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    So basically I had my heart set on Southampton University, it had all the right modules, it was in a good location, and it had a year's work placement in a relevant psychology institution.
    However, since then i attended the Royal Holloway University of London open day and I AM IN LOVE! I found the one. Unfortunately, it does not offer a year's work experience. It does offer some voluntary work in between semesters but the lecturer basically told me that any work experience within the NHS was not going to happen.
    So I'm wondering how far it will affect my employability if I don't have a year's work placement. Will I be able to get a job without any relevant experience once I finish my degree? What if I go straight on to a masters... will I be more employable then or will I still need to find work experience before being considered for a job.
    Furthermore, will I even be able to get onto a masters course without work experience?
    Basically, I'm massively stuck and I have no idea what to do. I'm torn between my head and my heart but ultimately I don't want to do anything that will leave me with a degree but no job.
    Any students or graduates with any experience?
    Cheers, Daisy
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    My simple answer is that I would always recommend the placement year, providing it is in a good service, with a good Psychologist (i.e. they don't just ask you to do lots of filing), then you will get invaluable experience for progressing in Psychology that many other recent graduates won't have.

    However, the single most important thing to come out of your degree is your grade. A 1st without experience is worth a world more than a 2:1 with it. So if you really think you'll perform better at another university, go there. But from what you've said, I doubt that the choice between Southampton and Holloway will massively impact on your grade.

    The alternative is paid experience, which won't be as an assistant Psychologist or (unless you're really lucky) in a Psychology orientated role. The best thing to aim for is a support worker/residential worker/nursing assistant role; preferably in the NHS (you'll start on your pension, you get better training and supervision, you learn how the NHS works and you're an internal job candidate for further roles in that trust). A lot of Psycholgists start out in these roles and you learn a lot of about delivering care. Of course, you have to then be willing to work throughout uni.

    Would a placement year outweigh a nursing assistant role in terms of getting you ahead of the game? I don't know. And you will be able to do the placement year AND work as a nursing assistant if you want to - getting both experiences.

    You'll definitely be able to get on to a Master's without experience, but it will obviously help.
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    My sister just left Royal Holloway psychology with a first and she is stuck looking for a placement now because they didn't give her any links to medical schools or NHS. Loads of places like Surrey or Kent are at least as good as Royal Holloway and offer a work experience year so perhaps you should go with your head not your heart. I tihnk you'll definitely get on to a masters but not a good one without experience
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    It is quite possible to gain relevant work experience via a part time job or voluntary work whilst you are still studying for your degree. A placement year is not essential but if you feel you may struggle to find suitable opportunities, or would find it difficult to juggle work and study commitments then a placement year would be a good option.

    I worked part time across two different NHS trusts in my second and final years of undergrad (20 hours/week (Mon-Fri) in total) and as my employers were really supportive they allowed me to fit my hours around my lectures. i had to be very rigid with my time management, but I was still able to get a first with minimal stress. I was then fortunate enough to go straight into an assistant psychologist post upon graduation, so a placement year is not the be all and end all. Good luck!
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    If a placement year is not possible, look for part time volunteer roles or a paid bank staff role in a relevant setting. Yes, experience provides you with an advantage but I wouldn't base where I would be located for 3 years plus solely on that.
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    If a placement/work experience is an advantage why are more places offering it? I don't want to work in a bank though!!!
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    (Original post by josietea)
    If a placement/work experience is an advantage why are more places offering it? I don't want to work in a bank though!!!
    Do you mean "why aren't more places offering it?"? They aren't always obvious but opportunities are available in most sectors. Part of demonstrating your skills initiative and the qualities of commitment and passion, is locating and securing these opportunities.

    If it's not a typo, I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.
 
 
 
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