Do any of you have a psychology degree?

(50 Posts)
Rachtoteach Fri 02-Aug-13 10:07:20

I am seriously considering signing up to the OU to do a psychology degree over the next 4-5 years.

Do you have one and what can you use it for once you have it?!

Sorry if I'm being U in posting here, wasn't sure where else!

ruledbyheart Fri 02-Aug-13 10:09:24

I'm watching with interest as just signed myself up for the same.

I really want to do that as well, I started a psychology A level, but never finished it despite enjoying it. Still have my old text books.

coronalover Fri 02-Aug-13 10:18:32

I have a Psychology BA and MA and havem't specifically used my qualifications for work. A degree doesn't qualify you for anything in particular but you could then follow up with a specific training course afterwards (eg teacher training, counselling). I loved studying for it's own sake though and didn't particularly want to work in the field.

What are you hoping to do afterwards?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DaPrincessBride Fri 02-Aug-13 10:28:24

I have one...it's a bit of an 'all encompassing' degree, in that it involves statistical analysis, literature review, and a lot of written discussion etc. In my experience, I've found that employers seem to like this as it does give you a wide range of easily transferable skills. And of course, if you really enjoy a certain area you can go into that area - but be warned, getting further into certain areas e.g. forensic psych is VERY competitive and often involves unpaid internships etc.

Also - I am sure you know this - it can be very labour - intensive. It is heavily science based , there is a lot of mathematics and statistical analysis involved, as well as a lot of research and literature. V heavy on the essay writing too...basically it is a full on degree!

Having said all that, it is fascinating and rewarding and you have many different paths to take within psychology if you choose, or take those (diverse!) Skills to other jobs.

CustardOmlet Fri 02-Aug-13 10:32:34

If you want to go on to have a psychology based job, you will have to do a masters and doctorate after. There are far to many psychology graduates for the number of jobs. If I were you I'd save my money or study something like mental health nursing where you can get a job and use psychology.

colourmehappytheresasofainhere Fri 02-Aug-13 10:33:36

I am finishing a professional psychology doctorate and I've found it difficult, rewarding and very interesting. I went the confusion route so spent ten years in higher ed!!! I'm skint and quite old. Think about what not really want to do with it and focus on that.

colourmehappytheresasofainhere Fri 02-Aug-13 10:34:30

Er conversion not confusion route... Although quite apt really!!

tedmundo Fri 02-Aug-13 10:36:10

I have a Pyschology Bsc and Sociology BSc. Did not use either of them in my career (although the statistics studied has always helped me in reports and project management) but I really, really enjoyed studying these subjects.

A lot of my friends did more vocational degrees (law, med) and their career path was more focused. I liked that the world was my oyster after reading Psychology. I went into IT and project management.

Enjoy your degree! It will be wonderful to study again. I have my eye on a history degree when the DCs are older.

xylem8 Fri 02-Aug-13 10:36:21

this is aibu there is a board dedicated to higher education :-)

colourmehappytheresasofainhere Fri 02-Aug-13 10:37:40

that's what everyone told me custard

Cherriesarelovely Fri 02-Aug-13 10:38:44

I do. I am a primary school teacher. I'm not sure that I use my degree that much in my work and I didn't particularly enjoy the degree course. Retrospectively I would have been much more suited to a social psychology degree but for some reason I decided a Bsc would have more kudos. I don't think it would have made any difference kudos wise and should have chosen the degree that interested me the most!

takeachillpill Fri 02-Aug-13 10:56:09

I did a Psychology BSc at UCL. I really enjoyed it and did consider continuing in the field, but then I got pg shortly after I graduated and all my plans got waylaid! Have been a sahm now for 9 years but I'm sure I use some of the skills I learned in every day life!

ShabbyButNotChic Fri 02-Aug-13 11:06:43

I do smile it has zero relevance to my job now but some parts do come in useful, eg cognitive development/learned behaviour etc. it also gives you a lot of transferable skills as it is very maths/statistics based, using spss software.

A lot of people think its a wishy washy course but it is very academic as it is a lot of maths and biology. It is interesting when you get to picking your modules though. I focused on crime/forensics/profiling watch too much csi and my lecturer was a profiler for the police so had some great stories.

Im glad i did it but it was a lot harder than i expected, massive jump from A level.

deepfriedsage Fri 02-Aug-13 11:23:05

I don't think uabu to study psychology.

FruitOwl Fri 02-Aug-13 11:27:50

I have a BSc. I would echo what others have said, on its own it doesn't qualify you for much and I didn't fancy studying any more at the time I graduated.

However I do feel that it gave me a lot of transferable skills, and was a really interesting course which I enjoyed. I know that being a graduate has given me an edge when applying for jobs. I currently work with a team of social workers to find foster care placements for children, and it has definitely been useful to have background knowledge about child development, attachment, neglect etc.

Good luck with the course if you decide to go for it!

I studied Psychology with the OU. Found it to be really interesting course.

However, there are so many psychology graduates and if you want to actually work in his field you would have to go on and study more. Also as I studied with the OU I missed out on practice placements. You could gain some experience by volunteering with a Mental Health Charity?

If you are going to study for personal development then I would say go for it. If it's for a career then I would say do something else.

As for me, I've gone on to study something else. The psychology is relevant but not necessary.

BridgetBidet Fri 02-Aug-13 12:08:33

My husband does but never used it in his career. He is a builder now.

Possibly because he got half way through and decided it was all bullshit designed to pigeon hole individuals into convenient little boxes.

FondantNancy Fri 02-Aug-13 13:28:11

I have one, it's all but useless (in my experience) unless you do further study.

Bridget why did your DH keep studying it if was all bullshit?

Secretswitch Fri 02-Aug-13 13:31:20

I have an MA in pyschology. It was useful when I was a social worker.

Figgygal Fri 02-Aug-13 13:35:08

I do I dont directly use it in my career in HR but went into HR from the occupational elements of psychology so would never regret having studied it

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 02-Aug-13 13:35:25

I do. I have a Bsc in Applied Psychology and it has been useful in my career (Human Resources). I find the whole subject fascinating and even now 14 years later reflect on some of the developmental psychology I studied when thinking about why DD does what she does smile

amessagetoyouYoni Fri 02-Aug-13 13:35:58

Ino, but I have three good friends who did them.

One went on to do Masters and Doctorate and is a Clinical Psychologist with the NHS. Fiercely competitive to get in to. She had a First from Oxford, thiugh, which might have helped!

One went on and did a Masters, but couldnt get on to a clinical psych doctorate. She got a job as a mental health support worker and five years on manages a private practice for child psychs. A mangerial / administrative role, so not what she had originally aimed for, but she loves her job.

One stopped at a psych degree and then trained as a teacher and now works as a secondary school social sciences teacher.

Buddhagirl Fri 02-Aug-13 15:57:58

I do, if I had my time again I would do mh nursing all the way. It's a core profession and you can do a lot more with it.

Sidge Fri 02-Aug-13 16:02:21

I have a Bsc(Hons) in Psychology and Social Biology, but graduated donkey's years ago and don't really use my degree directly.

I did find it useful in that the elements such as analysis, statistics and research methodology come in handy for other things.

thatstripedthing Fri 02-Aug-13 16:18:17

i do and, even after an msc and phd, there is no career path or money tree. also, i think that if you are looking for an accredited course with the british psychological society (bps) the ou lost their accreditation and so you wouldn't be able to transfer the credits to anything that requires their accreditation. if you want to study it, it will have to be out of interest rather than for a career.

Speedfreeeeeeeek Fri 02-Aug-13 16:28:06

I am currently studying for the BPS Accredited Psychology Degree (so what thatstripedthing said is wrong) and it got me a job today! It's not a Psychology job, but the act of actually dedicating my own time to studying something that interests me and enthuses me was what got me the job. And it's a job I wanted with better pay, better hours and better prospects. What's not to like?!

DialsMavis Fri 02-Aug-13 17:35:11

I have BPS accredited Psychology degree and I loved studying but am currently working in a pub for minimum wage! I can't afford to do a masters or doctorate or to do temping or volunteering (because of childcare bills) which seems to be the way in to other loosely related jobs.

weebarra Fri 02-Aug-13 17:43:07

I've got an MA in Philosophy & Psychology and work in a related area to psychology, or at least a field where the degree comes in handy.
I didn't want to become a psychologist after my degree though.

BoraBora Fri 02-Aug-13 17:47:03

I do. I'm a clinical psychologist.

iamadoozermum Fri 02-Aug-13 19:06:49

I studied psychology from undergraduate to PhD level and am a psychology lecturer and Chartered Psychologist so I have used my psychology degree extensively. I love psychology but being a professional psychologist takes a lot of time and study. Have you looked at the careers pages on the British Psychological Society website?

It is very transferable but hard work, people particularly seem to find the research methods bits the hardest. I'm currently studying SD226 which is Biological Psychology with the OU and I'm finding it hard going (mainly because some of their assignments aren't very well written in mine and my fellow students' opinion).

Studying with the OU is very flexible but can be isolating. It's fine for me as I'm happy enough to work on my own but if you prefer to discuss the materials more with others then it's not so good. There are some good forums and Facebook pages though and you will probably get some face to face tutorials in your first year modules, but these are shrinking in number.

There are other universities doing distance learning now - Derby have an accredited degree as well and some other places are starting to set them up. Where are you based?

pigletmania Fri 02-Aug-13 19:14:23

I have an BA hons in psychology/sociology and Msc Health psychology. Becoming a cratered psychologist is a long and expensive process. To become a chartered Health psychologist I have to do a phd in health psychology, and that is 4 years. It can be applied to,a lot of professions, especially in the health and social care field, and in the world f business, psychometric testing, ergonomics

YouTheCat Fri 02-Aug-13 19:15:22

I have a Bsc in Psychology. Never ever used my degree and tbh was really not the degree for someone as sceptical as me.

I should have stuck to history.

grobagsforever Fri 02-Aug-13 19:18:00

I do. I'm an.occupational psychologist. Feel free to pm me.

pigletmania Fri 02-Aug-13 19:18:16

Chartered doh

slug Fri 02-Aug-13 19:38:37

My first degree is Psychology. While not directly useful, it was helpful when I started working in learning support. I subsequently taught maths, the stars background was judged sufficient when I trained for my PGCE.

Frootloopz Fri 02-Aug-13 22:52:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maddening Fri 02-Aug-13 23:20:06

Not me but 2 of my flatnates at uni got 1sts in psychology - one went on to do masters in speech therapy and is a speech therapist. Another went on to do a masters in forensic psychology and then the 3 yr clinical psychology and is a dr of psychology.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 02-Aug-13 23:31:26

I have a BSc and went on to do a couple of research jobs in health related fields and was going to do a PhD but got pregnant.

I've now been out of the field for loads of years doing other stuff but attempting to get back in. I'm currently applying for a couple of jobs and whereas when I was younger I got both the ones I went for, I'm not optimistic about getting short listed , but will see. Wish with hindsight I had gone the Mental Health Nursing route

FaintlyHopeful Sat 03-Aug-13 00:08:07

I graduated last year with an MA in psychology. I went back when my dd's were 3 & 6; being older and a parent was a huge advantage as it gave context to a lot of the theory.

I loved every minute of it and am surprised that anyone would dismiss the subject as 'putting people in boxes'. In fact, we were constantly having to interrogate and critically assess evidence and such simplistic thinking would have been derided. Also, social psychology comprises only a tiny part of the syllabus.

In spite of being constantly told that there were no jobs in psychology I now have a job in that I love in the field (did take 6 months to find tho). Do it, you won't regret it!

VenusSurprising Sat 03-Aug-13 00:36:10

I don't know if you'd be making the right choice to study it if you're looking to leverage that into a job, as I think you'd need further study.

I studied psychology with my hons BSc degree. It was a part of the final degree mark.
I used it a bit in my MSc, and since then I've gone on to study women's psychology, and have trained as a counsellor, and as a facilitator, but I don't work as one now.

It's fascinating, but like everything else as a mature student, you need to keep your eye on where it will lead you career wise, not just personally.

Btw any science degree would facilitate critical thinking, maths, stats and a lot of essays too. If you're loving psychology, by all means do it, but be aware that there would be further study if you wanted to go into private practice as a psychotherapist for eg.

Good luck!

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 03-Aug-13 00:51:46

I don't have a degree in psychology. It's what I wanted to do when I was leaving school, but my family couldn't fund a non-vocational degree and talked me out of it.sad

I entered 3rd level education in my 30s and now have a degree in Counselling. Am interning atm, but hope to go back a do that Psychology degree when I can afford it.smile

OPI think you should ask yourself what you want to achieve from your psychology degree and if the time, money and effort will be worth it.

Good luck.

TaytoCrisp Sat 03-Aug-13 01:12:10

I love the ou! It allowed me change my career. I did a bsc in psychology with the ou while I was working full time. Then I went back to college and funded myself to undertake a masters in psychology for a year. Then i was fortunate to get funding to undertake a phd (psychology). Since then I have worked in research.

I really enjoyed studying psychology with the ou; but if you want to work in clinical or academic psychology you will need to do a postgraduate degree; and volunteering will be important if you are interested in clinical psychology.

Oh, just to mention - statistics is an important part of most psychology degrees!

Go for it!

OutragedFromLeeds Sat 03-Aug-13 01:42:50

I have a degree in psychology and currently work as a nanny. Not directly related or even necessary, but I definitely think it separates me from other applicants/makes me more appealing and in that sense has helped me in my career so far. I completely love my job.

It's not really a degree to go into for a specific career at the end like mental health nursing, but is a good all rounder. I think if you look at stats for 'number of graduates in employment X no. of years after their degree', psychology has one of the highest rates.

My uni psychology department produced a pie chart showing the destination of it's leavers. I think teaching and publishing where the main areas?! Maybe the OU has something similar?

Wuldric Sat 03-Aug-13 02:03:02

Can I ask why you would like to do a psychology degree via the OU?

The people I know with psychology degrees have almost always turned to fields where either (a) a degree is not a pre-requisite or (b) any degree would do or (c) had to do substantial post-graduate work,

If you are doing it to pass the time then of course none of the above applies.

Rachtoteach Sat 03-Aug-13 18:34:00

Wow, thanks for all the responses! All the different views are really helpful.

Well, I've done it - I've signed up and I'm ecstatic! Yes, it is mostly for my own personal challenge/development as I have been a SAHM for the last 8 years and youngest is only 10 months so will continue to do so for the foreseeable. I was a lawyer before I had DCs (studied in my early 20s for 6 years via distance learning so am used to the OU type of learning). Enjoyed my law career for 10+ years but didn't and don't want to go back to it.

I don't have a specific end career in mind but a hoping that when I'm ready to go back to work in 4-5 years my law and psych quals may at least open some doors, whatever they may be! To be honest, I was feeling like I was going through a bit of an identity crisis, and definitely that I needed something to get my teeth stuck into, didn't want to stop being a SAHM so am hoping this will prove to be what I've been looking for. I've been thinking of doing it for soooo many years and am glad I've finally taken the plunge!

Thanks again for all your replies smile

jellybeans Mon 05-Aug-13 01:22:45

The OU is great. I started with psychology but I too (like another poster) was too sceptical about it all. I was really put off the subject. Maybe I just wasn't 'right' for it although I got very good grades. OU itself is great (I too am a happy long term SAHM but needed something for my own confidence and for possible future career options) and you can always switch to a different degree pathway like I did if you find it isn't for you.

littlewhitebag Mon 05-Aug-13 02:50:25

Haven't read all this thread but I did a psychology degree with the ou. It was fantastic and I used it to get me into doing a social work diploma. Go for it.

Peacocklady Mon 05-Aug-13 08:06:12

I did and have done research assistant work in clinical and other settings which was good, and it set me up to go onto clinical or educational but the part I liked most was working with children so I went into teaching. Mainstream wasn't right for me, so I went into sn teaching and have recently worked with nurses, psychs, drs and therapists in a children's mh unit; my next job starting in sep is as a teacher of the deaf. I also start my mandatory training for that in sep, back in the school of psych sciences at the uni where I did my original degree 20 years ago!
It's a good basis for many things but not much use on its own. With a law degree, occ psych might be good for you.
Hope you enjoy it!

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