How to Become a Psychologist
The field of psychology has become very popular over recent years, with many people interested in the several positions it has to offer. Psychology provides unique insights and the opportunity to make a lasting difference in people’s lives. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, read on!
What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Psychologist?
You will need at least one year of experience in the relevant area if you want to get into a post-graduate programme, which is necessary for professional practice. Post-graduate study is the next step after your bachelor’s degree, which will also last three years (four years in Scotland).
In order to get into postgraduate study, you will need at least 2:1, or upper second-class honours, from your undergraduate degree. If you do have a lower score, you can still get into the programme with a master’s degree. There is also the option of postgraduate conversion courses if your course isn’t accredited by the British Psychology Society, or if you graduate in something that isn’t psychology. It often takes a year to complete, though the amount of time varies depending on the extent of your study in psychology. Once you finish your studies, you will need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council to obtain your license to work for the NHS or to set up your private practice.
As a Beginner, Where Should I Start in Psychology?
You will need to start with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, specifically a degree approved by the British Psychological Society, which typically lasts for three years. Along with your coursework, you should also do some work experience in the area you want to go into. For example, if you’re going to become a clinical psychologist, volunteering at a clinic will increase your chances of finding a job in that area.
Skill Set Required for a Psychologist
Excellent communication skills
Strong ability to empathise
Excellent observational skills
Good listening skills
A good grasp of scientific concepts
What Does a Psychologist Do?
Generally speaking, a psychologist is someone who studies how an individual thinks, feels and behaves, delving into the reasons why they do the things that they do in an attempt to understand their mental health. Those who graduate with a psychology degree can go on to help improve the quality of life of individuals suffering from mental illnesses to running their own research projects that delve into how certain factors influence human perceptions and behaviour.