PGCert Forensic and Investigative Psychology

Year of entry

Applications for the 2019-20 academic year are now open.

Applications for this course can be completed online. If you are interested or have any enquiries regarding this programme, please e-mail:

Applications for this programme will close on Sunday 30th June, 2019. Applications after this date may be considered, however this will be dependent on available programme places.

20% Alumni discount

UK and EU Christ Church alumni are eligible for a 20% discount on self-funded Postgraduate Taught Masters and Masters by Research.

Forensic and Investigative Psychology is a discipline that involves the application of scientific theory and principles to help in the understanding, investigation, assessment and treatment of offenders and criminality, and legal responses to criminality.

This programme provides specialised teaching from professionals and academics within the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU), including: Psychology; Salomons Centre for Applied Psychology  and School of Law, Criminal Justice and Computing. The programme also draws upon external forensic and investigative psychologists, practitioners and researchers to enhance your learning experience.

The programme adopts an applied approach to teaching and learning and has an evidence-based emphasis with a focus on the scientist-practitioner model. The course aims to develop your confidence, professionalism, critically evaluative, communication (written, oral and non-verbal), practical, reflective and synthesising skills.

We also provide you with opportunities to study and/or attend events alongside our MSc Forensic and Investigative Psychology programme students, thereby enhancing your exposure to a diverse range of professionals and students.  Furthermore, students are able to access the Salomons library, which is one of the best bespoke clinical psychology libraries in the country, with a specific forensic section.  

By studying with us, you will develop core psychological knowledge and skills in forensic and investigative research and psychological enquiry and develop your awareness of ‘best practice’ approaches in accordance with professional practice frameworks (e.g. British Psychological Society (BPS) and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)). Thus making you highly attractive to wide range of future potential employers (e.g. probation services, prison service, police, forensic secure units, National Health Service (NHS), third sector agencies).

This programme is designed for professionals (e.g. police, probation officers, prison officers, forensic mental health practitioners, criminologists) and/or graduates from relevant disciplines (e.g. policing, criminology, law) wishing to pursue further education and professional development in the area of Forensic and Investigative Psychology.

This programme has a strong focus on students gaining key skills for potential employability. Therefore, upon successful completion of the programme students will have gained a range of valuable specific and transferable professional skills to help them pursue a career within forensic and/or investigative work environments.

Further education students may consider upon completion of this programme may include: MSc Forensic and Investigative Psychology, MSc Psychology (Conversion Course), MSc Research or other postgraduate degrees that may support their career progression. 

The programme provides a student centred and applied teaching and learning approach to develop your knowledge and skills in forensic and investigative psychology, both in relation to professional practice and research. The taught component of this programme is normally delivered over one full day per week, with students expected to engage self-directed and independent learning throughout the week.

The programme is comprised of three core modules (20 credits each), which are co-delivered with the MSc Forensic and Investigative Psychology Students.

Investigative Psychology

This module is designed to develop your knowledge and skills in various investigative approaches and theories of offending behaviour, alongside developing your understanding of the investigative processes and assessment and treatment of different types of offending behaviour. This knowledge is then drawn upon to inform how you provide professional consultation and advice to others. Within this module, you also develop key skills in conducting and analysing investigative psychological research.

Understanding Criminality and Offending Behaviour

This module is designed to develop your knowledge and skills in: understanding the different theories and approaches relevant to criminality; the various forensic client groups (e.g. violent offenders, sexual offenders); legal contexts (e.g. Mental Health Act (MHA), remand); various forensic settings (e.g. community, charities, probation) and assessment and treatment approaches for offending behaviour.  During this module you will also develop an increased awareness of your professional development needs, and ways in which you can create opportunities to develop other multi-disciplinary professional’s knowledge in this area.

Criminal Justice and the Investigative Process

This module is designed to develop your knowledge of the legal and Criminal Justice System (CJS) (e.g. police investigation, interviewing, MHA, sentencing), and the resultant forensic settings (e.g. prison, probation, inpatient units) individuals may be subject to. In addition, you will draw on previously learnt knowledge regarding forensic assessment, treatment and understanding of criminality to inform the provision of advice and consultancy within forensic settings.  

Upon completion of this programme, students may explore opportunities to work within forensic environments, seek employment with forensic mental health services (e.g. NHS, private sector), pursue employment as a probation officer, prison officer, assistant psychologist or police officer roles or seek employment within other forensic and/or investigative environments. 

You will normally attend teaching one day a week.

The programme adopts various teaching approaches to provide you with a flexible and responsive learning environment, which is also reflective of teaching, learning, self-reflection and professional practice within forensic settings.  These teaching methods have been designed to develop your Graduate Attributes which will distinguish you as a CCCU graduate and support your work-readiness upon graduation.  As such, a combination of: directed learning; shared learning; independent learning; interactive learning; reflective learning; supervision led learning and the use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) are drawn upon to enhance your forensic and investigative skills and knowledge throughout the duration of the programme.   

For every hour of directed study, you are expected to put in around 5 to 6 hours of independent study. In total, you are expected to dedicate about 35 to 40 hours per week (including on-campus sessions) to your studies.

In addition, to the programme content, you may have the opportunity to attend optional seminars and/or optional field trips throughout the year.  

All staff involved in the delivery of the course are research-active academics, including qualified clinical and forensic psychologists.

All students will be assigned a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who will also double as your mentor. This person will be your first port of call and will be available throughout your time with us. 

To obtain the PGCert qualification, you must pass a total of 60 credits which is comprised of three modules: Investigative Psychology, Understanding Criminality and Offending Behaviour and Criminal Justice and the Investigative Process.   

The assessment methods used within the programme aim to provide a wide range of methods for students to demonstrate and enhance their forensic and investigative psychological skills from both a theoretical and applied approach.

The PGCert Forensic and Investigative Psychology Assessment Strategy conforms to the Universities Regulations and Credit Framework for the Conferment of Awards (September, 2016). For each 20 credit module, the summative assessments are weighted at 4000 words or equivalent. In addition, each assignment enables students to develop transferable skills they can then draw upon when working within forensic settings.

Modules may also include formative assessments (e.g. ungraded work). Whilst formative assessments do not contribute to a students’ grades, completion of these enhance their forensic and investigate psychological skills from both a personal and professional development perspective. 

Each of the 20 credit modules generally have two summative assessments drawn from the following range: written assignments (e.g. critical review of the literature); presentations (e.g. oral, visual); practical assignments and reports (e.g. case study, consultation essay, American Psychology Association (APA) style data analysis report, APA style research report).   


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

 UK/EU (Applications received on or after 1 May 2019)Overseas
Full-time £2,565 TBC
Part-time TBC N/A

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. For further information read the 2019/20 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.

Under the course eligibility criteria set by the Government, the Government Postgraduate Masters Loans are not available for Postgraduate Certificate level courses.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information


Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

For entry to this course, we will require you to obtain IELTS (or equivalent) 7.0 overall, with no less than 7.0 in Writing and no less than 6.5 in all other bands. Other tests may be acceptable – please contact the Admissions Team to discuss the comparability of other qualifications.

Canterbury Christ Church University is able to accept equivalent qualifications on a case-by-case basis, and as such please enquire with in order to have your qualification checked before you apply.

If you require assistance with your English language, CCCU also offers a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Please note, if you require a Tier 4 visa in order to study with us, you may only apply to study the full MSc Programme, as we will not sponsor students to take only the Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma courses.

Student Experience Officer:  The Student Experience Officer works across the School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology with a view to work collaboratively with academic staff and students to help foster students sense of belonging, good communication (e.g. encourage student voice) and ensure the student voice is heard.

Psychology Student Advisor: The Student Advisor is available to all psychology students if they require additional support beyond the remit of the PAT or Research Supervisor.

Psychology Administration Team: There is a dedicated Psychology administration team who respond to and assist students with all administrative support and enquiries.

Psychology Technicians:  The Technician Team supports all psychology students with any IT related difficulties or issues, in addition to overseeing and maintaining all aspects of laboratory provision, as well as supporting students’ research activity and use of software.

Virtual Learning Environment:  All students will have access to a programme specific blackboard discussion board whereby they can raise issues, ask questions and provide feedback regarding their ongoing experience of the programme. Audio and/or visual recording of lectures is encouraged throughout the duration of the programme in addition to the use of flipped learning video recordings, readings or preparatory work prior to teaching.  

Additional Facilities:  Whilst the programme is delivered at the Canterbury Campus, all students have access to access to the: four libraries; computing facilities; software supporting data collection and analysis in psychological research; learning resources (e.g. text, journals), and other online resources to support them on the programme at all CCCU Campuses (Canterbury, Broadstairs, Medway, Salomons). 

Extra-curricular Activities: Throughout the year Psychology and/or Student Union groups (e.g. PsySoc) will run social events (e.g. quiz evenings, talent nights etc.) for all psychology students. There is also a Psychology Facebook page and twitter feed to encourage, and build an integrated psychology community.

Applications for the 2019-2020 academic year are now open.

Applications for this course can be completed online. If you have any enquiries regarding this programme, please e-mail:

For further information, please read our guidance on how to apply online.

Applications will be forwarded to the Programme Director and considered by a panel of Psychology staff. All applications will be considered individually and we will take into account academic qualifications in addition to paying great attention to the personal statement and the reference provided. Successful applicants will be offered a place on the programme.

For further information regarding this programme please e-mail the Postgraduate Programme administrator:

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time


  • September 2019

Entry requirements



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Last edited 11/06/2019 11:50:00

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Last edited: 11/06/2019 11:50:00