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.
You can find out more about how to become a forensic psychologist from The British Psychological Society and Health Careers.