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MSc Psychology conversion course could it lead to a job?(22 Posts)
My dd, who has an English degree already, is considering taking an MSc Psychology course with a view of swapping the office job she does now for a career in psychology. She is considering doing the course full-time with the hope that, at the end of it, she would be employable in psychology immediately. Is this likely or would she have to undertake further studies etc? Employment, at the end of the course, is an important issue as we/she are not well off!
What does a job in Psychology mean? If she means a Clinical Psychologist she needs a doctorate.
I have an MSc in Psychology and work in education. It depends what she wants to do. As titchy said you need a doctorate for Clinical. You also, I believe now need a doctorate for educational psychology. There are many areas where you don't. Most psychology jobs are office jobs though, is she thinking of doing more hands on work? I still teach 2 hours a week, just to get out of my office and interact with people
Thanks titchy and dizzyfucker for the good advice that I will pass on to my dd. Going on to do a doctorate will have financial implications that she will have to consider. dizzyfucker, what are the areas of psychology that don't need a doctorate, just in case a MSc in psychology is as far as she can go?
Occupational doesn't need a doctorate - that's my field and it's really interesting. She will benefit hugely from having some experience at work in any other job before her MSc too.
I've juts completed one whilst working alongside it. It's full on, 4 modules per term all with assessments. Hundreds of people enrolled with lots dropping out due to burnout/not fully understanding what Psych is. Does DD feel confident with stats? It was a big part of mine. There was a strong feeling in the course that we were 'cash cows' for the uni as the competition for jobs in Psych is so fierce. I loved the course and am now working as a research assistant (had previous relevant work exp too), so it can be a gateway to good things. Currently applying for a PhD as well. I would say go for it, but be prepared for a hard slog, potential burn out. Would also recommend getting some paid or voluntary work experience in her field of interest (Ed, clinical), to enhance her CV and show commitment. At work so can't post much but happy to answer any more Qs later. Which uni? There is one in particular that it is known to stay away from-it's conversion course is crap.
Just to add she could do research assistant or assistant psych straight away but most people going for those jobs have a research masters too (I do). To become a clinical practitioner as others have said will need a doctorate.
dizzyfucker, what are the areas of psychology that don't need a doctorate
Occupational as Kuriusoranj mentioned. Also Education if she doesn't want to be an education psychologist as such, you can work for LEA's. There are careers in the NHS or social services. Criminal Psychology is another option but not an area I know much about, could possibly involve a lot of research. Not sure where her interests lie but for jobs like those it might be worth getting some hands on experience. Education, health care and social services for example can be intense areas for pyschologists.
Thank you Kuriusoranj, dizzyfucker and hhuckabees (I have pm'd you) for more excellent advice. Didn't realise there were so many areas for psychologists!
Pretty much any career in psychology requires post-graduate study.
An MSc conversion course will give your daughter graduate basis of chartered (GBC) membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS). This is not going to open any doors for her in psychology jobs, but is an entry requirement on any graduate training programme - it basically means that she will be at an equivalent level as a psychology graduate.
Occupational psychology does not require a doctorate, but it does require an additional MSc in Occ Psych followed by two years of supervised work.
Other areas like clinical, health, forensic, neuropsychology, sport, counselling, academic, all have their own requirements. They are generally an MSc or doctorate.
Huge numbers of psychology graduates are churned out each year. There are over 100 institutions offering psychology degrees and they tend to cram them in because demand is high. Most do not manage to pursue psychology careers.
Your daughter also needs to make sure that she understands what psychology is. Most departments do not specify any A level subjects, but psychology is a science, not a humanities subject or social science.
Check out the BPS website for careers advice:
and the QAA benchmarking statement to see how the subject is taught at university level:
Thanks for that detailed and very useful advice ThereIsNoSuchThingAs
Sorry, I realise that saying 'Your daughter also needs to make sure that she understands what psychology is' sounds rather patronising. It was not meant to be, but at university it is taught rather differently to how it is at most schools. And if your daughter has just done a degree in English then I guess that her experience of psychology is, at most, A level. There is a huge focus on the scientific methods and research skills and statistics. An awful lot of undergraduates get a big shock soon after they start a degree which they expected to be less maths and biology based.
Sorry for the delay in replying, ThereIsNoSuchThingAs RoadTax. Yes, you're right, after having gone down the arts side it is essential to get a grip on the statistics etc early on. Might be a good idea to use the summer for some catching up, before the course starts!
I don't know if you can really catch up on the stats. I wouldn't worry too too much. Stats can spin your head if you are trying to do them or figure them out without any data or meaningful information to work with. Also a lot of understanding involves understanding the software you use. I would think most courses will cover this in depth.
Once she starts though it helps to understand each step, even if it means going over it several times or going back a few steps. Once you understand the steps, stats are not too much of a problem.
I agree that scientific methods and research skills are vital. If she has an arts background she might find it really useful to read up the philosophy of science, research methods and terminology before she starts.
Thanks for that, dizzyfucker. I'll pass on your advice about the philosophy of science etc to her. Hopefully it will get her prepared for September....!
hhuckabees, I was just wondering which uni you were referring to whose conversion course is crap?? I'm looking at various conversion courses in Psychology this summer and I want to stay well clear of that one...
Yes, I'd be interested too Huckaby. Any way you can tell us? I'm looking at enrolling now and am really looking for some guidance.
This thread has been so helpful to me - I was planning to do a MSc conversion course in Psychology (moving from an engineering discipline.) It has given food for thought re: employability.
(Also, was going to apply to a Midlands based university - would like to know if It's the crap one.)
Another one here wanting to know the crap one please!
Yes, does it have an online equivalent too? How did you find out it was crap? And in what way is it not very good? Wondering if a year long course I have just completed is at this uni.
Hi, I'd be really interested as to your thoughts on the conversion courses for psychology. I am interested in part time or distance courses with the long term aim of becomimg an Ed. Psych. Where would you recommend please? Thanks
Message withdrawn at poster's request.