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What careers can you get into with a postgraduate psychology degree?

Psychology is an area of study that can open up many career doors for those graduating from postgraduate degrees.

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Here at Birmingham City University, we offer three British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited courses:

All three of these courses have produced a diverse group of graduates who have moved into very different sectors of psychology in their careers. This is particularly true of our Msc Psychology degree, which is an online conversion course. This means you don’t have to have studied Psychology to apply, making it ideal for those looking to change their career. Here are just a few examples of careers you can pursue a postgraduate psychology degree.

Counselling

Mental health awareness has never been higher in society than it is right now. Mental health charities, government schemes and media outlets have all moved to destigmatise harmful perceptions people may have about seeking out help. Counselling forms an important part of this process for many, as it may be the first opportunity many people get to talk openly about their mental health issues.

Clinical Psychologist

This is a popular career path with those coming from a health and nursing background. In fact, quite a few of our current MSc Psychology students have come straight from health related undergraduate degrees, although you don’t need specific experience in this area to move into clinical psychology roles. Clinical Psychologists are a vital part of modern day health services, helping to diagnose and treat mental and physical health problems.

Health Psychologist

Outside of the NHS, health psychologists help with many health initiatives within the private sector. For example, health psychologists consult within programmes designed to help people stop smoking, improve their diet or change their day-to-day behaviour. This goes to show those graduating from our MSc Health Psychology postgraduate degree have a wealth of options open to them once they graduate, outside of traditional NHS roles.

Our MSc Health Psychology will consider applicants from non-psychology backgrounds, so you don’t need a BPS accreditation to study it.

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Educational Psychologist

Our MSc Psychology conversion course can be a great way for teachers, or anyone with experience working with children, to transition into educational psychologist roles.

By tapping into their wealth of experience, as well as their psychological training, educational psychologists help students with learning difficulties, intellectual disabilities and social and emotional issues to find success at school. It can be a very rewarding profession, helping students both inside and outside of the classroom.

Forensic Psychologist

We offer an MSc Forensic Psychology course here at Birmingham City University, designed to help students get into this specialised field of work. Successful completion of this course enables access to the British Psychological Society’s Stage 2 Qualification in Forensic Psychology, which can then lead to eligibility for Chartered membership with the Society, and eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Forensic Psychologist. Once you become a Registered and Chartered Forensic Psychologist, several career paths are open to you.

Practitioner Forensic Psychologists tend to work within the Criminal Justice System, either working with victims or offenders. Their work can include developing and evaluating interventions, conducting risk assessments, supporting the mental health needs of those impacted by crime, counselling offenders to help in their rehabilitation, providing expert witness testimony at court, consulting/training staff, and conducting applied research. In addition to providing a route to becoming a Practitioner, this Masters’ degree enables you to pursue PhD studies and an academic career, contributing to our understanding of offending behaviour and its effect on victims.

With both of these career paths, forensic experience after graduating is needed. There are many ways to gain this experience, from supporting mental health schemes and working within psychiatric units to assisting the police with youth offender outreach and missing people cases.

This degree requires BPS accreditation prior to starting. People without BPS accreditation can get onto this course via our MSc Psychology course. This is a popular route to a Master’s for those already working in the criminal justice system.

Researcher

We have mentioned our postgraduate degrees thus far, but graduating from one of these courses does not necessarily mean your time at University has to come to an end. Plenty of students choose to stay on and move into research positions through PhD programmes.

Gaining your doctorate in psychology will involve you putting together a substantial piece of research, aimed at broadening our understanding of some aspect of psychology and its related fields. And once you finish your PhD, you could then choose to remain in the research community, moving into a research centre at a university, or becoming a lecturer. Our lecturers in the Psychology department at Birmingham City University are research active examining a wide range of topics including mindfulness, addiction, eating behaviours, criminal behaviour, literacy and decision making.