Caitlan de Escofet
MSc Forensic Psychology
Caitlan discovered Forensic Psychology whilst completing her undergraduate degree, and knew it was the perfect route for her. She thrived on the course at BCU and started work before she had even completed her degree. Now, she is on track to becoming a qualified Forensic Psychologist.
"I always knew I wanted to go to university to study Psychology. I researched what A-Levels I needed to get on to a psychology course for my undergraduate degree, but from there, I was unsure which branch of psychology I wanted to go into. In my third year of my undergraduate degree in Liverpool, where I was introduced to Forensic Psychology. Whilst doing research into it, I found that to get into a forensic psychologist role, a master's degree was required. From there, I researched universities that offered a master’s degree in forensic psychology and found BCU offered the course that was most appealing to me.
My experience of studying the course was very positive. Everything that was covered in my MSc Forensic Psychology was relevant to my current career, with the modules involving examples of work that may be conducted in a real work setting. The staff were all very helpful whenever any issues were encountered, which only helped my learning and understanding of topics that weren't the easiest. Having the facilities at BCU was amazing as well, and I made full use of the library during my time there.
I started a job as a Probation Service Officer a week after finishing my degree, as I applied whilst studying for my master’s. Working as a PSO was amazing and so rewarding. Having the opportunity to support and manage those being supervised in the community increased my confidence and knowledge of processes in the Criminal Justice System that I previously wasn't aware of. I was working as a PSO for 10 months, when I got the confirmation that I gained employment as a Trainee Forensic Psychologist.
I'm currently working as a Trainee Forensic Psychologist with HMPPS Midlands Psychology Services. I've only been in the role for a few months, but I’ve found that it all so interesting. The training has been invaluable and having such amazing colleagues to learn from, shadow, and be there to support me, has been great in starting my stage two qualification. Once I have completed my stage two, which can be done between two-four years, I will then be a qualified Forensic Psychologist.
Currently, my workdays consist of training and becoming familiar with literature relevant to my work. Soon, I will be facilitating a programme in custody teaching prisoners' new skills and exploring attitudes. When I am fully trained, many more tasks can be undertaken, such as consultancy, training and research. This can be implemented in various facets of the custodial setting depending on what needs there are.
A challenge I've come across with my chosen career path, and even working in the Probation Service, has to be the acronyms as there’s just so many! But having amazing colleagues who listen and answer questions without judgement has been helpful in getting to grips with understanding what is being spoken about if I don't know what something stands for.
In the long-term, I hope to become a qualified Forensic Psychologist within HMPPS and continue exploring and growing in this role. Working in the Probation Service and Prison Service have given me so many opportunities to learn and grow as an individual.
My advice to anyone graduating would be to keep up to date with the literature. Psychology is always changing, and the evidence is always evolving, so being up to date with key developments is always helpful.
My advice to anyone who wants to study MSc Forensic Psychology at BCU is look at the modules and look at the lecturers. Not only is the course BPS accredited, which is a must if you want to do your stage two like I am, but you're also being taught by amazing lecturers with real-world experience. That experience is so valuable when you're being taught, as it's information from their own practice too.
I AM BCU means being proud to be part of a community of like-minded individuals who are committed and driven.”