Psychology Conversion Courses - where is the most reputable?

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Bingo0908
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Hi there,

I am in the midst of applying for my MSc in Psychology - specifically the BPS accredited conversion course. I have narrowed my choices down (not that there was a lot of choice to begin with!) to: Edinburgh, Nottingham, Sussex, Surrey & Kingston.

As an international student I'm not so familiar with the reputability of the Psychology departments of each of the universities, on an international scale Edinburgh & Nottingham as unis are the most well known, but how do the others' Psych departments fare in comparison?

Ideally, I would like to relocate to London, so if anyone specifically has any experience with Kingston's conversion course I would love to hear!

Thank you
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alleycat393
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Don't worry about repute. If the courses are accredited you know you're getting what you need. Compare based on course content and anything else that is important to you as a student.
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chazwomaq
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I would worry a bit about reputation.

I would rate them:

Edinburgh = Nottingham > Sussex = Surrey > Kingston.
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Bingo0908
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(Original post by alleycat393)
Don't worry about repute. If the courses are accredited you know you're getting what you need. Compare based on course content and anything else that is important to you as a student.
Thank you for the reply! And that is what I gather - that my academic performance matters more, but with my long-term goal being to pursue a DClinPsy I am worried that going to a 'less reputable' establishment might work against me as an applicant?
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alleycat393
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(Original post by Bingo0908)
Thank you for the reply! And that is what I gather - that my academic performance matters more, but with my long-term goal being to pursue a DClinPsy I am worried that going to a 'less reputable' establishment might work against me as an applicant?
The reputability of your establishment makes no difference. You're right. It is about your grades and experience and then the strength of your application in terms of personal statement, proposal if asked for one and refs. Your networks are also important so start early, talk to people about your research interests and career plans and stay on the lookout for opportunities. Good luck!
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by alleycat393)
The reputability of your establishment makes no difference.
This is naive. It's not the most important thing - you as an individual is - but to say it's makes no difference is misleading. People use it as a shortcut for your quality when other information is limited.

You are also more likely to get more useful networks at the higher research quality institutions; another reason to choose them.
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alleycat393
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
This is naive. It's not the most important thing - you as an individual is - but to say it's makes no difference is misleading. People use it as a shortcut for your quality when other information is limited.

You are also more likely to get more useful networks at the higher research quality institutions; another reason to choose them.
I have to disagree and calling me naive isn't going to make your view any more valid than mine unfortunately. I also work in academia and have done for a while and if someone is using your institution as a shortcut to assessing your quality they aren't someone worth working for. People move around a lot in academia which is encouraged and that's what helps build networks as does working with people who are leaders in your field from all over the world. Some of these people may be at institutions which are little known but if they're the leaders in the field then they're worth working with or for.
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Mystical01010
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(Original post by alleycat393)
I have to disagree and calling me naive isn't going to make your view any more valid than mine unfortunately. I also work in academia and have done for a while and if someone is using your institution as a shortcut to assessing your quality they aren't someone worth working for. People move around a lot in academia which is encouraged and that's what helps build networks as does working with people who are leaders in your field from all over the world. Some of these people may be at institutions which are little known but if they're the leaders in the field then they're worth working with or for.
This is true, but I think in general, having a qualification from a highly ranked institution looks better on your CV than having one from a lowly ranked ex-poly. A general example would be a degree from Oxbridge or UCL vs. a degree from, say, Kingston or Oxford Brookes. It doesn't make much difference in terms of material learnt, but the academic rigour of someone who goes to the former universities will most likely be higher than that of someone who goes to the latter.
So I do kind of agree that your comments are a bit naive!
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Bingo0908
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(Original post by Mystical01010)
This is true, but I think in general, having a qualification from a highly ranked institution looks better on your CV than having one from a lowly ranked ex-poly. A general example would be a degree from Oxbridge or UCL vs. a degree from, say, Kingston or Oxford Brookes. It doesn't make much difference in terms of material learnt, but the academic rigour of someone who goes to the former universities will most likely be higher than that of someone who goes to the latter.
So I do kind of agree that your comments are a bit naive!
Just to steer this thread back on track, I of course agree that the general ranking of a university holds a great deal of importance when pursuing any academic qualification.

My query was specific to the accredited MSc Psychology conversion courses, which for the most part are offered at lower ranked ex-polys (Side note - does anyone know why this is the case?) Having gone to McGill University in Canada (an equivalent to the top tier UK unis) for my Bachelors, I am little nervous that going to a lesser known institution for my MSc conversion might hurt my chances when I apply for DClinPsy programs? Or is it just a case of getting the qualification to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) with the British Psychological Society and that's all? e.g. Similar to the GDL course for lawyers.

And any psych students from Uni of Edinburgh, Uni of Nottingham, Sussex, Surrey or Kingston, I would love to hear about your experiences.

Thanks again to everyone for all their thoughtful feedback!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Bingo0908)
My query was specific to the accredited MSc Psychology conversion courses, which for the most part are offered at lower ranked ex-polys (Side note - does anyone know why this is the case?)
Because it's a 'fashionable' degree subject and it's availability is a result of market forces (ie people 'want' to study psychology) rather than academic demand (there's a thriving research field) or professional demand (there is a need for more psychologists). it's a cash cow degree and the ex-polys/lower ranked universities are always first to offer them.

That's not to say any of those characteristics reflect any one individual's motivation for doing the degree, but the truth is that it's the same as criminology and forensics degrees - the bulk offering is driven by superficial popularity rather that academic rigour. I'd advise you definitely do consider the prestige of the university and don't look at Kingston at all, if you have the options at any of Edinburgh, Nottingham, Surrey or Sussex.
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alleycat393
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(Original post by Mystical01010)
This is true, but I think in general, having a qualification from a highly ranked institution looks better on your CV than having one from a lowly ranked ex-poly. A general example would be a degree from Oxbridge or UCL vs. a degree from, say, Kingston or Oxford Brookes. It doesn't make much difference in terms of material learnt, but the academic rigour of someone who goes to the former universities will most likely be higher than that of someone who goes to the latter.
So I do kind of agree that your comments are a bit naive!
That's fine. Everyone's entitled to their opinion I'm just sharing my experience of working in the sector. People can take it or leave it. It doesn't matter whether people on here think it's naive or not. It is what it is. Good luck!
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Bingo0908
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Because it's a 'fashionable' degree subject and it's availability is a result of market forces (ie people 'want' to study psychology) rather than academic demand (there's a thriving research field) or professional demand (there is a need for more psychologists). it's a cash cow degree and the ex-polys/lower ranked universities are always first to offer them.

That's not to say any of those characteristics reflect any one individual's motivation for doing the degree, but the truth is that it's the same as criminology and forensics degrees - the bulk offering is driven by superficial popularity rather that academic rigour. I'd advise you definitely do consider the prestige of the university and don't look at Kingston at all, if you have the options at any of Edinburgh, Nottingham, Surrey or Sussex.

Thank you, that was my niggling suspicion. Not ideal to be applying for a cash cow degree but I honestly cant find a more direct route to retrain in Psych... US / Canadian universities require you to do a second Bachelors :eek3:

Everyone's feedback has been so helpful and I will keep you posted on the outcome!
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sneha_04
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(Original post by Bingo0908)
Hi there,

I am in the midst of applying for my MSc in Psychology - specifically the BPS accredited conversion course. I have narrowed my choices down (not that there was a lot of choice to begin with!) to: Edinburgh, Nottingham, Sussex, Surrey & Kingston.

As an international student I'm not so familiar with the reputability of the Psychology departments of each of the universities, on an international scale Edinburgh & Nottingham as unis are the most well known, but how do the others' Psych departments fare in comparison?

Ideally, I would like to relocate to London, so if anyone specifically has any experience with Kingston's conversion course I would love to hear!

Thank you
Hey !! Even I am planning to apply for the September 2017 session . However , I am so confused about which college should I apply to . My choices -Edinburg,Essex,Hertfordshire and Manchester.Did you decide on which University you would be studying at ?
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Vashisthashubhi
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(Original post by sneha_04)
Hey !! Even I am planning to apply for the September 2017 session . However , I am so confused about which college should I apply to . My choices -Edinburg,Essex,Hertfordshire and Manchester.Did you decide on which University you would be studying at ?
Hey, which University did you join for a MSc psychology conversion? Would love to know your experience. Thanks
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