Advice on becoming a psychology researcher

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Dan9999
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Hi - I'd be really grateful for some advice. I would like to (eventually) become a psychology researcher and lecturer, initially beginning with research into the psychology of learning and education.

At the moment I have no psychology or education qualifications or experience, though I do have a degree in English Lit and Philosophy(2001).

The Psychology of Education MEd at Manchester (http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/ma...ourse-details/) seems the best choice because it says it brings graduates from other disciplines up to the academic standard of an honours degree in psychology and provides eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Status from the British Psychological Society.

On the face of it, it seems perfect. However I am concerned that because it is a Masters in Education (not psychology): (1) it will restrict me to educational research and not allow me to research other aspects of psychology later on; and (2) I won’t be taken seriously as a psychology researcher without a degree.

When I spoke to the head lecturer on the course, in his opinion the only disadvantage (compared to a psychology degree) is if I wanted to to become a clinical psychologist (though it doesn't rule it out entirely) – but clinical is not my intention anyway.

I am 36 so the shortest route to getting a research position appeals to me – I just don’t want to scupper myself by taking the short route.

Many thanks!
Dan
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alleycat393
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The course director would be your best source of advice and from the sounds of it you shouldn't have a problem. Research is a field that people get into from various other fields and with various backgrounds. You just have to prove that you're capable of doing research so you may have to do a PhD (this is not my field so you'll have to check).
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Dan9999
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Thanks for your reply! The course director has been very helpful but I'm also aware it is in their interests to get me on the course! :-)

Yes I'm expecting the next step after the masters to be a Phd. I think my plan would be to apply for a paid research position on someone else's project and do a Phd as part of it.
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alleycat393
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(Original post by Dan9999)
Thanks for your reply! The course director has been very helpful but I'm also aware it is in their interests to get me on the course! :-)

Yes I'm expecting the next step after the masters to be a Phd. I think my plan would be to apply for a paid research position on someone else's project and do a Phd as part of it.
Well not really. The course is most likely oversubscribed and academics will usually be honest if the course isn't right for you and what you want to do. Bear in mind that the uni doesn't want to end up with a drop out or someone who isn't successful in their chosen career path because the course wasn't right.

I'd say finding a funded PhD should take priority over looking for a route into one through a research technician/assistant post because the first pathway is a lot more direct and achievable that the second. By all means look for a research position for experience though.
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Dan9999
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Ok many thanks!
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Juichiro
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(Original post by Dan9999)
Hi - I'd be really grateful for some advice. I would like to (eventually) become a psychology researcher and lecturer, initially beginning with research into the psychology of learning and education.

At the moment I have no psychology or education qualifications or experience, though I do have a degree in English Lit and Philosophy(2001).

The Psychology of Education MEd at Manchester (http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/ma...ourse-details/) seems the bestchoice because it says it brings graduates from other disciplines up to the academicstandard of an honours degree in psychology and provideseligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered Status from theBritish Psychological Society.

On the face of it, it seems perfect. However I am concerned that because it is a Masters in Education (not psychology): (1) it will restrict me to educational research and not allow me to research other aspects of psychology later on; and (2) I won’t be taken seriously as a psychology researcher without a degree.

When I spoke to the head lecturer on the course he said it would be more difficult to proceed towards clinical practice (with this Masters compared to a degree) – but clinical is not my intention anyway.

I am 36 so the shortest route to gettinga research position appeals to me – I just don’t want to scupper myself bytaking the short route.Many thanks!Dan
If you only want to change research topic later in your career, you could go for the MEd at Manchester. Researchers (once well established) are free to change their research interests and many do so.
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Dan9999
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That's reassuring - thanks!
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