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Victoria Hartley

After completing her A Level in Psychology, Victoria knew she wanted to pursue a career in forensic psychology. She started out her career by going to Liverpool John Moores University to study Forensic Psychology and Criminal Justice. After this she came to UCLan to study a master's in Forensic Psychology.

Talking about the master's course, Victoria discussed how “The UCLan MSc stood out for me among others as it considered all aspects of being a psychologist, including research, consultancy, clinical practice, training, risk assessment and investigative practice”. On the same topic she also brought up the subject of fees, and how because UCLan master's courses were very reasonably priced, for a recent graduate this was also an import factor.

Whilst she was on the master's course, Victoria managed to secure a research assistant internship with UCLan. Although the internship was through UCLan, it was based in Ashworth Hospital, this is a high secure forensic psychiatric hospital. She has previously worked as a healthcare worker at a low secure psychiatric hospital.

When her internship is finished, Victoria has been offered a further position on randomised control trial for the next 12 to 18 months. This job role involves participant recruitment of patients and carrying out the study with them. Victoria is also currently awaiting publication for a co-written article.

Victoria Hartley

When asked if her degree or experience at UCLan has impacted her employment or life in general, she replied: “Yes, definitely. I gained my internship through my course leader, which has ultimately led to publication, as well as employment. I was also able to gain research experience which is difficult to achieve. This, along with my existing ward based/prison based experience with patients/inmates will help me massively in my ultimate goal to becoming a chartered psychologist."

Giving advice to students looking to pursue a similar career, she advises that you are fully informed of what is required to be a psychologist as well as routes to chartership. “I would also advise to be patient, and to persevere because this is a truly fascinating subject and will certainly be a rewarding, albeit challenging profession…. But worth every minute of study and graft!"

Talking about her time at UCLan, she said: “The support from staff was amazing. Many of the lecturers on my course were practitioners within forensic psychology, so had put the theory into practice and could relay such experiences to us. They also could offer advice and reassurance for us as we started out journey to becoming forensic psychologists."