Brom99
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#1
Hi everyone,

I am a Law student, currently in my third year of study. I am at that super scary stage of my life now where I am facing some big decisions and I am looking for general advice on postgraduate study and career paths relating to any of the following: law enforcement, intelligence, psychology, forensic psychology and criminology.

Through studying Law at university, I have discovered that a career in law is not for me. I have many other career interests all of which seem to be relating to crime and investigation. I have been considering the prospect of joining the police for some time now but given the nature of the job, I want to ensure that this is the right path for me and not just join on a phase of enthusiasm that will wear off. I also have a keen interest in forensic psychology and would be intrigued to see what a career in this field would look like.

I have done lots of research on these areas and find myself no closer to making a decision about my future. I have looked at applying for a psychology conversion course at either Manchester met, BPP or Coventry which all have their pros and cons. I think the main issue holding me back from this is the availability of work after completing the conversion course and masters in forensic psychology. From what I have seen, the work is there(such as working for the NHS and HMPPS), but it appears to be very limited when compared with how saturated this sector is with applicants. Another thing I have noticed is that there appears to be a lack of permanent positions out there.

Like all students, I don't fancy paying huge sums of money on courses that ultimately do not offer lots of job opportunity. If there are any trainee forensic psychologists or students currently studying a psychology conversion/forensic psychology masters or aspiring I would hugely appreciate any advice or tips relating to your experience. Anything from studies to employment success is welcomed, I am truly all ears!

I have also considered doing a criminology masters due to how it relates to my career interests but have done less research on this. The pandemic has made me want to appear more employable than ever and I feel a masters in criminology would do that considering my career aspirations.

I guess I am one of those students who thinks they know what they want to do, but does not really know haha. Having studied law and been through a certain pandemic, I have found myself with more questions than I expected at this stage of my life so any advice relating to any of the above will be so appreciated.

Thanks so much guys, hope you're all staying safe and well.
0
reply
bones-mccoy
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 months ago
#2
I have both a Psychology conversion and MSc in Forensic Psychology, happy to answer any questions
0
reply
Brom99
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#3
(Original post by bones-mccoy)
I have both a Psychology conversion and MSc in Forensic Psychology, happy to answer any questions
Hi there! Thanks for the reply.

Considering you have completed both courses, do you currently practice as a forensic psychologist? If so, where do you work and how did you find the process of finding a job in the forensic psychology field?
0
reply
bones-mccoy
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 5 months ago
#4
(Original post by Brom99)
Hi there! Thanks for the reply.

Considering you have completed both courses, do you currently practice as a forensic psychologist? If so, where do you work and how did you find the process of finding a job in the forensic psychology field?
You need the Stage 2 before becoming a qualified Forensic Psychologist, which is another 3 years at least. You can either do the MSc and the BPS Stage 2 qualification, the MSc and a top-up course, or the Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology. The BPS qualification takes anywhere from 3-5 years, the Doctorate takes 3 years full-time.

Unfortunately I finished my MSc in the middle of this pandemic so finding employment hasn't been easy, I'd say working up to getting an assistant or trainee psychologist post is the most difficult aspect of becoming an FP as they're not common and there's always lots of competition. At the moment I'm focusing on my volunteer work and CPD by doing online courses.
0
reply
Brom99
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#5
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#5
(Original post by bones-mccoy)
You need the Stage 2 before becoming a qualified Forensic Psychologist, which is another 3 years at least. You can either do the MSc and the BPS Stage 2 qualification, the MSc and a top-up course, or the Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology. The BPS qualification takes anywhere from 3-5 years, the Doctorate takes 3 years full-time.

Unfortunately I finished my MSc in the middle of this pandemic so finding employment hasn't been easy, I'd say working up to getting an assistant or trainee psychologist post is the most difficult aspect of becoming an FP as they're not common and there's always lots of competition. At the moment I'm focusing on my volunteer work and CPD by doing online courses.
Thank you. I am aware that the Stage 2 of qualification can take a long time. When you say finding employment has not been easy, do you mean there has been a lack of opportunity or you have just had bad luck in being successful?

how is the volunteering going? I have heard this can also be hard to get hold of, although I am not sure whether this is purely down to Covid?

Where did you study if you mind me asking? And would you recommend the university you studied at to others?
0
reply
bones-mccoy
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#6
Report 5 months ago
#6
(Original post by Brom99)
Thank you. I am aware that the Stage 2 of qualification can take a long time. When you say finding employment has not been easy, do you mean there has been a lack of opportunity or you have just had bad luck in being successful?

how is the volunteering going? I have heard this can also be hard to get hold of, although I am not sure whether this is purely down to Covid?

Where did you study if you mind me asking? And would you recommend the university you studied at to others?
I'd say it's largely due to Covid in my scenario, the lack of vacancies combined with my driving test keep being pushed back has meant my options at the moment are limited.

I love my volunteering role, it's probably one of the best things I've ever done. Direct forensic work experience is difficult to come across at the best of times due to the nature of the work and being largely unqualified, but it's also area specific so down to luck a lot of the time. And as you pointed out, lockdown doesn't help either.

I did my conversion at Aston and my MSc at Coventry. Overall I would recommend Cov, the course structure is good and the modules are all very interesting. I know some students on my course felt there was a lack of support (there definitely was during the start of lockdown), but you need to be mindful of the jump from undergrad to postgrad as well. It's a much harder qualification in terms of intensity, the level of academic writing required and the amount of independent work needed, so it will always feel like there's less support compared to a BSc/BA.
0
reply
Brom99
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#7
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#7
(Original post by bones-mccoy)
I'd say it's largely due to Covid in my scenario, the lack of vacancies combined with my driving test keep being pushed back has meant my options at the moment are limited.

I love my volunteering role, it's probably one of the best things I've ever done. Direct forensic work experience is difficult to come across at the best of times due to the nature of the work and being largely unqualified, but it's also area specific so down to luck a lot of the time. And as you pointed out, lockdown doesn't help either.

I did my conversion at Aston and my MSc at Coventry. Overall I would recommend Cov, the course structure is good and the modules are all very interesting. I know some students on my course felt there was a lack of support (there definitely was during the start of lockdown), but you need to be mindful of the jump from undergrad to postgrad as well. It's a much harder qualification in terms of intensity, the level of academic writing required and the amount of independent work needed, so it will always feel like there's less support compared to a BSc/BA.
Ah yeah I can imagine the driving situation doesn't help when looking for opportunities. Good to hear that you're enjoying your volunteering role, what is it that you do? I've looked at volunteering for several charities and organisations myself, seems to be a lack of vacancies in my area so I guess i'll just have to play the waiting game for now.

Would you not recommend Aston then? If I decide to do a conversion course then it'll likely be online as many of the local universities do not offer one and moving in the midst of a pandemic doesn't sound all too appealing. Coventry does look very good, they offer an online conversion course and it seems the course is structured well and not to mention it is a top university. The only two things that put me off Coventry is that the conversion is two years instead of one and they do not offer a forensic psych module unlike Manchester Met. In your experience, have you felt at a disadvantage by doing the conversion course? I've heard that it can limit your chances of being successful when compared with other applicants who have studied psychology at undergrad level. I often wonder if by doing the conversion course you are left at a disadvantage from knowledge and employment perspectives.

I am no stranger to a 'lack of support' due to having my second and third years impacted by the pandemic. I am sure this will continue to be the case at any university.

Thanks for answering all of my questions, I really do appreciate it .
0
reply
bones-mccoy
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#8
Report 5 months ago
#8
(Original post by Brom99)
Ah yeah I can imagine the driving situation doesn't help when looking for opportunities. Good to hear that you're enjoying your volunteering role, what is it that you do? I've looked at volunteering for several charities and organisations myself, seems to be a lack of vacancies in my area so I guess i'll just have to play the waiting game for now.

Would you not recommend Aston then? If I decide to do a conversion course then it'll likely be online as many of the local universities do not offer one and moving in the midst of a pandemic doesn't sound all too appealing. Coventry does look very good, they offer an online conversion course and it seems the course is structured well and not to mention it is a top university. The only two things that put me off Coventry is that the conversion is two years instead of one and they do not offer a forensic psych module unlike Manchester Met. In your experience, have you felt at a disadvantage by doing the conversion course? I've heard that it can limit your chances of being successful when compared with other applicants who have studied psychology at undergrad level. I often wonder if by doing the conversion course you are left at a disadvantage from knowledge and employment perspectives.

I am no stranger to a 'lack of support' due to having my second and third years impacted by the pandemic. I am sure this will continue to be the case at any university.

Thanks for answering all of my questions, I really do appreciate it .
I'm a mentor in a prison for young offenders, supporting them in the last 3-6 months before release and then continuing that support once they re-enter the community. It's very rewarding and has given me massive insight into prisons and offending behaviour.

No, Aston was good, there's just not too much to say about it, really. I saw the conversion course as just a stepping stone in order to get onto the Forensic Psychology MSc if I'm honest. From what I remember, it was well-run and gave me a good background into psychology.

I haven't felt at a disadvantaged at all, no. Employers in the forensic field are looking at you as a person, your qualities etc, your MSc in FP and any experience you already have. As long as you have GBC, it doesn't matter if it came from a conversion course or the regular 3 year undergraduate. I did feel a bit out of my depth at the start of my MSc but that feeling soon went away, I feel like the insight I gained volunteering actually gave me more of a grasp on the course content than those who had the BSc in Psychology but no experience.

Yeah, Coventy wasn't that good during the pandemic tbh they just put up lectures once a week and that was it. No engagement whatsover, which is particularly important for a subject like psychology where so much can be learned from class discussions. I think some struggled with the amount of information given for assignments more than anything. There were a few where the guidance given was quite limited so there was some uncertainty about not knowing if you were even doing the right thing, but that's the nature of the work at that level unfortunately.

No problem
Last edited by bones-mccoy; 5 months ago
0
reply
Lord Asriel
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#9
Report 5 months ago
#9
(Original post by bones-mccoy)
I love my volunteering role, it's probably one of the best things I've ever done. Direct forensic work experience is difficult to come across at the best of times due to the nature of the work and being largely unqualified, but it's also area specific so down to luck a lot of the time. And as you pointed out, lockdown doesn't help either.
Not sure what it is like for FP, but what kind of experience is valid for progression onto stage 2 Forensic?

In CP, it is often RA, AP, PWP and similar posts that are most but there is actually a wide range of posts that are valid in the trainees I have met and supervised. Is it more restricted in FP?

(Asking for quite selfish reasons, as we may have funding for a Band 4 AP post in my team shortly. In the past I have advertised in NHS contexts and the local AP groups, but your post is making me think that maybe FP aspirants may be worth targeting as well if they have dedicated Borderline PD experience)
0
reply
Brom99
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#10
(Original post by bones-mccoy)
I'm a mentor in a prison for young offenders, supporting them in the last 3-6 months before release and then continuing that support once they re-enter the community. It's very rewarding and has given me massive insight into prisons and offending behaviour.

No, Aston was good, there's just not too much to say about it, really. I saw the conversion course as just a stepping stone in order to get onto the Forensic Psychology MSc if I'm honest. From what I remember, it was well-run and gave me a good background into psychology.

I haven't felt at a disadvantaged at all, no. Employers in the forensic field are looking at you as a person, your qualities etc, your MSc in FP and any experience you already have. As long as you have GBC, it doesn't matter if it came from a conversion course or the regular 3 year undergraduate. I did feel a bit out of my depth at the start of my MSc but that feeling soon went away, I feel like the insight I gained volunteering actually gave me more of a grasp on the course content than those who had the BSc in Psychology but no experience.

Yeah, Coventy wasn't that good during the pandemic tbh they just put up lectures once a week and that was it. No engagement whatsover, which is particularly important for a subject like psychology where so much can be learned from class discussions. I think some struggled with the amount of information given for assignments more than anything. There were a few where the guidance given was quite limited so there was some uncertainty about not knowing if you were even doing the right thing, but that's the nature of the work at that level unfortunately.

No problem
Oh wow that mentoring position sounds great. How did you go about getting a position like that? As you have said, you felt your experience allowed you to grasp the course better, what did you do before you started your masters in forensic psych to gain relevant experience? I am aware that some universities demand a wealth of experience just as much as academic ability to get onto their post grad psychology courses. I would be looking to start a conversion course this September and then if all goes to plan, a masters in forensic psychology immediately after. I am concerned that I would not be able to get that experience in time to start the masters.

Good to hear that in your experience you have not felt at a disadvantage. Like I have said previously, one of the big factors for me is the career prospects after study, so it's very comforting to hear you do not feel disadvantaged.
0
reply
bones-mccoy
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#11
Report 5 months ago
#11
(Original post by Lord Asriel)
Not sure what it is like for FP, but what kind of experience is valid for progression onto stage 2 Forensic?

In CP, it is often RA, AP, PWP and similar posts that are most but there is actually a wide range of posts that are valid in the trainees I have met and supervised. Is it more restricted in FP?

(Asking for quite selfish reasons, as we may have funding for a Band 4 AP post in my team shortly. In the past I have advertised in NHS contexts and the local AP groups, but your post is making me think that maybe FP aspirants may be worth targeting as well if they have dedicated Borderline PD experience)
I do think it's more restricted, yeah. Most people will have experience as an AP or something like an interventions facilitator before being offered or applying for internal vacancies to progress to the trainee stage. What the BPS is looking for is the ability to complete the four main core roles of the Stage 2 whilst also having access to supervised practice, hence why you generally need to already be working in a forensic environment before considering the Stage 2 route.

From my understanding, forensic and clinical psychology is being mixed more and more these days, a lot of the vacancies I see ask for 'clinical or forensic psychologists' rather than one or the other. I don't know much about the secure hospital/NHS side of things as my knowledge is largely on prison based roles but I suppose someone with healthcare experience working in a secure hospital may fit your person spec?
Last edited by bones-mccoy; 5 months ago
0
reply
bones-mccoy
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#12
Report 5 months ago
#12
(Original post by Brom99)
Oh wow that mentoring position sounds great. How did you go about getting a position like that? As you have said, you felt your experience allowed you to grasp the course better, what did you do before you started your masters in forensic psych to gain relevant experience? I am aware that some universities demand a wealth of experience just as much as academic ability to get onto their post grad psychology courses. I would be looking to start a conversion course this September and then if all goes to plan, a masters in forensic psychology immediately after. I am concerned that I would not be able to get that experience in time to start the masters.

Good to hear that in your experience you have not felt at a disadvantage. Like I have said previously, one of the big factors for me is the career prospects after study, so it's very comforting to hear you do not feel disadvantaged.
I was looking for experience for a while when one of my mum's friends told her about this mentoring scheme that ran at the prison she worked at. I enquired online, sent off an application form, was invited to an introductory, information type evening, did the training and got selected. I had mentored for about 2 years before starting the MSc so having that practical knowledge of the prison environment allowed me to both understand some of the course content a lot more and also take what I learned at uni and apply it to my voluntary work.

From my memory, the MSc at Coventry didn't ask for any experience, just the relevant qualifications. Out of my friend group of 6, only 2 of us had experience in a forensic environment (the other worked for GeoAmey as prisoner transport). However, I do know some uni's want some kind of experience plus interview you before offering a place, it's all just institution specific.
0
reply
Arden University
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#13
Report 5 months ago
#13
Brom99
Hello! I am currently doing an MSc Psychology (conversion course) at Arden University so I know a little about this.

I have really enjoyed the program, and a major benefit was that there was opportunities to work on projects with lecturers to expand your portfolio, and get experience in either working in a lab or assisting projects, such as transcribing interviews - these are big areas for employers. In the course as well there was a great careers advice session. Have you thought about doing an MSc in psychology and doing a teacher training course too? Psychology is an area where there are always lots of jobs and I occasionally see Law positions too...

You mentioned Manchester and Coventry, have you considered Arden as an option? We have blended learning centers in Manchester and down the road in Birmingham if you wanted a blended learning option - but you can also do the full Masters online. Why not check it out - https://arden.ac.uk/our-courses/post...psychology-bps

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador
0
reply
Brom99
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#14
Report Thread starter 5 months ago
#14
(Original post by Arden University)
Brom99
Hello! I am currently doing an MSc Psychology (conversion course) at Arden University so I know a little about this.

I have really enjoyed the program, and a major benefit was that there was opportunities to work on projects with lecturers to expand your portfolio, and get experience in either working in a lab or assisting projects, such as transcribing interviews - these are big areas for employers. In the course as well there was a great careers advice session. Have you thought about doing an MSc in psychology and doing a teacher training course too? Psychology is an area where there are always lots of jobs and I occasionally see Law positions too...

You mentioned Manchester and Coventry, have you considered Arden as an option? We have blended learning centers in Manchester and down the road in Birmingham if you wanted a blended learning option - but you can also do the full Masters online. Why not check it out - https://arden.ac.uk/our-courses/post...psychology-bps

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador
Hi Marc,

Thank you for your comment.

It certainly sounds like the course is very well structured at Arden, particularly the opportunity to work on projects with lecturers. How common is it to have these opportunities? I have not really considered doing a teacher training course as I do not really have a desire to teach, especially at this stage in my life.

My reasoning for considering Manchester and Coventry is that they offer a conversion course fully online course which is something I was not aware that Arden offered. Thank you for the link, I will definitely give it a check.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Poll: What factors affect your mental health most right now? Post-lockdown edition

Anxiousness about restrictions easing (30)
5.32%
Uncertainty around my education (65)
11.52%
Uncertainty around my future career prospects (66)
11.7%
Lack of purpose or motivation (75)
13.3%
Lack of support system (eg. teachers, counsellors, delays in care) (32)
5.67%
Impact lockdown had on physical health (28)
4.96%
Social worries (incl. loneliness/making friends) (60)
10.64%
Financial worries (35)
6.21%
Concern about myself or my loves ones getting/having been ill (22)
3.9%
Exposure to negative news/social media (34)
6.03%
Difficulty accessing real life entertainment (15)
2.66%
Lack of confidence in making big life decisions (56)
9.93%
Worry about missed opportunities during the pandemic (46)
8.16%

Watched Threads

View All