The Student Room Group

Becoming a Neuropsychologist or Neuroscientist

Hi all,

Last year I graduated with a first class honours from my bachelor's degree in psychology but have since been working in a different industry. I've realised I've hated it and really miss psychology. My main interest and the topic of my dissertation was focussed on the neuro side, and that's what I'm now considering a career in but I'm not really sure what my options are? Everything I've looked at seems to say you need a PhD, but you can't get a PhD without prior experience? Is getting a PhD the only option or can you go straight into working with just a bachelor's, and how do people normally fund a PhD?! Finally, just wanted to ask if anyone has any experience working in this field what kind of roles are available what the difference is between different roles in neuropsychology and neuroscience?

Sorry for asking so many questions in one big muddle, I'm just a bit lost! Thank you in advance! :smile:)
Two very different routes, and both competitive in different ways.

Clinical Neuropsychology is a specialism within clinical psychology, and will require you to qualify as a clinical psychologist which usually requires a DClinPsy (practitioner doctorate; see my FAQ in my sig for more details about experience etc or, before doing postdoctoral additional training in neuropsychology usually (a PGCert or Msc). These are basically NHS jobs and you are paid to study and work at the same time. See here for more details about the job itself:

Being a neuroscientist is an academic and/or research role. You are a scientist studying some aspect of neural functioning and writing papers rather than treating patients. You will need a PhD and then end up on the academic career path in a university or research instiution, or work in industry (e.g. pharmaceuticals). PhDs (including fees and a living expense stipend) normally are funded by the supervisor as part of a research grant or other sponsor. While you can self fund a PhD, its never usually advised.

In terms of experience prior to any of these doctoral training there are entry level graduate roles such as research assistant or assisant psychologist. Some people find doing an MSc helps them build knowledge and contacts, but these are not compulsory.
You can also train to be a clinical neuropsych after an educational or now counselling psychology doctorate

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