Posted by Надежда Павлова on 2011-02-13 08:54:43 | nadejda
What do forensic psychologists do?
Forensic psychology is devoted to psychological aspects of legal processes in courts. The
term is also often used to refer to investigative and criminological psychology: applying
psychological theory to criminal investigation, understanding psychological problems
associated with criminal behaviour, and the treatment of criminals. Key tasks undertaken
by forensic psychologists include piloting and implementing treatment programmes;
modifying offender behaviour; responding to the changing needs of staff and prisoners;
reducing stress for staff and prisoners; providing hard research evidence to support
practice; undertaking statistical analysis for prisoner profiling; giving evidence in court;
advising parole boards and mental health tribunals; crime analysis.
The largest single employer of forensic psychologists in the UK is HM Prison Service (which
includes the Home Office Research and Development Unit as well as prisons). However,
forensic psychologists can also be employed in the health service (including rehabilitation
units and secure hospitals), the social service (including the police service, young offenders
units, and the probation service), and in university departments or in private consultancy.
In the treatment of offenders, forensic psychologists are responsible for the development of
appropriate programmes for rehabilitation. They may include anger management, social
and cognitive skills training, and treatment for drug/and or alcohol addiction. In the support
of prison staff, forensic psychologists may be responsible for the delivery of stress
management or training on how to cope with understanding bullying, and techniques for
How do I become one?
To become a Chartered Member of the Society through the forensic psychology training
route, you will need the following qualifications:
1. Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC, previously known as GBR). This is
achieved by completing a Society accredited degree or conversion course
2. Society accredited Masters in Forensic Psychology
3. Stage 2 of the Society’s Qualification in Forensic Psychology (2 years supervised practice)
Some universities offer a Doctorate programme in Forensic Psychology. After completition,
this qualification will make you eligible to become a Chartered Member of the Society.
In order to use the title Forensic Psychologist, you will need to be registered with the
Health Professionals Council (HPC). This will involve completing Stage 2 of the Society's
Diploma in Forensic Psychology or equivalent qualification that has been approved by the
HPC. Please contact the HPC for more information on the entry requirements for their
What is relevant work experience and how do I get it?
The universities offering the accredited Masters in Forensic Psychology will decide upon
the type and nature of experience, if required. Identify the courses you are interested in
and then approach the course tutors directly to see if they can provide you with a profile of
they type of experience a successful applicant will have gained.
How much will I get paid?
Forensic Psychology in the UK is currently booming with a significant growth in the job
market. Up-to date terms and conditions of employment may be obtained directly from
employers. Pay rates start around £20,000 in you are newly qualified, up to £60,000+ for
Where are jobs advertised?
q In Psychologist Appointments, which is part of The Psychologist, the Society's monthly
q In the National Press (e.g. The Times, The Guardian, The Independent)
q In specialist publications from the Home Office
What if I'm a mature student?
Mature students often ask us if their age will prevent them from succeeding in a psychology
career. You can find out more information under the Change of Career section.
What to do with a 2:2?
Admissions tutors will not normally accept graduates with a 2:2 unless they have achieved
some higher qualification as well. Any psychology Masters degree would be relevant, the
main thing is that the MSc demonstrates applied research ability - a taught MSc would be
less relevant unless there is a heavy emphasis on research methods. Courses are looking for
evidence that the person has redeemed himself or herself in terms of academic and
research ability. Usually this means an MSc/MPhil in which the candidate has successfully
completed an applied research project, preferably in a forensic-related area. Please contact
the Universities directly for more specific information on their entry criteria.
Where do I find out more?
q Accredited Psychology Courses: Contact courses direct for more information about
content, entry requirements, application procedure, etc.
q Home Office: Advertises vacancies for psychology graduates.
q Prison Service: Advertises jobs and provides information on the role of psychologists.
q DFP: the British Psychological Society's Division of Forensic Psychology. Access to
publications, conferences, and special interest groups and chat rooms with membership.
q Investigative Psychology: A rapidly expanding sub-discipline of forensic and criminological
q Careers Articles: includes published work concerning the area of Forensic Psychology.
q BPS Shop: Find an array of forensic psychology publications through our online shop.
q Contact us: request form for further specific information.