Clinical psychologist

Alternative titles for this job include Investigative psychologist, legal psychologist, criminal psychologist

Clinical psychologists help people make positive changes to their thinking and behaviour.

Average salary (a year)

£28,050 Starter


£85,333 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become a Clinical psychologist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course


You'll need to complete:

You may be able to study for an approved postgraduate conversion course, if you're a graduate in a subject other than psychology or your psychology degree is not accredited by the BPS.

Competition for postgraduate training is strong. You'll need an upper second class degree or higher, and evidence of excellent research skills to apply. You'll also need relevant work experience.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, including English, maths and sometimes a science
  • 3 A levels or equivalent

More information

More information


Professional and industry bodies

You can join The British Psychological Society for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You’ll find more details about careers in psychology from The British Psychological Society and Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • the ability to understand people‚Äôs reactions
  • knowledge of English language
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • active listening skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.

Restrictions and requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • assessing clients’ needs through interviews, tests and observations
  • deciding on the most appropriate form of treatment, like therapy, counselling or advice
  • planning treatment programmes
  • working with clients in groups or individually
  • writing reports and going to case conferences
  • carrying out research
  • working closely with other professionals, like doctors and probation officers.

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a client's home, at a university or at a health centre.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could produce legal reports or act as an expert witness in court. You could specialise in working with groups like children, young offenders or older adults.

With experience and further training you could specialise in clinical neuropsychology. 

You could move into research or teaching.

You could also work as a freelance consultant, advising other professionals and clients, or set up your own practice.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Clinical psychologist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Access to Science Level 3

  • Provider: Kensington and Chelsea College
  • Start date: 10 September 2019
  • Location: London

Access to Science L3

  • Provider: MidKent College
  • Start date: 09 September 2019
  • Location: Gillingham

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