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    Hi everyone!

    Next year I will hopefully be starting a psychology conversion course as a requirement to get into a MSc in forensic psychology and complete stage 1.

    I am quite confused about how to get into any stage 2 options. Every route to stage 2 seems to ask for at least 1 year full time experience as a forensic psychologist in training. I have been looking for these posts and cannot seem to find any in Scotland at all. The Scottish Prison Service and NHS have never had any advertised online in the past year.

    I don't quite know where else to look. Can you just email a psychologist in your area and ask for a training position with them?

    I have seen a lot of people claim that it is easier to do a PhD in clinical psychology and then specialise in forensic settings because it can take half the time to complete than the forensic qualification route. Is this true?

    Can someone please shed any light on this for me?

    Thank you
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    (Original post by Shancallaghan)
    Hi everyone!

    Next year I will hopefully be starting a psychology conversion course as a requirement to get into a MSc in forensic psychology and complete stage 1.

    I am quite confused about how to get into any stage 2 options. Every route to stage 2 seems to ask for at least 1 year full time experience as a forensic psychologist in training. I have been looking for these posts and cannot seem to find any in Scotland at all. The Scottish Prison Service and NHS have never had any advertised online in the past year.

    I don't quite know where else to look. Can you just email a psychologist in your area and ask for a training position with them?

    I have seen a lot of people claim that it is easier to do a PhD in clinical psychology and then specialise in forensic settings because it can take half the time to complete than the forensic qualification route. Is this true?

    Can someone please shed any light on this for me?

    Thank you
    Forensic is an annoyingly tricky route to go down - mostly because of the questions you've asked here. It's hard to pin down the best, quickest and most effective route to becoming qualified.

    Historically there were two routes:
    - Grandfathering - where a qualified Psychologist who worked in forensic settings could submit work that ticked off the competencies for stage 2 (this bypassed the stage 1 requirement). This route is no longer available.
    - Stage 1 MSc / Stage 2 practice - This involves completing a GBC accredited degree (your conversion in this case) and then an accredited Forensic Psychology MSc. You then need to register with the BPS as a trainee Forensic Psychologist on their stage 2 programme. This involves you working in a forensic setting/with a forensic population and submitting various pieces of work to evidence your attainment of 4 core roles. This route takes a minimum of two years. You absolutely require a suitable placement/job in which you have a consenting supervisor, appropriate forensic supervisor, access to the right breadth of clients and work. In the past these have been provided by trainee forensic posts (which you have spotted have dried up somewhat) - more commonly these days you need to be lucky and have the option to do it in an existing role (very rare) or work for free and pay people to supervise you (very expensive).

    The newer route involves the PhD. I think there is one at Cardiff, Nottingham and Birmingham. They all have different requirements, with one of them insisting you re-do the academic component covered in the MSc (so you'd be re-doing, and re-paying for, that one year if you've already done it). So it can be hard to decide if you're doing the MSc or not. The good thing about the PhD is that once you're on it, provided you don't mess up, you will be qualified at the end of it. The bad news, you're paying for it.

    At the end of the day, a Forensic Psychology MSc won't hurt your chances of getting on the DClinPsy (Master's are increasingly the norm) and you can always do stage 2 at a later date once you're qualified. So you can probably safely continue for the moment without locking yourself into one route or another.
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    There are assistant psychology posts for forensic units posted in August usually in Scotland, I know there's one out for high secure just now on the nhs job website. Otherwise you can volunteer with units like that as far as I'm aware either high, medium or low secure depending what's easier location wise.

    That's the way in as far as I can tell (work in this area but not psychology) however it's extremely competitive!

    I also have a friend who was told that if they have their names on published papers (even if they're just transcribing etc) then it can bump up your chances of getting a position. Good luck with it!



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    I have just completed my MSC (well my dissertation is in for October) and I am an assistant psychologist, I will be hoping to move forward with my career at some point. So you can always message me questions if you like. Sorry for not writing out more on this, its just I am so busy Id prefer to answer questions.
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    Thanks so much everyone for your replies
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    I do know a lot of clinical psychologist working in forensic settings and there jobs overlap but are slightly different to their pure forensic peers. May be biased but I think the clinicals have a lot more flexibility and their route is more straightforward, whereas getting Stage 2 for the forensics is a considerable challenge.

    Sinnie is spot on, but I would say the Stage 2 for the forensic psychologists I know has taken 4-5 years because of having to fulfil the HCPC requirements, and having to do this on top of a regular job. I think the DForenPsy courses that are springing up make things more structured, so those are worth looking into.
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    If I had a spare 50k to be able to move to England and do the DForenPsy courses I would but thats unfortunately not the case. Hopefully one will pop up in Scotland at some point so it can be funded

    Thanks for your replies everyone x
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    OP, try forensic mental health secure unit settings for positions also.
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    (Original post by natalie427)
    I have just completed my MSC (well my dissertation is in for October) and I am an assistant psychologist, I will be hoping to move forward with my career at some point. So you can always message me questions if you like. Sorry for not writing out more on this, its just I am so busy Id prefer to answer questions.
    What is a day like in your job? I am interested in getting into forensic psychology, so I took a job at an health care assistant at a mental health hospital. Hopefully this will help me with my experience before starting my masters in forensic psychology in 2018.
 
 
 
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