Studying Pyschology

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lhughes549
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Hi, I was wondering if I should try and figure out now what masters course I should do, or what type of psychologist I want to be (clinical/forensic) I'm going into my last year of A-levels and know I want to study psychology at uni, but will taking the course naturally guide me to what type of psychology I want to do after my undergraduate course? Or should I research and figure it out beforehand in order to structure my career path and get work experience that fits what I've decided to do.
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Rebecca_falk
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The course should guide you! I'm going to begin studying Psychology at uni next month and I have no idea where I'll specialise, but that's what's so great about it! If you do your research now and set your heart on, say, developmental psychology, you might find once you get there that the theory seemed great but you don't really enjoy it now that you're not reading for fun and actually have assignments. Read up on all the topics, certainly, but don't make a decision before you get to university, you might end up disheartened if it doesn't meet your expectations. Good luck with A-Levels!
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lhughes549
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(Original post by Rebecca_falk)
The course should guide you! I'm going to begin studying Psychology at uni next month and I have no idea where I'll specialise, but that's what's so great about it! If you do your research now and set your heart on, say, developmental psychology, you might find once you get there that the theory seemed great but you don't really enjoy it now that you're not reading for fun and actually have assignments. Read up on all the topics, certainly, but don't make a decision before you get to university, you might end up disheartened if it doesn't meet your expectations. Good luck with A-Levels!
Thank you! I've done some research so have a general idea, but hopefully it becomes more clear if/when I get onto the course! Good luck at uni!
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marinade
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(Original post by lhughes549)
Hi, I was wondering if I should try and figure out now what masters course I should do, or what type of psychologist I want to be (clinical/forensic) I'm going into my last year of A-levels and know I want to study psychology at uni, but will taking the course naturally guide me to what type of psychology I want to do after my undergraduate course? Or should I research and figure it out beforehand in order to structure my career path and get work experience that fits what I've decided to do.
No you shouldn't. Forget about masters' courses. You can't really research and figure it out beforehand. Yes, you can become more informed, but until you actually try things you don't really know. When you try things you will have face to face conversations and network and get ideas and this is invaluable. The problem in terms of researching psychology at A-levels is you will bump into a lot of first year uni students (sometimes second or third) here who greatest respect to them they don't have any idea what it involves to become a clinical psychologist. They read all the blurb. They don't know what it means. Or even really how to go about landing a clinical-ish job after uni.

Your time at uni and more importantly those crucial jobs and work experience you're going to get will help. A lot of 'clinical modules' won't happen to the late 2nd year or 3rd year.

I would say that researching beforehand is actually an active deterrent to getting the work experience that fits what you've decided to do. This is because what you research right now, you will only see a limited snapshot of available work experience. What happens is psychology students generally research away, they find the stuff their mates are doing, they see the stuff the uni is pushing e.g. placements abroad, psychology soc, nightline, research assistant projects end of second year, academic representative etc and they apply for all of those and then get really stressed out and angry that they haven't succeeded. Or they do so even when they do get those. When you are at uni you will have to find work experience. The work experience you find then and successfully get will likely not be known to you now or anyone you know now or even to people you go to uni with. Scary, but also kinda cool.

The other pitfall to work experience is psychology students take things quite literally. They think that unless it's a place in a hospital or has words like clinical or research assistant attached it's worthless. This tunnel vision means other opportunities that are valuable are overlooked. This is the biggest single mistake you can make.
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Liverpool Hope University
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(Original post by lhughes549)
Hi, I was wondering if I should try and figure out now what masters course I should do, or what type of psychologist I want to be (clinical/forensic) I'm going into my last year of A-levels and know I want to study psychology at uni, but will taking the course naturally guide me to what type of psychology I want to do after my undergraduate course? Or should I research and figure it out beforehand in order to structure my career path and get work experience that fits what I've decided to do.

Hi lhughes549
I think the advice provided by on here is really good. I would say that you will not know what area of psychology you are interested in until after you've completed your degree and you will learn a lot at university. A good example would be me. When I started university I knew I loved Victorian British history, however, I ended up doing a masters degree in history specialising in Food Policy in WW2 Britain.

Hope this helps.

Dom
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lhughes549
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#6
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(Original post by marinade)
No you shouldn't. Forget about masters' courses. You can't really research and figure it out beforehand. Yes, you can become more informed, but until you actually try things you don't really know. When you try things you will have face to face conversations and network and get ideas and this is invaluable. The problem in terms of researching psychology at A-levels is you will bump into a lot of first year uni students (sometimes second or third) here who greatest respect to them they don't have any idea what it involves to become a clinical psychologist. They read all the blurb. They don't know what it means. Or even really how to go about landing a clinical-ish job after uni.

Your time at uni and more importantly those crucial jobs and work experience you're going to get will help. A lot of 'clinical modules' won't happen to the late 2nd year or 3rd year.

I would say that researching beforehand is actually an active deterrent to getting the work experience that fits what you've decided to do. This is because what you research right now, you will only see a limited snapshot of available work experience. What happens is psychology students generally research away, they find the stuff their mates are doing, they see the stuff the uni is pushing e.g. placements abroad, psychology soc, nightline, research assistant projects end of second year, academic representative etc and they apply for all of those and then get really stressed out and angry that they haven't succeeded. Or they do so even when they do get those. When you are at uni you will have to find work experience. The work experience you find then and successfully get will likely not be known to you now or anyone you know now or even to people you go to uni with. Scary, but also kinda cool.

The other pitfall to work experience is psychology students take things quite literally. They think that unless it's a place in a hospital or has words like clinical or research assistant attached it's worthless. This tunnel vision means other opportunities that are valuable are overlooked. This is the biggest single mistake you can make.
This is super heplful! Thank you for the details
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