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I want to do a psychology doctorate! Where do I start?

(6 Posts)
HopefulPsychologist Tue 23-Aug-11 13:18:47

I will finish my OU BSc next year - hopefully with a 1st, if not, then a 2:1.
Do I need to do an Msc before I can do a PhD if I get a 1st?
How do I go about applying for a PhD? Is it centralised or via each individual institution?
Do I need to have a specific idea for research or a general area of interest?
How does funding work?
What can i do to increase my chances of getting a place?
ANY advice wanted. I have been so busy getting my head down and studying, I have not been thinking too far ahead.
Forgive my naivete shock

Atwaroverscrabble Tue 23-Aug-11 23:31:28

Have a look at the ESRC website, they are one major funding body and often fund 3+1 which is the masters and doctorate.

Otherwise look at resrarch studentships offered by any particular university that you are interested in.

Competition is pretty high and tough so it is really worth thinking about what specifically you want to do as applications would need a research proposal which includes a literature review... And pick your topic well, it will be your life for he next 3-4 years plus!

I would suggest you have a good read through books like 'how to get a phd' and the 'unwritten rules' and really decide if this is what you want, and what do you want to do after?

I have about 7 months left on mine and it takes alot of determination and stamina but i love it. I did an MRes after my BSc....

Socy Wed 24-Aug-11 11:31:55

I would also recommend thinking hard about why you want to do this. I'm coming to the end of my funding, although not finished writing, and jobs in academia, at least in the social sciences, are very scarce. I don't think a PhD improves job prospects overall, although it is necessary for some careers.

Whilst I'm a bit down about all this now, I have, overall, enjoyed the experience and learnt a lot which will help in whatever job I get, even if I never finish the thesis.

HopefulPsychologist Wed 24-Aug-11 12:25:41

Thank you both. Interesting to hear from those actually doing it!

Exposing my lack of knowledge here, but my wanting to do a PhD is based on needing one to become a chartered clinical or health psychologist. I don't have any desire to be an academic, but a doctorate is (I believe) a requirement to be able to practise professionally.

If there are other routes, than I am welcome to invesitigate them. I have an appt with a careers advisor with the OU, but it isn't for a month or so.

Any info/views gratefully received.

Atwaroverscrabble Wed 24-Aug-11 16:43:59

If you want to become a clinical psychologist you will need to do that specific course, have a look at and

If you want to be a health psychologist again you need to follow a specific training path... Have a look at

A standard phd is pretty much for academic careers or a general desire to learn....

jancolls Sat 10-Sep-11 16:57:46

The OU do research [phd] work in psychology, try this link:

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