My experience on this course was literally life changing, it opened my eyes and helped me see the world in multiple different ways and ultimately unlocked my potential that is helping me succeed in my career.


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1 year




Our PgCert Forensic and Investigative Psychology provides specialised teaching from professionals and academics while drawing upon external forensic and investigative psychologists, practitioners and researchers to enhance your learning experience.

The course 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.

You will also have opportunities to study or attend events alongside our MSc Forensic and Investigative Psychology students and have to access our Salomons library, which is one of the best bespoke clinical psychology libraries in the country, with a specific forensic section.

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.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:2 in a BPS accredited undergraduate Psychology degree or MSc Psychology (conversion course).


A minimum of a 2:1 in an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in a relevant subject (e.g. criminology, policing, forensic science, criminal justice).

International students will be considered on a ‘case by case’.

No interviews are required, however all applications will be reviewed by the Programme Director for suitability.

IELTS: If English is not your first language 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.

Honours degree or professional qualification

All about the course

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.

Module information

Core/optional modules

*Modules subject to validation

How you’ll learn

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.

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.

Operations Officer: The Operations 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 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, 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. 

We adopt an applied approach to teaching and learning, developing you both academically and professionally for your future career. Throughout the course you will be co-taught with our MSc Forensic and Investigative Psychology students to reflective the multi-disciplinary nature of real-world settings.

Belinda Siesmaa Programme Director

How you’ll be assessed

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).

Your future career

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.


2022/23 tuition fees for this course

  UK Overseas
Full-time TBC N/A
Part-time N/A N/A

20% Alumni Discount

We offer alumni discounts on CCCU Postgraduate Taught, PGCE Primary and Secondary, and Masters by Research courses for eligible students.

Find out if you're eligible for the discount.


Important Information on Tuition Fees

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 2022/23 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.


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1 year