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should i do a placement year for psychology?

should i do a placement year for psychology? I just wanna know if it's actually beneficial to do a placement year for psychology considering i want to go into psychology field in the future.
It's trade off, but if you want to go into an applied field like Educational or Clinical Psychology having a placement is incredibly helpful in getting the necessary experience. The biggest hurdle psychology graduates face is getting the first foot in the door and standing out from the crowd of other psychology graduates. A placement not only gives you that experience, but also some contacts in that field.

Some of those avenues are only open to undergraduates on a particular course. For instance, my clinical service only takes undergrads on placement years from our local university, as we have the HR agreement and paperwork in place. In contrast, if grads approach us independently for experience we aren't able to take them on because that stuff isn't covered.

It is less helpful if you have contacts already in that area and can line up a relevant post yourself. For example, if your mum is a headteacher and you are interested in Ed psych, you could probably put something comparable together with those connections. In that case, it may not be worth the extra years fees.
Original post by giselledias08
should i do a placement year for psychology? I just wanna know if it's actually beneficial to do a placement year for psychology considering i want to go into psychology field in the future.


Hey,

I did Psychology and personally didn't do a placement year because I wanted to go into research, but I know others who also didn't and have managed to get graduate jobs with little struggle. However, I think a placement year is quite valuable if you're looking to go into a specific field, as it allows you to get a feel for whether it will be right for you. Universities generally have links with specific companies so can help you get placement positions, and having this experience helps you stand out from the crowd as said above, as you finish university with a year of relevant industry experience.

The best thing about a placement year in my opinion is that you can actually get a job offer at the end of it; I have a few friends who secured a job offer that they were able to start basically straight after graduating. This can eliminate a lot of stress in looking for work after university. Even if you don't secure an offer at the end, you will still have a year of industry experience to support any other job applications. :smile:

Hope this helps!

Natalie
University of Kent Student Rep
Reply 3
Original post by university of kent
hey,

i did psychology and personally didn't do a placement year because i wanted to go into research, but i know others who also didn't and have managed to get graduate jobs with little struggle. However, i think a placement year is quite valuable if you're looking to go into a specific field, as it allows you to get a feel for whether it will be right for you. Universities generally have links with specific companies so can help you get placement positions, and having this experience helps you stand out from the crowd as said above, as you finish university with a year of relevant industry experience.

The best thing about a placement year in my opinion is that you can actually get a job offer at the end of it; i have a few friends who secured a job offer that they were able to start basically straight after graduating. This can eliminate a lot of stress in looking for work after university. Even if you don't secure an offer at the end, you will still have a year of industry experience to support any other job applications. :smile:

hope this helps!

Natalie
university of kent student rep


thank youu!!
Reply 4
Original post by Lord Asriel
It's trade off, but if you want to go into an applied field like Educational or Clinical Psychology having a placement is incredibly helpful in getting the necessary experience. The biggest hurdle psychology graduates face is getting the first foot in the door and standing out from the crowd of other psychology graduates. A placement not only gives you that experience, but also some contacts in that field.

Some of those avenues are only open to undergraduates on a particular course. For instance, my clinical service only takes undergrads on placement years from our local university, as we have the HR agreement and paperwork in place. In contrast, if grads approach us independently for experience we aren't able to take them on because that stuff isn't covered.

It is less helpful if you have contacts already in that area and can line up a relevant post yourself. For example, if your mum is a headteacher and you are interested in Ed psych, you could probably put something comparable together with those connections. In that case, it may not be worth the extra years fees.


thankyou so much!!
Original post by giselledias08
should i do a placement year for psychology? I just wanna know if it's actually beneficial to do a placement year for psychology considering i want to go into psychology field in the future.

Hey @giselledias08,

Just to add on to what Natalie has said, whether you do a placement year or not is something you need to decide based on different factors such as career goals, can you financially do another year as you will probably pay tuition fees for that year etc.

I just finished doing my placement year with the NHS in Psychological services for children. Now I am going into my final year. My role was an assistant psychologist and I mainly worked with children with autism and their families. Before I started placement, I thought I wanted to go into the clinical route but a few weeks in I quickly found my passion for research. This has led me to wanting to pursue postgraduate studies and a PhD (like Natalie has done) in the area of child development. Although I knew I did not want to be in the setting I was in for my placement year, I still found value in working in the clinical setting. I gained a lot of confidence talking to new people (which I was scared of doing before), have more of an understanding of what it is like to actually work with children and learned a lot about autism (I knew very little before I started).

If you want to go into a clinical setting or an educational setting, like @Lord Asriel has said, it can be very helpful to get a year in industry with your universities connections.

An extra benefit of doing a placement year was that I did not have any exams. This meant I did not need to stress and could actually immerse myself in the experience to make the most of it. We did have to do some bits of coursework but they were relevant to our placement. For example, I did a reflective diary (reflection is encouraged in clinical settings to learn and make progress), I had regular evaluations from my supervisor to ensure I was progressing and an evaluation. The evaluation was a bit like research so I found it really interesting. I also loved the independence I had throughout the whole year, at first it was a bit scary but with support from the university and staff at my placement I learned to manage the independence well. I feel like this has set me up well for life after university.

Placements can also help you develop skills to help you in your final year such as organisation, time management and confidence. Some placement students come out of their year having learned how to use different software or score/administer tests. These could help you stand from other graduates.

Let me know if you have any more questions or if you want to discuss this topic more! :smile:

Alia
University of Kent Student Rep
(edited 9 months ago)

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