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 behaviour. It is one of the most challenging of professional careers and offers a wide variety of specialities and types of practise.

Psychology is one of the most popular university degree subjects, and the critical thinking and scientific analysis skills it provides means that a university graduate with a psychology degree can apply 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 honours degree in psychology, completion of which confers eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society.

Places on psychology undergraduate degree courses are sought after and the A level grades / 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 Doctorate in your chosen area, a 2.1 in your psychology degree will be the likely minimum requirement – even a first class honours 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 ultimately 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 statutory 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 recognised or protected such as business psychologist, child psychologist, criminal psychologist, social psychologist, cognitive psychologist, consumer psychologist or animal psychologist, but these terms are not legally protected and there is nothing illegal in a person using one 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 treat, practise or deal with members of the public and are regulated under the Health Professions Council. Non-practitioner Psychologists do not have to be Health Professions Council registered, and so cannot use one of the HPC Protected titles.

Entry onto the appropriate section of Health Professions Council (HPC) register allows you to use one of the following legally protected titles –

Clinical psychologist
Counselling psychologist
Educational psychologist
Forensic psychologist
Health psychologist
Occupational psychologist
Sport and Exercise psychologist

It is necessary to be registered with the HPC to practise in the UK under any of these titles. All psychologists who are on the HPC register may additionally use the titles Practitioner Psychologist and Registered Psychologist.

The single term psychologist, and any other prefix other than those listed above, can be used by anyone, whether qualified or not. If using a psychologist, it is wise to check the nature of their professional status.

Teaching and Research in Psychology

In theory, you don’t need any qualifications in psychology to teach it! One does not need to be a Registered Psychologist with the Health Professions Council to teach psychology, since teaching psychology is not actually the same as practising psychology. This can be quite common at A Level where the tutor may be a qualified teacher rather than a qualified psychologist.

However, at university degree level this would be a rare situation and many university psychology lecturers are at a minimum Chartered Psychologists, even though they may not be qualified to use one of the protected titles as their work is is essentially academic in nature and they do not practise with members of the public.

At university, teachers at psychology degree level not only teach, but also have an active research role as well, and are expected to regularly publish the results of their research. Their training may be purely academic (e.g. research PhD based) rather than practitioner based. Psychology students studying for a postgraduate research degree, such as MPhil or PhD, in a university will often also work as a research or teaching assistant.

However, many university based psychologists, especially those involved in the postgraduate training of Practitioner Psychologists, also work as Practitioner Psychologists in their own right, and so are registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC).

Psychology research is not the sole preserve of universities. Many HPC registered Practitioner Psychologists also carry out their own research to inform and support their own professional practise.

Professional Bodies for Psychologists

The British Psychological Society states its aims as setting standards of training and practice in psychology, raising public awareness of psychology, and increasing the influence of psychology practice in society.

Originally, the British Psychological Society was a ‘learned body’, but gradually took on a voluntary regulatory function. Until Psychologists became regulated by the Health Professions Council in 2009, the British Psychological Society was the only regulatory body for psychologists in the UK. Although even then membership was non-compulsory and any non-member could still use any of the (now) protected titles. One has to be a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society to use the title Chartered Psychologist.

The BPS also has a number of specialist divisions, full membership of which currently allows immediate entry onto the relevant part of the Health Professions Council Register.

In summary – to use a protected title and practise in one of the protected areas, entry onto the Health Professions Council register is essential. The qualifications required to gain entry onto the Health Professions Council Register are stipulated, approved and in some cases awarded by the British Psychological Society. This is likely to change in the future as the Health Professions Council begins to accredit courses directly – it will then be possible to apply for entry onto the register without having to join the BPS at all.

A Typical Day Practicing Education Psychology – Distance Education Psychology Degree

Is a Distance Education Psychology Degree for you?

o Do you like working in school settings?
o Do you like advising and help students and parents?
o Do you like consulting school administrators?
o Are you interested in how people learn and process information?

If so, you may want to consider a degree in education psychology. Education psychologists work in a varied number of positions and settings. Careers include faculty positions at community colleges, and universities as well as managerial positions in education, training, testing and research. Looking for more specifics, read on!

A Typical Day Practicing Educational Psychology

Upon completion of my graduate degree I took on a position as the director of assessment and accountability in a local school district. My day usually started at 8am in the district office. I was responsible for coordinating all testing conduced by the district. This included all state mandated testing as well as local district level assessments.

To achieve this goal, I meet regularly with testing coordinators from each school, individuals responsible for making sure all testing ran smoothly at the school level. I would help them in their organization for testing, encourage discussion between schools and answer any questions from teachers, parents or students regarding testing procedures.

Additionally, I was responsible for all testing data analysis. This meant communicating testing results to students, parents, teachers and administrators. During the course of a work day, I would meet with many different parties.

I would meet with parents to talk about their student achievement concerns and to help them devise a study plan by identifying student weaknesses and areas in need of improvement. I would meet with teachers to talk about classroom instruction and areas for improvement. I would meet with school administrators to evaluate school performance, evaluate current curriculum and improve instruction.

Defining a typical day in the life of an educational psychologist is almost impossible. This degree allows for so many career options and each brings with it a vast array of tasks and projects. If you enjoy focusing on student achievement and like working with people, you should consider an education psychology program.

Where do I start?

Enrolling in a two year online master’s degree educational psychology program is the quickest way to become an educational psychologist. This type of program will introduce you to concepts such as research methodology, human learning, development, motivation and cognition.

Like in any other field of study a masters or doctorate degrees will give you the most job options and advancement opportunities. There are numerous online degree programs in education psychology to choose from. Consider obtaining you degree online if you like working from home, have a full time job, have a family or just like working in an online environment.

An Overview of Educational Psychology for Future Teachers

The definition of educational psychology varies but it is often associated with the study of learning within an educational environment or setting. It also deals with theories in learning, theories of teaching, ways to improve teaching effectiveness and the overall psychology of institutions like schools. Basically, in North American countries, there are two types of psychologists in schools or academic institutions. Educators who are involved in research are often known as educational psychologists. On the other hand, when an educator or teacher practice is involved in the practical application of theories of learning, they are termed as educational psychologists. Educational psychology is a wide discipline that covers any of the following areas:

1. Educational Technology

2. Curriculum Development

3. Classroom Management

4. Instructional Design

5. Special Education

6. Organizational Learning

Educational Psychology as a subject is often offered as a core subject in teacher education programs. It is very critical for any teacher to understand how students develop their learning skills. By doing so, they can plan strategies that will meet desired learning outcomes. It is also crucial for future teachers to understand the nature of human development because not all children have the same rate of mental, physical, and social development. Nowadays, a very diverse classroom pose a lot of challenges to educators due to cultural and language differences.

There are many fundamental theories that are presented when studying educational psychology. The various conceptual framework of learning theories are divided into three major groups, namely: cognitive, behaviorism, and constructivism. Each of these conceptual frameworks has its own merits and flaws. A school that focuses mainly on observable behavior in children adopts the behaviorist theory. The major proponent of this theory is John Watson. In this framework, learning is measured through observable behavior. Teachers can modify student’s behavior by applying two different types of conditioning – classical or operant conditioning.

Another important theory is educational psychology is constructivism. A constructivist educator believes that students gain knowledge through active engagement which can come in the form of problem solving. This theory has many applications in a classroom setup that can help learners achieve their learning goals.

Cognitivism is also a popular theoretical framework since it encourages in developing the mind of the learner. For the cognitivist, behavior can be influenced by thinking; hence, it is more valuable to develop cognitive skills like memorization, problem solving, and thinking to foster better learning. From the cognitivist’s view, the mind is like a computer where information is processed. Behavior is only a manifestation or a by-product of cognitive processes. While there are also critics of this theory, it has been useful for many educators through the years. It has helped teachers to understand why learners behave in a certain manner.

Through the years, many learning theories have come up which presents to educators, researchers, and school administrators more options to develop and enhance student’s academic performance. This makes educational psychology as a very exciting discipline since learners also evolve as the world around them progresses. In the end, future educators realize the very crucial role they play in transforming the lives of their students.

The best way to become a good teacher is to enroll in a reputable school that offers teaching programs. You can enroll in a bachelor’s program that specializes in early education or special education. Find a local school in your area and inquire about their program offerings.

Where Did Our Educational System Go Wrong?

Math is a subject that is bound to evolve with time; however, something, somehow, did go wrong, somewhere along the line, that has resulted in the high percentile of innumeracy in our youngsters today! The mid seventies were the years when new math methodologies were introduced. Psychologists and pedagogues started looking into how they could better the educational process by implementing unproven theories. In other words experiment with our kids.

Many developing countries, which normally follow the western trend, could not keep up with changes that involved constant adaptation of new teaching methodologies. Reprinting of new textbooks and retraining of teachers, for the implementation of those groundbreaking new techniques, were not within their budget. As a result, they had no other choice but to stick with what was working for them, and kept the ball rolling. Why try to fix what is not broken?

Today, not only are we lagging behind in adequately educating our kids but also producing math teachers who do not even major in the subject. William Schmidt, University distinguished Professor of education, found that prospective U.S. elementary and middle school math teachers are not prepared as those from other countries. “And this, combined with a weak U.S. math curriculum, produces similar weak student achievement,” he said.

The secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, stated that the American kids are falling behind in those areas and may not be able to compete globally. “It has huge implications,” Duncan said, “I think as a real economic imperative we have to educate our way to a better economy.” He added, “The solution is to adopt international benchmark and standard to build data systems to measure student success and informing teachers on how to improve the practice and turn-around low performing schools.” Source CNN.

No use crying over spilled milk! What is done is done! We have to pick up the pieces and start over again. And despite the fact that it might take at least two generations to undo the harm done, we still have to retread the trodden path.

Where to start? Perhaps, laws need to be changed for starters. Not every teacher who reprimands, punishes a child for misbehavior or other, is a psycho. Not every teacher who holds a child’s hand is a child molester. Our ‘psych’ has to change and get back to ‘normal’. Where are the days when a child would think twice before telling parents that he was punished at school, for fear of being reprimanded by them?

Two Texas University education psychologists, Willson and Hughes, say: “Parents must often shoulder at least part of the blame or credit.”

Willson and Hughes suggest that parents should get more involved with the school and their child schooling in order to reduce the risk of their child being retained. They say parents can help by communicating regularly with teaches and taking some responsibility to monitor children school work and activities. Helping children with their homework can give them the confidence they need at school.

There are greater opportunities today, more than ever, for parents to get involved in their children’s education. Parents can now use the internet as a tool which abounds with resources that were not accessible only a few years ago. Moments like we are living today is the time for reflections and self analysis; a time when we desperately need to take the actions that would help forge a legacy for us to leave behind, for our future generations.

Education Jobs – The Top 10 Jobs In Education

There are 3 main classifications into which the education sector can be divided. They are:

• School education
• Further education
• Higher education

Sometimes, education is carried out in a non-classroom background. It may take place in a prison or in a hospital. Education jobs are not only comprised of teaching jobs. Other people are working behind the running of the education sector. For example, there are people to look after the administration of an educational institute; there are people in the finance department, people are present to lend technical support to the institute, there are teaching assistants and also educational psychologists associated with the sector.


The education sector in countries like England, Wales and in Northern Ireland is quite similar in administration. However, Scotland has different ways of running this sector. The rules and laws concerning the educational sector are different in this country.


Graduates are in high demand as far as education jobs are concerned. Sometimes, there are a dearth of teachers in subjects like mathematics and science. Survey says that the primary schools are filled with teachers while the secondary schools still have vacancies.


• Primary school teacher: the primary school starts from class 1 up to class 5. The teachers are required to teach subjects like English, mathematics, basic science, history, geography and another language. Other things like art and crafts and physical education are also taught. So not only subject teachers are required, there are places for education jobs too.


• Secondary school teacher: the secondary school starts from class 6 and extends up till class 12. There are several subjects taught to the students at the secondary level. The students receive physical education training as well.

• Teacher in further education or in the college level: after passing out schools students enter colleges. Teachers train these students on specialized areas of their choice.

• University lecturer: they train students who seek admissions in universities.

• School Liberian: a Liberian is in charge of the entire library. He keeps an account of the books and lends them out to the students.

• Teacher of adult education: this type of job concerns adults. A teacher has to teach a few skills to students.

• Teacher in a prison or in a hospital: these teachers are required to impart education to the prisoners and the patients in a hospital.

• Educational psychologists: different educational institutes have psychologists who are engaged in counseling the students. They discuss problems of the students and motivate them and help them to deal with issues better.

• English teacher teaching in a foreign school or in a college: English is much in demand throughout the world. Those countries who are not well versed with the language hire teachers for educating them.

• A bruiser who looks after the financial affairs of a particular school.

Different Types of Psychologists

Psychology is -and always has been- a science that is responsive to current events. From the beginning, psychologists from all basic areas of specialization have sought to apply what they have learned to the solution of important human problems. Early in the twentieth century, French psychologist Alfred Binet developed the first modern intelligence test to help schools identify children needing special attention. After the Nazi horrors of World War II, psychologists began intensively to study obedience to authority, propaganda, prejudice, and aggression. Today, researchers study traumatic stress and other psychological consequences of terrorism.

Psychology today has a number of important domains of applications. Health psychologist, many of whom work in medical schools, study a range of problems, such as how stress affects the heart and the immune system, what coping mechanisms are most adaptive, and why people live longer if they have friends and other social connections than if they are alone. Educational psychologists study such topics as intelligence and testing, classroom management, and academic motivation. Industrial/organizational psychologists focus on human behavior in the workplace, as they study personnel selection, leadership in management, motivation, and worker productivity. Consumer psychologists focus on advertising and other aspects of behavior in the marketplace. Environment psychologists study the relationship between people and their physical surroundings-including the effects of street noise, heat, and population density. Many psychologists also work in the legal system consulting with attorneys and judges, testifying in court, teaching law schools, and researching such issues as jury selection and decision making, eyewitness identifications, and the insanity defense. As with all other basic science, psychology has strayed from the laboratories and into the real world.

What Is a Private Psychologist?

Psychologists are probably the only people a person can talk their mind to. Other people might start judging you, they might get offended by what you say, or they might just think you are weird.

Whatever the case may be, you can always rely on psychologists to help you out with any kind of mental trouble you might be facing. Just like doctors, there are different kinds of psychologists as well. The most popular kind of psychologists are clinical psychologists, and they deal with problems such as; stress, anxiety, relationship problems, depression, learning disabilities, family problems and mental illness. Other than clinical psychologists, there are educational psychologists (also known as counselors at times), Neuropsychologists (who identify injuries related to your brain), Occupational psychologists (the kind you have in Organizations often at the time of recruitment and redundancy), Forensic psychologists (who help with the legal proceedings in court, criminal behavior, etc.), Sport psychologists (although rare, they work with the team and keep them mentally focused), and lastly Health psychologists (helping people quit smoking, alcohol, drugs and also changing the way people look at illness or their health).

Now that you know all about the kinds of psychologists out there, you can take your problems to a specific kind for a more specialized treatment. Private psychologists can be more helpful than the ones you have at public institutions, although it’s not as if they are not qualified enough or anything like that. It is more about just how much time and effort the psychologist gives to a particular patient. Since a private psychologist will be charging more, but you can expect to see them much quicker.

At times there are special cases that require more care, clients that require more involvement, and that level of involvement is some thing that you should be always hopefully experiencing from private psychologists. At times, one does not wish to be very straight forward or direct with just any clinical psychologist and so you can take things at a pace you are comfortable with by visiting a private professional in the field of psychology.

There can be a lot of reasons for being like that, you might have a very sensitive issue you have not talked to any one about and have trouble sharing it, or you might even want to develop some kind of trust before you give the psychologist information about the state of your mind. Whatever the case is, just keep in mind that they are professionals and it is their job to hear people out and listen to them; they are bound keeping information private and not sharing it with others.

No chartered psychologist would risk giving out information about patients or breaching their trust as it can have a lot of implications on their reliability and their reputation. So feel free about sharing what you have in your mind whenever you go to a psychologist.