Forensic Psychology MSc
After five years working in forensic psychology settings, Natasha decided to return to education and completed the MSc Forensic Psychology course at BCU. Completing the course alongside full-time work was hard for Natasha, but the course allowed her to take her research skills to the next level. She is now completing a PhD whilst working as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist, thanks to the skills she picked up at BCU.
“After finishing my undergraduate degree in Psychology, I started to work within forensic psychology settings such as high security hospitals, prisons, and the probation service. But after five years of employment, I decided that I wanted to complete a master's degree in Forensic Psychology to boost my skills and knowledge and allow me to progress in my career.
Deciding to do a master's degree was a difficult choice for me as I was living on my own, so it was important that I was able to complete my course part-time so I could still work a full-time job. Luckily, my employer was happy for me to condense my hours so I could take one day a week out to attend university lectures.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at BCU. I found the teaching interesting and useful to my career, the lecturers were always happy to help and were experts in their teaching subjects. I also made a new group of friends and enjoyed the campus being in the city.
The course at BCU refreshed my memory of psychological theories and principles and took my research skills to the next level, which enabled me to perform well in interviews and show I have the skills to progress.
After graduating, I started a new role as an Assistant Psychologist in an acute mental health hospital. Whilst there, I applied for the stage two in Forensic Psychology qualification and the Doctor of Clinical Psychology course, and within eight months, I was offered a place on the clinical psychology course. I am now completing University of Nottingham’s Doctor of Clinical Psychology Course. Alongside that, I am a Trainee Clinical Psychologist for Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which I've been doing for just over a year.
I attend a hospital placement three times a week, where I have one-to-one and group sessions with patients, and work within a team of highly skilled psychologists who support me during training. I also attend lectures once a week and then have a study day on a Friday to write essays and complete any other requirements.
I’ve always wanted to be a Psychologist, and now I’m nearly there. In my long-term future, I am hoping to work within services that promote positive social change and provide support to disadvantaged people.
My Clinical Psychology is extremely competitive, and it can be difficult to stay motivated after a few rejected applications. After failed attempts, I always took some time to work on my skills and then focused on next year rather than dwelling on the rejection.
My advice to anyone considering studying my course at BCU is to think about where this course can take you and what areas you would like to work within. Ask yourself why you want to work in forensics services, and if the answer is to make positive changes to help people achieve their potential, then the course is for you.
I also suggest gaining some work experience, even if it's just one day a week. Working on your people skills is crucial in Psychology.
BCU helped to make me who I am, therefore, I AM BCU.”