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    It's very difficult to be able to know when applying for postgraduate courses (MSc, MRes etc) which ones are more career advancing than another if you are not yet settled on one direction.

    And obviously if you don't already have a good level BSc then the masters you chose will be imperative to which PhD or doctorate is an option down the line, which then governs your career field.

    How do you know which route is right for you?

    *(Also is a PhD programme what one is seeking after a masters/work experience, or is it a Doctorate or Clinical Training Programme, what are the distinctions between all of these -- are any of them the same thing?
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    (Original post by phantompain)
    It's very difficult to be able to know when applying for postgraduate courses (MSc, MRes etc) which ones are more career advancing than another if you are not yet settled on one direction.

    And obviously if you don't already have a good level BSc then the masters you chose will be imperative to which PhD or doctorate is an option down the line, which then governs your career field.

    How do you know which route is right for you?

    *(Also is a PhD programme what one is seeking after a masters/work experience, or is it a Doctorate or Clinical Training Programme, what are the distinctions between all of these -- are any of them the same thing?
    The most usual route for research psychology is an undergraduate degree in psychology/neuroscience and then either a taught (most often an MSc) or research (most often an MRes) and then a PhD in a relevant field. Sometimes you can apply straight out of your undergraduate for a PhD or a 4 year Doctoral Training Programme. The Doctoral Training programmes often provide you with research council funding so you do not need to seek this out yourself if successful.

    The most common route(s) into Clinical Psychology are a BPS accredited undergraduate degree in Psychology and then at least 1 year (more likely 2-3) in a work environment undertaking a psychology related job e.g. assistant psychology or care worker type roles. It is also common for applicants to have a masters degree in a relevant area (some of these even give you clinical experience e.g. KCL masters).Some people will be applying with PhD's in a clinically relevant area too. Then you would apply for the DCLinPsyc Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The Doctorate is funded by the NHS.

    Notice that for pure research psychology you do not need a BPS accredited undergraduate degree, but for the clinical doctorate you do. So if your undergraduate degree is not BPS accredited then you would need to do a 1 year conversion course (Lots of these are available, Sussex, Cambridge and Bristol run popular courses).

    Another thing to mention is that it is theoretically possible to do the clinical doctorate and then go into full/part time research, however, often most people who do this will also already hold a PhD or will be pursuing one.

    If currently hold/will hold a BPS accredited undergrad Psychology degree and are unsure of research or clinical then I would take a taught (with some clinically related components)/research (clinically relevant) based masters in an area that you find interesting (a good example could be KCL's MSc in Affective disorders or Mental Health as these provide research experience, academic modules and a clinical placement) - this will keep both options open. if you don't hold a BPS accredited degree then you would need to do a conversion course in order to keep the option of the clinical doctorate open.

    I hope this helps
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    (Original post by Slide100)
    The most usual route for research psychology is an undergraduate degree in psychology/neuroscience and then either a taught (most often an MSc) or research (most often an MRes) and then a PhD in a relevant field. Sometimes you can apply straight out of your undergraduate for a PhD or a 4 year Doctoral Training Programme. The Doctoral Training programmes often provide you with research council funding so you do not need to seek this out yourself if successful.

    The most common route(s) into Clinical Psychology are a BPS accredited undergraduate degree in Psychology and then at least 1 year (more likely 2-3) in a work environment undertaking a psychology related job e.g. assistant psychology or care worker type roles. It is also common for applicants to have a masters degree in a relevant area (some of these even give you clinical experience e.g. KCL masters).Some people will be applying with PhD's in a clinically relevant area too. Then you would apply for the DCLinPsyc Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The Doctorate is funded by the NHS.

    Notice that for pure research psychology you do not need a BPS accredited undergraduate degree, but for the clinical doctorate you do. So if your undergraduate degree is not BPS accredited then you would need to do a 1 year conversion course (Lots of these are available, Sussex, Cambridge and Bristol run popular courses).

    Another thing to mention is that it is theoretically possible to do the clinical doctorate and then go into full/part time research, however, often most people who do this will also already hold a PhD or will be pursuing one.

    If currently hold/will hold a BPS accredited undergrad Psychology degree and are unsure of research or clinical then I would take a taught (with some clinically related components)/research (clinically relevant) based masters in an area that you find interesting (a good example could be KCL's MSc in Affective disorders or Mental Health as these provide research experience, academic modules and a clinical placement) - this will keep both options open. if you don't hold a BPS accredited degree then you would need to do a conversion course in order to keep the option of the clinical doctorate open.

    I hope this helps
    You did indeed help, thanks.

    I take it that the conversion Msc is necessary for someone like me, who only possess an undergraduate bachelors in the arts. I actually have a keen interest in trauma psychology but realise I should only pursue this specialist MSc (in psychological trauma) after I've gained accreditation.

    Can I ask your opinion on a few things:

    i) for someone who didn't study Psychology at BSc, will I likely not do well on the conversion (masters level that is -- from what I understand I cannot do a BSc conversion in the UK) or fail the stats and research modules?

    ii) how unlikely is it to actually go on to earn and become a clinical psychologist? From what I hear it's all overwhelmingly negative. And with the odds of being accepted onto a postgraduate programme being so difficult, I can understand why but it's very daunting as someone who already possesses a degree in which didn't take them into further career advancement. I'm just thinking very hard about it.
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    (Original post by phantompain)
    You did indeed help, thanks.

    I take it that the conversion Msc is necessary for someone like me, who only possess an undergraduate bachelors in the arts. I actually have a keen interest in trauma psychology but realise I should only pursue this specialist MSc (in psychological trauma) after I've gained accreditation.

    Can I ask your opinion on a few things:

    i) for someone who didn't study Psychology at BSc, will I likely not do well on the conversion (masters level that is -- from what I understand I cannot do a BSc conversion in the UK) or fail the stats and research modules?

    ii) how unlikely is it to actually go on to earn and become a clinical psychologist? From what I hear it's all overwhelmingly negative. And with the odds of being accepted onto a postgraduate programme being so difficult, I can understand why but it's very daunting as someone who already possesses a degree in which didn't take them into further career advancement. I'm just thinking very hard about it.
    No problem!

    Hmm well I would suggest you don't go off and do two masters courses. I would certainly say you need the MSc Conversion. I wouldn't say its necessary, in fact i think it may end up being a waste of (valuable) time, doing a masters in psychological trauma straight after the conversion. If you intend to go into research then several people do go on to PhD's straight after conversion courses (I know of a couple in fact), and equally lots of people completing the clinical doctorate will have done conversion courses and then gained relevant experience. If you are keen on investigating the trauma area then perhaps you could do a research project on this as part of your conversion MSc. - Look at universities with conversion courses who have researchers in the area you are interested in.

    In order to be successful in getting a place on the clinical doctorate experience is hugely important, and with a BA, an MSc conversion and a year or two of experience working in a clinical setting you should have a strong application. I would think that gaining experience would be more valued than doing another masters on top of the conversion.

    1) So the conversion courses 'should' teach stats and research methods from the beginning, knowing lots of people will be transferring from arts courses. However, you should definitely be okay with the prospect of learning statistics (maybe get a heard start by reading up now) as you will definitely need it if you pursue research. Further, most, if not all clinical psych doctorates will also require you to take exams in/use statistics for your projects. Its unlikely you will fail the courses unless you really don't grasp the material at all. Often a pass mark is 40%.

    2) So your chances of acceptance onto the clinical doctorate increase with age and experience. Therefore, having done a conversion course you will tick their minimum requirements for the academics. Then the most valuable thing you can do is either pursue more research in a clinically related area or as most people do gain some direct clinical, paid or voluntary, experience e.g. assistant psychologist jobs. I don't think you would be at a disadvantage having done a conversion course so long as you get a 2.1 equivalent and you have good experience at your point of application.
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    (Original post by Slide100)
    No problem!

    Hmm well I would suggest you don't go off and do two masters courses. I would certainly say you need the MSc Conversion. I wouldn't say its necessary, in fact i think it may end up being a waste of (valuable) time, doing a masters in psychological trauma straight after the conversion. If you intend to go into research then several people do go on to PhD's straight after conversion courses (I know of a couple in fact), and equally lots of people completing the clinical doctorate will have done conversion courses and then gained relevant experience. If you are keen on investigating the trauma area then perhaps you could do a research project on this as part of your conversion MSc. - Look at universities with conversion courses who have researchers in the area you are interested in.

    In order to be successful in getting a place on the clinical doctorate experience is hugely important, and with a BA, an MSc conversion and a year or two of experience working in a clinical setting you should have a strong application. I would think that gaining experience would be more valued than doing another masters on top of the conversion.

    1) So the conversion courses 'should' teach stats and research methods from the beginning, knowing lots of people will be transferring from arts courses. However, you should definitely be okay with the prospect of learning statistics (maybe get a heard start by reading up now) as you will definitely need it if you pursue research. Further, most, if not all clinical psych doctorates will also require you to take exams in/use statistics for your projects. Its unlikely you will fail the courses unless you really don't grasp the material at all. Often a pass mark is 40%.

    2) So your chances of acceptance onto the clinical doctorate increase with age and experience. Therefore, having done a conversion course you will tick their minimum requirements for the academics. Then the most valuable thing you can do is either pursue more research in a clinically related area or as most people do gain some direct clinical, paid or voluntary, experience e.g. assistant psychologist jobs. I don't think you would be at a disadvantage having done a conversion course so long as you get a 2.1 equivalent and you have good experience at your point of application.
    Can't tell how appreciated it is to get in depth advice, it's been tough to find people who are kind enough to spend the time breaking things down regarding this process! It's also refreshing to hear a perspective that isn't so bleak. Normally it's "why even consider a career change/degree in Psychology...do you know how many graduates come out to find no work!"....

    Yes. As I say, I'm torn between the two routes, research and clinical, so I'm not going to make any decisions on which doctorate I may or may not do at this stage, would be quite inane to do so anyhow at this point.

    But I think it looks quite clear that I should do the conversion MSc. And perhaps leave the specialist MSc out -- given the lack of necessity (and after all we can only be funded for one Masters in the UK) and as it is *necessary* to do the conversion/MEd only (as they essentially serve the same function as conversions), and gain experience shortly after for a few years, as you recommend. I do only have a BA in the arts so I wasn't sure reading your reply if you understood that too, that's why I assumed I'd have to do the other MSc afterwards.

    Indeed, the tutors of the conversions all say the same, that I should be fine doing them if I try and put in effort, (maths has always challenged me so I'm just wary) as if I do the conversion I want to do very well and achieve a good grade. I was curious also, will the conversion have exams are would you presume it's all coursework? Can't seem to find any answers on the sites. And do you think distance learning the conversion would be possible? I'm currently chronical ill so my movement isn't the best and it would help me loads to work from home. I have the work ethic too so I'd be able to manage to motivate myself.

    Something I didn't realise until recently is how different PhDs and ClinPsyDs are in terms of what they offer you going forward in your career and job prospects. So you cleared that up a little. It's just so convoluted and confusing when you're first looking through these courses as they read very similar in their outlines. I had difficult wondering why or if I even got onto do any of these post grad programmes, how it would be any worse than each other. (Apart from the ClinPsyD that has such a rep for allowing/guaranteeing you to go onto become a clinical psychologist)

    http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/po...sychology-phd/

    http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/po...sychology-phd/

    http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/po...logy-clinpsyd/

    http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/po...-requirements/
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    (Original post by phantompain)
    Can't tell how appreciated it is to get in depth advice, it's been tough to find people who are kind enough to spend the time breaking things down regarding this process! It's also refreshing to hear a perspective that isn't so bleak. Normally it's "why even consider a career change/degree in Psychology...do you know how many graduates come out to find no work!"....

    Yes. As I say, I'm torn between the two routes, research and clinical, so I'm not going to make any decisions on which doctorate I may or may not do at this stage, would be quite inane to do so anyhow at this point.

    But I think it looks quite clear that I should do the conversion MSc. And perhaps leave the specialist MSc out -- given the lack of necessity (and after all we can only be funded for one Masters in the UK) and as it is *necessary* to do the conversion/MEd only (as they essentially serve the same function as conversions), and gain experience shortly after for a few years, as you recommend. I do only have a BA in the arts so I wasn't sure reading your reply if you understood that too, that's why I assumed I'd have to do the other MSc afterwards.

    Indeed, the tutors of the conversions all say the same, that I should be fine doing them if I try and put in effort, (maths has always challenged me so I'm just wary) as if I do the conversion I want to do very well and achieve a good grade. I was curious also, will the conversion have exams are would you presume it's all coursework? Can't seem to find any answers on the sites. And do you think distance learning the conversion would be possible? I'm currently chronical ill so my movement isn't the best and it would help me loads to work from home. I have the work ethic too so I'd be able to manage to motivate myself.

    Something I didn't realise until recently is how different PhDs and ClinPsyDs are in terms of what they offer you going forward in your career and job prospects. So you cleared that up a little. It's just so convoluted and confusing when you're first looking through these courses as they read very similar in their outlines. I had difficult wondering why or if I even got onto do any of these post grad programmes, how it would be any worse than each other. (Apart from the ClinPsyD that has such a rep for allowing/guaranteeing you to go onto become a clinical psychologist)

    http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/po...sychology-phd/

    http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/po...sychology-phd/

    http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/po...logy-clinpsyd/

    http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/po...-requirements/


    No problem, it is quite daunting looking at all the different routes and options!

    So I don't think it would be necessary to do another masters (MSc) on top of the conversion so long as you do reasonably well (2.1+) in the conversion to show your competency in research methodology, the fundamentals of psych and stats etc. However, for research psychology (PhD) you would probably need more practical research experience than just your conversion MSc project. So I would suggest over the summer asking a lab if you can work with them.

    Regarding distance learning, I don't think this would be possible - it would be especially difficult with the research project aspect. I don't know of any conversion courses that do this - perhaps look on the BPS website for the list of accredited conversions and then see if any of them provide distance learning. Remember that the training for both of these routes (PhD and clinical) wouldn't be able to be done remotely, they are both pretty intense courses.

    A PhD would lead to a research career so little if no hands on patient contact/no treating people. Purely testing your hypotheses, publishing, conferences etc etc. The Clinical route would see you work in GPs surgery, hospitals etc treating people with mental health conditions.
 
 
 
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