MSc Psychology -Does it matter if it's not BPS accredited? Watch

Fuzzpig
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My undergraduate course is BPS accredited.

If I do choose to be a chartered psychologist after postgraduate study, would accreditation at undergraduate level be enough?


I'm asking because in 2012 I'd have liked to have stayed on at Kent for a postgraduate degree, but the only accredited postgraduate programme they have is Forensic Psychology - I found that odd as the department is supposedly very good. Is it just something that doesn't matter as much?

Thanks
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Pheebs1201
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Maybe check on the BPS website?
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Einheri
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You really can't do much with a Psychology degree without a PhD anyway, but, yeah, accredition with the BPS is something to look for.
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babygirl110
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(Original post by aliluvschoc)
My undergraduate course is BPS accredited.

If I do choose to be a chartered psychologist after postgraduate study, would accreditation at undergraduate level be enough?


I'm asking because in 2012 I'd have liked to have stayed on at Kent for a postgraduate degree, but the only accredited postgraduate programme they have is Forensic Psychology - I found that odd as the department is supposedly very good. Is it just something that doesn't matter as much?

Thanks
As someone who has just done an MSc in Occupational Psychology and has also worked as an assistant psychologist, I'd say it matters very much if you are planning on becoming chartered. This spans out to all areas, I don't know about Sports Psychology though.
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Psych!
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It would entirely depend on where you're aiming to go.

If you want to eventually find yourself in Forensic Psychology, then the BPS accredited Forensic MSc courses are the major (only?) way to go.

Likewise for many of the other professional routes to chartered status (e.g., occupational). Some professional routes require doctorate level accredited degree (e.g., clinpsych). Others don't, and BPS accreditation is effectively irrelevant above UG, but other sorts of recognition are fairly important (e.g., research).
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~ Purple Rose ~
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It depends on what field you want to go into.
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yorkie_in_kent
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(Original post by aliluvschoc)
My undergraduate course is BPS accredited.

If I do choose to be a chartered psychologist after postgraduate study, would accreditation at undergraduate level be enough?


I'm asking because in 2012 I'd have liked to have stayed on at Kent for a postgraduate degree, but the only accredited postgraduate programme they have is Forensic Psychology - I found that odd as the department is supposedly very good. Is it just something that doesn't matter as much?

Thanks
Hey... I don't think accreditation at undergrad level means much as I cant think of any chartered psychologist positions that do not require postgrad. I think every psychologist position that is chartered by BPS will require BPS accreditation at every level - BSc, MSc or phD.

I am surprised that UKC does not offer that with its MSc's though!?
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GodspeedGehenna
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Are you referring to non-vocational MSc programmes? Unless you study a postgrad that confers chartership status (e.g. vocational postgrads in Forensic, Clinical etc etc) then it's not like you can use it to practice anyway.

A pure MSc Psychology wouldn't really allow you to do anything in terms of professional psychology. It would just be more of an academic degree.
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Fuzzpig
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(Original post by mattyjonesuk)
Hey... I don't think accreditation at undergrad level means much as I cant think of any chartered psychologist positions that do not require postgrad. I think every psychologist position that is chartered by BPS will require BPS accreditation at every level - BSc, MSc or phD.

I am surprised that UKC does not offer that with its MSc's though!?
Yes I was really surprised. I checked through the BPS website and on their own courses on the Kent uni website, other than their undergraduate courses they only have the accreditation for the Forensic Psychology masters course.

I had thought it was the case that you'd need accreditation at every level, it was just the absence of such at a decent department like Kent that made me wonder.

(Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
Are you referring to non-vocational MSc programmes? Unless you study a postgrad that confers chartership status (e.g. vocational postgrads in Forensic, Clinical etc etc) then it's not like you can use it to practice anyway.

A pure MSc Psychology wouldn't really allow you to do anything in terms of professional psychology. It would just be more of an academic degree.
It would hopefully be a more vocational course. I'm not interested in studying pure Psychology at MSc level because I'd still be studying areas of less interest to me. Plus as you say, it wouldn't get me in a much better position for a job.

(Original post by Psych!)
It would entirely depend on where you're aiming to go.

If you want to eventually find yourself in Forensic Psychology, then the BPS accredited Forensic MSc courses are the major (only?) way to go.

Likewise for many of the other professional routes to chartered status (e.g., occupational). Some professional routes require doctorate level accredited degree (e.g., clinpsych). Others don't, and BPS accreditation is effectively irrelevant above UG, but other sorts of recognition are fairly important (e.g., research).
So for academic careers the BPS accreditation doesn't matter. I suppose Kent's department would rather focus on students going into an academic career which is a shame. And that's not really what I want to be doing either. :sigh:




Thanks everyone, that certainly narrows down choices...
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GodspeedGehenna
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(Original post by aliluvschoc)
It would hopefully be a more vocational course. I'm not interested in studying pure Psychology at MSc level because I'd still be studying areas of less interest to me. Plus as you say, it wouldn't get me in a much better position for a job.
I guess what I am trying to say is that you shouldn't neccesarily expect a masters to be accredited (like an undergraduate is) if it falls outside of the tightly regulated vocational career paths (e.g. clinical, forensic, educational etc etc).

That isn't to say that it needs to be accredited, it's just that, outside of the areas I have mentioned, the BPS does not regulate syllabuses for postgraduate education as it's too broad and diverse to hold to accrediting guidelines.
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Lord Asriel
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The accreditation issue is a little complicated.

For all areas of psychology you will need a minimum of 3 years training after undergrad to practice as a qualified psychologist that is eligible for chartership and registered with the Health Professions Council.

In clinical, counselling and Educational Psychology its via a 3 year vocational doctoral programme.

In Forensic, Health, Occupational and Sport and Exercise, it starts with an accredited MSc course in that area (Stage 1) and is followed by 2 years of supervised practice by another qualified psychologist (Stage 2).

Stage 1 qualifications (MScs) by themselves are only academic qualifications and do not enable you to practice, you need both Stage 1 and Stage 2, (in addition to recognised Psychology degree). The doctoral programmes in practice basically combine stage 1 and 2 which enable their graduates to be qualifed on graduation from the doctorate.

In academia, some psychology researchers are chartered (which is a PhD route) and others are not. As they are not practicing with the public there is less an emphasis on their protection, so they are not registered with the HPC. Its more about your teaching skills and publication record.
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Fuzzpig
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(Original post by Lord Asriel)
The accreditation issue is a little complicated.

For all areas of psychology you will need a minimum of 3 years training after undergrad to practice as a qualified psychologist that is eligible for chartership and registered with the Health Professions Council.

In clinical, counselling and Educational Psychology its via a 3 year vocational doctoral programme.

In Forensic, Health, Occupational and Sport and Exercise, it starts with an accredited MSc course in that area (Stage 1) and is followed by 2 years of supervised practice by another qualified psychologist (Stage 2).

Stage 1 qualifications (MScs) by themselves are only academic qualifications and do not enable you to practice, you need both Stage 1 and Stage 2, (in addition to recognised Psychology degree). The doctoral programmes in practice basically combine stage 1 and 2 which enable their graduates to be qualifed on graduation from the doctorate.

In academia, some psychology researchers are chartered (which is a PhD route) and others are not. As they are not practicing with the public there is less an emphasis on their protection, so they are not registered with the HPC. Its more about your teaching skills and publication record.
Thanks for that that really clears things up.

I'll start looking for appropriate courses in Clinical Psychology and Educational Psychology.
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by aliluvschoc)
My undergraduate course is BPS accredited.

If I do choose to be a chartered psychologist after postgraduate study, would accreditation at undergraduate level be enough?


I'm asking because in 2012 I'd have liked to have stayed on at Kent for a postgraduate degree, but the only accredited postgraduate programme they have is Forensic Psychology - I found that odd as the department is supposedly very good. Is it just something that doesn't matter as much?

Thanks
Hey H,

I was studied at Kent uni for 6-7 years and I know the psychology department relatively well- and I can confidently say the Forensic Psychology department is very good.....PM me if you have any specific question. A close friend of mine completed the MSc in Forensic Psychology whilst I completed my PhD and I was quite envious as her couse sounded so interesting!

For me, it was very important to select MScs that were accredited in some way to allow for opportunities further down the line. With my health psych MSc, I only applied to courses that were accredited by the BPS (ie Stage 1 in Health Psychology) so that I had the option of applying to stage 2 in the future. My research methods was accredited by the ESRC which means I could apply to ESRC funded PhDs (which I did and won a studentship).

The Forensic MSc in the Kent psychology department is accredited by the BPS which means you could apply to do stage 2- either via a university route (ie Doctorate in Forensic Psychology such as at Birmingham) or via supervision with a chartered forensic psychologist (BPS route). To become chartered in health or forensic you need to demonstrate competency in a series of standards and also receive regular supervision from a chartered health or forensic psychologist. However, stage 1 and stage 2 options for forensic and health psychology are self funded. The stage 1 ie MSc usually lasts for 1 year and the stage 2 options last for 2 years full time or 3-5 years part time. You could alos obtain stage 2 via a PhD (which is three years full time) as long as you complete a PhD and develop a portfilio demonstrating competencies in certain areas and receive supervision from a chartered psychologist.

In contrast, the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych) programmes are three year NHS training programmes fully funded by the NHS and run by various universities leading to chartership in clinical psychology. The DClinPsych courses are extremely extremely competitive perhaps partly as the courses are fully funded.

I have a conditional offer for the Doctorate in Health Psychology so I could practice as a chartered health psychologist in a few years. I'm holding out for any news on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology though!

There are some psychologists out there (ie my old boss) who are duel chartered- that is one psychologist is a chartered health psychologist and a chartered clinical psychologist. Which is something I'm currently aiming for.

Short answer, for health or forensic psychology (and I suspect educational and sport psychology- although I don't know much about it), gaining accredited MScs by the BPS is essential if you wanted to pursue a career as a chartered forensic/health/educational/sport psychologist. Obtaining a place on a DCLinPsych leads to chartership in clinical psychology and does not require stage 1 in clinical psychology (doesn't exist!).

I hope this answers your questions H. Feel free to PM me if you require further info.
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Fuzzpig
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(Original post by *Elizabeth*)
Hey H,

I was studied at Kent uni for 6-7 years and I know the psychology department relatively well- and I can confidently say the Forensic Psychology department is very good.....PM me if you have any specific question. A close friend of mine completed the MSc in Forensic Psychology whilst I completed my PhD and I was quite envious as her couse sounded so interesting!

For me, it was very important to select MScs that were accredited in some way to allow for opportunities further down the line. With my health psych MSc, I only applied to courses that were accredited by the BPS (ie Stage 1 in Health Psychology) so that I had the option of applying to stage 2 in the future. My research methods was accredited by the ESRC which means I could apply to ESRC funded PhDs (which I did and won a studentship).

The Forensic MSc in the Kent psychology department is accredited by the BPS which means you could apply to do stage 2- either via a university route (ie Doctorate in Forensic Psychology such as at Birmingham) or via supervision with a chartered forensic psychologist (BPS route). To become chartered in health or forensic you need to demonstrate competency in a series of standards and also receive regular supervision from a chartered health or forensic psychologist. However, stage 1 and stage 2 options for forensic and health psychology are self funded. The stage 1 ie MSc usually lasts for 1 year and the stage 2 options last for 2 years full time or 3-5 years part time. You could alos obtain stage 2 via a PhD (which is three years full time) as long as you complete a PhD and develop a portfilio demonstrating competencies in certain areas and receive supervision from a chartered psychologist.

In contrast, the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych) programmes are three year NHS training programmes fully funded by the NHS and run by various universities leading to chartership in clinical psychology. The DClinPsych courses are extremely extremely competitive perhaps partly as the courses are fully funded.

I have a conditional offer for the Doctorate in Health Psychology so I could practice as a chartered health psychologist in a few years. I'm holding out for any news on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology though!

There are some psychologists out there (ie my old boss) who are duel chartered- that is one psychologist is a chartered health psychologist and a chartered clinical psychologist. Which is something I'm currently aiming for.

Short answer, for health or forensic psychology (and I suspect educational and sport psychology- although I don't know much about it), gaining accredited MScs by the BPS is essential if you wanted to pursue a career as a chartered forensic/health/educational/sport psychologist. Obtaining a place on a DCLinPsych leads to chartership in clinical psychology and does not require stage 1 in clinical psychology (doesn't exist!).

I hope this answers your questions H. Feel free to PM me if you require further info.
Hiya,

That was really helpful to read. It seems that you're saying going down the Clinical Psychology route either requires no MSc, or at least the MSc doesn't have to be accredited?

I'm still thinking of a career in Clinical Psychology (though the competitiveness is a little off-putting), or Educational Psychology is another area that interests me.

I'm not sure if anyone could advise me on the best way to this? I'm not sure whether it would be advisable to go straight into a Msc after my BSc, or whether I should take a year of working as perhaps a psychologist's assistant.

I have the opportunity to have work experience for a couple of weeks assisting psychologists working with and assessing children who have been abused/ have committed crime/ are generally abusive themselves, though obviously I'd just be doing the paperwork behind the scenes. I also may have the opportunity to assist in a Prison setting under a psychologist there, though that's yet to be confirmed. Both of these will take place during my undergraduate degree - I wonder if this will be enough of a substitute for a whole year's working in a relevant industry?
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Interrobang
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A masters degree is not REQUIRED for the doctorate courses like clinical or educational psychology, but many people have them. Relevant work experience is far more important, and the more you have, the stronger your application
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Fuzzpig
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(Original post by xKTx)
A masters degree is not REQUIRED for the doctorate courses like clinical or educational psychology, but many people have them. Relevant work experience is far more important, and the more you have, the stronger your application
I guess it's unlikely to be accepted straight onto a doctorate course after you're undergrad though, but I have heard of one person who got a 1st in his BSc and was given a place on a doctorate course straight away. :hmmmm2:

I don't know if I can squeeze in any more work experience and I'm not sure I'd quite manage a 1st.

So it might be better to find some relevant work for next year rather than doing a MSc... Though even finding work would be difficult enough. :sigh:
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Lord Asriel
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For clinical psychology (as well as the other applied psychology pathways) hands on work experience is generally viewed more highly than further academic qualifications, especially if its paid and allows you to work closely with the type of psychologist you want to become. There are even often ways to demonstrate your academic ability within the workplace, either via journal publications, contributing to books etc.
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lauriem3
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Just wanted to say I found this thread really helpful as I'm in the same dilemma but wanting to pursue Clinical Psychology! Thinking that a MSc then onto research may be more preferable though at this moment in time for me as I'm struggling to find paid work and I don't want to be out of education any longer!! Feel like the BPS do FA to support upcoming psychologists but we have to give so much to them!! :/ Anyways thanks for all the contributions in the discussion - it's cleared up a LOT for me
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