ellathe1975
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Hello!! I'm in year eleven and for about a year now I've been thinking about pursuing a career in psychology. I know it's early days but you know what teachers and colleges are like ("you should be doing your research blah blah") and it would be nice to know a bit more about what is involved.

I'm going to college in September and will be studying Biology, Psychology, Maths and Art. (At the moment, I study all the core GCSEs as well as History of Medicine, Art, French and Philosophy & Ethics).

I know there are tonnes of different paths you can take with a psychology degree and I'm still undecided as to what I'd like to specialize in (which I'm not too worried about just yet as I know studying it at A level will help me decide what units I like best).

What I'd like to know is the average time someone who is studying psychology would be likely to spend at uni. For example, I've read that you need to complete an undergrad degree of 3-4 years and then also a masters degree of 4 years on top of that - but then somewhere else I read that many people choose not to do a masters and still pursue a career in psychology anyway. How does it work? And also if someone could educate me on some general stuff about the uni system that'd be great as I don't really know much at the minute (what's the difference between a masters and a doctorate? That kinda thing), then that'd be great.

I apologise very sincerely for the ridiculous length of this but thank you for taking the time to read it and I would greatly appreciate any replies I receive.

Lots of love :flutterby:
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Sannn
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(Original post by ellathe1975)
Hello!! I'm in year eleven and for about a year now I've been thinking about pursuing a career in psychology. I know it's early days but you know what teachers and colleges are like ("you should be doing your research blah blah") and it would be nice to know a bit more about what is involved.

I'm going to college in September and will be studying Biology, Psychology, Maths and Art. (At the moment, I study all the core GCSEs as well as History of Medicine, Art, French and Philosophy & Ethics).

I know there are tonnes of different paths you can take with a psychology degree and I'm still undecided as to what I'd like to specialize in (which I'm not too worried about just yet as I know studying it at A level will help me decide what units I like best).

What I'd like to know is the average time someone who is studying psychology would be likely to spend at uni. For example, I've read that you need to complete an undergrad degree of 3-4 years and then also a masters degree of 4 years on top of that - but then somewhere else I read that many people choose not to do a masters and still pursue a career in psychology anyway. How does it work? And also if someone could educate me on some general stuff about the uni system that'd be great as I don't really know much at the minute (what's the difference between a masters and a doctorate? That kinda thing), then that'd be great.

I apologise very sincerely for the ridiculous length of this but thank you for taking the time to read it and I would greatly appreciate any replies I receive.

Lots of love :flutterby:
Second year psychology neuroscience student here - to answer your question about the degree and future plans, it really varies. If you want to go into clinical psychology for instance, you need to complete the 3 year undergraduate Bsc and the 3 year post-grad doctorate. A master's degree is not needed to get onto the clinical psychology doctorate which is another 3 years, but it does help a lot, given the hugely oversubscribed nature of Psychology.

An undergrad degree is simply what you do typically when you're 18, and in psychology's case, generally lasts 3 years. A doctorate is a qualification you can choose to undertake once you're finished as an undergrad (i.e. once you've graudated) A master's degree is a further academic qualification that is post-graduate, and can be undertaken in any field of psychology, whereas the clinical psychology doctorate is specifically for those wishing to become a clinical psychologist.

How does uni work? Well, it depends on the university really - I assume you're asking about exams/assessment/modules? Modules can be assessed through multiple choice questionnaires or essays, and degree classifications are split into 5 different types: a first (70% average and above) a 2:1 (60-69% average) a 2:2 (50-59% average) a pass (40-49%) or a fail (anything below 40%) First year marks typically don't count toward your degree classification but this can vary from uni to uni. At mine, Nottingham, it has no bearing.

tl;dr - a Master's is a separate qualification to a doctorate - I believe the former is more for research, whereas the latter is for a practical approach such as the clinical doctorate. Depending on your field, you do not need to do a doctorate, such as research (I think - I know for sure clinical definitely needs a doctorate)
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iammichealjackson
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(Original post by ellathe1975)
Hello!! I'm in year eleven and for about a year now I've been thinking about pursuing a career in psychology. I know it's early days but you know what teachers and colleges are like ("you should be doing your research blah blah") and it would be nice to know a bit more about what is involved.

I'm going to college in September and will be studying Biology, Psychology, Maths and Art. (At the moment, I study all the core GCSEs as well as History of Medicine, Art, French and Philosophy & Ethics).

I know there are tonnes of different paths you can take with a psychology degree and I'm still undecided as to what I'd like to specialize in (which I'm not too worried about just yet as I know studying it at A level will help me decide what units I like best).

What I'd like to know is the average time someone who is studying psychology would be likely to spend at uni. For example, I've read that you need to complete an undergrad degree of 3-4 years and then also a masters degree of 4 years on top of that - but then somewhere else I read that many people choose not to do a masters and still pursue a career in psychology anyway. How does it work? And also if someone could educate me on some general stuff about the uni system that'd be great as I don't really know much at the minute (what's the difference between a masters and a doctorate? That kinda thing), then that'd be great.

I apologise very sincerely for the ridiculous length of this but thank you for taking the time to read it and I would greatly appreciate any replies I receive.

Lots of love :flutterby:
You've probably already seen this, but this link is great http://careers.bps.org.uk/

Just incase the above post wasn't clear--- to become an applied psychologist (clinical, educational, neuro) you generally only need an undergrad degree and a "doctorate" in that field. Some people also do masters degrees and PhDs beforehand, but its not necessary, unless you want to work in academia. Unlike a doctorate for say clinical psychology, a PhD focuses solely on doing research, but it can still be useful say if you did your PhD in child development, this would greatly improve your standing to become a educational psychologist (but a PhD in anything is still good training).

To become a lecturer/researcher, you need an undergraduate degree and a PhD. A PhD is 3 years (can take more sometimes), and you can either self-fund it (i.e. pay tuition fees) or you can apply for funding (which is what most people do) so you don't pay tuition fees and get paid to do it. It's increasinly normal now for people to do masters degrees before a PhD or a doctorate now -- masters really vary from exclusively research based ones (MRes) and exclusively taught ones (MSc) but most offer a mix of taught and research elements. Most of the time masters degrees you have to pay tuition fees (not covered by student loan), although some paid PhD posts are 4 years with the first year of a masters included.
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