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alevel options to be a therapist

i want to be a therapist esp for mental health patients, but also for ordinary people. i already know i wanna do bio and psych for alevels but i really have no idea what to choose for my last option. I struggled with chem in gcse and that exam didn’t go too well for me so if i choose it i don’t know if i’ll get the grade needed to get into the sixth form i want to go to. And if i did i’m not sure i’ll be able to cope with chem bc i struggled with it at gcse which is really simple compared to alevel chem. the other option is maths, and i think i’ll get the entry requirement but everyone’s telling me not to do maths bc of how hard it is and doing further maths gcse really made me aware of how hard it could be. Another option is history but im not sure if i can go through that again😭. anyways if anyone has any advice on what to do/pick and if i should jus pull through then pls pls say
Original post by bisola1968
i want to be a therapist esp for mental health patients, but also for ordinary people. i already know i wanna do bio and psych for alevels but i really have no idea what to choose for my last option. I struggled with chem in gcse and that exam didn’t go too well for me so if i choose it i don’t know if i’ll get the grade needed to get into the sixth form i want to go to. And if i did i’m not sure i’ll be able to cope with chem bc i struggled with it at gcse which is really simple compared to alevel chem. the other option is maths, and i think i’ll get the entry requirement but everyone’s telling me not to do maths bc of how hard it is and doing further maths gcse really made me aware of how hard it could be. Another option is history but im not sure if i can go through that again😭. anyways if anyone has any advice on what to do/pick and if i should jus pull through then pls pls say


If you're specifically not choosing to become a psychiatrist, then anything else is fine. Psychiatry will require a degree in medicine, in which case you would ideally have biology and chemistry in your arsenal.

If you want to become a therapist, then you would be looking to do a BPS accredited psychology related degree (not that you would need a degree for some areas of psychology). A number of these degrees don't have specific subject requirements i.e. you can get 3 A Levels in any subjects and still get in. The pickier degree courses would ask for psychology or biology as a required subject. In other words, biology or psychology alone would be more than sufficient as your options (the other 2 A Levels can be in anything you want, so long you get high grades in them).
To look for BPS accredited degrees, see: https://portal.bps.org.uk/Accredited-Courses

If you specifically want to be a counsellor, you would ideally be doing a Level 3 course in counselling to get in. Whilst the industry doesn't strictly require you to have anything to call yourself a counsellor, a Level 3 is recommended.
Should you want to do something at uni to go into counselling, you can still go into the field with a degree in psychology, as opposed to just doing a degree in counselling. Personally, I would recommend the BPS accredited psychology degree, because you can more or less do anything in psychology with it (except psychiatry).
Should you decide to do a degree in counselling for any reason, the general entry requirements are 3 A Levels in any subjects, so long you meet the minimum grade requirements.

Note:
Chemistry A Level is one of those subjects where you need to really work hard in it and spend a lot of time in it to get far. Even the straight A student in GCSE chemistry can get Ds in the first year. It would test your resolve and you would need to really push through to get the grades you want; many have done it before, so it's not impossible.
Maths A Level - considering how much I like maths, I don't care much about your comments. Yes, GCSE further maths do have material from A Level Maths, but again, it's one of those subjects where you need to really work at it in order to get the grades you would need. It's not one of those subjects where you can look at something once and then expect straight As. Pretty much like chemistry, it tends to knock your confidence in the first year, but if you push through you can generally get the grades you want later on.
Depends on what kind of therapist and in what capacity really.

If you want to become a psychiatrist specialising in medical psychotherapy, you need to do a medical degree and thus would realistically need to aim to do two sciences including at least one of biology or chemistry (ideally both).

If you want to become a clinical pscyhologist, you would need to do a BPS accredited psychology degree. Requirements vary but many unis prefer or require at least one core science (sometimes A-level psychology is included, sometimes not).

I understand a number of other kinds of therapy you can go into from a range of degree backgrounds by doing an appropriate postgraduate course.

Based on what you've said, it sounds like the latter two options are more aligned to your strengths while still pursuing that interest. I'd suggest considering biology and/or psychology at A-level (which you are) and go from there :smile: If you are doing both then you can pick whatever for your third subject to go into psychology at the vast majority of unis and you'll be fine :biggrin:
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 3
Original post by artful_lounger
Depends on what kind of therapist and in what capacity really.

If you want to become a psychiatrist specialising in medical psychotherapy, you need to do a medical degree and thus would realistically need to aim to do two sciences including at least one of biology or chemistry (ideally both).

If you want to become a clinical pscyhologist, you would need to do a BPS accredited psychology degree. Requirements vary but many unis prefer or require at least one core science (sometimes A-level psychology is included, sometimes not).

I understand a number of other kinds of therapy you can go into from a range of degree backgrounds by doing an appropriate postgraduate course.

Based on what you've said, it sounds like the latter two options are more aligned to your strengths while still pursuing that interest. I'd suggest considering biology and/or psychology at A-level (which you are) and go from there :smile: If you are doing both then you can pick whatever for your third subject to go into psychology at the vast majority of unis and you'll be fine :biggrin:

thank you so much!!!
Reply 4
Original post by MindMax2000
If you're specifically not choosing to become a psychiatrist, then anything else is fine. Psychiatry will require a degree in medicine, in which case you would ideally have biology and chemistry in your arsenal.

If you want to become a therapist, then you would be looking to do a BPS accredited psychology related degree (not that you would need a degree for some areas of psychology). A number of these degrees don't have specific subject requirements i.e. you can get 3 A Levels in any subjects and still get in. The pickier degree courses would ask for psychology or biology as a required subject. In other words, biology or psychology alone would be more than sufficient as your options (the other 2 A Levels can be in anything you want, so long you get high grades in them).
To look for BPS accredited degrees, see: https://portal.bps.org.uk/Accredited-Courses

If you specifically want to be a counsellor, you would ideally be doing a Level 3 course in counselling to get in. Whilst the industry doesn't strictly require you to have anything to call yourself a counsellor, a Level 3 is recommended.
Should you want to do something at uni to go into counselling, you can still go into the field with a degree in psychology, as opposed to just doing a degree in counselling. Personally, I would recommend the BPS accredited psychology degree, because you can more or less do anything in psychology with it (except psychiatry).
Should you decide to do a degree in counselling for any reason, the general entry requirements are 3 A Levels in any subjects, so long you meet the minimum grade requirements.

Note:
Chemistry A Level is one of those subjects where you need to really work hard in it and spend a lot of time in it to get far. Even the straight A student in GCSE chemistry can get Ds in the first year. It would test your resolve and you would need to really push through to get the grades you want; many have done it before, so it's not impossible.
Maths A Level - considering how much I like maths, I don't care much about your comments. Yes, GCSE further maths do have material from A Level Maths, but again, it's one of those subjects where you need to really work at it in order to get the grades you would need. It's not one of those subjects where you can look at something once and then expect straight As. Pretty much like chemistry, it tends to knock your confidence in the first year, but if you push through you can generally get the grades you want later on.


thank you smm this really helped!!!
Reply 5
Clinical Psychologist - needs a PhD - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/clinical-psychologist
Counselling Psychologist - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/counselling-psychologist
Mental Health Nursing - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/mental-health-nurse
Social Work - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/social-worker

Btw, you might like to rethink your idea "for mental health patients, but also for ordinary people".
Those with mental health issues are ordinary people.
Reply 6
Original post by McGinger
Clinical Psychologist - needs a PhD - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/clinical-psychologist
Counselling Psychologist - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/counselling-psychologist
Mental Health Nursing - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/mental-health-nurse
Social Work - https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/social-worker

Btw, you might like to rethink your idea "for mental health patients, but also for ordinary people".
Those with mental health issues are ordinary people.

thank you sm for the links!! and you’re absolutely right i was jus trying to get across the idea.
Original post by bisola1968
i want to be a therapist esp for mental health patients, but also for ordinary people. i already know i wanna do bio and psych for alevels but i really have no idea what to choose for my last option. I struggled with chem in gcse and that exam didn’t go too well for me so if i choose it i don’t know if i’ll get the grade needed to get into the sixth form i want to go to. And if i did i’m not sure i’ll be able to cope with chem bc i struggled with it at gcse which is really simple compared to alevel chem. the other option is maths, and i think i’ll get the entry requirement but everyone’s telling me not to do maths bc of how hard it is and doing further maths gcse really made me aware of how hard it could be. Another option is history but im not sure if i can go through that again😭. anyways if anyone has any advice on what to do/pick and if i should jus pull through then pls pls say

Check on unis websites to see if they specify any other subjects (apart from the 2 you have already chosen). If they dont specify any others then pick whatever subject you want. Whatever you enjoy the most and think you will get the best grade in.

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