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Help please - law or psychology? watch

    • Thread Starter

    Hi all,

    I'm currently studying Philosophy at undergraduate level. I took this subject because I loved it at A level and I also had no idea what career I wanted in life, so thought I'd start by doing something I love.

    However, I now have two more specific career goals in mind. For about a year now, I've wanted to do a law conversion course after my undergraduate degree, and go down the solicitor route. Although I find it interesting, I've never had a particular passion for law; I just think that being a solicitor would be a reliably well-paid job with interesting and variable daily work activities, as well as hopefully some excitement. I wouldn't want to be in one of the top swish London firms (too stressful!) but I would be happy in a small- to medium-sized firm.

    However, more recently, I've suddenly had this huge (but not very explored) interest in psychology. My favourite part of philosophy is the philosophy of mind and after seeing a friend's psychology textbook from A2, I couldn't put it down! All the topics in it looked fascinating. I'm also excited by the thought that psychology is still quite a young discipline and there may still be plenty more to discover. That's the route I would want to take - research into the mind and mental disorders. However, I took no science subjects at A level; would this affect me in doing a psychology conversion course?

    But more generally: should I take law, which will provide me with an interesting life and probably reliably good pay, or psychology, which I am potentially passionate about but which I might find more challenging given its sciencey elements and may not provide good pay?

    Sorry this is a bit long and also a bit vague - just wanted to hear some thoughts!

    I'd say go for the route you feel more passionate about which is psychology, my reasoning being that you're more likely to do well in a career path you enjoy and find interesting than in one that possibly pays higher (money might not motivate you when you're working 9am-9pm in an office) I'm sure there will be well paid jobs that are based around psychology. Also to actually get a well paid job as a solicitor you have to get a training contract and those are really hard to come by at the moment.

    Best of luck!

    Passion trumps everything. If you have no passion, go for the one that pays more.

    Remember that Psychology has many subdisciplines. For example, Industrial-Organisational Psychology pays a lot of money and is booming and sounds like a lot of fun. It's not science heavy and you get to work with a lot of people. I believe they do it at Manchester Uni (a friend of mine is applying to it) and also LSE and Notthingham. I think that sounds like a good middle ground. I doubt you would need science to get into it. It's more social/clinical psychology than say cognitive Psychology/Neuroscience.

    Not sure, do what you feel is right. I'm a soon to be psychologist trainee but bear in mind almost 0% of people who do an MSc conversion will ever become a psychologist. You would get onto science conversion with no science A-levels though.
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    Look into the conversion courses cos some at least expect you to have done psychology modules at undergrad. I don't know if they all do. You may be able to apply for an ordinary psychology masters tho and go into research that way - look at requirements or email unis of courses you like the look of

    I'm doing a psychology conversion course at the moment PGDip, and whilst the modules on personality and individual differences, cognitive psychology, biopsychology and social psychology are all fascinating, psychology isn't all about theories of the mind and behaviour. I would say that the course I'm doing at the moment is largely focused on research, statistics, writing good research papers. Knowing which statistical test is appropriate for which study. So I would just bear in mind that it isn't all about studying prior theories on psychology and digging into the human psyche but that psychology also focuses on empirical research, research methods and knowing a good paper from a bad paper, using statistical packages, learning about samples and population samples. However, I will say, it is all fascinating. The tools you learn in how to create a good research study also help you identify dodgy papers that have been published. It's an eye opener for sure.

    I was also interested in law, and did law at A level, but alas it wasn't for me. It was a bit too dry, and remembering case law, again, I found was very dry. Whereas I find psychology is just so interesting that you remember more because of that. I'd recommend psychology anyway.

    Oh and I am doing the psychology conversion course because my BA wasn't related to psychology. You need 60 credits from a relevant psychology module from BA to do the conversion course and then once that is done you can usually apply for a psychology Msc...So I've done a PGcert in psychology and once I've completed my PGDip in psychology I can go and do a Msc in psychology in the relevant field...

    Best of luck.
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