How to become a psychologist
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
You'll need to:
- study a psychology degree accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS)
- gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership
If you are a graduate of a subject other than psychology, or you have a psychology degree that is not accredited by the BPS you may be able to complete an approved psychology conversion course.
Once you have Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership you must complete an accredited postgraduate qualification in your chosen psychology specialism.
Psychology specialisms include:
- clinical and health psychology
- counselling psychology
- educational psychology
- forensic psychology
- occupational psychology
- sport and exercise psychology
You can find out more about the different types of postgraduate training required for each specialism from The British Psychological Society.
Getting work experience during your studies will give you an advantage. Your university careers service can help you find year placement, volunteering and internship opportunities.
Competition for postgraduate training in all specialisms is strong. You'll need a first or upper second class degree, and evidence of excellent research skills to apply. You'll also need relevant work experience. In some specialisms this could mean a minimum of 12 months working in a relevant role before you begin a postgraduate course.
You'll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
You'll find it helpful to get some paid or voluntary experience in sectors like education, health or care, before you apply for a course.
You could contact the voluntary services co-ordinator at your local NHS trust for further advice.