Psychology conversion masters

(30 Posts)
Christmascookiesmmmm Sun 12-Jan-20 19:53:19

Hi! Perhaps it’s my yearly january career crisis?! But thinking of doing a conversion course in psychology, I currently work as a music teacher and love it but have always been interested in psychology, did A level, then 2 psych modules at uni including research based one and my final major dissertation was very psychology based as it was about autism and music, so I read a lot of psychology articles! Also did maths a level with statistics module although I can’t remember anything about that! I was thinking of then applying for clinical psychology doctorate at Newcastle (I know extremely competitive!!). I just bought a house in Newcastle so I’m pretty tied to the area, so was looking into Northumbria uni for the course. Was thinking it looked really good , BPS credited, can do it part time with just one lectured day per week while still working, and obviously very handy geographically for me but then reading some places it keeps getting put down! Im not really bothered about the prestige as long as the course is well taught and it won’t put me at a disadvantage when applying for doctorates. (Also read somewhere that for conversion courses it doesn’t matter too much about reputation? But obviously it matters that the course is well organised and well taught!) My first degree was a 1st from Durham in music.
If anyone has done this course I’d be really grateful for any advice, or if anyone has any useful info about Northumbria.
I also really want to get some books to start reading to check I’m actually interested before paying ££££s course fees :’( so if anyone has recommendations/ reading lists I’d be super grateful!! Thanks in advance!!

OP’s posts: |
Neolara Sun 12-Jan-20 19:56:29

What career do you want in the long run?

Christmascookiesmmmm Sun 12-Jan-20 20:16:38

I was thinking a clinical psychologist, again think I need to narrow down by doing more reading to find where I’d be most suited. I don’t really want to be a self employed therapist as I currently do a lot of evening and weekend work on self employed basis, having clients come into my home, and I don’t think this will be sustainable when I start a family!

OP’s posts: |
Christmascookiesmmmm Sun 12-Jan-20 20:25:14

Also I’d love to work with children, as that’s what I currently do! So maybe a schools psychologist or something..

OP’s posts: |
user765 Tue 14-Jan-20 05:35:02

Can you do a doctorate in clinical psych if your first degree is not psychology?

My first degree is English and I am currently doing a masters in psychology of education ( been a teacher / lecturer for 12 years). This is essentially a conversion course and I got on to it because I have experience in the field as a teacher in education (plus A level psychology, but not sure if that was a factor). I would love to do a doctorate in clinical psych but am under the impression (after looking around) that I would be limited to educational psychology. How do you know you can go into clinical after? Thanks

user765 Tue 14-Jan-20 05:36:47

Also, school counsellor is different - you just need a diploma but that does make you a qualified psychologist, just a therapist. The salary is lower than the teaching pay scale. X

nakedavengeragain Tue 14-Jan-20 07:11:33

I have a psychology degree as my first degree and wanted to do the DClinPsych. Really do your research:
-Psychology is really really difficult. Much harder than my subsequent law qualifications. Lots of stats which I wasn't prepared for
- the DClinPsy is very very competitive and you need at least 2 years full time experience with your clinical group to apply. That was my downfall. I couldn't get a research or assistant psychologist post and was rejected from 5 care assistant roles in psychiatric hospitals. After 3 years of trying I gave up. Becoming a lawyer was much easier

I have a friend who did her conversion then the DCPsych but she managed it as her father had connections with the head of a key psychiatric unit so she got her experience and then a job with them. Her was degree was a 1st class degree from Oxford which certainly helped.

It's not impossible but it's hellishly hard.


user765 Tue 14-Jan-20 18:11:42

Totally agree with that. I have a first from York and have lectured in criminology and psychology but studying psychology at postgraduate level is a whole other ball game. Critical evaluations of cognitive neuroscience 🤯 and SPSS!! It’s also hard as a ‘mature’ student!

But on saying that, that doesn’t make it impossible and you never know unless you try. You can surprise yourself. I thought I’d be rubbish at stats and better at the other stuff, but turns out it’s the other way around. It’s hard work but if you’ve got a first from Durham you are clearly capable. X

Equimum Tue 14-Jan-20 20:02:05

I’m also looking at doing a psychology conversion, but probably via a distance learning route. I’d I’d a counselling certificate and would ultimately like to be a counselling psychologist, but feel it may be a bit too much as a mature student. None-the-less, I am still thinking about it as my little one starts school this year, but I cannot do the counselling diploma just yet.

It’s interesting about the stats. I have a ?a research MSc in another disco,I’ve already, so wonder whether this would cause an issue or not For me. I have used SPSS, but admit, it was not my favourite thing!

Have you thought about what you might start reading OP? I’m just starting to think of a reading list myself. Would be good to share ideas.

Numbersarefun Wed 22-Jan-20 22:47:03

I’m wanting to do this course as well. Like you I am trying to find some introductory reading. I googled psychology undergraduate reading lists and found some that way. Currently halfway through a GCSE textbook!!
I have never studied psychology before, but am very interested in children and how they learn and how to get round barriers. Hopefully having got the MSc, I would then like to go on and do a doctorate in educational psychology, before becoming an educational psychologist.
I’d like to do the MSc in a year so I’m choosing between Anglia Ruskin or Essex.

BubblesBuddy Thu 23-Jan-20 00:37:50

All the Educational Psychologists I worked with were former teachers who were sponsored to train to become Ed Psychs. They didn’t just have the qualifications, they had the teaching experience too. That’s vital in my view for meaningful employment. How can you advise teachers if you have t taught? They are ridiculously difficult jobs to get unless you have the right background.

Most psychology students never become psychologists . They don’t get the placements or training opportunities. Thousands of undergrads start out wanting this career but very few are successful.

It always matters where a degree is from. What track record do these universities have in getting students into this work? Not grad employment stats. Actual psychologist work? I bet it’s low.

housinghelp101 Thu 23-Jan-20 06:38:51

From what I know even if you did get accepted for the doctorate, the clinical placements can be all over the UK, it's not as simple as heading to your nearest hospital.

user765 Thu 23-Jan-20 15:06:58

I’ve been teaching for 15 years now, so that’s how I was accepted onto the course. Most people on the course aren’t teachers but some are. You need to graduate with a merit to get BPS status.

Don’t let people put you off. I put it off for years. You never know unless you apply and have a go. X

BubblesBuddy Fri 24-Jan-20 21:40:17

Is the OP a teacher? “Working with children” I thought was not a teacher. Therefore becoming an EP would be very difficult.

Numbersarefun Sun 26-Jan-20 22:43:16

I’m not the OP but did post up thread. Is it really difficult/impossible to do an educational psychology doctorate with the MSc conversion course? From my research, it won’t be difficult to get a place on the MSc - universities want the money! But I would have to do this 1st and then apply for the doctorate. Think I’ll get in touch with our local uni and ask them. Luckily I do have over 20 years experience as a teacher and have done other work with children.

BubblesBuddy Mon 27-Jan-20 08:41:02

I would then think about how you get work. Do you want to work for an LA or be a private EP? I used to work with EPs and they were all former teachers who were sponsored to do the course and then work for the LA. However times have changed. If you do the expensive and lengthy training, you do want to make sure you get a job afterwards. I would ask about recruitment into the providers of these services. Hope it works out because I know EPs are a great asset to children.

Burnshersmurfs Wed 29-Jan-20 07:11:50

I'm in the process of applying for the ed psych course- just finished my conversion masters. Be prepared for a long and fairly gruelling ride, if you are aiming for any funded professional psych course. You will need to excel, and ensure your application sets you apart from the crowd. For example, ed psych is extremely competitive, with around 400 applicants for (around) 15 places at each uni- I think clin psych even more so and counselling psych (at doctorate level) is not funded and involved large expense as you have to undergo counselling as part of the process. There are a lot of applicants with extensive teaching experience who don't make it on to the course despite trying for several years- increasingly, work as an assistant EP is looked on favourably in applications. I'm not trying to piss on your chips, OP- honestly- as I've made the decision myself to go for it, despite knowing how tough it is. But it is a good idea to be very aware what you are getting into, and to make sure you can commit to getting an excellent grade in your MSc and ensuring that you work really hard to get extensive evidence of the application of psych in a range of settings.

random9876 Sun 09-Feb-20 17:40:47

I am currently studying for an Msc in Occ Psych, after doing a MSc conversion in psychology. I love psychology, and considered clinical/counselling for a while, but plumped for this route in the end (I have more experience in the work realm).

I would echo what others say about doing your research. I don't think anyone going for DClinPsych can specify the course they aim for by location, unless they hold a clinically relevant PhD and a string of publications to their name- so just be wary. I have an oxbridge background, and have got straight high distinctions in both MScs - but there are still a number things I would fall down on for DCLinPsych, it really is that brutal!

Counselling psych is more doable but costs a lot and you still need to get counselling experience and in my view it makes no sense at all to pursue either route without working in this way. High quality volunteering is fine. (I have many friends on this route and considered in closely. Money helps a lot for this route).

Occ psych also doable but again, competetive (its a bit different as it is no way as formalised or consistent as other routes) and costs money. I can let you know how I get on job-wise post MSc smile

Having said all this, I love psychology, its soooo interesting. But its not an easy option

MoZHUOjojo Sun 05-Apr-20 04:51:19

Hi! Since you've finished your conversion course, would you mind sharing your learning experience? How tough the course is, what is beyond your expectation, what quality is needed for studying such a course?
I am thinking to apply for a psychology conversion programme but not sure if I am capable for it as I have read a lot of reviews indicate the course is extremely intense. Hope that I can get some objective prospectives from you! Thank you so much in advance!

wantmorenow Sat 09-May-20 16:57:25

Found this thread. Really interesting as you all seem so clued up. Starting online psychology MSc conversion course Monday (BPS) accredited. No idea where it may take me but reading this is fascinating. Going to take me 2 years as part-time. I have 20 years as a teacher in science, might be purely to teach it at A level.

LittleFoxKit Sat 23-May-20 15:22:13

You need to ensure the conversion is BPS accredited otherwise it wont allow you to continue onto professional doctorate.

As you said getting onto a professional doctorate is very very difficult! And often involves evidence of some related work/volunteering/experience to make you stand out.

You could also look into professional doctorate in educational psychologist as that potentially sounds more in line with your intentions if you would like to continue working with children! The bps has a great link on their website which has a breakdown of all the careers you can go into and what they entail if you do the different professional doctorates so I would definately have a look there!

LittleFoxKit Sat 23-May-20 15:23:57

Also worth remembering that it is now possible to get funding for PhD and equivalent education from Student finance, if there is not funding available.

hackneyzoo Sat 23-May-20 15:48:14

OP, I did the MSC AT Northumbria 4 years ago,feel free to ask if you have any questions, I am also based in Newcastle.

My first degree was English Lit and I taught for 15 years (secondary and
Specialist provision and as a SENCO) did the MSc part time while teaching 3 days a week. I then worked as an Assistant Ed Psych for two years and am now completing Year 2 on the Ed Psych doctorate at Newcastle.

For those asking up thread you don’t have to have been a teacher to get onthe Ed Psych course but you do need a psych degree or equiv conversion and relevant experience working with young people where you can demonstrate the application of psychology. On my course there are SALTs, youth workers, assistant psychologists, HCPs, pastoral workers etc, although about half were teachers.

Each EP Doctorate has slightly different entry criteria in terms of experience and what they are looking for, this tends to reflect the ethos of their course. It’s hugely competitive although funding has increased so there are more places nationwide, 200 per year I think. The AEP has up to date info about the application process. I was lucky that I got on the course first time, some of my cohort had applied 6 times before.

Friends I met on the course have gone on to do PHD in counselling and Clinical Doctorates, both volunteered with research whilst they did the MSc so they were co authors on published papers. The BPS website has lots of info about different psychology careers, courses and streams of funding.

wantmorenow Sat 23-May-20 20:11:40

Quick update. Completed the 2 week induction and their systems are very good and online resources excellent. Content starts next week. Excited.👍

Peachesandchocs Tue 16-Jun-20 18:01:34

Would any of you lovely ladies mind sharing your experience/expertise of the MSC in psychology (conversion) via distance learning?

I'm in the process of applying for a distance learning MSc in psychology.

(I know it is a long gruelling road ahead to - possibly - train as an educational psychologist, but I would love to do iy before it is too late. I plan to do the Msc now while youngest is at nursery, then gain classroom experience, and probably a PGCE, when youngest is at school before - maybe - applying for the doctorate)

If it doesn't work out, I'll hopefully have the PGCE and teaching as a career option (which I would still enjoy), plus an interesting couple of years having studied psychology.

I can get a student loan for the MSc but I have no idea which uni is better than any other for this.....

Thanks in advance to anyone who replies!

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