Psychology conversion masters or re-take an entire degree with Open Uni?

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PXTT
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Hi everyone, I'd like to hear what your ideas are about how to continue with my studies. I have an undergrad in English lit (2:2 from Uni of London) and a masters degree in autism studies (from Uni of Kent), both done by distance. Turns out, employers in my country look at both my degrees, go "Oh, you were a distance learning student, how cute" and my pay rank takes a nose dive to the same scale as teachers with a diploma or a BA. My goal is to take an MSc in applied or clinical psychology in a real brick and mortar uni so I can become a clinical psychologist when I return here. Problem is, my undergrad is a really *****y 2:2 (undiagnosed learning difficulty which eventually got diagosed and sorted with intensive study skills coaching) and most MSc conversion programmes ask for a 2:1. And due to a limited budget and my partner needing me to continue paying my part of the mortgage, I can only spend one year in the UK. After a ton of research, I have come up with the following choices but I need to hear from people who know more about the system in the UK whether they are good ideas or ideas I should throw out.

a) Apply with my 2:2 to conversion MSc programmes but I don't know much about the few unis I've seen with the requirement (London metropolitan uni, Sheffield Hallam uni, I THINK Uni of Aberdeen takes 2:2s as well but I can't remember if it's applied psych or psych studies). My fear of this one is that if I return with such an MSc, I'll face the same discrimination against that degree with I face with my current ones because they are not considered 'reputable' here. (I think employers here only consider foreign degrees acceptable if you've been to what they consider 'big name' unis)

b) Do a new BSc in psychology with the Open U and then apply to a postgrad programme in psychology so I have more options. It sounds to me from my research that OU degrees are accepted by some unis. Is that true? If doing a new degree with OU means more opportunities can open up for me, I would not mind doing that at all even if it'll take me a longer time, I can totally deal with being a 31 year old in undergrad again.

Can anyone offer any perspectives or ideas? In the mean time, I'm off to email schools.
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igcsecrazy
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(Original post by PXTT)
Hi everyone, I'd like to hear what your ideas are about how to continue with my studies. I have an undergrad in English lit (2:2 from Uni of London) and a masters degree in autism studies (from Uni of Kent), both done by distance. Turns out, employers in my country look at both my degrees, go "Oh, you were a distance learning student, how cute" and my pay rank takes a nose dive to the same scale as teachers with a diploma or a BA. My goal is to take an MSc in applied or clinical psychology in a real brick and mortar uni so I can become a clinical psychologist when I return here. Problem is, my undergrad is a really *****y 2:2 (undiagnosed learning difficulty which eventually got diagosed and sorted with intensive study skills coaching) and most MSc conversion programmes ask for a 2:1. And due to a limited budget and my partner needing me to continue paying my part of the mortgage, I can only spend one year in the UK. After a ton of research, I have come up with the following choices but I need to hear from people who know more about the system in the UK whether they are good ideas or ideas I should throw out.

a) Apply with my 2:2 to conversion MSc programmes but I don't know much about the few unis I've seen with the requirement (London metropolitan uni, Sheffield Hallam uni, I THINK Uni of Aberdeen takes 2:2s as well but I can't remember if it's applied psych or psych studies). My fear of this one is that if I return with such an MSc, I'll face the same discrimination against that degree with I face with my current ones because they are not considered 'reputable' here. (I think employers here only consider foreign degrees acceptable if you've been to what they consider 'big name' unis)

b) Do a new BSc in psychology with the Open U and then apply to a postgrad programme in psychology so I have more options. It sounds to me from my research that OU degrees are accepted by some unis. Is that true? If doing a new degree with OU means more opportunities can open up for me, I would not mind doing that at all even if it'll take me a longer time, I can totally deal with being a 31 year old in undergrad again.

Can anyone offer any perspectives or ideas? In the mean time, I'm off to email schools.
Hi,

Where are you from? I take it you're not from UK and thats why you can only spend a year in the UK? Have you considered continuing your studies in your home country?

The thing about the BPS is that there are strict routes, you have you either get a BPS accredited undergrad degree plus PhD/DClinPsy and training to become a clinical psychologist. If you didn't do a psychology BPS accredited undergrad then you take a conversion course - do you know if your MA was considered a conversion course? If not then yeah you'd have to find a conversion course first but that shouldn't be too hard to achieve as you already hold a masters and therefore are at an advantage compared to those who apply straight from their non-psychology degrees.

I personally wouldn't do another 3 years - you already have an undergrad and a masters, why do another undergrad? Try your best with securing a conversion course to help you proceed with your career goals. And don't think about the name of the university when it comes to conversion courses - you just need to prioritise getting a university thats BPS accredited if you want to be a registered clinical psychologist in the UK. Good luck!
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PXTT
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(Original post by igcsecrazy)
Hi,

Where are you from? I take it you're not from UK and thats why you can only spend a year in the UK? Have you considered continuing your studies in your home country?

The thing about the BPS is that there are strict routes, you have you either get a BPS accredited undergrad degree plus PhD/DClinPsy and training to become a clinical psychologist. If you didn't do a psychology BPS accredited undergrad then you take a conversion course - do you know if your MA was considered a conversion course? If not then yeah you'd have to find a conversion course first but that shouldn't be too hard to achieve as you already hold a masters and therefore are at an advantage compared to those who apply straight from their non-psychology degrees.

I personally wouldn't do another 3 years - you already have an undergrad and a masters, why do another undergrad? Try your best with securing a conversion course to help you proceed with your career goals. And don't think about the name of the university when it comes to conversion courses - you just need to prioritise getting a university thats BPS accredited if you want to be a registered clinical psychologist in the UK. Good luck!
Hey! Thanks for the reply. I'm definitely not from the UK, I live in Asia. And in my country, there are two institutions which offer a Masters leading to becoming a registered clinical psychologist. I spoke to one today and found out that because my educational pathway has been less traditional, I may lose out to candidates who have gone through the more traditional pathways of psychology undergrads with a british honors system (I guess the preference is for those from local universities) even though I have a more diverse set of skills. The other university has stated on their website that my undergrad will not even be considered.

I am hoping to return with a decent MSc and get into one of those two programmes but I've realized that I may actually need to factor in more time in the UK for the DClinPsy or PhD training since, it really looks like I have no chance to become a trained clinical psychologist locally. I probably should go sort out the MSc first and come back for work experience under a registered psychologist and maybe I'll be able to find a scholarship somewhere. Ironically, we are short of clinical psychs here.
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igcsecrazy
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That's really interesting as I'm pretty much experiencing that. Where I live there is no official board so they tend to favour BPS (or APA) in terms of working within the field, however for me I can only be a registered psychologist, even if I were to do an MSc in clinical psych or a even a PhD abroad as they favour those who went to their universities i.e. done the DClinPsy or PhD in clinical psychology. And there are only two universities that do that and one does a lot of their lectures in their local language which I can't speak so that's why I've opted to study abroad.

It would be so much easier if there was an official board as currently they take things on an 'individual basis' - I emailed asking if Oxford's child development course would be better/worse than KCL's child and adolescent mental health if I wanted to be a registered psychologist (not clinical) and they couldn't even give me an answer! So I'm just hoping with work experience after a masters I can get that registration!

Yeah focus on getting an conversion course and get clinical hours back home. Check when your official board at home (assuming you have one?) if a conversion course will be sufficient.
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PXTT
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(Original post by igcsecrazy)
That's really interesting as I'm pretty much experiencing that. Where I live there is no official board so they tend to favour BPS (or APA) in terms of working within the field, however for me I can only be a registered psychologist, even if I were to do an MSc in clinical psych or a even a PhD abroad as they favour those who went to their universities i.e. done the DClinPsy or PhD in clinical psychology. And there are only two universities that do that and one does a lot of their lectures in their local language which I can't speak so that's why I've opted to study abroad.

It would be so much easier if there was an official board as currently they take things on an 'individual basis' - I emailed asking if Oxford's child development course would be better/worse than KCL's child and adolescent mental health if I wanted to be a registered psychologist (not clinical) and they couldn't even give me an answer! So I'm just hoping with work experience after a masters I can get that registration!

Yeah focus on getting an conversion course and get clinical hours back home. Check when your official board at home (assuming you have one?) if a conversion course will be sufficient.
We have a psychology society here, but their website is not too helpful. All I've managed to get off their site is that if I can clock 1000 hours under a clinical psych and I have done the right degree, I can register. But what makes up a right degree? No one knows. And BPS recognition is a grey area too. Sounds like you're in almost a similar pickle too. I'd say it depends on how much a 'brand' means in your country. In mine, I could have a lot of doors open to me if I can get a psych degree from Oxford just because it's Oxford. Not that I'm good enough to apply. Good luck to you!
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igcsecrazy
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(Original post by PXTT)
We have a psychology society here, but their website is not too helpful. All I've managed to get off their site is that if I can clock 1000 hours under a clinical psych and I have done the right degree, I can register. But what makes up a right degree? No one knows. And BPS recognition is a grey area too. Sounds like you're in almost a similar pickle too. I'd say it depends on how much a 'brand' means in your country. In mine, I could have a lot of doors open to me if I can get a psych degree from Oxford just because it's Oxford. Not that I'm good enough to apply. Good luck to you!
Haha I wonder if we live in the same place! Are you from HK by any chance? Yeah I get what you mean about the name but I just worry that if theres an actual board in the future, my masters degree won't mean anything because it isn't BPS accredited (MRes degrees aren't sadly as its research!). And thank you!! Best of luck to you too
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PXTT
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(Original post by igcsecrazy)
Haha I wonder if we live in the same place! Are you from HK by any chance? Yeah I get what you mean about the name but I just worry that if theres an actual board in the future, my masters degree won't mean anything because it isn't BPS accredited (MRes degrees aren't sadly as its research!). And thank you!! Best of luck to you too
Oooh, that's tricky, but I guess as long as you have a foot in the industry, you should probably be able to shift even if the future board makes it hard for you? I'm not from HK, although I did spend about four years there with my family in high school.
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Parmo123
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First thing first, don't be dishearted and you got wondeful degree. Well done to you.You can have a look at PGCE Teaching or Social Work graduate schmes that they are willing to accept grade 2:2, which are two year to compelete the course, it is free and you be paid approx £15,000 in first year than they increase your salary on the second year. They are willing to try to increase people from diverse background who are unreprsent in that profession for example learning difficulties participant in Social Work. Please check this website that there are list of graduate schemes you like to apply for that my interest you:https://www.prospects.ac.uk/graduate-jobs School direct is another good teaching route and it is also free to gain your PGCE teaching qualification. All of them are free but some of these courses you get paid. Please check this website if you are interested:https://www.find-postgraduate-teacher-training.service.gov.uk/ Conversion courses in Computing, Law, Business, Social Work are very popluar route. Do your reseach if your interested where are skills shortages and what job prospect are. Here are the useful information about conversion courses and jobs profiles:https://www.prospects.ac.uk/postgraduate-study/conversion-courses https://targetjobs.co.ukhttps://nati...ervice.gov.uk/ Even I'm thinking to do my conversion MSc computing course, it is complicated to findout what I'm looking for and which the right uni is right for me (trust me it is not easy). It maybe good idea to find out which is good uni to go into and what right for you, please google search the league tables and going into good uni maybe good idea that you are more likely to learn update technologies for example that there maybe high demand career sections. You already done your master degree that you won't be getting loan to fund your course and maintenance dosen't exist anymore. You may have to set up your crowd funding to fund your course or look for the charity organisations to ask for burseries or grants. In some sectors there are massive skills shortages so it is worth sending speculative letter to employers to fund the course cos they might hire you once you finish the course.Excellent advice on funding for your masters:https://www.findamasters.com/funding/ I hope this be a massive help and good luck.
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