Forensic psychologist | Selby College
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Forensic psychologist

Forensic psychologists explore what makes people commit crimes.

Potential salary

£30,401 to £43,772

Employment by 2024


Working hours

37 to 39 a week

  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent written communication skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

You'll use your specialist knowledge of psychological theory and criminal behaviour to:

  • support police investigations through criminal profiling
  • support prison staff and other professionals in the welfare or criminal and civil justice systems
  • carry out research to improve and develop professional practice

You'll work with offenders to help them understand and overcome their problems and behaviour patterns. In this role you'll:

  • prepare risk assessments for offenders
  • advise on the best location for prisoners
  • develop treatment and rehabilitation programmes
  • provide psychological therapy
  • offer expert advice to parole boards, mental health tribunals and courts
  • produce formal written reports
  • help to write policies and strategies
  • train and mentor new psychologists
  • find ways to reduce stress and improve life inside prisons

You could work at a police station, in an NHS or private hospital or in a prison.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding and you'll travel often.

You could go on to run a prison psychology department, move into a policy and strategy-based role or a management post, focusing on specific issues.

You could also move into freelance and consultancy work, for example as an expert witness.

You'll find more about careers in forensic psychology from [The British Psychological Society |] and Health Careers.

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