Forensic Psychology Programs in Canada and Abroad
Interested in the intersection of psychology and justice? Check out these programs.
Have you ever considered becoming a forensic psychologist? Do you dream of taking the stand as an expert witness, helping judges, lawyers and juries understand the complex cross-currents of biology, the environment, and sociocultural factors that influence offenders' behaviour? Would you like to help solve crimes for a living? If so, you might make an excellent forensic psychologist. Check out the programs below to learn more about what it takes to break into this fascinating, complex field.
At Ontario Tech University, one of the few undergraduate degrees in forensic psychology in Canada, you'll learn to understand and support victims, witnesses and offenders as they move through the justice system. From initial investigation through court proceedings, to rehabilitation and reintegration into society, you'll explore and apply the many facets of psychology in the context of crime, policing, the courts, corrections services, and more. Some meritorious fourth-years will even have the chance to take part in a practicum, including 100 hours of fieldwork, in-class seminars, and several special academic assignments, so be sure to study hard!
If you're thinking about studying overseas, the University of East London might be just the place. The British Psychology Society (BPS) approved course will equip you for roles across the criminial justice system, and you'll investigate how social and psychological factors combine to impact and influence human behaviour. You'll consider evidence drawn from lived experience, and engage with contemporary research and theory. As a bonus, in the UK, you can earn your bachelor's degree in just three years, so you'll be ready for your master's that much sooner.
If you'd prefer to study in the United States, CUNY's John Jay College has got you covered. In this comprehensive undergraduate program, you'll come to understand the relationship between human cognition and the criminal justice system. You'll explore the intersection of "psychology and the law" and the influences of demographic factors on human cognition and action. You'll design and analyze an ethical research study, and have the option for a fieldwork placement in a hospital, prison, or treatment agency, as you develop an empirical approach to understanding behaviour.
When you've got your bachelor's degree sorted, and you're looking for the next challenge in your nascent career, consider a master's at Cardiff Met. The program is delivered collaboratively with Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Services to provide up-to-date instruction in accordance with current policy. Working forensic psychologists, both domestic and international, will instruct you directly from their experience and share their specialist knowledge.
You'll build on your understanding of the environmental, psychosocial, and sociocultural factors that can contribute to crime — and its prevention. You'll grasp the behavioural contexts of criminal activity, and move towards building more effective policy, from incarceration to rehabilitation.
Along the way, you'll engage in critical consideration of academic theory, while probing its limitations, and you'll complete an empirical, supervised dissertation with real research participants.
Careful, though! To qualify for the master's program, your undergrad must be BPS certified. Otherwise, check out a BPS conversion course to be sure you're ready to enrol.
Forensic psychologists draw upon a wide variety of skills and competencies in all aspects of the criminal justice system. If you have an interest in the crossroads of criminal justice and psychology, and you've enjoyed this introduction to forensic and criminal psychology, you may be an excellent candidate for forensic psychology.