Love true crime podcasts? A course in criminal psychology could be calling your name. If you have toyed with the idea of starting this course, you’ve come to the right place. Within this short guide, we will take a look at some of the main job prospects that may await you. Here’s an overview of what you can do with a criminal psychology qualification.
Why Study Criminal Psychology?
Undertaking a course in this highly-popular subject is a simple way to expand your understanding of the criminal mind and actions associated with it. When you first start a course of this nature, you will begin to learn the basics of psychology.
However, from there, you will delve deeper into the mysterious world of the human mind. Criminal psychology courses cover biological psychology, cognitive psychology, social psychology and developmental psychology. After you’ve completed a course in this field, you will have a broad understanding of the subject and can further expand your education.
The Best Careers Linked to Criminal Psychology
If you are thinking about studying a course in criminal psychology, you may be wondering what career doors it opens. Believe it or not, there are many different roles relating to this degree. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the career paths you may choose to follow.
One of the top careers you can enter with a criminal psychology qualification is that of a forensic psychologist. Note that you will need a PhD in Forensic Psychology along with a three-year criminal psychology degree accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS) to gain employment in this highly competitive field. Aside from that, you also need to have completed a Stage 2 of the BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology – QFP.
Should you follow this career path, you can work for many different companies. However, it is most likely that you will gain employment in the HM Prison Services. You will spend much of the time interviewing criminals and victims, as well as collecting data on these individuals. Needless to say, this type of role is not for the faint of heart or, indeed, mind.
When you have completed your criminal psychology degree, you may decide to take things further and study social work. You can gain a master’s degree in the latter, part of which will include on-the-job training. During this qualification, you will be required to do placements in governmental departments. That means that you will complete the master’s degree with a firm understanding of what it takes to be a qualified social worker.
After this point, you can continue and start looking for a full-time job in the sector. Keep in mind, that you will need to do a training year before you are a fully-qualified professional. Social workers deal with a range of challenges faced by the neediest in society. You can choose which sector you specialise in. For example, you may want to go into child protection social work or decide to work with old, vulnerable people instead.
Crime Scene Investigator
Before we get started, becoming a crime scene investigator is a far cry from the TV series, CSI. If you think that this will be a glamorous, action-packed job, think again. You will need to have a strong mind to undertake this difficult role. If you already have a criminal psychology qualification, you may be able to land this role. However, you will need to supplement your qualifications with additional courses from the College of Policing.
This demanding role can also be a fulfilling one. Crime scene investigators work alongside the police and departments, such as the Counter Terrorist Unit and the British Transport Police. It will be your job to respond to calls from the police at crime scenes. When you head to investigate, you will also be responsible for preserving any important evidence and ensuring that there is no contamination. Of course, this job is not all hands-on. Be aware that there’s a fair share of report-writing and administration that goes alongside the role.
Are you a natural-born educator? When you have completed your degree, you may decide to further your education. Gaining both a master’s degree and a doctorate in criminal psychology could be the way to go. Should you follow the academic career path, you may be able to become either a researcher or an educator in this field. That means that you will have the chance to shape young minds and share the knowledge that you have gained.
Of course, you may choose to become an A-Level psychology teacher at a sixth form or college. When you’ve gained a degree in criminal psychology, you need to study courses to become an educator. For example, you could undertake a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). However,colleges don’t always require their tutors to have this qualification. Instead, you may take the Level 3-5 Diploma in Education and Training.
Ready to get started? Now that you know the basics, you can decide whether a criminal psychology qualification is right for you. Luckily enough, there are plenty of ways in which you can study this type of course. You may choose to study an online qualification or attend a university campus. Start looking at your options and decide what works for you.