Entry requirements, skills and interests (forensic psychiatry)

This page provides useful information about the entry requirements needed for this specialty up to and including foundation training. It also includes information on the skills and interests you will need.

Entry requirements

Before you train as a psychiatrist you must complete a degree in medicine and have obtained a MBBS or equivalent qualification. Find out about getting into medical school.

You then need to complete a two-year foundation programme and then three years of core training. After successfully completing your first year of foundation training you become eligible for registration as a doctor with the General Medical Council (GMC). Foundation training includes undertaking rotations in a range of specialties including psychiatry.

To find information about the Foundation Programme, visit our applying for foundation training page.

Skills and interests

 Forensic psychiatrists need:

  • empathy and compassion and the ability to treat others with understanding and respect
  • emotional resilience and initiative to work in challenging situations
  • the capacity to monitor developing situations and anticipate issues
  • the ability to work flexibly as part of a large multidisciplinary team
  • excellent communication skills  to relate well to people from many different backgrounds and to work as an expert witness in court
  • good problem-solving skills, using logical/lateral thinking
  • an analytical and scientific approach
  • good leadership skills, with the ability to organise and motivate other team members
  • in-depth knowledge of relevant mental health and criminal law

If you're applying for a role either directly in the NHS or in an organisation that provides NHS services you'll be asked to show how you think the NHS values apply in your everyday work. The same will be true if you're applying for a university course funded by the NHS.

Find out more about NHS values.

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