How to become a forensic psychologist
You can get into this job through a university course or by working towards this role.
To become a forensic psychologist, you can either follow the accredited degree process or complete a doctorate programme.
Accredited degree process
To become a forensic psychologist, you'll need to:
- Do a psychology degree or conversion course that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
- Apply for graduate membership to obtain the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC).
- Do a masters degree in forensic psychology that is accredited by BPS.
- Do 2 years of supervised practice as part of stage 2 of the BPS qualification in forensic psychology.
Alternatively, some universities offer a doctorate programme in forensic psychology. This is the equivalent of the accredited masters degree and 2 years of supervised practice.
There's a lot of competition for postgraduate training. To apply, you might need:
- a first or upper second class (2:1) degree
- evidence of excellent research skills
- relevant work experience, for example in a prison, probation or youth offending service
You'll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
- 3 A levels or equivalent
You may be able to start your career as an interventions facilitator in HM Prison Service.
You could study for a psychology degree part-time while you work. You could then apply for a trainee forensic psychologist role.
- you'll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the The British Psychological Society for professional recognition and training opportunities.