Want to Become a Forensic Psychologist?
So you think you have what it takes it to have a career in Criminal Psychology? Do you know what it really involves to become a Forensic Psychologist?
If you are considering starting a career in this exciting and challenging line of work or whether you want a career change, then it is important that you know about the duties and responsibilities you would have to undertake.
- Tasks you can expect to carry out:
- One to one assessments
- Implementing and reviewing offender treatment
- Preparing risk assessments
- Attending court providing expert witness testimony, presenting evidence, advising mental health and parole boards
- Liaising and providing consultancy to hospital staff, the police, prison officers, social workers, probation officers, and also representatives of the legal systems.
- Training and mentoring psychological assistants
- Work with victims
You are likely to work in both office and court settings. There are a range of working environments you may be placed, including, the Prison Service, probation service, the police, social services, higher education institutions as well as the National Health Service (NHS) and private hospitals.Reasons to start a career in this industry.
Would you like to play a crucial part in the criminal justice system? In recent years more students are becoming more interested in a career in this area of psychology.You should pursuit a career in this field if you have a keen interest in the science of human behaviour and law. Do you want to apply psychological concepts to the legal system? This would be your perfect opportunity to put theory into practice.
You will enjoy this career choice if you want to experience the reality of a position in forensic psychology, rather than imagining what it is like off the TV and in films.Is it right for you?So is a career in forensic psychology for you? It is vital that you decide whether or not this is the most suitable specialism of psychology for you.
Look at your career aims and goals as well as your own capabilities and skills. Do you think you are resilient and can separate your personal emotions from the job? You may be in a situation where you are handling and dealing with disturbing cases.
You may be requested to look at crime scene photos or to interview suspects that may have committed horrendous crimes. So you really need to consider whether you could prepare yourself for the emotional distress that this work brings. It is not a profession that suits everyone. It take a certain kind of individual to put their personal feelings aside. If you think that person is you then you may wish to pursuit your interest in this field.Where to go from here?
There are a range of opportunities in the criminal psychology sector. As you can see, taking up a role in forensic psychology is not for the faint hearted. You may wish to reconsider your options by focusing on another area. There are a variety of specialisms including: clinical, counselling, educational, health, and occupational psychology. It is important that you research the area you wish to work in, including the roles and responsibilities, as well as income and the hours you would be expected to work.
In order to become a qualified forensic psychologist you will need to complete:
- A British Psychological Society (BPS) approved degree in psychology, which will lead on to Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC). To be accepted on to a BPS degree course you will typically need five GCSEs graded A-C. You will also need to complete three A-Levels.
- A Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) programme which will lead to registration as a forensic psychologist
You may decide that you would like to become self-employed, and start up your own business as an independent consultant. Your future is in your hands!