French student wishing to work in the UKWatch
My name is Elisa and I'm a French Psychology student. I've recently graduated from my university and now hold an undergraduate degree. I've also been accepted into two masters starting in September and I have to choose one which is proving quite difficult as I find both fields very interesting : Forensic Psychology or Neuropsychology.
For those who don't know, only five years of study are necessary in order to be a chartered psychologist in France (a 3-year undergraduate degree and a 2-year masters degree). In other words, I have two years left before I can work as a psychologist in France.
Also, I don't really know how it works in the UK. There seems to be different kinds of masters and phd degrees and I'm a bit lost as to what is more suitable if I want to just work as a clinical psychologist (either in neuropsychology or forensic psychology). In France, we only have two types of masters degrees : some are more research oriented, while some are practice oriented (after having completed 500 hours of internship during our degree). Obviously, there are masters in neuropsychology, social psychology, occupational psychology etc. Then, for those who want to pursue a career in research, they can apply for a 3-year phd degree in their field, although it doesn't mean they won't be able to work as psychologists in hospitals (for example) if they want to.
Also, we don't have a distinct "counselor" degree. A clinical psychologist is by definition a counselor/therapist.
However, my absolute dream has always been to move to the UK after my studies and work there. I would like to know, as a French psychologist holding a masters degree, will I be able to work there right away (provided my degree is BPS accredited) or will I have to complete a Phd first? I've tried to look for information on the internet but couldn't find much on the subject...
Also, what field seems to offer more opportunities, especially job opportunities in the UK? Neuropsychology or Forensic Psychology? (For the latter, I'd be interested in working as a clinical psychologist with victims of crime, not so much with criminals themselves).
I'm open for any piece of information or advice you can give me on the subject as there seem to be quite a few differences between France and the UK...
It would be particularly helpful to talk to a French student or psychologist studying/working in the UK or any person who knows how I could work in the UK with a French masters degree.
If you want to be a practitioner psychologist (e.g. clinical, forensic), you have two options:
- Qualify in France and hope that the HCPC will allow you to practise in the UK
- Do one of the courses in the UK (which is either a masters followed by 2 years of supervised practice or a doctorate, depending on what type of psychologist you want to be). You need work experience to either apply for the course or to be accepted in a job for the supervised practice, and the courses/job can be very competitive. Clinical especially is competitive. Forensic is a separate course in the UK
To be a neuropsychologist, first you need to either train to be a clinical or educational psychologist, then do additional training in neuropsychology: https://careers.bps.org.uk/area/neuro