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university- medicine vs psychology

ok, so i was thinking today about my university options. i'm a good student, and i've been thinking of medicine since year 9. However, i had a discussion with my mum about how attempting to get into oxbridge would be a good idea. However, if i went there, i doubt it would be for medicine, so i thought psychology was a good plan.
so, hypothetically, what would be better in the long run- a psychology degree with no guaranteed job at the end, and lower pay, but amazing oppurtunities at a world renowned uni, or doing medicine at another russell group without those oppurtunities, but having an immediate job which would be better paid? (if i did medicine, i would be doing psychiatry btw) HYPOTHETICALLY, NOT SAYING IMA GET INTO OXBRIDGE :')
Original post by youaresolovedd
ok, so i was thinking today about my university options. i'm a good student, and i've been thinking of medicine since year 9. However, i had a discussion with my mum about how attempting to get into oxbridge would be a good idea. However, if i went there, i doubt it would be for medicine, so i thought psychology was a good plan.
so, hypothetically, what would be better in the long run- a psychology degree with no guaranteed job at the end, and lower pay, but amazing oppurtunities at a world renowned uni, or doing medicine at another russell group without those oppurtunities, but having an immediate job which would be better paid? (if i did medicine, i would be doing psychiatry btw) HYPOTHETICALLY, NOT SAYING IMA GET INTO OXBRIDGE :')


It sounds like you would be risking everything just to go to Oxbridge. Sure they are prestigious Universities, but its a big risk for the experience. Id recommend researching other Universities, visiting some of them before you put all your eggs in one basket.
If you want to do Psychiatry, get to Med school. If you want to do Clinical Psychology which is probably the closest in comparison without going to Med school, do psychology (but bare in mind this is a different route, and would require you to complete a 3 year degree (hons, BPS accredited), get work experience in clinically relevant areas, and complete the 3 year DClinPsy)
Is there a reason why you'd study psychology instead of medicine at Oxbridge?

Graduate prospects are good for both options, so I don't think there's any point in considering which is better. Sure, medicine allows you to roll straight into the NHS, but if you perform well at Oxford, I should think you could also easily land a good job with psychology. I should also mention you can get good opportunities from other universities as well.

Consider why you want to study medicine, and if you're sure it's right for you. It's a commitment. Whatever you choose, can you see yourself happily studying it and living a career in it?
Original post by phillip_a9000
Is there a reason why you'd study psychology instead of medicine at Oxbridge?
Graduate prospects are good for both options, so I don't think there's any point in considering which is better. Sure, medicine allows you to roll straight into the NHS, but if you perform well at Oxford, I should think you could also easily land a good job with psychology. I should also mention you can get good opportunities from other universities as well.
Consider why you want to study medicine, and if you're sure it's right for you. It's a commitment. Whatever you choose, can you see yourself happily studying it and living a career in it?

medicine at oxfbridge has a very low acceptance rate,i highly doubt i'd get in without doing any sports, and it would be so competetive. psychology would still be compettiitve, but less so , even if its at oxbridge.
Original post by youaresolovedd
medicine at oxfbridge has a very low acceptance rate,i highly doubt i'd get in without doing any sports, and it would be so competetive. psychology would still be compettiitve, but less so , even if its at oxbridge.

This is not at all how medicine admissions work at Oxbridge or elsewhere. Sporting achievement is irrelevant outside of using it as an example of transferable leadership skills, which could just as well be gained in any number of other settings.

Also you're mistaken about the acceptance rates, as Cambridge has historically been statistically averagely competitive for medicine. However there is more self-selection out of applying to Cambridge as it's the only medical school requiring 3 STEM subjects at A-level (whereas all others only require at most two, including one or both of biology or chemistry), and has a higher than typical standard offer (A*A*A). Oxford is slightly more competitive on average however has a fair amount of self selection out of applying due to applicants needing extremely high GCSEs to score high enough in shortlisting to be interviewed. Along with a couple others like Cardiff it's one of the most GCSE heavy medical schools.

Note that psychological and behavioural sciences at Cambridge had actually a lower success rate than medicine at Cambridge last year. Experimental psychology at Oxford also had a lower success rate than medicine at Cambridge

Original post by youaresolovedd
ok, so i was thinking today about my university options. i'm a good student, and i've been thinking of medicine since year 9. However, i had a discussion with my mum about how attempting to get into oxbridge would be a good idea. However, if i went there, i doubt it would be for medicine, so i thought psychology was a good plan.
so, hypothetically, what would be better in the long run- a psychology degree with no guaranteed job at the end, and lower pay, but amazing oppurtunities at a world renowned uni, or doing medicine at another russell group without those oppurtunities, but having an immediate job which would be better paid? (if i did medicine, i would be doing psychiatry btw) HYPOTHETICALLY, NOT SAYING IMA GET INTO OXBRIDGE :')

Ultimately it doesn't matter where you do your degree for a medical career or a career as a professional (i.e. clinical/forensic/educational/etc) psychologist. In medicine the NHS is the only provider of graduate training posts for doctors and blinds specialty recruiters from your medical school to ensure no bias. For clinical and similar areas of psychology I gather where you do your undergraduate BPS accredited course is more or less irrelevant as long as it is BPS accredited as the challenges to getting on to the DClinPsy/other postgraduate training courses as applicable to each field is not from which uni you went to but how much clinical work experience you get and getting an assistant psychologist position.

Also if your goal is professional psychology careers, Oxbridge and similar unis psychology courses are probably less closely aligned to that in terms of content beyond the BPS accreditation requirements anyway - as they focus very much on psychology as an experimental research science, rather than as a vocation.

Note you should not decide on a medical specialty before even beginning the medical degree. As no matter what you will need to study the full range of medicine for the 5-6 years of the medical degree, then work across the full range of medicine for at least 2 years as a foundation doctor. So it will be 7 to 8 years before you begin specialising in psychiatry, and you will need to be interested in and motivated for the full range of physical medicine as well as psychiatric medicine.

Generally my impression is that it's far more competitive getting onto the DClinPsy and parallel courses for the other professional psychology areas and to ultimately become a professional psychologist than it is to get into medicine in the first place. As the attrition point is not a lack of roles in the field as I understand, but simply very few positions on the graduate training courses you need to do to go into those roles. As you can't simply go into those professional psychologist roles with only an undergraduate degree. So I think assuming psychology is the "easier" route is a bit of a false economy here, you're just pushing off the attrition point until later.

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