Lloyd Busines School logo

How to become a Forensic Psychiatrist – An Overview

Home | How to become a Forensic Psychiatrist – An Overview

How to become a Forensic Psychiatrist – An Overview

04,April 2024

Are you someone from the medical field who has a dream of working in the field of law and forensics? If the answer is yes, then becoming a forensic psychiatrist is something that will fulfill your dream. This domain is a combination of medical and legal fields. Such professionals play an important role in solving crime mysteries. This profession gives you a unique opportunity to understand what the mentality of criminals is and how their minds react to a situation. Read the complete blog to know how you can become a forensic psychiatrist, skills required, job responsibilities, and much more.

Who is a Forensic Psychiatrist?

A doctor who evaluates, assesses, diagnoses, and treats the mental health of people involved in crimes is known as a forensic psychiatrist. These people are responsible for preparing, compiling, and storing the reports of criminals and the victims. Along with this, these people also present these reports to the law enforcement agencies including the attorneys, and testify in the courtrooms. These people are responsible for determining whether a person is mentally fine to be presented in the trial or not. In cases involving the mental health status of people, their say is final and no one else can question them and their decision.

How to Become a Forensic Psychiatrist?

Just like medical doctors these professionals also need to study the medicine subjects at least at the undergraduate level. Since they deal with the mental well-being of criminals and the victims it is quite important that they are experts in their field. To become such expert they need to first complete their basic education followed by undergoing rigorous training. Here we have mentioned the steps that need to be followed by a candidate who wishes to be a forensic psychiatrist:

Get a Bachelor’s Degree:

Becoming a forensic psychiatrist is not an easy task as it involves it requires candidates to develop a deep understanding of brain functioning and its effect on human behavior. To create a foundation, candidates need to first get a bachelor’s degree in the field of forensics, biology, psychiatry, or an equivalent subject from a recognized university. To get admission to a bachelor’s degree in psychiatry candidates are required to fulfill the below mentioned eligibility conditions.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Students must have passed class 10th and 12th in the science stream from a recognized board with at least 50% aggregate marks.

Students who wish to pursue forensics courses have the option of either joining full time, part-time, or distance mode of education. Even candidates with time or distance constraints can opt for online mode as well.

Bachelor’s Program Available:

  • MBBS,
  • B.Sc.(Psychiatry).

Complete Your Training:

Since as a forensic psychiatrist, you will be having human interaction on a large scale you need to be skilled at what you are doing. And for this, you should know what you are supposed to do. The skills that are required for your profession will only be learned by you when you undergo training. You can either work as an intern with a private or government hospital or can also undergo training. The time span of your training can range between 6 months to 2 years.

Get Certification in Respective Specialization:

Though getting your graduation done in the field of forensic psychiatry will be enough you can also opt for getting a certification in the same course. The certificate in your specialization will get you an upper hand in your profession and will help in terms of getting higher salaries as well. Through these certifications, you will stand out in the market.

Get A License:

You will not be allowed to work as a psychiatrist until you get the license for doing so from a concerned body. Till the time you don’t get the permit, you will not be allowed to diagnose or treat mentally unstable people. Even your opinion will not be considered while dealing with a crime mystery by the investigating officers. Along with this, you can also not accompany the police personnel to the crime scene for the purpose of investigation.

Get A Master’s Degree:

It is always advisable when you enter the professional field there should be no one who can hold your hand meaning you should always have the upper hand. And in this field, it can be achieved by pursuing a master’s in forensic psychiatry. Organizations hire candidates who have better skills and more knowledge as they make them compete with other organizations. Once you are done with the post-graduation program you will be paid much higher as compared to a person with a bachelor’s degree. For getting admission to a master’s degree in psychiatry candidates need to fulfill the below mentioned eligibility conditions.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Students must have passed class 10th and 12th in the science or equivalent stream with at least 50% marks from a recognized board.

Candidates need to pass a bachelor’s degree in the concerned field from a recognized university with at least 50% marks.

Master’s Program Available:

  • M.Sc. (Psychiatry),
  • M.D. (Psychiatry),
  • PhD (Psychiatry).

Skills Required To Become A Forensic Psychiatrist:

This is a profession where people are required to deal with several people throughout their careers. When your decision about the individuals creates a never-ending impact on them it is important that your decision should be precise and justifying. Developing this art is not a one-day task it requires a lot of skills to be learned by such professionals. Some of the most important skills that are required to become a forensic psychiatrist are given below:

Communication Skills

To get an understanding of a patient’s mindset it is important to have a strong hold on communication skills and this can be done by actively practicing. The concept of communicating with the patients is not mere usual conversation instead it involves the strategies and methods that can be used to acquire more and more information about the patient. Along with having an exchange of thoughts such experts should be able to predict the feelings of the individuals these people are dealing with.

Critical Thinker:

To conclude who is the real culprit from the list of suspects it is important that you should have a critical thinking ability. As a forensic psychiatrist, you will be required to distinguish between different people involved in different crimes. Along with this, you will also be required to identify various patterns of crimes, criminals, etc.

Understanding of Legal knowledge:

Since you will be required to appear in the courts and testify about your findings in front of the legal agencies you should have a clear understanding of the legal world. Based on your findings the judgment will be made against the offender therefore should know what are the sections of IPC, CrPC, or the Evidence Act under which the individual will be jailed.

Strong Interpersonal Skills:

You can only get the required information from a person when he has developed trust in you. Till the time patient doesn’t trust you he will not make the revelations about his life and the crime. Therefore, it is important that you should be able to gain their trust and make them feel safe with you so that they can share their traumas with you.

Roles And Responsibilities of A Forensic Psychiatrist:

The professionals of this field speculate what the offender must be thinking or what kind of mindset he have that made him commit the crime. This field is a special combination of mental health, medical, and legal field. Though commonly it is confused with forensic psychology but you should be clear in your head that these professionals read the mental health of individuals while forensic psychologists do the task of criminal profiling. Some of the major roles and responsibilities of these professionals is as mentioned below:

  • Evaluate the mental health of suspects of a crime,
  • Analyze the data gathered during observation of a patient to diagnose and treat them,
  • Make recommendations to the court based on their findings,
  • Ensure regular review of patients,
  • Provide specialist advice to the law enforcement agencies and other psychiatric colleagues,
  • Prepare reports for mental health review of patients,
  • Appropriateness of patient’s mental health at the time of sentencing,
  • Identifying the nature of a mental disorder.

These experts play an important in ensuring the justice delivery and hence are an integral part of crime investigation and judiciary. If the field of forensics attracts you then you should become a forensic psychiatrist.


  • https://www.indeed.com/career-advice /finding-a-job/how-to-become- forensic-psychiatrist
  • https://www.forensicscolleges.com /blog/htb/how-to-become-a- forensic-psychiatrist
  • https://www.healthcareers.nhs .uk/explore-roles/doctors/roles-doctors /psychiatry/forensic-psychiatry
  • https://doctorly.org/how-to-become-a-forensic-psychiatrist/
How to become a forensic psychiatrist?
If you wish to become a forensic psychiatrist, you need to get a bachelor’s degree in the field of medicine or psychiatry. After which get a license from the concerned authorities and you can start working as such an expert.
What is the job role of a forensic psychiatrist?
These experts are responsible for analyzing, examining, and diagnosing the mental health of individuals involved in a crime.
Who is a forensic psychiatrist?
A forensic psychiatrist is a person who uses his medical knowledge in the field of forensics to understand the mental well-being of suspects of a case.
What is the difference between a forensic psychiatrist and a forensic psychologist?
The major difference between a forensic psychiatrist and a forensic psychologist is that while psychiatrists are the experts who deal with mental health of individuals psychologists deal with the criminal profiling.
Is it important to pursue master’s in psychiatry to become forensic psychiatrist?
No, it is not at all important to pursue post-graduation as you can become such expert after getting a bachelor’s degree in the concerned field.