What work experience would you recommend for to pursue a career in Psychology??

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SnowyOwl2505
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Hi there,

I study three A- Levels and they are as follows:
- English Literature
- Psychology
- Sociology

I’m interested in pursuing a career in the field of psychology. However, I’m not too sure on what kind of work experience I would need to do to make my university application stronger than other applicants who are applying for the same course.

Any recommendations please?
Any tips/ advice?

Thanks
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Pearlfection1
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Depends what field of psychology?
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PsychoD
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(Original post by SnowyOwl2505)
Hi there,

I study three A- Levels and they are as follows:
- English Literature
- Psychology
- Sociology

I’m interested in pursuing a career in the field of psychology. However, I’m not too sure on what kind of work experience I would need to do to make my university application stronger than other applicants who are applying for the same course.

Any recommendations please?
Any tips/ advice?

Thanks
Psychology is a huge field and you haven't said what area you are interested in pursuing. If it is clinical getting shadowing experience with a psychologist or psychiatrist can be useful. To do so I would email hospitals or private clinics near you and see if they could take you on. Be prepared for many rejections however, especially as you are likely under 21 and this is a confidential topic. Otherwise, you could volunteer at a nursing home as they will have residents with dementia and other conditions, and this gives you health care experience. This is why volunteering at mental health services such as nightline and suicide phone lines can be useful.

If you are interested in research finding someone that you would be interested in shadowing is likely most useful, as unless you are looking at extremely basic methodologies you would not have the capacity or need to run a project. If you are near a university you can go to public lectures on the topic as this would demonstrate proactive interest and gives you something to talk about at interview.

There are many others but this is an okay list.
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SnowyOwl2505
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(Original post by Pearlfection1)
Depends what field of psychology?
I haven really decided on what field of psychology I would do, what would you recommend for someone who doesn’t know what field they would like to go into?
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SnowyOwl2505
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(Original post by PsychoD)
Psychology is a huge field and you haven't said what area you are interested in pursuing. If it is clinical getting shadowing experience with a psychologist or psychiatrist can be useful. To do so I would email hospitals or private clinics near you and see if they could take you on. Be prepared for many rejections however, especially as you are likely under 21 and this is a confidential topic. Otherwise, you could volunteer at a nursing home as they will have residents with dementia and other conditions, and this gives you health care experience. This is why volunteering at mental health services such as nightline and suicide phone lines can be useful.

If you are interested in research finding someone that you would be interested in shadowing is likely most useful, as unless you are looking at extremely basic methodologies you would not have the capacity or need to run a project. If you are near a university you can go to public lectures on the topic as this would demonstrate proactive interest and gives you something to talk about at interview.

There are many others but this is an okay list.
Thank you very much for your help. I will take on board your advice! Have you studied psychology at uni?
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stephlmx
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(Original post by SnowyOwl2505)
I haven really decided on what field of psychology I would do, what would you tdo commend for someone who doesn’t know what field they would like to go into?
I would say that when applying to university you wouldn't need to do work experience specifically related to psychology. I study psychology at university and I have never done work experience related to psychology. Working any part time job or volunteering can bring valuable skills in itself for example teamwork, confidence, time management etc. I had a part time job at the time of applying for university as a waitress. You can describe what you have done and what you have learned from doing almost anything. So i wouldn't worry too much about doing work experience or anything too closely related to psychology, to get into a psychology degree. Get involved in extra curriculars you enjoy, get a part time job or volunteer (you can gain valuable employment skills from these), and learn more about the field of psychology as this will help you with writing your personal statement as to why you want to apply for psychology. I hope this helps!
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SnowyOwl2505
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(Original post by stephlmx)
I would say that when applying to university you wouldn't need to do work experience specifically related to psychology. I study psychology at university and I have never done work experience related to psychology. Working any part time job or volunteering can bring valuable skills in itself for example teamwork, confidence, time management etc. I had a part time job at the time of applying for university as a waitress. You can describe what you have done and what you have learned from doing almost anything. So i wouldn't worry too much about doing work experience or anything too closely related to psychology, to get into a psychology degree. Get involved in extra curriculars you enjoy, get a part time job or volunteer (you can gain valuable employment skills from these), and learn more about the field of psychology as this will help you with writing your personal statement as to why you want to apply for psychology. I hope this helps!
Thank you very much for your response. It was very helpful!!! If you don’t mind me asking how do you find psychology as a course that you study at uni? I have heard that it’s slightly similar to A- Level psychology, which is possibly good because I do A- Level Psychology.
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mini.me
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(Original post by SnowyOwl2505)
I haven really decided on what field of psychology I would do, what would you recommend for someone who doesn’t know what field they would like to go into?
Hey, if you are unsure maybe do some research into the different routes? There are some really good career websites to look at. The one I use the most the the prospects website:
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/
It's really good and there's a quiz to help match your personality to your potential job!
Hope this helps!
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SnowyOwl2505
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(Original post by mini.me)
Hey, if you are unsure maybe do some research into the different routes? There are some really good career websites to look at. The one I use the most the the prospects website:
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/
It's really good and there's a quiz to help match your personality to your potential job!
Hope this helps!
Thank you. I will definitely have a look at it!!!
Thanks again :-)
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PsychoD
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(Original post by SnowyOwl2505)
Thank you very much for your help. I will take on board your advice! Have you studied psychology at uni?
I currently study Psychology at UCL. Many people are undecided before they come to university, and many change their mind when they get here. That being said if you are applying to study at a top school work experience is a good way to bolster your application. Even if you can do something for a week or two it gives you something extra that other applicants don't have and gives you something to talk about if you are called for an interview.

If you can't get experience don't worry, read some key books in a field you're interested in and you can talk about that. Also remember that no amount of work experience can compensate for lower than required grades.
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SnowyOwl2505
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(Original post by PsychoD)
I currently study Psychology at UCL. Many people are undecided before they come to university, and many change their mind when they get here. That being said if you are applying to study at a top school work experience is a good way to bolster your application. Even if you can do something for a week or two it gives you something extra that other applicants don't have and gives you something to talk about if you are called for an interview.

If you can't get experience don't worry, read some key books in a field you're interested in and you can talk about that. Also remember that no amount of work experience can compensate for lower than required grades.
I 100% agree with whatever you have said. I’m going to soon write up my personal statement and apply for universities this summer.

Thanks for your help :-)
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stephlmx
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(Original post by SnowyOwl2505)
Thank you very much for your response. It was very helpful!!! If you don’t mind me asking how do you find psychology as a course that you study at uni? I have heard that it’s slightly similar to A- Level psychology, which is possibly good because I do A- Level Psychology.
No problem at all! I didn't study Psychology at A Level so i can't compare the two, but I study at a Scottish university where degrees are 4 years long and I have found my first year fairly straight forward and very broad. We have covered most areas only roughly really. In my second year we will cover the same topics but in slightly more depth. I imagine at an English university where the degrees are 3 years long, the first year would be like my first and second year combined, so fairly broad. I would say having done A level psychology you will be in a good position for starting any psychology course
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SnowyOwl2505
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(Original post by stephlmx)
No problem at all! I didn't study Psychology at A Level so i can't compare the two, but I study at a Scottish university where degrees are 4 years long and I have found my first year fairly straight forward and very broad. We have covered most areas only roughly really. In my second year we will cover the same topics but in slightly more depth. I imagine at an English university where the degrees are 3 years long, the first year would be like my first and second year combined, so fairly broad. I would say having done A level psychology you will be in a good position for starting any psychology course
Oh ok... thank you for giving me an insight. I have heard that A- Level Psychology is very similar to degree level Psychology. I suppose I would be at an advantage as I would have studied Psychology. Yes, English university courses are 3 years long! Seems long but it will fly by!! Do you get to pick modeules yourself??

Thanks :-)
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PsychoD
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(Original post by SnowyOwl2505)
Oh ok... thank you for giving me an insight. I have heard that A- Level Psychology is very similar to degree level Psychology. I suppose I would be at an advantage as I would have studied Psychology. Yes, English university courses are 3 years long! Seems long but it will fly by!! Do you get to pick modeules yourself??

Thanks :-)
I don't mean to hijack this post but I would advise you not to think of a psychology degree as the same A level Psychology (at least Edexcel). Every degree is different with better universities taking a more scientific approach. This means that you should enjoy (or at least not despise) biology and maths. The most common combinations of students applying for psychology are

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Biology
  • Mathematics

taken from which university.

Do you know where you are applying to yet? or what you are expecting at A2?
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SnowyOwl2505
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(Original post by PsychoD)
I don't mean to hijack this post but I would advise you not to think of a psychology degree as the same A level Psychology (at least Edexcel). Every degree is different with better universities taking a more scientific approach. This means that you should enjoy (or at least not despise) biology and maths. The most common combinations of students applying for psychology are

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Biology
  • Mathematics

taken from which university.

Do you know where you are applying to yet? or what you are expecting at A2?
I understand where you are coming from! I don’t know where to apply to yet but it’s in progress at the moment. I’m researching around now and see if I’m able to attend any open days! I have done my mocks which I’m predicted at least B, depending on these mocks my A2 predicted grades will be set hopefully!

Thanks
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stephlmx
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(Original post by PsychoD)
I don't mean to hijack this post but I would advise you not to think of a psychology degree as the same A level Psychology (at least Edexcel). Every degree is different with better universities taking a more scientific approach. This means that you should enjoy (or at least not despise) biology and maths. The most common combinations of students applying for psychology are

  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Biology
  • Mathematics

taken from which university.

Do you know where you are applying to yet? or what you are expecting at A2?
I think that it depends on the university. I study psychology at a russel group university and i haven't studied sociology, biology or maths. I did study chemistry though (but didn't do particularly well in that due to lack of interest in the subject and therefore motivation.) I have only studied maths at the minimum level required. I have studied psychology though and i've been able to indicate my interest through that and through my personal statement. Don't let not taking strong scientific subjects put you off applying for psychology. Sciences are useful, but i don't believe they are necessary because you can do well if you have the passion and drive in your subject. At the end of the day, do what you are interested in and good at and i believe you will get to a good destination
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sambeaz6
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Work experience means f*ck all really. People dont really care that much about it unless it's some major placement, so it doesn't matter where you go. Really the main focus is to let you know what work is really like, not so much to link it with your career prospsct
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stephlmx
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(Original post by SnowyOwl2505)
Oh ok... thank you for giving me an insight. I have heard that A- Level Psychology is very similar to degree level Psychology. I suppose I would be at an advantage as I would have studied Psychology. Yes, English university courses are 3 years long! Seems long but it will fly by!! Do you get to pick modeules yourself??

Thanks :-)
I don't get to choose my modules till my 3rd year, but my first years are very broad and straightforward anyway. Being briefly taught several main topics, you can then work out what you are interested in so that you can make reliable decisions with which modules to take in your later years.
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Doones
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(Original post by SnowyOwl2505)
Hi there,

I study three A- Levels and they are as follows:
- English Literature
- Psychology
- Sociology

I’m interested in pursuing a career in the field of psychology. However, I’m not too sure on what kind of work experience I would need to do to make my university application stronger than other applicants who are applying for the same course.

Any recommendations please?
Any tips/ advice?

Thanks
Pre-university work experience isn't required or expected.

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PsychoD
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(Original post by stephlmx)
I think that it depends on the university. I study psychology at a russel group university and i haven't studied sociology, biology or maths. I did study chemistry though (but didn't do particularly well in that due to lack of interest in the subject and therefore motivation.) I have only studied maths at the minimum level required. I have studied psychology though and i've been able to indicate my interest through that and through my personal statement. Don't let not taking strong scientific subjects put you off applying for psychology. Sciences are useful, but i don't believe they are necessary because you can do well if you have the passion and drive in your subject. At the end of the day, do what you are interested in and good at and i believe you will get to a good destination
I see where you're coming from, as the content of Psychology courses can be drastically different per university. If one feels scientifically inclined and wants a degree more similar to neuroscience than sociology choose a degree with modules that support this, and vice versa of course. I know that some degrees (or mine atleast) allow students to select a number of modules from any other degree course to make sure they tailor the degree to their interests. I know that many students on my course without Biology/Maths A level either swam and learnt the content or sunk hard claiming it's not what they signed up for.
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