings and two in forensic clinical settings.
  • The HCPC requirements for both forensic and clinical psychology training are defined through a set of Standards of Proficiency (SoPs), which trainees need to achieve by the end of their training and a set of Standards of Education and Training (SETs) that the training provider needs to meet.


Why Study this Course?

  • This is a unique course integrating forensic and clinical psychological practice at doctoral level
  • The qualification confers a dual qualification, BPS and HCPC approved, for practice in forensic, clinical or combined settings
  • You can expand the knowledge base in this crucial area of psychological practice through your own forensic clinical research
  • You can push the boundaries to improve forensic clinical practice and protect the public

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), www.detc.org.uk Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

Forensic Clinical Psychology Doctorate (ForenClinPsyD)

Course Level:

Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Doctoral research




CODE P1107

How long it takes:

4 years

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$22,500

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Year 1

  • Research in Clinical Psychology
  • Reflective Practice in Clinical Psychology

Year 2

During year 2 of the programme, you continue to attend workshops relating to the academic underpinning of clinical practice, work under supervision on a clinical psychology placement(s) in the NHS and undertake self-directed learning. You are required to complete one clinical practice report which in due course is bound into the thesis. You also pursue your research project.

Year 3

  • Psychological Theories and the Understanding of Crime
  • Psychology, Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
  • Working with Offenders

Year 4

  • Psychology and the Court System
  • Forensic Psychotherapy and Forensic Issues
  • Assessment Issues (Offenders and Victims)
  • Professional Writing, Training and Presentation


The programme is full time for four years, delivered partly at the University and partly in supervised practice on placement. The general pattern throughout is of one taught day a week during term-time, one day study leave and three days a week on placement. Attendance at University sessions is compulsory for all four years, and placements continue outside of term-time.

Considering postgraduate study, but unsure whether you meet the entry requirements for a Masters-level degree? Postgraduate admissions guidelines vary by course and university, but can be quite flexible.

Your existing qualifications will be important, but you don’t necessarily need a great Bachelors degree to apply for a Masters. Your personal circumstances and experience may also be considered during the admissions process.

This guide explains the typical entry requirements for a Masters, which include:

      • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject – Depending on the programme and institution, you may need a 2.1 in your Bachelors, but this isn’t always the case
      • Language proficiency – If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to display a certain ability level, usually through a language test
      • Professional experience – Some postgraduate programmes may require you to have some professional experience (this is usually the case for PGCEs and Masters in Social Work)
      • Entrance exams – These are only required in certain subject areas and qualifications, including some MBAs

Tuition fees for UK/EU students 2020/21

MSc:  Full-time £9,900. Part-time £4,950
Postgraduate Diploma:  Full-time £6,660. Part-time £3,300


Tuition fees for International students 2020/21

MSc: Full time £23,310
Postgraduate Diploma: Full-time £15,540


You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

The course will confer a qualification to work as both a clinical and forensic psychologist at doctorate level within the legal and ethical boundaries of both professions. It is particularly appropriate for those planning to work in a forensic mental health setting where clinical skills need to be supplemented by the ability to carry out risk assessment for public protection purposes, and for those working in forensic settings where mental health needs can be overlooked.

There is a high demand for qualified and accreddited clinical and forensic psychologists and the opportunities for employment for graduates are likely to remain very good.