As a psychology graduate you will be equipped with a range of subject-specific and transferable skills that are highly valued by employers enabling you to enter a wide range of careers.
Nationally, the most popular job areas psychology graduates enter are: childcare, health and education (16.2%), legal, social and welfare professions (14%), business, HR and finance (8.4%), education professionals, marketing, PR and sales (5.9%) Source: HECSU - What do Graduates do 2017/8
What skills will I gain during my degree?
In addition to your subject specific knowledge, your psychology degree will equip you with a range of transferable skills including:
- written, verbal and visual communication skills
- the ability to offer and receive constructive criticism
- understanding human behaviour
- handling data and statistics
- proficiency with using information technology
- problem solving
- project management
How can I develop my skills and gain experience during my degree?
Due to the range of career options and sectors open to you, it is important to consider your options early on in your course and look for opportunities to gain relevant experience and skills. As well as improving your CV, gaining experience can also help you to make choices about your future career.
Depending on what area of work or role you might be interested in, and where, there will be specific strategies, from speculative applications to formal processes you need to be familiar with.
Work experience - what, how and when
Nottingham Internship Scheme
We work closely with a huge variety of local and national businesses to bring you an exciting range of internship opportunities, for both current students and recent graduates
Nottingham Internship Scheme
There are lots of opportunities to volunteer locally through the Students' Union's Student Volunteer Centre and volunteering centres in the city and beyond.
Where to look for volunteer opportunities
Nottingham Advantage Award
The Nottingham Advantage Award offers interesting extracurricular modules to develop your employability. With over more than 200 modules across our three campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia, you're bound to find modules that appeal,
There a number of modules specifically for you including Psychology Internships, Engaging the Public With Psychology and Career Skills for Psychology Students.
Nottingham Advantage Award
Get involved in a society or sports club whether you are a team member, treasurer or marketing officer, you'll gain valuable skills and experiences that employers will love!
Students in Classrooms
There are three initiatives which will give you the opportunity to work in a local educational setting. These initiatives support the academic attainment and raise the aspirations of primary and secondary pupils, whilst developing the skills and employability of those involved.
These are excellent opportunities for students considering teaching, youth work or community engagement as a career.
Students in Classrooms
Exclusive to School of Psychology students
Browse the school's pages for information on study abroad options, summer internships within the school and outreach opportunities.
School of Psychology
You could build your communication, commercial awareness, problem- solving and teamwork skills through part-time jobs. Unitemps is our recruitment service for part-time and temporary work on campus and in the local area.
Find out about part-time jobs
What are the range of careers I can enter?
Psychology graduates enter a diverse range of occupations and further study. About 20% of UK psychology graduates become chartered psychologists progressing in fields such as clinical, forensic, educational and occupational psychology. Take a look at the BPS and Careers in Psychology websites.
If you are interested in a professional psychology career it is really important to gain substantial paid or voluntary work experience with the client group you are interested in working with.
Psychology graduates often use their skills to help others within roles such as community work, counselling and advice work, mental health work, research or teaching.
As an alternative to clinical psychology graduates could also investigate careers such as Psychological Well-being Practitioner or High Intensity Therapist, both of these roles are based within NHS IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapy) services.
Some graduates progress to more business related jobs such as marketing, PR and advertising, human resources (HR), consultancy, finance and retail management.
Destinations of Nottingham psychology students
In 2017 96.2% of psychology graduates were employed or in further study six months after graduation. Here are some examples of the graduate employment destinations.
Business, HR and finance
- Graduate Trainee – Finance
- HR Adviser
- Recruitment Analyst
Childcare, Health and Education
- Assistant psychologist
- Healthcare Assistant
- Mental Health Worker
- Psychology Trainee
- Teaching Assistant
- Therapy Assistant
Legal, social and welfare professions
- Civil Servant
- Police Officer
- Support Worker
- Welfare and Equal Opportunities Officer
Marketing, PR and sales
- Account Executive
- Marketing Executive
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM Analyst)
- Merchandising Assistant
- Buying Assistant
- Retail Manager
- Retail Graduate Trainee
Case study - Daisy Orme, 2017 graduate
I joined Gartner in September as an Account Management Associate. My primary responsibility is to provide senior HR executives with the research insights and resources they need to achieve functional excellence.
I was attracted to Gartner’s graduate programme because research is at the core of its business model. My role has allowed me to keep in touch with science but in a commercial environment where I have been able to influence how FTSE 100 organisations do business, while rapidly developing my business acumen and commercial awareness.
I initially questioned how well my psychology degree would prepare me for such a role. However, many of the skills gained throughout my degree have been invaluable. For example, when speaking to an executive, it is vital that I use every opportunity to diagnose their issues in order to provide the best support. I had no idea how much a research degree would prepare me for this aspect of the role.
If I could offer psychology students one piece of advice, it would be to think outside of the box. I support senior HR executives and my daily conversations cover culture, leadership, employee engagement and motivation to name just a few. It’s truly great that your course is BPS accredited so you can pursue a career in clinical psychology but if that’s not what you want to do, your psychology journey does not have to end there.
What are my further study options?
Every year 25-35% of psychology graduates choose to build on their undergraduate study by undertaking a psychology related taught masters course.
Graduates have successful achieved places on courses including:
- Brain Imaging
- Health Psychology
- Mental Health Research
- Occupational Psychology
- PGCE courses
- Psychology Research Methods
- Rehabilitation Psychology
Most students who wish to progress to a PhD will have studied at postgraduate taught level. Other students opt to take a postgraduate qualification which will allow them to pursue a particular career interest, such as teaching.
For careers in professional psychology a specific doctorate-level qualification is often a requirement. These doctorate courses offer a combination of academic teaching and service based learning alongside research. Entry is extremely competitive and students should gain as much relevant experience as possible before applying.