Msc Psychology conversion course after neuroscience degree.

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ims99
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I am in the final year of my neuroscience degree. I love neuroscience, however I also love psychology and I have decided to do a psychology conversion masters and start on the path towards being a clinical neuropsychologist.

I was just wondering if anyone else has switched from neuroscience to psychology? Also, does doing a psychology conversion masters make it even harder to get an assistant psychologist role?

TIA, Imogen.
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PsycStudent2020
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Harder than? The purpose of the conversion is to get your GBC from the BPS. Unless you already have GBC from your current course (I know some neuroscience courses do apply to this), you wouldn’t be able to apply for an AP role without having completed an MSc conversion / another accredited BSc
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ims99
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(Original post by PsycStudent2020)
Harder than? The purpose of the conversion is to get your GBC from the BPS. Unless you already have GBC from your current course (I know some neuroscience courses do apply to this), you wouldn’t be able to apply for an AP role without having completed an MSc conversion / another accredited BSc
Hi, sorry, I mean that I know how competitive AP roles are, so are people with conversion courses considered equally to those with an undergrad degree in psychology? Or would I be much less likely to get an AP role compared to someone who did their degree in psychology?
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PsycStudent2020
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While I haven't applied for AP roles (I've got a PhD offer from doing a conversion, and my first degree was in design), I did look at them and had also applied for the IAPT training scheme as a backup before I got my offer - I would imagine that a bigger part is what other relevant experience you bring to the table. That's likely where my gap was (I have 8 years experience including senior roles in a different field and a research internship - but they specifically ask for mental health experience). But doing a conversion certainly hasn't stopped me progressing on my own path.

On the masters, while you basically are going through an intense crash course in psychology and research methods, you also expected to produce work at a masters level. It's also more self-guided, independent learning. If you come out with good grades (particularly in your statistics work) then the fact it's a conversion degree shouldn't really be an issue. Having spoken to the course director of DClin at my university he considered the MSc Conversion to be a 'masters in psychology' rather than a "lesser" course so long as you get the marks

There's also a very honest summary from an AP here (post #6) - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=3841101

At the BPS careers conference end of last year they did reiterate that conversion students wouldn't be at a disadvantage over undergrad students. Yes there might be some individual snobbery about the concept, but ultimately when there's so much competition for roles it is more likely to be down to what you bring to the table as an individual. I've heard more about automatically rejecting people below certain grade boundaries, but not the same about the masters conversion.

Also worth mentioning lots of people take the course part time which may help you build up relevant work experience alongside (which would still be quicker than taking a BSc!)
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ims99
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(Original post by PsycStudent2020)
While I haven't applied for AP roles (I've got a PhD offer from doing a conversion, and my first degree was in design), I did look at them and had also applied for the IAPT training scheme as a backup before I got my offer - I would imagine that a bigger part is what other relevant experience you bring to the table. That's likely where my gap was (I have 8 years experience including senior roles in a different field and a research internship - but they specifically ask for mental health experience). But doing a conversion certainly hasn't stopped me progressing on my own path.

On the masters, while you basically are going through an intense crash course in psychology and research methods, you also expected to produce work at a masters level. It's also more self-guided, independent learning. If you come out with good grades (particularly in your statistics work) then the fact it's a conversion degree shouldn't really be an issue. Having spoken to the course director of DClin at my university he considered the MSc Conversion to be a 'masters in psychology' rather than a "lesser" course so long as you get the marks

There's also a very honest summary from an AP here (post #6) - https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=3841101

At the BPS careers conference end of last year they did reiterate that conversion students wouldn't be at a disadvantage over undergrad students. Yes there might be some individual snobbery about the concept, but ultimately when there's so much competition for roles it is more likely to be down to what you bring to the table as an individual. I've heard more about automatically rejecting people below certain grade boundaries, but not the same about the masters conversion.

Also worth mentioning lots of people take the course part time which may help you build up relevant work experience alongside (which would still be quicker tha taking a BSc!)
Thank you so much, this is really really helpful! I didn't think about doing a part time masters conversion alongside working to gain more experience, I might consider this! Good luck with your PhD!
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PsycStudent2020
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(Original post by ims99)
Thank you so much, this is really really helpful! I didn't think about doing a part time masters conversion alongside working to gain more experience, I might consider this! Good luck with your PhD!
No problem! It’s a confusing process at times and I had the same concerns before
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aliceD4
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(Original post by PsycStudent2020)
No problem! It’s a confusing process at times and I had the same concerns before
Hi PsycStudent2020,
I'm currently applying to conversion masters having no previous experience in the field and looking for a career change.
Based on your experience, how much does university reputation matter when doing a conversion msc and wanting to apply to a doctorate later on? I have been accepted to several unis for this msc (some part of Russell Group, some not) and I'm not sure how to choose.
Also some universities offer optional modules such a clinical or counselling psychology, others only offer an "applied psychology" module. Would you say these are important when thinking of future professional training / job prospects, for instance am I slightly more likely to be accepted into a clinical doctorate because I would have studied a dedicated clinical psychology module during the conversion msc?
Would love your advice, thank you in advance!
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(Original post by aliceD4)
Hi PsycStudent2020,
I'm currently applying to conversion masters having no previous experience in the field and looking for a career change.
Based on your experience, how much does university reputation matter when doing a conversion msc and wanting to apply to a doctorate later on? I have been accepted to several unis for this msc (some part of Russell Group, some not) and I'm not sure how to choose.
Also some universities offer optional modules such a clinical or counselling psychology, others only offer an "applied psychology" module. Would you say these are important when thinking of future professional training / job prospects, for instance am I slightly more likely to be accepted into a clinical doctorate because I would have studied a dedicated clinical psychology module during the conversion msc?
Would love your advice, thank you in advance!
Your #1 priority is getting GBC so as long as the courses that add the extra modules on still get you that then that’s ok.
I would stress it is an intense course though, so I’m not sure how they add that on top of the BPS requirements without taking away from the rest of the course (for example we spend a week on each topic - when I say intense it is intense!). 12 week term = 3 disciplines = 4 sub disciplines PLUS research methods modules on top. If you’re particularly interested in one area (clin, educational, etc) there’s normally a way you can try and incorporate those into your work when it’s relevant (psychobiology essays, research project, etc)

In terms of reputation, I guess it depends what you’re basing your assessment of rep on. I’m at an ex-poly but it ranks joint first for research impact in the U.K. That was important for me and pre-Covid I was helping on a really great study in addition to the course. It also has the educational, counselling and clinical psychology doctorates as well as org psyc at postgrad levels (My thinking originally was if I wanted to do clin psy they’re not going to judge me for going to the same uni / people hiring for AP roles will know the uni rep / may have even been there themselves). But if you just think about general uni rep you probably wouldn’t think about it. So I can’t really say that the reputation of my uni hasn’t helped me progress because it does have a good reputation within psychology circles if that makes sense?

If you have a few offers I would suggest - compare contact hours, class size, timetable, convenience, whether they’re doing any face to face teaching next term (online lectures are expected but you do need seminars / computer lab sessions), how you’re assessed etc. Email the course directors and ask - you’ll see immediately how responsive they are!
Also look at what else they do beyond the course (tip - check the school’s twitter / news pages, although ours isn’t regularly updated) - it will affect your research project at the end a bit due to supervisor allocation, but also gives you an idea of the department reputation as a whole. Your biggest priority overall is probably to get as good a mark as possible so that there’s no question you can’t handle study at a graduate level - think about the things that will most help you achieve that 😊

Hope that helps! Feel free to DM me if you have any specific questions
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aliceD4
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(Original post by PsycStudent2020)
Your #1 priority is getting GBC so as long as the courses that add the extra modules on still get you that then that’s ok.
I would stress it is an intense course though, so I’m not sure how they add that on top of the BPS requirements without taking away from the rest of the course (for example we spend a week on each topic - when I say intense it is intense!). 12 week term = 3 disciplines = 4 sub disciplines PLUS research methods modules on top. If you’re particularly interested in one area (clin, educational, etc) there’s normally a way you can try and incorporate those into your work when it’s relevant (psychobiology essays, research project, etc)

In terms of reputation, I guess it depends what you’re basing your assessment of rep on. I’m at an ex-poly but it ranks joint first for research impact in the U.K. That was important for me and pre-Covid I was helping on a really great study in addition to the course. It also has the educational, counselling and clinical psychology doctorates as well as org psyc at postgrad levels (My thinking originally was if I wanted to do clin psy they’re not going to judge me for going to the same uni / people hiring for AP roles will know the uni rep / may have even been there themselves). But if you just think about general uni rep you probably wouldn’t think about it. So I can’t really say that the reputation of my uni hasn’t helped me progress because it does have a good reputation within psychology circles if that makes sense?

If you have a few offers I would suggest - compare contact hours, class size, timetable, convenience, whether they’re doing any face to face teaching next term (online lectures are expected but you do need seminars / computer lab sessions), how you’re assessed etc. Email the course directors and ask - you’ll see immediately how responsive they are!
Also look at what else they do beyond the course (tip - check the school’s twitter / news pages, although ours isn’t regularly updated) - it will affect your research project at the end a bit due to supervisor allocation, but also gives you an idea of the department reputation as a whole. Your biggest priority overall is probably to get as good a mark as possible so that there’s no question you can’t handle study at a graduate level - think about the things that will most help you achieve that 😊

Hope that helps! Feel free to DM me if you have any specific questions
Thanks so much for taking the time to share all this! I really appreciate it.
I will do more research / ask questions around the overall content and structure of the classes + level of support. I might not have mentioned, but I will be doing the course part time and completely online, so that will affect the way the classes are delivered.
The MSc I am considering at Uni of Glasgow (with 2 optional modules) is actually longer than most programs (2.5 years part time instead of 2) so I believe that is how they make it all fit. But if I understand correctly, having these optional modules is not necessarily a major bonus on your CV (even though I do really like the opportunity to explore different applications).
And in terms of reputation, you're saying it wouldn't make a massive difference to go for a Russel Group uni necessarily - and grades are what's most important for doctorates etc, correct?
Thanks again
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(Original post by aliceD4)
Thanks so much for taking the time to share all this! I really appreciate it.
I will do more research / ask questions around the overall content and structure of the classes + level of support. I might not have mentioned, but I will be doing the course part time and completely online, so that will affect the way the classes are delivered.
The MSc I am considering at Uni of Glasgow (with 2 optional modules) is actually longer than most programs (2.5 years part time instead of 2) so I believe that is how they make it all fit. But if I understand correctly, having these optional modules is not necessarily a major bonus on your CV (even though I do really like the opportunity to explore different applications).
And in terms of reputation, you're saying it wouldn't make a massive difference to go for a Russel Group uni necessarily - and grades are what's most important for doctorates etc, correct?
Thanks again
You could always ask if you will have some live sessions rather than pre recorded? I’m not sure how the online courses work though. I would say seeing how responsive they are on email would be a good thing to see if you are doing the online route though. You’d also have decent online journal access I’d hope! (Something I’m struggling with right now!!)


The optional modules do sound good in terms of being able to specialise a bit more. It might also be worth checking the future courses / jobs you want to do to see exactly what you would need from the course

My PhD will be a research one but it will be funded and I haven’t ever gone to a Russell group, but that’s just my experience. About half of DClin courses are based at non-Russell group unis though - https://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/courses.html
I always like to believe it’s what you bring to the table as an individual and the experience you’ve accumulated but maybe I’m naive! It could be worth seeing if you can find any more specialised info from this group - https://mobile.twitter.com/DCPPreQual?lang=en

That’s not to say these paths aren’t really competitive (clin in particular is super competitive) - good grades and good references definitely should help, but I’ve heard work experience is just as important for DClin. Some people say the conversion is like PGCEs where you should just pick your closest uni, but if you’re online I guess it’s about what course / department you’re drawn to the most and how you’re being assessed. If that’s Glasgow then great! 😊
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(Original post by PsycStudent2020)
You could always ask if you will have some live sessions rather than pre recorded? I’m not sure how the online courses work though. I would say seeing how responsive they are on email would be a good thing to see if you are doing the online route though. You’d also have decent online journal access I’d hope! (Something I’m struggling with right now!!)


The optional modules do sound good in terms of being able to specialise a bit more. It might also be worth checking the future courses / jobs you want to do to see exactly what you would need from the course

My PhD will be a research one but it will be funded and I haven’t ever gone to a Russell group, but that’s just my experience. About half of DClin courses are based at non-Russell group unis though - https://www.leeds.ac.uk/chpccp/courses.html
I always like to believe it’s what you bring to the table as an individual and the experience you’ve accumulated but maybe I’m naive! It could be worth seeing if you can find any more specialised info from this group - https://mobile.twitter.com/DCPPreQual?lang=en

That’s not to say these paths aren’t really competitive (clin in particular is super competitive) - good grades and good references definitely should help, but I’ve heard work experience is just as important for DClin. Some people say the conversion is like PGCEs where you should just pick your closest uni, but if you’re online I guess it’s about what course / department you’re drawn to the most and how you’re being assessed. If that’s Glasgow then great! 😊
Makes sense, thanks a lot for your advice and perspective
I am most likely to pursue a clinical doctorate in Dublin Ireland which is where I live, and I know there is only one funded program (at UCD) that is very competitive, which is why I am trying to cover all my bases as much as possible. But I guess I also need to consider if the conversion course I pick suits my needs and expectations, and I believe Glasgow does.
Thanks again!
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ims99
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I've read a few posts that say a second masters degree after the conversion masters would be required in order to get an assistant psychologist position and then eventually onto a doctorate programme. Is this true? Or is the conversion masters still equivalent to a normal psychology masters?
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PsycStudent2020
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(Original post by ims99)
I've read a few posts that say a second masters degree after the conversion masters would be required in order to get an assistant psychologist position and then eventually onto a doctorate programme. Is this true? Or is the conversion masters still equivalent to a normal psychology masters?
Not really my area of expertise but someone who came to talk to us at the start of this academic year was about to start an AP role as soon as his GBC came through. He had an entirely different career / unrelated degree prior. It’s a masters and marked at a masters level, and I was told by the head of DClin at my uni that they consider it as such in applications

You can also start an AP role straight from undergrad level, you just need GBC. That doesn’t mean it isn’t extremely competitive which might explain why some people go on to do a further MSc. Also certain routes you have the option to do a masters + supervision years rather than a doctorate (like forensic)

Without the conversion (or the undergrad) you can’t get GBC and therefore wouldn’t be able to get an AP role (from my understanding) or do DClin
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