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Department of Forensic & Neurodevelopmental Sciences


About the Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences

The Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences (FANS) is one of Europe’s largest research groups and one of the few teams in the world bringing together leading experts in brain development and pro and antisocial behaviours.  We believe it is essential to investigate the determinants of normal development in order to understand abnormal behaviour (or illness).

World-leading Experts

FANS academics play a critical role connecting expertise in basic animal models through to the latest neuroimaging technique, with epidemiology and the social sciences. We are world leaders in infant brain imaging, and in relating differences in brain structure and function to social and cognitive development. We also study the genetics, epidemiology, psychopathology, neurobiology and psychopharmacology of autistic spectrum disorders and ADHD across the lifespan; conduct disorder and callous unemotional behaviour in children; and offending and antisocial personality disorder in adulthood.

National and International Partnerships

We have extensive collaborative links with centres nationally and internationally, including large EU funded training networks linking the IOPPN to China, the USA, and the Netherlands. Our work is supported by large scale grants from leading agencies including the Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, National Institute of Health Research, National Institutes of Health (USA), and the European Union. We currently hold around £45 million in research funding, and continually publish in the world’s best neuroscience, psychology and psychiatric journals.

Translational Research

By fostering collaboration between academics, researchers and clinicians, we rapidly translate cutting-edge research into clinical practice, improving patient outcomes, training and clinical practice to create world-leading improvements in healthcare. As part of the Behavioural and Developmental Psychiatry Clinical Academic Group (CAG), we provide high quality forensic and neurodevelopmental services through the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLAM) – provider of the widest range of mental health services in the UK. 

Academic Excellence

Our MSc courses teach you everything you need to know and understand, whether enhancing your clinical practice, building a foundation for your DClinPsy application or providing a gateway for you onto our PhD programme. Highly rated in postgraduate teaching and research assessments, our education programmes reflect the integration of our research programme with our clinical services, presenting our students with a unique learning environment along with opportunites to become the next generation of world-leading translational researchers. 

Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Science MD(Res)/MPhil/PhD

The Department of Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Sciences offers prospective students on the Forensic and Neurodevelopmental Science MD(Res)/MPhil/PhD supervision from internationally recognised academics with expertise in many areas of forensic and neurodevelopmental research.  These include:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Infant brain development
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Research in the Forensic Environment

We welcome applications from prospective students. Find out more about the application process or visit Postgraduate Research Programmes for information about the PhD opportunities available within the School of Academic Psychiatry. For general guidance on potential supervisors, contact the Post Graduate Admissions Tutor Dr Marija Petrinovic, including your CV and a brief research proposal.

Our courses

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time, September to September

Our Clinical Neurodevelopmental Sciences course provides you with a holistic understanding of the aetiology and clinical management of neurodevelopmental disorders across the lifespan, with a particular emphasis on the adult population.

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Duration: Two pathways: 1. MSc Forensic Mental Health (research pathway) One Year (full time), Two Years (part time only). 2. Clinical & Forensic Psychology (psychology pathway), One Year (full time). This pathway is accredited by the British Psychological Society Division of Forensic Psychology for Stage 1 chartered forensic psychology training.

The Forensic Mental Health course is designed for students with a clinical or academic interest in the complex relationship between mental disorders and criminal behaviour.

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FANS Events & Training

The deparment hosts the Forensic & Neurodevelopmental Sciences Research Seminars (FANS Science Meetings) providing invited speakers with the opportunity to present the latest research and developments from across the field. Seminars take place every two months and provide a lively forum for all to exchange knowledge and ideas and build connections across the department and beyond. 

In addition, we also deliver a number of training courses including ADOS-2 and ADI-r. Further information about these and other course can be found on the FANS Autism training event series page.