psychstudent2021
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What are the immediate career prospects for someone graduating from a Masters in Psychology Conversion course?
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psychstudent2021
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I'm an international student looking to apply for a BPS accredited conversion course. I know that the track to counselling or clinical psychology afterwards is a long process.
What I want to know is what kind of jobs I'd be able to apply for directly after graduating?
I also know work experience is a huge factor in getting employed. So for people who have done their conversion course- were you able to gain any independent work experience while doing the course?
My concern is that I graduate and then have to do unpaid or voluntary work for a year before I am actually taken seriously for a paid position.
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bones-mccoy
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I didn't get any experience directly related to my future career path whilst doing the conversion course - I ended up getting the experience a couple of years after - but I could have done if I'd wanted to. It all depends what kind of area you want to work in really, in terms of job prospects after the conversion, then healthcare assistant or support worker roles seem to be quite popular. Maybe even research assistant or assistant psychologist if you get enough experience under your belt whilst studying.
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psychstudent2021
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(Original post by bones-mccoy)
I didn't get any experience directly related to my future career path whilst doing the conversion course - I ended up getting the experience a couple of years after - but I could have done if I'd wanted to. It all depends what kind of area you want to work in really, in terms of job prospects after the conversion, then healthcare assistant or support worker roles seem to be quite popular. Maybe even research assistant or assistant psychologist if you get enough experience under your belt whilst studying.
Hey, thanks for replying.

When you say healthcare assistant or support worker is that a broader category of work you're going to be doing? Ive read that its frontline work. Inclusive of helping those with different needs, care for elders, etc. But does that kind of experience count if you're applying for an assistant psychologist or for your future doctoral program?

Also what do you think are the best options for work experience for someone while doing the course?

When it comes down to area of work really I want to be able to help people with their psychological issues- broad a category as that may be.

In the long run I want to be a therapist. The person engaging with talk therapy with their patients and helping to develop treatment plans for them.
So, Im less interested in research as a whole right now. But Ive noticed that some of the better universities emphasise research a lot and of course you need a doctorate to be a clinical/counselling psychologist.

So do you think that choosing a school based on its ability to produce doctoral candidates and focusing hard on research and qualifying as a clinical psychologist is the most practical way to get where I want?

Or is there a more direct way into therapy through relevant work experience and maybe doing a further masters in counselling after the conversion course?

I am aware Im bombarding you with a lot of questions, mate.

Its just there is a world of difference between online articles and a conversation with a person who'se actually been through it. So any insight you have is appreciated.
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tinygirl96
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(Original post by psychstudent2021)
Hey, thanks for replying.

When you say healthcare assistant or support worker is that a broader category of work you're going to be doing? Ive read that its frontline work. Inclusive of helping those with different needs, care for elders, etc. But does that kind of experience count if you're applying for an assistant psychologist or for your future doctoral program?

Also what do you think are the best options for work experience for someone while doing the course?

When it comes down to area of work really I want to be able to help people with their psychological issues- broad a category as that may be.

In the long run I want to be a therapist. The person engaging with talk therapy with their patients and helping to develop treatment plans for them.
So, Im less interested in research as a whole right now. But Ive noticed that some of the better universities emphasise research a lot and of course you need a doctorate to be a clinical/counselling psychologist.

So do you think that choosing a school based on its ability to produce doctoral candidates and focusing hard on research and qualifying as a clinical psychologist is the most practical way to get where I want?

Or is there a more direct way into therapy through relevant work experience and maybe doing a further masters in counselling after the conversion course?

I am aware Im bombarding you with a lot of questions, mate.

Its just there is a world of difference between online articles and a conversation with a person who'se actually been through it. So any insight you have is appreciated.
research is key.
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psychstudent2021
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(Original post by tinygirl96)
research is key.
Hi,
Do you mean focusing more on research oriented work?
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giella
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If you want to be a therapist, you don’t need to do a psychology conversion degree. There are direct entry vocational master’s degrees in psychotherapy and counselling that you can do to achieve your aim. They’re long but more directly related to what you want to do.
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psychstudent2021
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(Original post by giella)
If you want to be a therapist, you don’t need to do a psychology conversion degree. There are direct entry vocational master’s degrees in psychotherapy and counselling that you can do to achieve your aim. They’re long but more directly related to what you want to do.
But given that I am coming from a background that is not related at all (Accountancy). Are these courses likely to require some sort of psych credits or experience beforehand?
Because Ive noticed that to be the case with several BACP accredited counselling courses.
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Lord Asriel
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No, if you want to be a practitioner psychologist (clinical, forensic, health psychologist) specifically you will need an undergrad degree/ conversion course. This is a theoretical academic course that has no direct therapeutic content (unless you do a placement year in a clinical setting). In psychology, the therapeutic training comes in the experience you gain and in the postgraduate training you do after your degree. Those coming out at Undergrad/conversion won't have any appliable clinical skills, so often have to take up generic health posts (open to anyone) to accrue clinical experience. These are often poorly paid and are low on the ladder. Otherwise, you will have access to any generic post that requires a degree, as there are no specific jobs that only require a psychology degree and no further training or experience.

For specific counselling and psychotherapy training (which are therapy focussed), you don't need a psychology degree and the route is open to a lot of different starting points. Some of these don't require a degree at all, some require an undergrad and some postgrad. There are so many different types you can't cover them all.

However, there are some psychotherapy training routes that require a core profession (e.g. psychology, nursing, medicine) or substantial clinical experience and may be considered post qualified training routes. You will know what these are when you start to research each therapeutic area.
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giella
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If you look at the MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling at Leeds (one of the first to come up on Google) the only requirement for entry is a 2.1 degree in any discipline and a level 3 certificate of counselling, which can be done almost anywhere.
Different degrees have different requirements. Worth checking through. Warwick does require a social sciences background and UEL requires clinical experiences. Some places waive the subject specific requirement if you have relevant experience.
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bones-mccoy
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(Original post by psychstudent2021)
Hey, thanks for replying.

When you say healthcare assistant or support worker is that a broader category of work you're going to be doing? Ive read that its frontline work. Inclusive of helping those with different needs, care for elders, etc. But does that kind of experience count if you're applying for an assistant psychologist or for your future doctoral program?

Also what do you think are the best options for work experience for someone while doing the course?

When it comes down to area of work really I want to be able to help people with their psychological issues- broad a category as that may be.

In the long run I want to be a therapist. The person engaging with talk therapy with their patients and helping to develop treatment plans for them.
So, Im less interested in research as a whole right now. But Ive noticed that some of the better universities emphasise research a lot and of course you need a doctorate to be a clinical/counselling psychologist.

So do you think that choosing a school based on its ability to produce doctoral candidates and focusing hard on research and qualifying as a clinical psychologist is the most practical way to get where I want?

Or is there a more direct way into therapy through relevant work experience and maybe doing a further masters in counselling after the conversion course?

I am aware Im bombarding you with a lot of questions, mate.

Its just there is a world of difference between online articles and a conversation with a person who'se actually been through it. So any insight you have is appreciated.
HCA and support workers just seem to be two of the most common roles you'll see graduates going into as a 'first step on the career ladder' kind of thing. Obviously to become a psychologist you need to complete PhD level study so getting relevant experience is vital before applying for Stage 2's or doctorates, and companies are always crying out for people to fill vacancies. It's definitely something I'll be looking into once I pass my driving test, but ideally in a secure setting as I'm going into Forensic Psychology.

Experience in a healthcare setting would be ideal whilst doing the conversion course and relevant voluntary work would help you reach those roles. Organisations and charities that support those who are vulnerable are always a good shout - working with those experiencing mental illness, substance misuse, domestic violence, homelessness etc. Also showing that you're engaging with continuing professional development and reflective skills are important, I'm sure there's online courses out there you can do for free and give you at least some insight into particular topics.

But then as others have said, you don't need a conversion course to become a therapist. I'm not sure what sort of background you need to become a therapist but I do know they place a lot of emphasis on personality traits and experience rather than being super into your academic background. There's lots of different entry routes depending on your previous qualifications/experience - my partner's daughter considered becoming a therapist and she could have started by doing a college course, others with a degree or postgrad can eneter at different points also.
Last edited by bones-mccoy; 3 months ago
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