Hi! I’m Lauren, a 3rd-Year BSc Psychology student. Since my A levels, I’ve wanted to be a forensic psychologist working in prisons, or for the police as a criminal profiler.
As a 3rd-Year, my schedule is pretty packed with study and work experience. So, here are some tips for students aiming to go into forensic psychology, across a whole week. It took a long time for me to get a regular university schedule (especially because of Covid-19!), so I hope this helps.
Monday November 22nd
Happy Monday! Today I don’t have any university seminars, but am currently in the process of writing my literature review. I chose dissociative identity disorder as my topic, as it’s so important to choose something interesting to you.
I started my day with independent study, editing the first draft of my review. For writing any essay, I would highly recommend making tables for all your sources, splitting up the sections of the papers and creating a column for your own analysis.
I also went to work today for my first shift of the week. Being a Personal Assistant/Carer has been an amazing way to get experience relevant to my career aspirations. Especially convenient is using part-time paid work as work experience, so it’s the best of both worlds!
Tuesday November 23rd
Today was my most ‘forensic-y’ day, as I had my Applications of Forensic Psychology module. For those interested in criminology/mental-health psychology, I would highly recommend applying for this module in 2nd Year!
From 12-2pm I attended my seminar, and from 4-4.30pm I had a meeting with my dissertation supervisor. Psychology is especially talented at reaching out and checking on students’ wellbeing/progress. Particularly 3rd-Years, who have large amounts of study time away from campus.
Tuesday was also a day to let my hair down at the Psychology Society Christmas formal. It’s so important to have downtime aside from university, and the Psychology Society is one of the best places to make friends with people with the same interests as you.
Wednesday November 24th
Wednesday is another independent study day. What I learnt from Covid-19 was switching up study positions as much as possible will keep you from getting cabin fever! Whether that be studying in your kitchen instead of your bedroom, or heading into town.
My personal preference if I have a full free day is to go into York city centre and find a café to study in for a few hours. Today I chose Starbucks (highly recommend the gingerbread latte while they’re still around!), but also recommend places like Cocoa Joe’s.
It’s also essential to get some fresh air if you’ve got a busy day of work, otherwise your head will be prime to explode. Whether it be a walk into town to study, or a walk down the road, stretch your legs.
Thursday November 25th
Today was every student’s nightmare: a 9am seminar. From 9-11am today, I attended my Neurobiology of Depression session, another amazing module you can apply for in 2nd-Year. Choosing modules relevant to what career you aim to do is a great way to get a taster of what to expect. If you haven’t decided what career you want by the time it comes to module applications, don’t worry! Just pick something you think sounds interesting.
I also had my second shift of the week today. For anyone aspiring for a job in the psychology sphere, mental-health care is an amazing bit of hands-on experience away from a lecture theatre.
Because I had such a busy day, I only did a bit of light work when I arrived home in the afternoon. With a heavy workload, it’s so important to give yourself time to breathe. Tonight, I chose to treat myself to one of my favourite meals. Overall, a nice end to my most packed day of the week!
Friday November 26th
Friday is yet another independent study day. Now that all my seminars have finished for the week, I use Fridays to start my reading for next week. I like to give myself as much of the weekend off as possible to recharge for the following week.
On Fridays, Psychology staff sends out weekly emails to keep students in the loop about upcoming deadlines and opportunities. It’s a really useful way to find volunteering opportunities, as well as keeping on top of upcoming assignments.
Today I did as much reading as possible before my third shift of the week. Friday tends to be my busiest shift, so I like to unwind afterwards ready for the weekend.
Thank you for reading! I hope this was a nice insight into a typical week of a 3rd-Year wanting to go into forensic psychology.
Hello, I found your blog when looking through the many psychology blogs, and it caught my eye. I also hope to pursue a profession in forensic psychology. The University of York is among the universities I hope to attend in September. I would like to ask you for some advice. I read that you were doing a part time job that gives you experience. I want to learn as much as I can about the psychological field, especially while I’m a university student. Could you give me any tips and tricks to help me achieve this?
Apologies, I graduated July last year so haven’t been around checking blog posts until recently. Phoebe has given some amazing advice so thought I’d chime in too.
In terms of the part time work, I found mine by chance looking through Indeed. There are plenty of care agencies within York looking for carers, so look for ‘personal assistant’ roles and they should come up. Most train you on the job so you may not need experience.
Another great way is to take up opportunities within the department. The psychology department runs a magazine with articles run by students that is really informative, and gives some really great studies to read. I’d also consider joining the Psychology society in your first year. It’s also a good idea to regularly check in with your supervisor for opportunities or areas to broaden your interest. They’re here to help you so it’s a really accessible resource.
Phoebe also mentioned volunteering, which is also great for your CV when applying for jobs in the field. ‘Shout’ is a great one to volunteer for, and something I wish I had done myself. They are an anonymous mental health hotline accessible by text and provide some great training. When applying for my Masters in Forensic Psychology, experience in the field is something they particularly look out for, whether paid or voluntary.
I hope all goes well getting into York,
Unfortunately Lauren has graduated university now so I am a current 2nd year student. Hopefully I can give you some advice.
So within the university, there’s a lot of opportunities within societies and volunteering projects to get experience in Psychology. For example, I am a volunteer for the charity Student Minds which fundraisers money for student mental health but also raises awareness about certain areas of psychology like ways to deal with stress or seeking help.
Also one of the lecturers in the department has created a careers page where jobs will be advertised for carer positions or interns into research within the department.
Within the department there’s also a well-being team made up of students which you can take part in.
So there’s plenty of opportunities within the department, the university and in York as well. Some of these can also be paid or voluntary so there’s a range.
Finally, don’t be scared to reach out to people like lecturers or organisations you’d be interested in. You may get an opportunity just because you reached out and tried.
I hope this helps!
Thank you for your reply and your advice.