Forensic Psychology involves the application of psychology in the field of criminal investigation and law.
Why study Forensic Psychology?
The popularity of Forensic Psychology has grown tremendously in recent years, in part due to sensational depictions of the field in film and television, which are not always accurate. Forensic psychologists are professionals who practice psychology as a science in the criminal justice system and civil courts.
Before deciding to study Forensic Psychology, there are some factors that you should consider. Do you like team working? Forensic psychologists often work in teams with other professionals, in addition to working directly with clients or criminals. Do you like riddles and investigation? Forensic psychologists often have difficult problems to solve, so a forensic psychologist needs a lot of patience, creativity, and commitment. Do you like psychology and laws? Students who enjoy both subjects may find the perfect career in forensic psychology.
What do you study to be a forensic psychologist? How long is the Forensic Psychology degree?
Although there are universities that offer degrees focused specifically on Forensic Psychology that combine courses in Psychology and Law, in general, to be a forensic psychologist you need a doctorate in psychology, with a specialization in counseling or clinical psychology. The career or degree in Forensic Psychology usually lasts around four or five years.
What Does a Forensic Psychologist Do?
Forensic psychologists often have to clarify questions about claims, whether in the field of insurance or custody. In this way, you have the possibility of working in family courts, either conducting evaluations, offering psychological services, etc.
They also have the ability to serve in civil courts that often assess competence, offer second opinions, and provide psychotherapy to those in need. Professionals working in criminal courts conduct mental capacity assessments, work witnesses, and provide assessment of juvenile and adult offenders.
Advantages of studying Forensic Psychology
The opportunity to help others
Diverse career paths (i.e. criminal courts, consulting, government, education, etc.)
It can be a very challenging career
Disadvantage of studying Forensic Psychology
Requires a substantial commitment of study time (5 or 7 years if pursuing a postgraduate degree)
The payment is usually low for the level of studies required and the work to be done
Frustration, stress, and burnout can occur
Where to study Forensic Psychology?
In Argentina It is also necessary to carry out a postgraduate degree, the best universities are: National University of Rosario, University of Buenos Aires, University of La Plata, etc.
In Chile: Universidad de la Frontera, UCINF University, etc.
In Colombia: The Universidad del Norte, offers in two semesters, the career of Forensic Psychology, aimed at professionals graduated in Psychology with five (5) years of training AND doctors, lawyers, social workers, Sociologists with 2 years experience in forensic practices. The modality is face-to-face and will be developed in a modular way.
The Konrad Lorenz Foundation offers the Specialization in Forensic Psychology with 2 semesters of course, this training offers training in the preparation of expert reports and advice.
The Universidad Libre Seccional de Cali offers the Specialization in Legal and Forensic Psychology in 2 semesters.
The Santo Tomás University (First University cloister of Colombia) offers the Specialization in Legal and Forensic Psychology, in a total of semesters and 25 Credits.
In Spain: It is necessary to first study the degree in Psychology through specializations in clinical psychology, social psychology or organizational psychology, although the best way is through clinical psychology and, later, do a postgraduate degree such as: Clinical, Legal and Forensic Psychology, or the master’s degree in Forensic and Criminal Psychology. The universities where these master’s degrees are offered are: University of Barcelona, International University of Catalonia, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Autonomous University of Madrid, etc.
In Mexico: Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez, Cuauhtémoc University, Free School of Psychology, etc.
In Peru: Inca Garcilaso de la Vega University, etc.