KayleighBrad
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Hello,I've decided to take forensic psychology twice,psychology,law and criminology or just criminology as my choices for courses..and its already been sent off..however upon further research I've found that these courses are seen as pretty useless,so now I'm panicking,what do I do? I already have one offer for a forensic psychology course,but I don't want to spend so much money on something that isn't going to get me anywhere,I feel so lost, I have no clue what i want to do with my future,no clue whether university is something I even want to do anymore,I dont know whether to take a gap year and just really research up on everything,try and find an apprenticeship but even then I don't know what in..I'm really struggling right now,and I need advice
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bones-mccoy
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If you're not sure you even want to go to uni I'd take some time to think about your future and the kind of direction you want to go in. University is seen as the 'done thing' these days but it's simply not for everyone - not everyone thrives in an academic environment, some are much better off doing an apprenticeship or something more practical. There's also absolutely no shame in taking a gap year, either, plenty of people choose to take a year out to earn some money or make their minds up about what they want to do.

I'm guessing you enjoy psychology, criminology and law to some extent if you've chosen those courses - what is it about them you like? They all have some common themes running through them but lead to quite different career paths, and thinking about your future career may help you make that decision.
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KayleighBrad
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(Original post by bones-mccoy)
If you're not sure you even want to go to uni I'd take some time to think about your future and the kind of direction you want to go in. University is seen as the 'done thing' these days but it's simply not for everyone - not everyone thrives in an academic environment, some are much better off doing an apprenticeship or something more practical. There's also absolutely no shame in taking a gap year, either, plenty of people choose to take a year out to earn some money or make their minds up about what they want to do.

I'm guessing you enjoy psychology, criminology and law to some extent if you've chosen those courses - what is it about them you like? They all have some common themes running through them but lead to quite different career paths, and thinking about your future career may help you make that decision.
I'm honestly just really interested in what drives people to commit crime,the human brain and just law in general,but alot of people have said if you get a psychology degree you may aswell work at McDonald's and its been really off putting,I didn't know whether to do something that woukd open more doors for me,such as business or finance,I wouldn't enjoy it as much,but it would help me get a stable job,I'm just not sure what I want anymore and I've always been one to have a plan,so not having one is really worrying me
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bones-mccoy
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(Original post by KayleighBrad)
I'm honestly just really interested in what drives people to commit crime,the human brain and just law in general,but alot of people have said if you get a psychology degree you may aswell work at McDonald's and its been really off putting,I didn't know whether to do something that woukd open more doors for me,such as business or finance,I wouldn't enjoy it as much,but it would help me get a stable job,I'm just not sure what I want anymore and I've always been one to have a plan,so not having one is really worrying me
Forensic Psychology is largely about rehabilitation, risk assessments, interventions etc and the largest employer is HMPPS although FP's do work in the community and in secure hospitals as well. The trouble with a Psychology degree imo is that a lot of people start studying it but aren't prepared for the amount of training and further study that has to be completed in order to become an actual psychologist. It's one of those things where you can't become a Psychologist after just doing a Bachelors degree as all areas of psychology involve postgraduate work - normally PhD level. It's a long, often frustrating, journey, but if you're prepared to put the work in, and have the passion and the enthusiasm, then there's no reason you won't succeed with psychology.

It's difficult when you're not sure, though. You have until the summer to decide if you're going to uni next September or not anyway so that's a decent amount of time to have a think and look at all the other options. Is there anyone at school or college you could speak to about it? Even if you took a year out, there's nothing to stop you from continuing with psychology or law or criminology afterwards. A year isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things, so you have plenty of time.

Edit - there are also conversion courses you can do in both law and psychology after undergraduate degrees in different subjects if you change your mind after. I don't know too much about the law one but the MSc Psychology (Conversion) is a year long, gives you accreditation and allows you to progress into postgraduate study.
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KayleighBrad
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(Original post by bones-mccoy)
Forensic Psychology is largely about rehabilitation, risk assessments, interventions etc and the largest employer is HMPPS although FP's do work in the community and in secure hospitals as well. The trouble with a Psychology degree imo is that a lot of people start studying it but aren't prepared for the amount of training and further study that has to be completed in order to become an actual psychologist. It's one of those things where you can't become a Psychologist after just doing a Bachelors degree as all areas of psychology involve postgraduate work - normally PhD level. It's a long, often frustrating, journey, but if you're prepared to put the work in, and have the passion and the enthusiasm, then there's no reason you won't succeed with psychology.

It's difficult when you're not sure, though. You have until the summer to decide if you're going to uni next September or not anyway so that's a decent amount of time to have a think and look at all the other options. Is there anyone at school or college you could speak to about it? Even if you took a year out, there's nothing to stop you from continuing with psychology or law or criminology afterwards. A year isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things, so you have plenty of time.

Edit - there are also conversion courses you can do in both law and psychology after undergraduate degrees in different subjects if you change your mind after. I don't know too much about the law one but the MSc Psychology (Conversion) is a year long, gives you accreditation and allows you to progress into postgraduate study.
I think my plan is to wait for more offers to come through,and if I'm still not sure I'll defer my entry and take a year to get some work experience,read up on different careers,and use that time to figure out what I want to do,my worry was that forensics is so specific that I don't want it limiting me if I dont end up pursuing it as a career,because right now I see it as an interesting course that leads to some interesting careers but whether I want to do those careers or not is still uncertain,so I'd rather take some time to find a course with a broad variety of options then do something limiting and regret it
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bones-mccoy
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(Original post by KayleighBrad)
I think my plan is to wait for more offers to come through,and if I'm still not sure I'll defer my entry and take a year to get some work experience,read up on different careers,and use that time to figure out what I want to do,my worry was that forensics is so specific that I don't want it limiting me if I dont end up pursuing it as a career,because right now I see it as an interesting course that leads to some interesting careers but whether I want to do those careers or not is still uncertain,so I'd rather take some time to find a course with a broad variety of options then do something limiting and regret it
That's sounds like the best course of action imo, good luck!
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Nerol
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(Original post by KayleighBrad)
Hello,I've decided to take forensic psychology twice,psychology,law and criminology or just criminology as my choices for courses..and its already been sent off..however upon further research I've found that these courses are seen as pretty useless,so now I'm panicking,what do I do? I already have one offer for a forensic psychology course,but I don't want to spend so much money on something that isn't going to get me anywhere,I feel so lost, I have no clue what i want to do with my future,no clue whether university is something I even want to do anymore,I dont know whether to take a gap year and just really research up on everything,try and find an apprenticeship but even then I don't know what in..I'm really struggling right now,and I need advice
Psychology isn't a bad field to go into if you are willing to put in the work. Once you have a BSc in psychology (do make sure it is BPS accredited, or it really will be useless!), you will need to do quite a bit of training afterwards for any professional, qualified role. A psychology degree on its own doesn't mean much, and getting into relevant roles can be tough. You need to really want to work for it. Forensic Psychologist jobs at the moment are few and far between, but they are there. I'm quite interested in working in forensic settings. I have my BSc degree. I volunteered as a mentor for the Prison Advice and Care Trust for several months working with ex-offenders. I worked as a support worker on a secure psychiatric ward. I have a postgraduate qualification in psychological therapies and am now in the final stages of training to be a counsellor. It is taking years, but I love every step. I now work as a complex case worker in a drug and alcohol service and plan to do a doctorate in counselling psychology next. To get a steady, well-paid job, it can take years of hard work, but if you really want it, you can get there.

Alternatively, if you're not sure what you want, maybe spend time looking into other areas. Don't rush into anything. I didn't start uni until I was 25! I spent 5 years teaching English in China before that. Everyone's path is different. You just gotta figure out what matters to you, what you value.
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KayleighBrad
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(Original post by Nerol)
Psychology isn't a bad field to go into if you are willing to put in the work. Once you have a BSc in psychology (do make sure it is BPS accredited, or it really will be useless!), you will need to do quite a bit of training afterwards for any professional, qualified role. A psychology degree on its own doesn't mean much, and getting into relevant roles can be tough. You need to really want to work for it. Forensic Psychologist jobs at the moment are few and far between, but they are there. I'm quite interested in working in forensic settings. I have my BSc degree. I volunteered as a mentor for the Prison Advice and Care Trust for several months working with ex-offenders. I worked as a support worker on a secure psychiatric ward. I have a postgraduate qualification in psychological therapies and am now in the final stages of training to be a counsellor. It is taking years, but I love every step. I now work as a complex case worker in a drug and alcohol service and plan to do a doctorate in counselling psychology next. To get a steady, well-paid job, it can take years of hard work, but if you really want it, you can get there.

Alternatively, if you're not sure what you want, maybe spend time looking into other areas. Don't rush into anything. I didn't start uni until I was 25! I spent 5 years teaching English in China before that. Everyone's path is different. You just gotta figure out what matters to you, what you value.
This was so helpful! I know I want to go into psychology because its so fascinating,however I don't know what kind of thing in psychology i want to do,on one hand being a counsellor is something I really like,I've been to counselling before because I myself suffer with mental health issues,and to be able to help other people,whether its because of alcohol or drug addiction,mental illness,rehabilitation that kind of stuff,sounds amazing,but I also am so interested in the criminal side of things,figuring out why criminals do what they do,what causes it ect,I think I'll do a psychology BSc first,and then go onto either doing forensic masters or as you did,go into some kind of counselling,you've been really helpful thank you! And I'm sure a psychology degree has many transferable skills for life in general too!
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bones-mccoy
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(Original post by KayleighBrad)
This was so helpful! I know I want to go into psychology because its so fascinating,however I don't know what kind of thing in psychology i want to do,on one hand being a counsellor is something I really like,I've been to counselling before because I myself suffer with mental health issues,and to be able to help other people,whether its because of alcohol or drug addiction,mental illness,rehabilitation that kind of stuff,sounds amazing,but I also am so interested in the criminal side of things,figuring out why criminals do what they do,what causes it ect,I think I'll do a psychology BSc first,and then go onto either doing forensic masters or as you did,go into some kind of counselling,you've been really helpful thank you! And I'm sure a psychology degree has many transferable skills for life in general too!
You'd be better off doing Criminology rather than Forensic Psychology if that's the kind of area you're interested in imo
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