What does a psychologist do?
Your day-to-day tasks will depend on your specialism. The areas of psychology you could work in include:
- educational - helping children and young people overcome difficulties and further their educational and psychological development
- occupational - helping businesses improve their performance and increase employee job satisfaction
- counselling - working with patients to explore their social, economic, cultural, and spiritual health
- neuropsychology - helping patients with brain injuries and diseases to recover or improve their quality of life
- forensic or criminal - using psychological theory to help investigate crimes, rehabilitate offenders and support prison staff
- clinical - working with people to help them deal with conditions like anxiety, stress, depression and mental illness
- sports and exercise - working with individuals, teams and organisations to improve motivation and performance
What do I need to do to become a psychologist?
You'll need to complete:
- a psychology degree accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS)
- Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership
- an accredited postgraduate qualification in your chosen specialism
Once you've got a psychology degree, you can specialise in a particular area, for example educational or forensic psychology.
Competition for postgraduate training 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.
If you have a degree in a different subject, you may be able to complete an approved psychology conversion course.
- five GCSEs (A-C), including English, maths and in some cases a science subject
- two to three A levels for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
- A British Psychological Society (BPS)-accredited degree in psychology, leading to the Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC)
- A BPS-accredited postgraduate qualification
Where to find out more
Where could I be working?
You could work in the community, in a consultation room, at a client's business, at a client's home or in an office.
Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.
You could specialise further within your branch of psychology or take on a research project leading to a PhD qualification.
You could move also into teaching or research as a career.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0