Not sure whether to train as a Clinical or education psychology?

(19 Posts)
Emrae Sun 18-Oct-20 10:46:20

Hi there,

Any psychology people out there? This is long sorry!

Hoping there’s someone on here that can help. I’m almost 33, in my final year of my psychology degree and trying to make some sort of life plan for the next few years. Since I graduate next summer, I’d Ideally like to apply for doctorates in October 2021 which I think means I wouldn’t be starting until the following academic year 2022, although I’m not sure if that means a January or September start?

Basically I’m worried about being able to afford to do a doctorate. Clinical
psychology is funded at 26k a year (I think) which ain’t bad however, I don’t think I’d be able to apply for that by next year as I don’t have any clinical experience. On the other hand, I’m more eligible for education psychology given my experience but if I’m correct, it’s only funded £15-16k a year. I can’t work our on university websites whether you get paid more in your second or third year. Does anyone have experience with that? I live in London and there’s no way in hell I could live off that. Can you take on part work, maybe even after school nannying while you do an Ed psych doctorate or would it be too full on?
Another option would be to move out of London (my other half very excited about this prospect) to a cheaper city like Sheffield and try get into a doctorate there but still, £15k a year might still be a struggle. I get paid more than that now working part-time as an ABA tutor and nanny plus I get student finance on top of that. It would be a big pay cut and makes me wonder whether I should go down the clinical psych route as it’s better funded but would take me longer to get accepted.

I also really want to work with children and I’m wondering whether that means I should definitely go into education psychology, I’d rather work within in a children’s mental health/ young offenders type role than with special needs and maybe I’m wrong but it seems education psychology focuses on development disabilities more than mental health? Could anyone clarify this?

The thing is I think I’d have enough experience to apply for education psychology when I graduate next year but with clinical psychology I’d need to work as an assistant psychologist first (Which would also be a pay cut for me) and it would mean waiting at least another year before I’m even eligible to apply. Whereas I’d have a better chance of getting into education psychology almost straight away. I don’t really want to wait too much longer to start a doctorate as I’d like to start a family in maybe 3 years.

To clarify my experience, I have worked as a nanny for 7 years, an ABA tutor for 6 months and still work as that presently, I volunteered as a youth mentor for 18 months and I am now starting a volunteering role with Mindline crisis helpline, it’s not counselling as I’m not qualified but it’s a role where I’ll be actively listening and working under pressure.

Would appreciate any advice as I find information online do vague. Thanks 🙏🏼

To clarify my experience

OP’s posts: |
Emrae Mon 19-Oct-20 14:15:53

Just giving this a bump!

OP’s posts: |
Digestive28 Mon 19-Oct-20 14:20:07

Lots of people take a long time to get onto Clincal psychology training and every year there is rumour of removing funding. It is still funded but since they stopped nurses grants imagine it will be next. Don’t know if that influences your choice

Digestive28 Mon 19-Oct-20 14:21:09

There is also lots of forums for people applying for clincal psychology and the alternative handbook tells you about courses so that may help you think it through

Digestive28 Mon 19-Oct-20 14:22:33

If you want to work with young offenders maybe look at areas offering multisystemic therapy, it is a single qualification (as oppose to doctorate) but will give you a sense of if it is for you. They often pay you to train and will be in public sector

Emrae Tue 20-Oct-20 12:15:56

@Digestive28 ooh that sounds interesting, I’ll check that out. Thing is, I love learning and don’t mind if I’m in university forever. I know that some people are just dying to work when they leave university but not me, obviously I want to work but having a doctorate is a big dream of mine as I’m the first in my family to go beyond secondary school education and I just love learning new things, researching while I’m working in the field. The only problem is funding and need to be practical.

OP’s posts: |
parietal Tue 20-Oct-20 23:25:54

you seem to be thinking very short term about what you will do next year. what about some long term thinking - where do you really want to be in 10 years time? I believe there is more demand for Clin Psych than Ed Psych, and they involve different types of work & have different career progression options.

Emrae Wed 21-Oct-20 07:34:37

@parietal yes perhaps I am thinking too short term. In 10 years time I’d like to be working in a job that allows me to not only do assessments but give therapies and do research. I like when things are different everyday and want to continue learning. It’s very hard to know which psychology jos will lead to the career you want. I definitely want to work with young people/ children and mental health /brain injury interests me more than people born with a disability.

OP’s posts: |
Calmingvibrations Wed 21-Oct-20 08:29:52

Would you consider mental health nursing? Will be much quicker route to working with kids. Many nurses study therapeutic interventions e.g dip in CBT and deliver them. You can always do a doctorate part time in a specific research area you enjoy.

Have conversations with Ed psych’s as some I knew also delivered interventions - although work did seem quite assessment based. This was in a LA though.

Career progression for Clin Psych isn’t great and many people I know are leaving the NHS.

Isadora2007 Wed 21-Oct-20 08:35:00

You could do a masters in nursing. Then a doctorate at a later date and be a mental health nurse.

Flittingaboutagain Wed 21-Oct-20 08:42:08

I recommend ClinPsy Forum to see the pros and cons thought through already.

There are lots of opportunities in paeds or Camhs for clinical psychologists. Waiting a couple of years to apply until you get experience isn't just a tick box. Pick the right opportunities in that time, think broader than assistant roles, part time jobs together such as community voluntary sector work or leadership support roles and you will be joining the doctorate with a great foundation.

AugieMarch Wed 21-Oct-20 08:46:13

I work with a couple of Ed psychs in a school setting and they’re quite focussed on how teaching staff can make adjustments to support children with learning disabilities or other additional needs and less on delivering interventions themselves (they do run study skills sessions and offer individual support but but don’t deliver therapy as such). I think you need to think about why you want to do a doctorate and what you want your work life to look like when you finish (I’m assuming your grades are strong enough to be a good candidate for a doctorate). Which aspects of your studies have you found most interesting? What would you want to spend 3+ years researching for your doctorate? Start there and that will help guide your choice.

ScrapThatThen Wed 21-Oct-20 08:50:23

It's true there are psychology posts in CAMHS. However as it is cheaper to employ IAPT trained CBT therapists at band 6 there are fewer clin psych roles usually at the higher grades for those with experience.

JoJoSM2 Wed 21-Oct-20 08:56:54

Came across the thread by accident. Just wanted to say that 15k is absolutely fine for London. Even if that’s taxed, you’d get 1150 per month. You can definitely rent a room in outer London and allowing for higher travel costs, you’d still have 400-450 for everything else. That’s plenty to cover groceries, basic gym, phone and have a little spare. If you’re used to eating out a lot and travelling, then you’d need to either cut back or earn extra to cover the lifestyle.

Emrae Wed 21-Oct-20 15:16:32

@AugieMarch thank you! Yes my grades are strong, I’ve been getting firsts since 1st year and last year, I got 80-90% in all my assignments, the only thing that brings me down are exams, I’m not great at factual stuff, more of an essay girl. I think if I was to do a doctorate the things that interest me to research are stress, domestic violence, emotional social problems and eating disorders. Right now I’m doing my dissertation on Forest schools and the impact of outdoor play on resilience. Quite enjoying that and would love to continue researching things like that.

@JoJoSM2 because of my age and since I’m engaged, living in a room on the outskirts of London isn’t an option also transport is around £8 a day now for zone 3, living in zone 6 or7 would be even more. Plus I think we’d prefer to move to different, smaller city where we’d have room to save and better quality of life. We actually pay quite low rent now by London’s standards and still struggle to save.

OP’s posts: |
biscuitcat Fri 15-Jan-21 15:08:49

I don't know if this might be too late for you now, but also bear in mind the DEdPsych bursary isn't taxed, so it works out as almost as much money per month as clinical does - and as you're a student you get council tax discounts, etc.

From a very biased point of view, I think educational psychology is wonderful, honestly a complete dream job (despite some of the negatives like a lot of time writing reports), but I don't know very much about clinical so I can't compare very accurately.

EdPsy Fri 15-Jan-21 15:16:33

Waves at @biscuitcat

What did you decide @Emrae?

Belfastbird Fri 15-Jan-21 15:46:28

Agree with people saying think about longer term. I don't know about Ed psychology but the clin doc is VV competitive. I used to interview lots of psychology graduates for research positions who wanted to get onto it. It usually takes at least 2 or 3 attempts to get on & the answers that fly round the forms are v well known by those running the course.
Also agree the introduction of IAPT has reduced the number of positions available

Belfastbird Fri 15-Jan-21 15:46:54

Oops forums

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