Psychology Degree Advice - how competitive is clinical psychology?

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Drizzy12
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I have changed my degree course to psychology which is the best option for me. I am happy that I have realised now, because I im love with the subject! i was completely blinded by my childhood ambition of becoming a doctor, but i would still consider health psychology, clinical or any patient/client based speciality.

I might be studying psychology this year (through extra) or I might apply next year. I would like to be a clinical psychologist. I have done some research but I would like to get advice from psychology students on how competitive this route is.

my concern is that if i go uni this year I have not applied to a russell group uni (extra) would that make a difference? even if i get a 1st or 2:1 I know that is difficult to get a 2;1 or a 1st but do universities consider the degree more or the university when it comes to applying for a competitive speciality. or do the modules your degree contains determines wheather you will be able to apply for clinical psychology?

would it be better to wait for a year get the grades aand exp then apply to a decent university not russel? im not saying all non russell group universities are bad, I am just asking whether going to a non russell or 'bad' uni effect the chances of getting into clinical psychology.
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razzle-dazzle
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Clinical psychology = very competitive. As for what determines whether you can apply, the prestige of the uni is irrelevant. What matters is that your degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society (i.e. upon completion your degree will provide you with the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership) and the classification of the degree (2.2 is required for GBC and the majority of clinical psychology doctoral programmes only accept applications from those who achieved a 2.1 overall).

In addition, you need to gain relevant experience before applying (if you Google it you'll find lots of info about what is considered 'relevant' but it wouldn't be a bad idea to start off by looking at the BPS website for an explanation of what is involved en route to becoming a chartered clinical psychologist)
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Lord Asriel
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You can also see the level of competition for applications versus getting onto a DClinPsy here at the Leeds clearing house website.

http://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/BasicNumbers.html

You could read about the typical experiences people have at www.clinpsy.org.uk. Degree modules are not that important, but your ongoing performance across your academic qualifications, relevant work experiences and the other elements that you need is far more important.

However, if you take a year out before university, you can get a head start on gaining relevant experience in a clinical setting (as a support worker or something similar).
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Drizzy12
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thanks
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*Elizabeth*
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(Original post by Drizzy12)
I have changed my degree course to psychology which is the best option for me. I am happy that I have realised now, because I im love with the subject! i was completely blinded by my childhood ambition of becoming a doctor, but i would still consider health psychology, clinical or any patient/client based speciality.

I might be studying psychology this year (through extra) or I might apply next year. I would like to be a clinical psychologist. I have done some research but I would like to get advice from psychology students on how competitive this route is.

my concern is that if i go uni this year I have not applied to a russell group uni (extra) would that make a difference? even if i get a 1st or 2:1 I know that is difficult to get a 2;1 or a 1st but do universities consider the degree more or the university when it comes to applying for a competitive speciality. or do the modules your degree contains determines wheather you will be able to apply for clinical psychology?

would it be better to wait for a year get the grades aand exp then apply to a decent university not russel? im not saying all non russell group universities are bad, I am just asking whether going to a non russell or 'bad' uni effect the chances of getting into clinical psychology.
I'm training to be a Health Psychologist at the moment, so if you have any questions- ask away! Definitely easier to obtain places on the health psychology doctorates as opposed to clinical, probably as clinical is funded by the NHS, whereas other professional routes are self funded.

From what I can remember, during my A-levels, there was continued pressure to get into the top unis, but when you graduate, there's definitely more emphasis on overall undergraduate classification rather than actual university location. For example, in some cases, someone with a 2.1 (regardless of uni )will pass through initial filtering process for some unis and jobs over someone with a 2.2 (regardless of uni!). The undergraduate classification issue was definitely not mentioned during my A-level studies, which is a shame.

Obtain relevant experience during your undergraduate studies (ie care assistant, support worker) or apply to sandwich courses with an extra year of placement experience and obtain the best overall classification as possible (ie a high 2.1, ideally a first) to stand a chance with obtaining places on professional doctorates in psychology- be it clinical or health psychology.

After graduation, look out for graduate psychologist positions (ie research assistant, assistant psychologist etc), but be aware that these graduate psychologist positions are highly competitive. Look out for opportunities to publish work in academic journals and obtain references from chartered psychologists, preferably chartered clinical psychologists for clinical psychology doctorates and chartered health psychologists for health psychology doctorates.

Also if considering clinical, carefully select unis as some unis prefer applicants with certain backgrounds and some will only look at candidates with 2.1 and above and immediately exclude anyone with a 2.2 regardles of postgraduate qualifications. Some universities have pre-selection interview tests which involve some sort of test in research methods rather than selection on application forms. . The top performing applicants are selected for interview. So perform well on these tests to increase chances of an interview.

A-level results are taken into account in selecting applicants for interview with the clinical doctorate at SOME universities (ie UCL), so probably a good idea to perform well. Admission tutors seem to look out for consistency in high academic performance in order to withstand the pressures of doctoral study.

Perhaps carefully select your undergraduate degree. Some unis contain final year modules in clinical and health psychology which may place you at an advantage when it comes to applying for psychology graduate jobs. Just ensure your undergraduate degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

You can always take on master qualifications to increase your knowledge base after graduation which will give you more options. Although, you will need to complete a BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology with at least a Merit in order to proceed with a health psychology career.

Best of luck.
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Drizzy12
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(Original post by *Elizabeth*)
I'm training to be a Health Psychologist at the moment, so if you have any questions- ask away! Definitely easier to obtain places on the health psychology doctorates as opposed to clinical, probably as clinical is funded by the NHS, whereas other professional routes are self funded.

From what I can remember, during my A-levels, there was continued pressure to get into the top unis, but when you graduate, there's definitely more emphasis on overall undergraduate classification rather than actual university location. For example, in some cases, someone with a 2.1 (regardless of uni )will pass through initial filtering process for some unis and jobs over someone with a 2.2 (regardless of uni!). The undergraduate classification issue was definitely not mentioned during my A-level studies, which is a shame.

Obtain relevant experience during your undergraduate studies (ie care assistant, support worker) or apply to sandwich courses with an extra year of placement experience and obtain the best overall classification as possible (ie a high 2.1, ideally a first) to stand a chance with obtaining places on professional doctorates in psychology- be it clinical or health psychology.

After graduation, look out for graduate psychologist positions (ie research assistant, assistant psychologist etc), but be aware that these graduate psychologist positions are highly competitive. Look out for opportunities to publish work in academic journals and obtain references from chartered psychologists, preferably chartered clinical psychologists for clinical psychology doctorates and chartered health psychologists for health psychology doctorates.

Also if considering clinical, carefully select unis as some unis prefer applicants with certain backgrounds and some will only look at candidates with 2.1 and above and immediately exclude anyone with a 2.2 regardles of postgraduate qualifications. Some universities have pre-selection interview tests which involve some sort of test in research methods rather than selection on application forms. . The top performing applicants are selected for interview. So perform well on these tests to increase chances of an interview.

A-level results are taken into account in selecting applicants for interview with the clinical doctorate at SOME universities (ie UCL), so probably a good idea to perform well. Admission tutors seem to look out for consistency in high academic performance in order to withstand the pressures of doctoral study.

Perhaps carefully select your undergraduate degree. Some unis contain final year modules in clinical and health psychology which may place you at an advantage when it comes to applying for psychology graduate jobs. Just ensure your undergraduate degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

You can always take on master qualifications to increase your knowledge base after graduation which will give you more options. Although, you will need to complete a BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology with at least a Merit in order to proceed with a health psychology career.

Best of luck.
thanks for the information, really helpful

just need to pass ALEVELS now! got the offer through extraa
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blitzchika
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(Original post by *Elizabeth*)
I'm training to be a Health Psychologist at the moment, so if you have any questions- ask away! Definitely easier to obtain places on the health psychology doctorates as opposed to clinical, probably as clinical is funded by the NHS, whereas other professional routes are self funded.

From what I can remember, during my A-levels, there was continued pressure to get into the top unis, but when you graduate, there's definitely more emphasis on overall undergraduate classification rather than actual university location. For example, in some cases, someone with a 2.1 (regardless of uni )will pass through initial filtering process for some unis and jobs over someone with a 2.2 (regardless of uni!). The undergraduate classification issue was definitely not mentioned during my A-level studies, which is a shame.

Obtain relevant experience during your undergraduate studies (ie care assistant, support worker) or apply to sandwich courses with an extra year of placement experience and obtain the best overall classification as possible (ie a high 2.1, ideally a first) to stand a chance with obtaining places on professional doctorates in psychology- be it clinical or health psychology.

After graduation, look out for graduate psychologist positions (ie research assistant, assistant psychologist etc), but be aware that these graduate psychologist positions are highly competitive. Look out for opportunities to publish work in academic journals and obtain references from chartered psychologists, preferably chartered clinical psychologists for clinical psychology doctorates and chartered health psychologists for health psychology doctorates.

Also if considering clinical, carefully select unis as some unis prefer applicants with certain backgrounds and some will only look at candidates with 2.1 and above and immediately exclude anyone with a 2.2 regardles of postgraduate qualifications. Some universities have pre-selection interview tests which involve some sort of test in research methods rather than selection on application forms. . The top performing applicants are selected for interview. So perform well on these tests to increase chances of an interview.

A-level results are taken into account in selecting applicants for interview with the clinical doctorate at SOME universities (ie UCL), so probably a good idea to perform well. Admission tutors seem to look out for consistency in high academic performance in order to withstand the pressures of doctoral study.

Perhaps carefully select your undergraduate degree. Some unis contain final year modules in clinical and health psychology which may place you at an advantage when it comes to applying for psychology graduate jobs. Just ensure your undergraduate degree is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).

You can always take on master qualifications to increase your knowledge base after graduation which will give you more options. Although, you will need to complete a BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology with at least a Merit in order to proceed with a health psychology career.

Best of luck.
I'm in year 12 and I'm planning on being a health psychologist. How difficult was it to become a trainee? I heard to succeed in clinical you have to spend years sending applications as you're rejected so many times. Also how long did it take you to become a chartered psychologist?
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