Professor Murphy studied PPP at Oxford University, where she received a first class degree, and she then undertook her clinical psychology training at the University of Birmingham, where she was awarded the Crothalls prize.
Since that time, she has worked as a Clinical Psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry, London (completing her PhD there), the Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, and she was the academic director of the DClinPsy course at Lancaster University (2004-2006). She has worked at the Tizard Centre, University of Kent, from 1993 - 2004 and 2006 to present, and was Co-Director there from 2012-2016.
Professor Murphy is an HCPC registered clinical and forensic psychologist and most of her academic posts have also involved part-time clinical work in the NHS, with children and adults with learning disabilities and/or autism, in a variety of community teams and hospitals, including in secure services.
Professor Murphy has taught on both the undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Tizard. She developed and convened the MSc in Analysis and Intervention in Learning Disabilities and has been instrumental in developing the MA Postgraduate studies in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Forensic Issues.
She currently supervises PhD students most of whose research focuses on autism and learning disabilities and the criminal justice system.