The Student Room Group

Which University is best to study Psychology?

I have for years been considering my life and a return to education to study Psychology. I have interest in Counselling/Therapy and Clinical Psychology in particular (as I want to help people and my interests are mostly in the mental health aspects of it) but also curious about Psychiatry, I would also be a mature student (40) and haven't studied since my GSCE's (of which I cannot recall what grades I got) I am also disabled so its a huge challenge/ambition to take this on really, but I keep coming back to this path as if it is something I should do.

I have done some research but truly unsure which University is most suitable as there is so much information, such as "it is best to go to a Russell Group Uni" etc, what I want to know really is, as a mature student with little experience which University (in your opinions) is a well respected one to study Psychology, and why.

If I go into this I would love to have something reputable behind me that puts me in good stead to possibly become a psychologist/counsellor/psychiatrist. I know it is over ambitious to say so, but I know how snobbish many companies are when it comes to education and where you went/background/etc. Much like America with their IVY leagues and Harvard status schools.

Any information or comments on the universities will be massively appreciated. I did consider local universities (North East UK) but willing to relocate for the right course really.

I'm kind of lost/confused about where is best so opinions on this are valuable to me.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by s7o
I have for years been considering my life and a return to education to study Psychology. I have interest in Counselling/Therapy and Psychiatry in particular (as I want to help people and my interests are mostly in the mental health aspects of it) but I would also be a mature student (40) and haven't studied since my GSCE's (of which I cannot recall what grades I got) I am also disabled so its a huge challenge/ambition to take this on really, but I keep coming back to this path as if it is something I should do.

I have done some research but truly unsure which University is most suitable as there is so much information, such as "it is best to go to a Russell Group Uni" etc, what I want to know really is, as a mature student with little experience which University (in your opinions) is a well respected one to study Psychology, and why.

If I go into this I would love to have something reputable behind me that puts me in good stead to possibly become a psychologist/counsellor/psychiatrist. I know it is over ambitious to say so, but I know how snobbish many companies are when it comes to education and where you went/background/etc. Much like America with their IVY leagues and Harvard status schools.

Any information or comments on the universities will be massively appreciated. I did consider local universities (North East UK) but willing to relocate for the right course really.

I'm kind of lost/confused about where is best so opinions on this are valuable to me.

No, university does not matter for psychology, so pick the best uni for you, as ultimately all that matters is the final classification if you are wanting to progress to practitioner psychologist roles.

I would also recommend reviewing why you want to do Psychology and what you would like to do with it, as a degree in psychology will not lead to psychiatry, likewise there are easier routes to counselling that a psychology degree. Basically, all 3 of the roles you listed are completely different and have different academic pathways.

Greg
Well it depends in order to become a psychiatrist you need to do a medical degree, because you will be dealing people with serious mental health issue e.g., schizo and pescribe them with drugs. To become a psychologist, you would need to work up and get a phD degree. With counselling you would need to do courses to to obtain a level 3 certificate, so you are eligible to actually train for counselling (master degree level).

It is a very competitive field, so experience is needed. Tbh, there isn't really the best university, yes Russel group has a big reputation, but if you don't feel at "home" or getting enough support from the uni, then it's better to go somewhere else, that are better suited for your needs. Look at some courses and attend open day, so you can get a better idea on what will be suitable for you and also get a feel of university life :smile:. There is lots of psychology courses, which varies from diff unis.
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 3
It is

Original post by greg tony
No, university does not matter for psychology, so pick the best uni for you, as ultimately all that matters is the final classification if you are wanting to progress to practitioner psychologist roles.

I would also recommend reviewing why you want to do Psychology and what you would like to do with it, as a degree in psychology will not lead to psychiatry, likewise there are easier routes to counselling that a psychology degree. Basically, all 3 of the roles you listed are completely different and have different academic pathways.

Greg

I have always been drawn to mental health and psychology and well, I am one of those people with a constant existential crisis (haha) so I question and want to understand everything, for years now though I have wanted to help others either as a counsellor OR clinical psychologist (aware the latter would mean undergrad > masters > doctorate) etc, so I am just looking for an undergrad now that has potential to lead to those routes as I guess I might choose a specialist area to focus on in a degree really. So looking more to Psychology with Counselling type options.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by s7o
It is


I have always been drawn to mental health and psychology and well, I am one of those people with a constant existential crisis (haha) so I question and want to understand everything, for years now though I have wanted to help others either as a counsellor OR psychiatrist (aware the latter would mean undergrad > masters > doctorate) etc, so I am just looking for an undergrad now that has potential to lead to those routes as I guess I might choose a specialist area to focus on in a degree really. So looking more to Psychology with Counselling type options.

You’re incorrect. Psychiatry would require a medical degree.
Reply 5
Original post by IronWoman2002
Well it depends in order to become a psychiatrist you need to do a medical degree, because you will be dealing people with serious mental health issue e.g., schizo and pescribe them with drugs. To become a psychologist, you would need to work up and get a phD degree. With counselling you would need to do courses to to obtain a level 3 certificate, so you are eligible to actually train for counselling (master degree level).

It is a very competitive field, so experience is needed. Tbh, there isn't really the best university, yes Russel group has a big reputation, but if you don't feel at "home" or getting enough support from the uni, then it's better to go somewhere else, that are better suited for your needs. Look at some courses and attend open day, so you can get a better idea on what will be suitable for you and also get a feel of university life :smile:. There is lots of psychology courses, which varies from diff unis.

This is all what I am considering, I know the clinical psychology and psychiatry route is very difficult really, and at my age seems soooooo much more intimidating. My idea was to find a degree that combines a few areas of expertise such as psychology with counselling, with hope I could focus on whichever I feel drawn to more at end. Psychiatry is VERY interesting to me, and realistically I know it isn't likely I would achieve that, but I want to make the right choice on right course so I could have that option, at least.
(edited 2 years ago)
Reply 6
Original post by IronWoman2002
Well it depends in order to become a psychiatrist you need to do a medical degree, because you will be dealing people with serious mental health issue e.g., schizo and pescribe them with drugs. To become a psychologist, you would need to work up and get a phD degree. With counselling you would need to do courses to to obtain a level 3 certificate, so you are eligible to actually train for counselling (master degree level).

It is a very competitive field, so experience is needed. Tbh, there isn't really the best university, yes Russel group has a big reputation, but if you don't feel at "home" or getting enough support from the uni, then it's better to go somewhere else, that are better suited for your needs. Look at some courses and attend open day, so you can get a better idea on what will be suitable for you and also get a feel of university life :smile:. There is lots of psychology courses, which varies from diff unis.

This is all what I am considering, I know the psychiatry route is very difficult really, and at my age seems soooooo much more. My idea was to find a degree that combines a few areas of expertise such as psychology with counselling, with hope I could focus on whichever I feel drawn to more at end. Psychiatry is VERY interesting to me, and realistically I know it isn't likely I would achieve that, but I want to make the right choice on right course so I could have that option, at least.
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by s7o
This is all what I am considering, I know the psychiatry route is very difficult really, and at my age seems soooooo much more. My idea was to find a degree that combines a few areas of expertise such as psychology with counselling, with hope I could focus on whichever I feel drawn to more at end. Psychiatry is VERY interesting to me, and realistically I know it isn't likely I would achieve that, but I want to make the right choice on right course so I could have that option, at least.


Sorry, yes, what I meant to say was the route I'm looking into was through the degrees towards PHD then into medicine. It would be roughly 3yrs undergrad, 4 years bachelors and 4-5 medicine. I am a little tired as it is 11pm so missed that.

Bachelors and undergrad are the same thing. Where the PhD fits into you doing two undergraduate degrees and then another degree in medicine I’m not sure but if I took you literally you’re describing spending fifteen years as a student before becoming a psychiatrist. You need to sort yourself out.
You want to be a psychiatrist, study medicine and become a psychiatrist. You don’t d*** about doing innumerable academic degrees first. You don’t sound like you have any idea what you’re talking about to be perfectly honest.
Reply 8
Original post by Turning_A_Corner
Bachelors and undergrad are the same thing. Where the PhD fits into you doing two undergraduate degrees and then another degree in medicine I’m not sure but if I took you literally you’re describing spending fifteen years as a student before becoming a psychiatrist. You need to sort yourself out.
You want to be a psychiatrist, study medicine and become a psychiatrist. You don’t d*** about doing innumerable academic degrees first. You don’t sound like you have any idea what you’re talking about to be perfectly honest.

What I DID say was I am interested in many areas of Psychology but swaying more to counselling side, I was asking for course and uni recommendations to help me decide which is the best route to achieving any of those paths. It is unlikely I would pursue Psychiatry, but I would pursue Clinical Psychology. I was simply just interested in the opportunities the degree can bring. You don't have to be rude, I meant undergrad > masters. Again it is 11pm/midnight when typing that so I do apologise if my brain fart/mistake annoyed you. I was not being dense saying I will study for 15yrs I was pointing out the time taken to achieving certain careers from it and I explained again it is more counselling I am looking into. I was simply asking what Universities are good for these studies.
Original post by s7o
What I DID say was I am interested in many areas of Psychology but swaying more to counselling side, I was asking for course and uni recommendations to help me decide which is the best route to achieving any of those paths. It is unlikely I would pursue Psychiatry, but I would pursue Clinical Psychology. I was simply just interested in the opportunities the degree can bring. You don't have to be rude, I meant undergrad > masters. Again it is 11pm/midnight when typing that so I do apologise if my brain fart/mistake annoyed you. I was not being dense saying I will study for 15yrs I was pointing out the time taken to achieving certain careers from it and I explained again it is more counselling I am looking into. I was simply asking what Universities are good for these studies.

It’s actually quite hard to engage with this. You keep changing the goal posts. You’ve edited your posts to mention clinical psychology now but prior to that I don’t think you’d even mentioned it once. You’re using non-interchangeable terms interchangeably and it’s irritating.

In answer to your original question, it does not matter where you study for psychology or psychiatry. Your choices around work experience, research etc do matter though. So I’ll reiterate my earlier advice to sort yourself out and start getting your head around things.

I’ll also say another thing I say to a lot of people interested in mental health. Consider becoming a mental health nurse. It’s quicker than any of the other things you mentioned and allows you to actually do the therapy you want to do. Far safer route than any of the others and you’ll maximise your earning potential faster.
Original post by s7o
This is all what I am considering, I know the clinical psychology and psychiatry route is very difficult really, and at my age seems soooooo much more intimidating. My idea was to find a degree that combines a few areas of expertise such as psychology with counselling, with hope I could focus on whichever I feel drawn to more at end. Psychiatry is VERY interesting to me, and realistically I know it isn't likely I would achieve that, but I want to make the right choice on right course so I could have that option, at least.

Psychiatry is completely different to counselling, as they deal with issues differently. With counselling there is a wide range of therapy e.g., person - centred approach, CBT and psychotherapy. But I defo recommend looking at places, as this will give you an idea. I would say also get a job relating to mental health or something that is a helping role, to get you started into this career. As further along the line, experience is needed.
Original post by s7o
I have for years been considering my life and a return to education to study Psychology. I have interest in Counselling/Therapy and Clinical Psychology in particular (as I want to help people and my interests are mostly in the mental health aspects of it) but also curious about Psychiatry, I would also be a mature student (40) and haven't studied since my GSCE's (of which I cannot recall what grades I got) I am also disabled so its a huge challenge/ambition to take this on really, but I keep coming back to this path as if it is something I should do.

I have done some research but truly unsure which University is most suitable as there is so much information, such as "it is best to go to a Russell Group Uni" etc, what I want to know really is, as a mature student with little experience which University (in your opinions) is a well respected one to study Psychology, and why.

If I go into this I would love to have something reputable behind me that puts me in good stead to possibly become a psychologist/counsellor/psychiatrist. I know it is over ambitious to say so, but I know how snobbish many companies are when it comes to education and where you went/background/etc. Much like America with their IVY leagues and Harvard status schools.

Any information or comments on the universities will be massively appreciated. I did consider local universities (North East UK) but willing to relocate for the right course really.

I'm kind of lost/confused about where is best so opinions on this are valuable to me.

Hi there,

Every university is good for psychology as long as the course is accredited with a regulatory body, for example, the British Psychological Society. Final classification and work experience is all that matters in the end, so pick whichever university is convenient for you. I did my BSc (Hons) Psychology at Coventry University and immensely enjoyed it. I'm also currently doing MSc in Health Psychology at Coventry University, and I'm very satisfied with the course and the student-teacher interaction. If you would like to have a look at what we offer, please visit the following link - https://www.coventry.ac.uk/course-structure/ug/hls/psychology-bsc-hons/

Ivaylo
BSc Psychology, MSc Health Psychology student
Student Ambassador
Hiya, if I were you, I would definitely apply to do undergrad psychology, you can do some courses which are Psychology and counselling, or you can do pure Psychology courses or ones with placement years/years in industry, if you want to become a clinical Psych, I would highly recommend, that your undergraduate has a year of work experience/in industry. this is because in order to obtain a PHD, you need (they say 1 year of experience, however, it is normally at least 3) and most places won't take you on unless you have experience, but you can't find experience in the first place, its a vicious cycle!!

Just for context: 3/4 years undergrad, 2/3/4 years of jobs relating to psychology, preferably an assistant psychologist and then 3 years of PhD, its a long process!!

I would recommend the Psychology (clinical) Msc at Exeter, that way you kill many birds with one stone, an undergrad, a masters and experience!!

have a look at this website, it is very interesting in terms of how long people waited to get a PhD in clinical Psychology
https://www.clinpsy.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=145
make sure you look at the more recent ones from about page 25 onwards.
Original post by s7o
This is all what I am considering, I know the clinical psychology and psychiatry route is very difficult really, and at my age seems soooooo much more intimidating. My idea was to find a degree that combines a few areas of expertise such as psychology with counselling, with hope I could focus on whichever I feel drawn to more at end. Psychiatry is VERY interesting to me, and realistically I know it isn't likely I would achieve that, but I want to make the right choice on right course so I could have that option, at least.


It there is nothing wrong with being a mature student. You are just going for what you want and not letting your age get in the way. I am looking to become a clinical psychologist so I would need to do undergrad psych then a year of work experience in clinical psychology and then go on to do a DClinPsy. However if you want to go into psychiatry then you will have to go into medical school. Med school is 5 years and is very hard and I think afterwards you would have to specialise into psychiatry. But don’t let this discourage you. If you love it enough I am 100% you will put in the hard work. I hope this helps
Reply 14
Have you considered mental health nursing? You can do a 3 year degree in Mental Health Nursing and its likely that you will be employed straight away after. I'm a mental health nurse working a community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team. My role is very similar to the psychologists in our team. Many of my university course mates were mature students so its something that courses are aware of, and everyone in my cohort was employed in their area// team of choice after graduating. Progression is good too. I highly recommend this pathway - i know many people who have studied psychology but then changed to mental health nursing. I hope this helps!
(edited 2 years ago)
Original post by s7o
This is all what I am considering, I know the clinical psychology and psychiatry route is very difficult really, and at my age seems soooooo much more intimidating. My idea was to find a degree that combines a few areas of expertise such as psychology with counselling, with hope I could focus on whichever I feel drawn to more at end. Psychiatry is VERY interesting to me, and realistically I know it isn't likely I would achieve that, but I want to make the right choice on right course so I could have that option, at least.

Look up, not down. :biggrin:

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