How to Become a Criminal Psychologist
Always dreamed of a career as a criminal psychologist? Well, there are a variety of ways to embark on this fulfilling and diverse career. No matter what stage in education you are at, you have the opportunity to follow your dream career and become a criminal/forensic psychologist; helping both individuals and society as a whole to understand criminal behaviour, and helping those affected by it.
Not only does this career allow you to use your interpersonal and communication skills to help prisoners, victims, law enforcement and those who have been accused of crimes, but it can greatly improve your research skills and develop your knowledge of the mind and human behaviour. Find out how to begin on the road to this rewarding career and enjoy both personal and financial success
What Does a Criminal Psychologist Do?
As a criminal psychologist (also known as a forensic psychologist), there are a number of roles you can explore. If you want to work within the criminal justice system, then you can help with criminal profiling, the rehabilitation and risk assessment of prisoners, providing evidence and being an expert witness during court cases and working with victims of crime. There is also the field of research which you can choose to go into; for example, research into reoffending, offender profiling and mental health within the prison population. With a background in law, criminology and psychology, your career options are limitless, and your educational background into research and understanding human behaviour is an invaluable tool in a variety of job roles.
Become a Chartered Psychologist
Register as a chartered psychologist with the BPS
In order to do this, you need to complete a BPS-accredited course, such as a BA/BSc Psychology degree, or complete a conversion course if you have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated subject.
Complete a master's degree in forensic psychology
Boasting ‘chartered’ status represents an above-average level of skill and expertise in your area. It is no wonder, then, that in order to achieve this honour, you must complete a master’s degree, too.
Pursue a Stage 2 Society Qualification
This qualification is very much psychology-specific and it marks the last step in becoming an expert in this field. This is the final stage the British Psychological Society (BPS) wants you to complete before you’re awarded chartered status.
Specialise in Criminal/Forensic Psychology
If you have already completed a degree in a BPS-accredited course, (or have completed a conversion course) then you can go onto to obtaining a postgraduate certificate at CoursesOnlines. You can choose from a range of courses depending on what area you wish to specialise in, including a Postgraduate Certificate in Policing and Criminal Investigation, an MSc/PGDip in Criminology and Criminal Psychology or a range of courses in Law and Criminology. The advantage of doing these courses online is that you can enjoy the flexibility of working at the same time, as well as the financial benefits of affordable prices and avoiding travel or accommodation expenses.