Each section below gives you links to information on specific career areas – work activities, related professional bodies, employers/job search and other relevant information.
Clinical psychology aims to reduce psychological distress and to enhance the promotion of psychological well-being. Clinical psychologists deal with a wide range of mental and physical health problem, including addiction, anxiety, depression, learning difficulties and relationship issues. They may undertake a clinical assessment to investigate a client’s situation. Assessment may lead to advice, counselling or therapy.
Should you do a masters after qualification? There is no straight yes or no answer to this question, but the following points are worth considering:
Educational psychologists tackle the problems encountered by young people in education, which may involve learning difficulties and social or emotional problems. They carry out a wide range of tasks with the aim of enhancing children’s learning and enabling teachers to become more aware of the social factors affecting teaching and learning. Reports may be written about children for allocation of special educational places or as part of court proceedings or children’s panels.
Local education authorities employ the majority of educational psychologists. They work in schools, colleges, nurseries and special units, primarily with teachers and parents. They regularly liaise with other professionals in education, health and social services.
The work of an educational psychologist can either be directly with a child (assessing progress, giving counselling) or indirectly (through their work with parents, teachers and other professionals).
Direct work involves some form of assessment to uncover a child’s problem through consultation with professional colleagues, observation, interview or use of test materials. Interventions might plan learning programmes and collaborative work with a teacher. Recommendations are then made to determine the most appropriate educational provision for that child. Indirect work requires consultation and careful discussion, as the psychologist’s contribution needs to be seen as relevant to people who know little about psychology.
Indirect work may involve providing in-service training for teachers & other professionals on issues such as behaviour and stress management.
In their role within a local authority, educational psychologists are often called upon to advise or join working groups concerned with organisation and policy planning. With their research background they are in an ideal and often unique position within the education authority to plan and carry out research activities.
(Source: BPS Website)
The Children’s Workforce Development Council specifies that: “You will need at least one year’s relevant experience of working with children and young people. This can include roles such as assistant educational psychologist, teacher, SEN co-ordinator, classroom/learning assistant or research activity with children and young people. Other relevant experience is also considered”
Candidates need to demonstrate how they have used their qualifications and experiences to prepare themselves to be applied psychologists. Courses will primarily be interested in what applicants have learnt from their experiences that is relevant to work as an educational psychologist, and how they have been able to apply the knowledge gained through first degrees.
Working with children in a school environment is relevant work experience prior to training. Teaching is, of course, also relevant and qualified teachers may be granted some exemptions on the three-year Doctorates (check with course leaders).
A detailed knowledge and insight into the varied work of an educational psychologist and the work of the wider multidisciplinary team that supports children in their learning and emotional development.
Forensic Psychology is concerned with the psychological aspects of the legal processes in courts. Forensic psychologists apply psychological theory to criminal investigation and consider psychological problems associated with criminal behaviour and the treatment of criminals.
Key areas of work include:
Key tasks undertaken by forensic psychologists may include piloting and implementing treatment programmes; modifying offender behaviour; responding to the changing needs of staff and prisoners; reducing stress for staff and prisoners; providing hard research evidence to support practice; undertaking statistical analysis for prisoner profiling; giving evidence in court; advising parole boards and mental health tribunals; crime analysis.
In the treatment of offenders, forensic psychologists are responsible for the development of appropriate programmes for rehabilitation. They may include anger management, social and cognitive skills training, and treatment for drug and/or alcohol addiction. In the support of prison staff, forensic psychologists may be responsible for the delivery of stress management or training on how to cope with understanding bullying and techniques for hostage negotiation.
(source: BPS website)
The National Offender Management Service (NOMS)(HM Prison Service & Probation Service) is the single largest forensic psychology employer in the UK. NOMS currently funds trainees through to registration – need to be qualified to Masters level to be eligible. However, forensic psychologists can also be employed in the NHS (including rehabilitation units and secure hospitals), the Social Service Police, and in university departments or in private consultancy.
Occupational/Organisational Psychology is:
There are 23 courses in Occupational/Organisational Psychology in the UK accredited by the BPS. Accreditation of courses means that the six core elements for the first level of chartered status to work as an Occupational Psychologist are met. As more than 100 courses have the title Occupational or Organisational psychology, look carefully to see that the course you are applying to is approved by the BPS for accreditation towards chartership in occupational psychology.
Masters first v experience first? There is no obvious answer to this and it can depend very much on the individual experience and circumstances of the applicant.
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