Psychology Careers – The Training and Qualifications Needed to Become a Psychologist in the UK

Psychology is a people based science – the science of mind and behavior. It is one of the most challenging of professional careers and offers a wide variety of specialties and types of practice.

Psychology is one of the most popular university subjects, and the critical thinking and scientific analysis skills it provides means that a university graduate can employ their skills to, and find employment in a wide range of non psychology related jobs.

Psychology Degree Entry Requirements

If you are looking to complete a university degree in psychology it is essential you check that the relevant body – Health Professions Council and / or British Psychological Society, accept it as an accredited qualification.

This usually means a starting with single honors degree in psychology, completion of which defines eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society.

Places on psychology undergraduate degree courses are considered after and the A level levels / points needed for entry are usually quite high. Although an A Level in psychology is not always required, you should check with the university to which you are applying – most will specify at least one science A Level since the content of a psychology degree is highly science oriented and an ability to grasp the scientific method and the underpinning mathematical and statistical concepts is essential.

Completing an A Level in psychology is, however, a good way to show that you have some understanding of, exposure to and affection for the subject. Consequently your choice of psychology degree will be better informed.

When you come to apply for a Masters degree / Professional Doctoral in your chosen area, a 2.1 in your psychology degree will be the least minimum requirement – even a first class honors degree for very popular courses. Again, competition for places on postgraduate psychology degree courses can be intense s0 some relevant work experience is almost compulsory.

You should also keep checking that the university route you choose will extremely confer eligibility for entry onto the Health Professions Council HPC register. A Post graduate PhD degree, for instance, will not, as it is a research rather than a practitioner degree.

Legal Regulation of Psychologists in the UK

On 1 July 2009 the Health Professions Council (HPC) became the statuary regulator for practitioner psychologists and opened the psychology section of their Register. The Health Professions Council provides a code of conduct which members of the register must abide by.

There are numerous other prefixes which psychologists may use which are not legally recognized or protected such as business psychologist, child psychologist, criminal psychologist, social psychologist, cognitive psychologist, consumer psychologist or animal psychologist, but these are nothing illegal in a person using one of these titles.

The advantage of using a psychologist who appears on the register is that you can have faith in their qualifications and standards of professional conduct. If using a psychologist, it is wise to check the nature of their professional qualifications and status.

Practitioner Psychologists …