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    I am wanting to undertake a Psychology course, however my Step-cousin's Mother has just completed her course and said a big thing to do before the course as well as on the course is to volunteer, as it will get my 'foot in the door' and give me valuable experience into what field I should go into!

    Does anyone know anywhere I could find opportunities like this - I am thinking of counselling psychology or criminal psychology, but I am open to all areas, you never know what may surprise you!

    Thank You!
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    Clinical Physchiatrist near by might let you in to sit with them when talking to patients, so you can gain the knowledge. Hospitals may also let you volunteer in one of there mental hospitals aswell.
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    What kind of course are you doing? How old are you?
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    (Original post by KeelyOrm97)
    I am wanting to undertake a Psychology course, however my Step-cousin's Mother has just completed her course and said a big thing to do before the course as well as on the course is to volunteer, as it will get my 'foot in the door' and give me valuable experience into what field I should go into!

    Does anyone know anywhere I could find opportunities like this - I am thinking of counselling psychology or criminal psychology, but I am open to all areas, you never know what may surprise you!

    Thank You!
    You need to be 18 to really have a chance in this area. It'll be small, don't expect to go and do placements in psychiatrics as they won't let you. Maybe you could shadow someone in the clinical field?
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    It an accredited psychology course in Scotland, I've only applied though, haven't actually gotten in yet, O was hoping to volunteer before the course as well as during the course, I'm 19!

    Thank You!!
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    You'll struggle to get any direct Psychology experience while at university, just because there's hundreds of graduates desperate for experience already - though it isn't impossible.

    In my opinion, the best experience to get is working as a nursing assistant/support worker in the NHS. You can join the bank (i.e. work as and when you want), the pay is good, the hours flexible and you get a ton of hands on experience. You can also work for private companies as a support worker.

    Shadowing qualified Psychologists, or other similar stuff, may not be as beneficial as you might think - often your access to information is very limited.

    Things like befriending, Youth Offending Service, homeless shelters, youth groups, etc. are all good places for direct experience of working with people in need.

    You can also see if any researchers in the department will let you type things into a computer for them - over time they may allow you to become more involved in research.
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    I disagree with your step-cousins mother slightly. I think it is more important to gain psychology sector experience alongside your degree rather than before it.

    If your plans are to actually work within the psychology sector you will need a post graduate qualification, for which you will need to demonstrate a minimum of 12 months relevant experience. Either do it alongside the undergraduate course or after it. The quality of the experience will have to be good for experience gained 3 years prior to sway your entry application at the post graduate stage.
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    Again, it's unlikely you are going to sit in on therapy sessions, and although I get shadowing requests I don't take them up because of criminal records checks/access to patient info is a massive restriction. The best sort of experience to get is working with service users directly as a support worker or Health care assistant initially, and possibly later going onto an assistant psychologist or research assistant role in a clinical context.
 
 
 
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