A day as a forensic psychologist

You work with your local Community Forensic Service, helping assess ex-offenders and providing them with psychological treatment. Work begins at 9am, with a detailed neuropsychological assessment of an arsonist who's recently left prison. Your ‘risk assessment' demonstrates he's likely to re-offend, and you write up your findings in a report. You then work out a treatment plan for your patient, and set behavioural goals for the future. In the afternoon, you begin work on a detailed report discussing your general psychological findings of the ex-offenders you're working with, and offer policy recommendations for the future. The people you work with can be challenging, but you enjoy helping people who can really benefit from your skills. It's also rewarding that your research may help improve government policy.

Does this sound like you?

You communicate easily with all sorts of people, and are interested in working with ex-offenders. You're a great listener, patient, tolerant and do well academically.

What's next after GCSE?

After gaining a minimum of five 9-4 (A*-C) grades at GCSE (or the equivalent), you'll need to apply for at least two A levels - psychology can be useful but is not essential.

What's next after A level and beyond?

You'll need at least two A levels (or the equivalent) - psychology can be useful but is not essential - and be ready to apply for a BPS-accredited degree course in psychology. After your degree, you'll need to get some relevant experience before going onto further postgraduate study in forensic psychology.