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    Firstly by way of background, I have a grade A A-level in Psychology (from 1999), a 2:1 in Modern Languages from Oxford (from 2003) and a Masters at Distinction level in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies from Warwick from 2005. I've worked in the civil service for 10 years as a policy advisor in a few different departments, but want to change careers if possible as I don't find my career fulfilling or satisfying. I'm now 35 and feel like the time needs to be now! i am also on a career break until March 2017, ostensibly to look after my son till he is three (I took a career break after mat leave), but I could fit in some study in the next 12 months before I am actually back at work.

    Can anyone offer advice about psychology conversion courses? I assume I would need to do 60 credits first, then ideally a Masters (since I have already got a Masters I feel like I should keep working at that level - and I managed a change of subject discipline once before as my MA was mostly sociology with some history/English lit thrown in). Or would/could my A Level in Psychology count for something?

    Ideally I would want to pursue study part time, either online/distance learning or at a London/Surrey university as that is where I live. I have two young children so study needs to fit around them, and I need/want to continue working in the civil service while I study as well. I am motivated and ambitious but it all needs to be manageable too! Whatever I study needs to facilitate the career change I want to make too. I am interested in Educational Psychology / child development or clinical psychology or possible occupational psychology. I currently earn £50k as a policy advisor and although I would be happy to earn less initially, longer term earning potential is a factor as I have a family I need to support.

    It all feels quite overwhelming at the moment. Any recommendations for online or London based conversion Masters level courses? Is the 60 credits psychology component always necessary, and if so how can I get that quickly and as cheaply as possible?! What sort of work experience should I be looking to get? And how?! Finally where should I look for careers advice as I need to think through the whole route as wouldnt want to invest huge amounts of time and money, only to discover making a career change isnt going to work.
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    (Original post by Piranha1981)
    Firstly by way of background, I have a grade A A-level in Psychology (from 1999), a 2:1 in Modern Languages from Oxford (from 2003) and a Masters at Distinction level in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies from Warwick from 2005. I've worked in the civil service for 10 years as a policy advisor in a few different departments, but want to change careers if possible as I don't find my career fulfilling or satisfying. I'm now 35 and feel like the time needs to be now! i am also on a career break until March 2017, ostensibly to look after my son till he is three (I took a career break after mat leave), but I could fit in some study in the next 12 months before I am actually back at work.

    Can anyone offer advice about psychology conversion courses? I assume I would need to do 60 credits first, then ideally a Masters (since I have already got a Masters I feel like I should keep working at that level - and I managed a change of subject discipline once before as my MA was mostly sociology with some history/English lit thrown in). Or would/could my A Level in Psychology count for something?

    Ideally I would want to pursue study part time, either online/distance learning or at a London/Surrey university as that is where I live. I have two young children so study needs to fit around them, and I need/want to continue working in the civil service while I study as well. I am motivated and ambitious but it all needs to be manageable too! Whatever I study needs to facilitate the career change I want to make too. I am interested in Educational Psychology / child development or clinical psychology or possible occupational psychology. I currently earn £50k as a policy advisor and although I would be happy to earn less initially, longer term earning potential is a factor as I have a family I need to support.

    It all feels quite overwhelming at the moment. Any recommendations for online or London based conversion Masters level courses? Is the 60 credits psychology component always necessary, and if so how can I get that quickly and as cheaply as possible?! What sort of work experience should I be looking to get? And how?! Finally where should I look for careers advice as I need to think through the whole route as wouldnt want to invest huge amounts of time and money, only to discover making a career change isnt going to work.
    Hi! I will try to answer as many of your questions as I can. I have just undertaken a conversion course and am in the process of applying for ed psych doctorate as a career change from teaching, so I hope I can give some insight :-)

    60 Psychology credits: You need these for most courses, not not every one. I think that most generic psychology Msc courses require them. However the conversion course I studied (Psychology of Education at Uni of Manchester) didn't require them. There may be other unis out there that don't require them, you'll need to check out each uni individually. Your A level may count in your favour generally speaking, but it won't be considered in lieu of 60 credits if the course requires them.

    Part-time/Distance learning: Most Masters courses offer part-time learning, and some offer online or distance learning. The British Psychological Society Website has all of the accredited courses listed here and you can do a sear for the type of course you want:
    http://www.bps.org.uk/bpslegacy/ac

    Salary: Salary for Ed Psychs is around 35-45 K (Soulbury Pay Scale) If you become a principle Ed Psych then salary could be 50K - 60K, but that is a leadership position that comes after many years on the job. I think salary for Clinical Psychologists are similar, at bands 7-9 on NHS Agenda for Change. I think at the top of the scale, consultant Psychologists in the NHS get better pay than Principle Ed Psychs do.

    Career change Are you aware that to become a psychologist you also need to do a doctorate degree (in the case of Ed or Clin psych) or a further two-year masters (for occupational, health or forensic psych) ?
    Following a conversion Masters, you would need to apply for a place on one of the Masters/Doctorate training programmes and these are extremely competitive. To get on, you will need to have relevant paid work experience (i.e. with children for educational, within a clinical setting for clinical, etc.)

    If you really want to become a psychologist I would suggest spending the next couple of years doing the conversion masters alongside work in a job directly related to the branch of psychology you wish to work in. There is full funding available for Educational or Clinical psychology doctorates, but it may take you a couple of years to be successful.

    Good luck! :-)
 
 
 
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