Psychology as a study of the human mind and behaviour can lead you to qualify as a psychologist in any of the chosen fields:
How to qualify
Each of the routes may have slight differences in qualification route, however, as a rule of thumb you will be required to complete a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited bachelor’s degree, which will allow you to get Graduate Basis for Charted Membership (GBC), followed by masters and/or a PhD. To find out more about specific qualification routes for each of the fields click here.
Legislations protect psychology titles and it is a legal offence to call yourself a psychologist and practice psychology in these fields without being on the health and care professional council (HCPC) register.
The careers team and tutors in the School of Psychology can help you navigate the information and help you find the right path to qualifying as a psychologist in your chosen field.
As part of any degree, including psychology, work experience and involvement in extra-curricular activities, such as Students’ Union societies and clubs is strongly encouraged. It will give you a portfolio of experiences you will be able to use in the future as evidence of your skill development.
You BPS accredited psychology degree will give you the necessary academic foundation and theoretical exposure to prepare you for working in any given field in psychology. However, it is a good idea to consider applying some of the skills you learn in your lectures and seminars out in the professional world. The most common experience psychology students can find is through volunteering. The goal is to have a portfolio of work that will evidence your awareness, skill and maturity of working with people who need support. Places/roles often considered by pscyhology students include:
If you would like to apply for some roles but do not know where to start, have a look at our current employability workshops and events and Horizons resources on CV writing. You can also book a 1-2-1 consultation with the careers team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Counselling psychologist vs counsellor
Both professions are viable career options for a graduate of psychology, however, it is important to understand that they are different from each other. Although they sound almost identical, being a counselling psychologist and being a counsellor requires different training and leads to different work. The former typically follows a training route highlighted in “How to qualify” and requires a PhD. On the other hand, to practice as a counsellor the minimum training entails diploma level qualification and supervised training hours, although many counsellors do have UG and PG degrees.
Both professions focus on providing therapeutic services to those in need of help in various aspects of life, such as mental health, bereavement, traumas, relationships etc. However, counselling psychologists are also often involved in academic work and research. They are also qualified to provide a more in-depth support for those with complex needs, when a counsellor may need to refer their client on to someone else in those complex situations.
I love psychology but I do not want to be a psychologist
If that is the case, do not worry. For many graduate roles, employers put emphasis on the attitude and skills that graduates have, as opposed the specific discipline they studied. A psychology degree will have provided you with opportunities to master desirable transferrable skills such as:
- Attention to detail
- Time management
- Critical thinking
- Computer literacy
- Problem solving
- Decision making
- Data analysis
This means that your experiences during your psychology degree will be highly applicable to careers beyond psychology in business disciplines such as HR, marketing and more. Information on the BPS and Prospects websites will give you broader idea of roles that you may not have thought about.
Get in touch with the careers team to book a 1-2-1 consultation to explore your options.
For previous "Careers in..." event please have a look here. If you would like to book onto current workshops please go to our events booking page.