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Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Mental Health

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  • Objectives
    Provide students with a strong theoretical basis in the professional and academic understandings of criminality and mental disorder Enable students to meet and learn from the experience of practitioners within other agencies concerned with mentally disordered offenders Enhance existing practice-based skills of participants through specialist teaching related to mentally disordered offenders Provide students with an understanding of the social policy issues underpinning current service delivery to mentally disordered offenders Promote effective interagency work with mentally disordered offenders
  • Entry requirements
    Entry Requirements The Diploma is intended for professionals with work experience (three years post-qualification) in Mental Health and/or degree standard education. Non-graduates are encouraged to apply. They will be asked to submit a short piece of original work and to undergo an interview prior to acceptance on the course.
  • Academic Title
    Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Mental Health
  • Course description
    Course Structure

    The course is structured into five modules, each consisting of topic-related teaching followed by student-led seminars. This is supplemented by the opportunity for students to participate in the extensive academic programme of the Section of Forensic Psychiatry. The modules are: Violence and Dangerousness; Ethics and Forensic Mental Health; Forensic Psychotherapy; Law and the Mentally Disordered Offender; Social Policy and the Mentally Disordered Offender.

    In addition to a rigorous academic approach to the theoretical issues related to the mentally disordered offender, the course promotes up-to-date practice-based skills to equip the student for risk assessment work, work with sex offenders and multi-agency management of mentally disordered offenders.

    Grading system

    The final grading allocation is the total aggregate of the various assessments. They will be used to determine the award of a Pass or Distinction.

    The Diploma consists of six modules:

    2 core modules:

    Violence and Dangerousness                        30 credits

    Current Issues in Forensic Mental Health      30 credits

    5 option modules from the following:

    Forensic Psychotherapy                                               15 credits

    Social Policy                                                                  15 credits

    Law and the Mentally Disordered Offender                15 credits

    Ethics and Mentally Disordered Offenders                 15 credits

    Disordered Personality & Anti-Social Behaviour       15 credits[1]

    The pass mark for each assessment is set at 50% and the distinction mark at 70%.


    Distinction            70-100

    Good Pass           60-69

    Pass                      50-59

    Borderline Fail      47-49

    Fail0                        -46

    The MSc assessment consists of two elements:

    Research proposal (Research Methods module 15 credits)

    Dissertation (Research Project module 45 credits)


    The Diploma is a part-time course lasting one academic year. It requires students to be available for teaching one day a week (Friday) at St George's Hospital Medical School.

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