The Student Room Group

Is a psychology masters worth it?

I graduated with a high 2:1 in psychology last year and am currently working as a mental health support worker. After graduating I really struggled to get an assistant psychologist job which really knocked my confidence. I want to eventually get on the clinical psychology doctorate course. How useful would a relevant master be in getting AP jobs and getting on the doctorate? I also have an interest in the research side of things so would doing a second dissertation for a masters be valuable for a research job? Thanks:smile:
Reply 1
Original post by EmmyParker23
I graduated with a high 2:1 in psychology last year and am currently working as a mental health support worker. After graduating I really struggled to get an assistant psychologist job which really knocked my confidence. I want to eventually get on the clinical psychology doctorate course. How useful would a relevant master be in getting AP jobs and getting on the doctorate? I also have an interest in the research side of things so would doing a second dissertation for a masters be valuable for a research job? Thanks:smile:

Hiya,

A masters would certainly be helpful! I feel your pain - it is such a competitive field, you really need to do anything and everything you can to help you stand out. I got lucky with my AP role as it came up in the company I already worked for and involved working with the same cohort of clients I had experience working with (substance misuse problems/ homelessness). The roles are so competitive, so be prepared to keep applying and just try to get as much experience and training as you can in the meantime.
There is not a straightforward answer, as it will depend on several factors.

Masters aren't a substitute for experience, supervision, exposure to working in clinical psychology related settings and understanding the role/ developing the capabilities required of a clinical psychologist. That material gives you stuff to reflect on in your application form and (hopefully) your DClinPsy interviews. That side needs to be priortised, and a good supervisor will give you the insight to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, especially if they have helped a few people through the pipeline.

No one needs one. However, Masters can help IF you use them properly.

I have seen students sign up, sit passively through lectures, take the easier/ 'more interesting' modules and do the bare minimum to get through it. That group may as well not have bothered, doesn't tend to fare well and are often left feeling ripped off because their MSc was a waste.

On the other hand I have seen MSc students really go beyond the syllabus and used the time to make links to researchers and clinicians, think about publication of their work rather than 'getting marks', and using that time to understand the system far better and understanding where they can shine at interview compared to their peers. That tends to work far better and they take, or even better still develop their own opportunities, which puts them in a great position when it comes to DClin applications.

This will depend on you more than anything else. How did you use your time as an undergrad? Did you publish anything, did you make links and foster mentorship relationships with staff or win awards? What did you do in your role as a MHSW? I know some of them will be attending meetings, writing up their dissertation or helping with audits, and actively making themselves useful to the service psychologists, whereas others just put their time in on a shift and the shotgun applications at the NHSJobs website (which tends to work less well).
Original post by EmmyParker23
I graduated with a high 2:1 in psychology last year and am currently working as a mental health support worker. After graduating I really struggled to get an assistant psychologist job which really knocked my confidence. I want to eventually get on the clinical psychology doctorate course. How useful would a relevant master be in getting AP jobs and getting on the doctorate? I also have an interest in the research side of things so would doing a second dissertation for a masters be valuable for a research job? Thanks:smile:

Hi there,

You do not need an MSc in Psychology to get an AP position or get on the clinical doctorate; however, having an MSc will increase your chances of securing an AP position and getting accepted for the doctorate. However, I would say focus more on work experience instead of education if you would like to end up as a clinical psychologist because relevant work experience is all you need. I would say work as a mental support worker until you get an AP position, or you may also want to apply for a PWP position. In the meantime, if you can also do an MSc - go for it. It will definitely be beneficial, but it is not a necessity.

Hope that helps!

Ivaylo
BSc Psychology, MSc Health Psychology student
Student Ambassador

Quick Reply

Latest