I would very much appreciate help & advice on postgraduate options for a career in clinical psychology.
My undergrad degree is in English, I achieved a First and worked the entirety of my degree in an addiction help centre (working face to face with clients and alongside psychologists). I am now taking a year out (for an operation) and had planned on commencing the MSc next year.
However, after having a look around at courses I've become a bit confused. I have found places like the university of Liverpool offering a PhD course to applicants with 'relevant first degrees', although I'm assuming this rules out my English degree, I wondered if it is possible to do a PhD without a conversion or Master's?
Also, I found at Birmingham university offer a combined MSc and PhD in Clinical Pyschology but they provide very little in terms of entry requirements and course content information on their website. Does anyone have any experience of info on doing a combined conversion and PhD?
Lastly, are all postgraduate studies in Psychology funded by the NHS, uncluding the MSc?
Apologies if my questions seem a little primitive, as I mentioned I have an upcoming operation that I have been focusing on and have probably let my research and planning slip a little. Any help would be great! Thank you.
Need more help on going postgrad?
A master's degree is not a 1 year 'conversion' course nor does it condense the content of a 3 or 4 year degree into 12 months. It builds on existing academic knowledge of psychology, both as as an academic subject and as a clinical profession. As an example, the entry requirements for KCL MSc in Addiction Studies is 'Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours in either medicine or psychology; or in any subject directly related to addiction, followed by a relevant health-related postgraduate diploma or certificate.' An English Lit degree clearly isn't what they are looking for. You have no background in psychology or even another social science so the possibility of a nifty Masters degree followed by a clinical research doctorate and an instant professional career is totally unrealistic.
A PhD is something most practitioners would contemplate in their 30s or 40s, stemming out of their extensive professional experience, not from part-time unskilled voluntary work. If you want to work in this area (ie. addiction studies/mental health) then I suggest you either look at paid work on a similar level to your voluntary experience and build you career/experience that way, or you think about doing a second (unfunded) undergrad degree in a relevant subject such as counselling, addition studies, mental health nursing etc. Building a career in this area is a long, slow business. You don't just 'do a course'.
The BPS (British Psychology Society) is a good place to start researching this area - http://www.bps.org.uk/ - as is the relevant NHS page -http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore-by-career/psychological-therapies/. Here is the sort of job you should currently be aiming at - http://www.jobs.nhs.uk/xi/vacancy/8d..._ref=913884829 to start building up your career experience.
to get on you need BPS accreditation at degree level, so if you have an English degree you will need to do an accredited conversion course
then you need work experience, volunteering a few hours a week during uni will not cut it, you need at least 2 years full time relevant experience to even be considered and most people take at least 3-4 years after graduating to gain a place on a doctorate, it is certainly not an easy thing to do, it is very competitive
Thank you to those who took the time to reply, it is much appreciated.
Apologies for not making my situation clearer, I do not have 'voluntary work that just won't cut it', I have worked 26 paid hours a week in an addictions clinic working face to face with clients for the last 3 years. On weekends, I work as a paid carer for a young man with severe learning & speech difficulties. With regard to past experience, I am a mature student with 10 years of work experience in hospitals/care homes/offices etc.
For those viewing this in a similar situation (wanting to convert to psychology), I would like to clear up the advice given by returnmigrant; you do not need a psychology degree to become a clinical psychologist. After seeking advice from a university careers service (Leeds Uni), I will be applying for an MSc in Psychology, it is a conversion course aimed at graduates with no previous psychology experience, it is BPS accredited and once completed, applications can be made for GBC. Thus allowing applications to be made for the DClinPsy (which I know is fiercely competitive).
Just wanted to add this in case anyone has been dissuaded by prev comments