Psychologist - Forensic

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A forensic psychologist works with people who have committed crimes, treating them for problems such as stress, drug addiction or violent behaviour, with a view to rehabilitating them and preventing them from re-offending. They also help reduce stress for staff working in prisons.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

A qualified forensic psychologist working for the Scottish Prison Service would earn around £36,000 a year. An assistant psychologist with the Prison Service starts on around £20,000.

The salaries for NHS Psychologists in Scotland are usually based on the NHS Agenda for Change pay rates. The current pay scales are from April 2022.

Qualified psychologists start on Band 7, £43,422 to £50,506 a year. With experience this rises to Band 8a, £53,513 to £57,767 a year, and Band 8b, £63,530 to £68,223 a year.

Consultant/lead psychologists are on Band 8c, £75,711 to £81,426 a year.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Employers are mainly the Scottish Prison Service, the National Health Service (NHS) and Departments of Social Work. You would work in prisons, psychiatric hospitals and secure units and with offenders who are on probation.

What Does it Take?

You need:

You should be:


Getting On



The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

British Psychological Society
Tel: 0116 254 9568
Website (2):
Twitter: @BPSOfficial

NHS Scotland Careers
Website (2):
Twitter: @NHSScotCareers

Scottish Prison Service (SPS)
Tel: 0131 330 3500
Twitter: @scottishprisons

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