Criminology and Psychology Vs Forensic Psychology

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Captain Slow181
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Hi

im thinking of taking either one of the below at Open Uni
BSc (Honours) Forensic Psychology
BA (Honours) Criminology and Psychology

im not sure which to take

i would like to do something in crime analysis , looking at data getting patterns and understanding criminals but im not sure which way to go.

Has anyone taken either and able to suggest?

thanks
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Kingston University
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Hello there

Those two sound really interesting.

To understand the difference between a criminal psychology and forensic psychology degree, it’s important to understand how each field fits in the criminal justice system as a whole. Forensic psychology is a broad field that applies the principles of psychology to the criminal justice system and law. Forensic psychologists consult with law enforcement to integrate psychology into both criminal and civil legal matters. Their duties can include selecting juries, evaluating witnesses, and conducting mental health evaluations.

Criminal psychology and forensic psychology are both strongly connected to law enforcement. Each profession supports investigations, whether criminal or civil. It is the aim of professionals in both fields to work with law enforcement to understand the psychology of criminals and solve crimes. Professionals in each of these fields benefit from academic study and practical experience in criminal justice.

When comparing criminal psychology vs. forensic psychology, it’s important to understand key differences, both between the careers themselves and the typical paths that lead to each. From the education required to what their daily work looks like, there are some points of divergence between these two paths.

Here you can read a bit more:
https://online.maryville.edu/vs/crim...ic-psychology/
https://elawtalk.com/difference-betw...al-psychology/

I hope that helps!
Best wishes
Andrea
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FV75
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The above info (being from a US website) does not really represent the role of a forensic psychologist in the UK - this site is much more representative of the actual job:
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-prof...c-psychologist

Whichever initial degree you do, if you do want to work as a forensic psychologist make sure your degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society, and you will need to do many years of work and further study to become fully qualified.

The type of work you want to do sounds more like a role in the police force rather than psychology, though. Criminal profiling by psychologists (as represented, usually wildly inaccurately, on TV shows) is a very specialist role done by a handful of people.
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Captain Slow181
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Thank you for the response I am more leaning toward criminology as I want to become an intelligence analyst and I think that criminology will lean more
That way.
I also did a taster course for the first part of the criminology course and loved it
Thanks
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smidgeons
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Hey,

What you need to do is go to a job website (like Reed, etc), or the Prison/police service whatever it is you want to do. You need to do this for two reasons -

1) Rather than any vague idea about possible roles you may do in X years, looking at real world jobs will help guide you and your studies in a specific direction.

2) It will also, very clearly tell you what those jobs require if you want to apply.

You need to know this, because some degrees don't quite cut it. Take me, for example. I was studying BSc Psch but many of the core units were dull so I eventually switched to 'BA (Honours) Psychological Studies' after a few years. This allowed me to pick from a large number of Psychology units and not be limited by 'core'. However it means my degree no longer gives graduate basis for registration. But for me, i wasn't bothered lol, I just wanted to enjoy my degree. I'm not doing it for a specific career path.

I am registered on 'MSc in Forensic Psychological Studies' and start this year, but it too is not BPS accredited. So by the end i will have a Masters in Forensic Psychology so youd think that would open up a lot of roles in prison or whatever, however I checked https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk and many do ask for bps degrees.

So, in short. Look for 'real' jobs being advertised and work backwards from there.

If you will never want to be a Prison Psych, for example, then BPS accreditation may not be important (although, it's always good to leave your options open), but if you are perhaps wanting to just work in the Prison/Police Data team perhaps any old Psych degree might do, so doing something like mine could be better for you. It expands the options of units you are allowed to pick from, meaning you will enjoy it more, meaning your marks will be better.

But honestly dude, go look for actual jobs being advertised to get a feel for what the possibilities are. Reading their job descriptions may even put you off the roles as they may not have been what you imagined them to be. So deffo go hunting!
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