Psychology is quite a fascinating area of work and research. There are many different areas of psychology from clinical psychology and child psychology to forensic psychology and education psychology – and more!
Here, we zone in on psychology as a whole and the career of a clinical psychologist.
Take a look if you want to add to your education and develop your career.
What is psychology?
Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behaviour. It looks at the mental or behavioural characteristics of an individual or group. It involves many sub fields including human development, social behaviour, sport, health, clinical and cognitive behaviour.
What do psychologists do?
The day to day duties of a psychologist may differ depending on individual cases or study. There are many different types of psychologists from child psychologists and clinical psychologists Typically, psychologists will work around 40 hours a week and sometimes those hours can be flexible. We’ll take an example of a clinical psychologist to look at now.
General duties may include:
- Work with those with depression, anxiety, addiction, behavioural issues, neurological disorders
- Assess client’s behaviour
- Observe clients and their behaviour
- Carry out interviews and psychometric tests
- Develop treatment therapies
- Monitor treatments and strategies and their effect/results
- Write and record documents and records about clients
- Listen to clients and support them
- Liaise with other professionals within healthcare
- Suggest different ways and methods for clients to cope
- Help make positive changes in client lives
- Write legal reports where requested
There are many courses to choose from in this area across the UK. Some courses offer the option of studying both part-time or full time. Some courses may have restrictions or changes due to Covid-19. More detail on courses can be found on university websites or course overviews. Examples of courses include:
Students who take a postgraduate course in psychology will give students the foundation they’ll need in this area as well as developing further the relevant skills and expertise. Other skills focused on are academic writing, career management and presentation skills as well as delving into the world of psychology and developing you career prospects.
Courses in Health Psychology will prepare students for Stage 2 training to become a chartered health psychologist. These courses will cover areas such as context and perspectives in health psychology, research methods and ethical and legal and professional practice issues. These courses are often the first stage of two stage training developed by the British Psychological Society and will help you on your way to becoming a chartered health psychologist.
Psychology Conversion postgraduate courses will help students to develop their critical thinking and research skills to help them in their career. These courses will cover all material needed in order to be eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership. You will apply a lot of psychological research to your work and present findings to fellow students.
There are also courses available in different areas of psychology such as Cognitive Psychology Neuropsychology, Applied Psychology in Fashion, Applied Behavior Analysis, Development Psychology, Forensic Psychology,
Entry requirements may change from course to course and University to University so it is important to research your specific course to be sure you meet the criteria. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a relevant discipline is required. Some courses will look for a 2.1 degree while a 2.2 may suffice in others. More detailed course outlines can be found on University websites and course overviews.
Typical employers of psychologists include:
- Psychiatric hospitals
- Mental health services
- Health centres
- Social services
- School, colleges and Universities
The salary of a psychologist can depend on your employment and the exact route your take. As a clinical psychology, you can earn between £44,500 and £60,900 with experience. In the position of a psychologist at consultant level, it is possible to earn between £61,000 – £86,000. Positions higher than these will have a higher salary. The average salary of a clinical psychologist in the UK is around £34,200. If you decide to go down the education route and become a lecturer in university, you may earn £43,200 – £58,089 and more at senior level. All figures are based on estimates and are provided as a guide.
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements needed in this area include:
- Good research skills
- The ability to listen to others
- An interest is how people think and behave
- Critical thinker
- Ability to work with others
- Excellent communication skills
- Strong research skills
- Empathetic person
- Non judgemental person
- Sensitive questioning skills
- Able to cope in emotionally demanding situations
- Knowledge and understanding of psychological theory and practice