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, I was introduced to Forensic Psychology. While 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 that 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.
I specifically struggled with statistics in my course, and this made me quite worried about the role, but my lecturers were so reassuring. They provided examples, worked through things with me and didn’t become frustrated when I had to turn to them multiple times for help. I work with complex statistics regularly in my job, so I appreciate the time and support I was given at BCU to improve my statistical analysis instead of being thrown into the deep end.
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 had 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 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 2 qualification. Once I have completed Stage 2, which can be done between two and 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.
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 has given me so many opportunities to learn and grow as an individual.
My advice to anyone who wants to study MSc Forensic Psychology at BCU is to 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 2 like I am but you're also being taught by amazing lecturers with real-world experience. That experience is so valuable.
‘I AM BCU’ means being proud to be part of a community of like-minded individuals who are committed and driven.”