MisLeiliaad
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I'm aspiring to become a clinical psychologist and I understand this takes a lot of work and time. Is this an accepted route?

- Finish level 3 course

- Begin Psychology BSC degree at open university

- Whilst doing the degree become an HCA and gain clinical exp

- Finish degree

- Do another year as an HCA

- Apply for a masters in clinical psych

- Become an assistant psychologist/ research assistant

- Apply for a doctorate!

Is this feasible/possible?
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marinade
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Whilst studying you'll be expected to get a bouquet of experience. The average Psychology grad in 2020 has several things on their CV that's vaguely clinical experience. This increases year by year.

You should consider a wider range of volunteer work and other routes like support worker and not just health care assistant.

The route you have written is possible. Probably focus less on a master's and more on beefing up other 'experience' outside of HCA.
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MisLeiliaad
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(Original post by marinade)
Whilst studying you'll be expected to get a bouquet of experience. The average Psychology grad in 2020 has several things on their CV that's vaguely clinical experience. This increases year by year.

You should consider a wider range of volunteer work and other routes like support worker and not just health care assistant.

The route you have written is possible. Probably focus less on a master's and more on beefing up other 'experience' outside of HCA.
I would still get lots more experience such as support worker

Does doing an open uni degree for psych affect my chances on getting onto a doctorate?
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Noodlzzz
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(Original post by MisLeiliaad)
I would still get lots more experience such as support worker

Does doing an open uni degree for psych affect my chances on getting onto a doctorate?
support worker isn't exactly 'relevant' experience for Clinical psych doctorate. AP roles are really more appropriate.
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MisLeiliaad
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
support worker isn't exactly 'relevant' experience for Clinical psych doctorate. AP roles are really more appropriate.
I have wrote AP too

What jobs should I get to help me get onto the doctorate?
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marinade
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(Original post by MisLeiliaad)
I would still get lots more experience such as support worker

Does doing an open uni degree for psych affect my chances on getting onto a doctorate?
There isn't much difference from where you get your degree from. I've met a number of OU graduates in psychology and they've gone onto low level clinical psychology careers. I've met more people that have gone onto the doctorate from lowly ranked ex-poly's than I have from russell group unis.

The graduates that are more imaginative on the roles in my experience tend to be ones that migrate onto jobs like PWP or AP quicker. If you look on the CVs of many successful trainee clinical psychologists many have things like support worker and a mix of environments and skills. More recent ones anyway. It isn't just a progression to NHS AP and then onto doctorate. AP is important, but it's not the only route. Within AP many jump roles every 9 months to a year and change to different AP roles. There is quite a lot of variation between different AP roles, they are most certainly not all the same.

As you're an OU student I don't know how many years you plan on doing it but it'll be likely 4.5 to 6 years your timeline will be a bit different. So I think the support worker or other roles would be particularly important for you.

A point about support worker is I would argue (in my experience of dealing with psychology graduates) is that it's easier to become a support worker than it is a HCA. That is going to sound very silly but particularly NHS roles people get funneled into them and there is massive competition and some really good candidates get their arses kicked. Support worker is a very hard job not to be taken lightly, but you can pick up all kinds of skills which will help you on the road. Whenever I've had a brief chat with disgruntled psychology grads at their wits end of being stuck in a rut recommending support worker has always paid off so that's my perspective.

What I would recommend doing (and you may pull your hair out at this suggestion) is spend a significant amount of time drawing out a map of mental health services and charities in your area. Research the landscape. Research everything. When you've done that, it'll become a lot more obvious what roles you should do at what times. This takes time because there are all sorts of 'vaguely' clinical opportunities which help where you are at the moment but few psychology students find out about. These are often small/medium charities local to an area.
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MisLeiliaad
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(Original post by marinade)
There isn't much difference from where you get your degree from. I've met a number of OU graduates in psychology and they've gone onto low level clinical psychology careers. I've met more people that have gone onto the doctorate from lowly ranked ex-poly's than I have from russell group unis.

The graduates that are more imaginative on the roles in my experience tend to be ones that migrate onto jobs like PWP or AP quicker. If you look on the CVs of many successful trainee clinical psychologists many have things like support worker and a mix of environments and skills. More recent ones anyway. It isn't just a progression to NHS AP and then onto doctorate. AP is important, but it's not the only route. Within AP many jump roles every 9 months to a year and change to different AP roles. There is quite a lot of variation between different AP roles, they are most certainly not all the same.

As you're an OU student I don't know how many years you plan on doing it but it'll be likely 4.5 to 6 years your timeline will be a bit different. So I think the support worker or other roles would be particularly important for you.

A point about support worker is I would argue (in my experience of dealing with psychology graduates) is that it's easier to become a support worker than it is a HCA. That is going to sound very silly but particularly NHS roles people get funneled into them and there is massive competition and some really good candidates get their arses kicked. Support worker is a very hard job not to be taken lightly, but you can pick up all kinds of skills which will help you on the road. Whenever I've had a brief chat with disgruntled psychology grads at their wits end of being stuck in a rut recommending support worker has always paid off so that's my perspective.

What I would recommend doing (and you may pull your hair out at this suggestion) is spend a significant amount of time drawing out a map of mental health services and charities in your area. Research the landscape. Research everything. When you've done that, it'll become a lot more obvious what roles you should do at what times. This takes time because there are all sorts of 'vaguely' clinical opportunities which help where you are at the moment but few psychology students find out about. These are often small/medium charities local to an area.
I was expecting the OU degree to just take me a standard 3 years?
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marinade
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(Original post by MisLeiliaad)
I was expecting the OU degree to just take me a standard 3 years?
That's unlikely to be literally true. There are combinations that take a bit longer such as 3 and a bit, 3.5 or 4.5 years.

You can technically do 120 credits per year. Aside from the workload there are a host of issues that make it more complicated. So some modules aren't done every year (less of that now) and there is the issue of overlap between modules. It used to be the case that there was a bigger spread of Oct-June and Feb-October modules. There's less of that now. Additionally for many OU degrees the dissertation module runs Jan-September which screws up the timings and leads to an infuriating (to some students) choice between having a six month gap or of doing modules concurrently.

Unless it's changed, last autumn the OU brought in a lot of changes again.

You need to go on student home and work out how long it'll take you. Level 1 modules piece of cake. Level 2 modules a sharper mind or someone very conscientious can do 90 credits or even 120. Level 3 most OU students struggle to do more than 30/60 credits at once.
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MisLeiliaad
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(Original post by marinade)
That's unlikely to be literally true. There are combinations that take a bit longer such as 3 and a bit, 3.5 or 4.5 years.

You can technically do 120 credits per year. Aside from the workload there are a host of issues that make it more complicated. So some modules aren't done every year (less of that now) and there is the issue of overlap between modules. It used to be the case that there was a bigger spread of Oct-June and Feb-October modules. There's less of that now. Additionally for many OU degrees the dissertation module runs Jan-September which screws up the timings and leads to an infuriating (to some students) choice between having a six month gap or of doing modules concurrently.

Unless it's changed, last autumn the OU brought in a lot of changes again.

You need to go on student home and work out how long it'll take you. Level 1 modules piece of cake. Level 2 modules a sharper mind or someone very conscientious can do 90 credits or even 120. Level 3 most OU students struggle to do more than 30/60 credits at once.
student home? how do I find that? Can you also work as a HCA whilst doing a fulltime OU degre?

Also sorry for all the questions but what is support worker?
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marinade
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(Original post by MisLeiliaad)
student home? how do I find that? Can you also work as a HCA whilst doing a fulltime OU degre?

Also sorry for all the questions but what is support worker?
Go through this http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/psycho...psychology-q07 and work how long it'll take to do on the modules you want.

I see with the revamps the OU have been a little naughty. It now says 3 years/6 years as if they are the standard routes. It's very unusual for someone to do a degree in 3 years.

Browsing quickly through the degree, I see the OU have made all OU modules 60 credits, however there is a mix of start dates some twice yearly modules and some once yearly. It does look like it's possible to do it in 3 years in some combinations.

For example:-

Level 1
E102 October once a year
Investigating Psychology 1 DE100 Jan or October start dates(?)
Level 2
D241 October once a year
DE200 Jan or October start dates
Level 3
DD317 October once a year
DE300 October once a year

So it is now technically possible to do it in 3 years and the OU marketing gurus seem to be actively encouraging this.

Would I recommend it. Nope. By all means do 120 credits level 1 in a year. Possibly level 2. For level 3 this ain't a good idea. I would recommend doing it in 4 years. I wouldn't be doing more than 20 hours a week as a HCA if you're wanting to do OU 3 years full time.

Student home is the main page when you log in to OU, I'd assumed you'd just started.

Support worker the best thing to do is go to jobs.nhs.uk and read through a few job descriptions. It's another role apart from HCA.
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MisLeiliaad
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(Original post by marinade)
Go through this http://www.open.ac.uk/courses/psycho...psychology-q07 and work how long it'll take to do on the modules you want.

I see with the revamps the OU have been a little naughty. It now says 3 years/6 years as if they are the standard routes. It's very unusual for someone to do a degree in 3 years.

Browsing quickly through the degree, I see the OU have made all OU modules 60 credits, however there is a mix of start dates some twice yearly modules and some once yearly. It does look like it's possible to do it in 3 years in some combinations.

For example:-

Level 1
E102 October once a year
Investigating Psychology 1 DE100 Jan or October start dates(?)
Level 2
D241 October once a year
DE200 Jan or October start dates
Level 3
DD317 October once a year
DE300 October once a year

So it is now technically possible to do it in 3 years and the OU marketing gurus seem to be actively encouraging this.

Would I recommend it. Nope. By all means do 120 credits level 1 in a year. Possibly level 2. For level 3 this ain't a good idea. I would recommend doing it in 4 years. I wouldn't be doing more than 20 hours a week as a HCA if you're wanting to do OU 3 years full time.

Student home is the main page when you log in to OU, I'd assumed you'd just started.

Support worker the best thing to do is go to jobs.nhs.uk and read through a few job descriptions. It's another role apart from HCA.
Thank you, I'll look into this more

Would you say becoming a clinical psychologist is a bad idea as it's so competitive/hard to get in? Would I be better off getting a degree say in allied healthcare (i.e. nursing or radiography) and then becoming a cp through conversion psych? What's your advice?
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marinade
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(Original post by MisLeiliaad)
Thank you, I'll look into this more

Would you say becoming a clinical psychologist is a bad idea as it's so competitive/hard to get in? Would I be better off getting a degree say in allied healthcare (i.e. nursing or radiography) and then becoming a cp through conversion psych? What's your advice?
Oh yikes.

Most psychology grads never become a clinical psychologist. It really depends whether people are happy having tried or doing the sort of roles on the way. Most grads even the ones who have made it to PWP or AP in their heart of hearts I strongly suspect don't like those roles if they are stuck in them. Very few say this openly. I've met a very small number that would be content being a PWP for ten years say. Or psychology grads make the sort of comment like noodlzzz did above above support worker - very common.

I think MH nursing is a better option. For being a PWP IAPT are about the last people on earth I'd want to work for and I see so many psychology students strive to get onto the doctorate and cheesed off.

MH nursing is a proper supervised profession as part of a team often with others - occupational therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists. Whether that suits you or not, I cannot say, but it's definitely worth considering. And a few years down the line you could do a conversion and try for chartered psychologist.

P.S. I'm not sure what draws you to HCA but if that is the case then nurse makes massive sense.
Last edited by marinade; 3 weeks ago
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bxrrryyy
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(Original post by MisLeiliaad)
I'm aspiring to become a clinical psychologist and I understand this takes a lot of work and time. Is this an accepted route?

- Finish level 3 course

- Begin Psychology BSC degree at open university

- Whilst doing the degree become an HCA and gain clinical exp

- Finish degree

- Do another year as an HCA

- Apply for a masters in clinical psych

- Become an assistant psychologist/ research assistant

- Apply for a doctorate!

Is this feasible/possible?
The route is different for everyone so for you, this may be feasible. However if it was me, within your degree, I'd see if there was any opportunities to do any voluntary research work (if OU has opportunities like this) because research experience before you graduate would be really useful in securing these jobs once you graduate. Also, personally, I wouldn't wait a year before doing your masters if you are going to do one. You might be lucky enough to do a placement within your masters that will give you the clinical experience you need to secure a good AP or research assistant role after.

Also, there are other options such as working as a PWP which could help you get onto the doctorate, which are arguably easier to get than AP jobs.

As other people have mentioned, try to get a wider range of experience. It might be useful to look at AP job person specifications and see now what kind of experience they want, and try to gain that experience over the next few years.
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bxrrryyy
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(Original post by MisLeiliaad)
Thank you, I'll look into this more

Would you say becoming a clinical psychologist is a bad idea as it's so competitive/hard to get in? Would I be better off getting a degree say in allied healthcare (i.e. nursing or radiography) and then becoming a cp through conversion psych? What's your advice?
The thing is with clinical psychology is that it is competitive. Not only is it difficult to get onto the doctorate, it's difficult to even get the experience you need for it. You just really have to be dedicated to it and willing to ride the wave.

There are lots of other options if you do choose psychology though, like becoming a CBT therapist. You could gain experience throughout your degree that might help you get onto a PWP course or even the new Clinical Associate Psychologist apprenticeship program. If you work well with kids and could see a future working with kids, you could tailor your experience to that and work in children's mental health throughout your degree and apply for CWP roles after. You could even apply for the trainee Children and Young Person's CBT therapist roles if you gather the right experience.

I guess if you are serious about clinical psychology, you are in a better position than many, because most people don't even know that's what they want to do before the end of their degree. I wish I knew earlier on so that I could've started building my experience earlier.
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