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Clinical psychology

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hey guys, you may remember I was looking into psychiatry a couple of months ago, along with mental health and psychology. Well I'm back for more advise as I'm now looking at possible degrees to consider.

I have been reading a lot about job profiles and the types of work I can do in the mental health industry and I think clinical psychology sounds right up my street. Only problem is I'm unsure which course would be best to start with and what steps I'd have to take after uni to train up to that level.

I am looking at either starting with an A level in psychology (I currently have no A levels but my GCSE's aren't too bad) or doing an access course to step up to a psychology course in University, though I'm unsure which course would be best suited, as there appears to be several options when it comes to psychology.

What I don't want to do is go into a course only to find out I'm choosing the wrong one for what I need. My local uni has course in psychology, psychology and counselling and psychology and criminology but I am unsure which would be the best to take - or whether it doesn't actually matter as they are all psychology based?

Also I am unsure what my steps would be after uni. Any help would be appreciated. I'm also not sure how old I would need to be if I wanted to go as a mature student. I am currently 23. I have been scanning over the net but a lot of the information seems conflicting and a little confusing.


  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Some useful information from prospects:http://www.prospects.ac.uk/p/types_of_job/clinical_psychologist_job_description.jsp

    Some useful information from the British Psychology Society:


    I think doing a psychology A level is a good start, if you could also do an A level in biology that would be helpful. Keep in mind that Psychology at degree level and higher does involve a significant element of maths and science, but you should be able to cope with that fine if you've got reasonable GCSEs in those subjects.

    It is also incredibly important to do a degree course that is recognised by the BPS in order for you to have graduate basis of registration after you graduate - basically, the degree should be "approved" by the British Psychological Society as this ensures that you have the appropriate knowledge foundation to be registered as a psychologist later on in your career. If the degree is not BPS recognised then you usually need to do some sort of conversion afterwards in order to go on with a career in Psychology, so it is worth checking. That sort of information is normally available on the uni prospectus.

    After you've done your degee you would need to do a further three years of postgraduate study to get a Doctorate in clinical psychology. These courses are incredibly competitive, so it would be really useful if you could start getting some experience of working with people with mental health issues asap - this could be anything from working with kids with learning difficulties, to volunteering in a nursing home specialising in something like dementia care, volunteering in a prison or a hospital...Psychology as a degree subject is becoming more and more popular, there are so many graduates out there now with a Psychology degree that you would really need to have had a lot of practical experience to make you stand out from the crowd.

    I hope this information helps, I completed a joint honours psychology degree a few years ago and was interested in it as a career, please post if there is anything else I could help with :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh and also I would just add that unless you think you would be particularly interested in counselling as a career, or are interested in forensic psychology, I would just go for straight Psychology. You will find in your first year of uni that they are usually quite flexible and so if you make the wrong choices or there are other modules/subjects that appeal to you, you are able to change.

    Also, what is classified as a mature student often depends on the university, and what is classified as a financially independent student may differ again from that - it is really worth checking this information out on the websites of the unis you are interested in.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thank you for such an involved response. I got A/A at Science double award and C in Maths so I think I could handle it. I have had a further look at the course and it is also recognised by the BPS.

    Regarding forensic/counselling to be honest at the moment I am not sure. I am interested in mental health as a whole so it probably would be better to begin with psychology - presumably I could go on to specialise post-graduate in the chosen field?

    The only problem with the A levels first (which I will be discussing with the University also) is the time constraints. As I am working full time taking on an A level would be ok but doing 2 A levels could be more time consuming.
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