Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students
   
   
  

Professional psychology

Red Human Face Monument on Green Grass Field

In order to work as a professional psychologist you must have an accredited undergraduate degree (which gives you Graduate Basis for Chartered membership or GBC).  If you do not have an accredited psychology degree, you are able to gain GBC from a one year MSc Psychology (Conversion).

For all routes into professional psychology there is a requirement for postgraduate study at either a masters or post-doctorate level.  You will also need to gain relevant work (or voluntary) experience so there is no fast track route to professional psychology.  It is extremely rare for students to progress straight to a psychology doctorate qualification immediately after graduation - gaining relevant experience in your field of interest is extremely important.

Find out about the different branches of professional psychology below and read our alumni case studies to get an insight into their work, career pathways and their advice to you.
 

Clinical psychology

Clinical psychology aims to reduce psychological distress and to enhance the promotion of psychological well-being.

Clinical psychologists deal with a wide range of mental and physical health problems including addiction, anxiety, depression, learning difficulties and relationship issues. They may undertake a clinical assessment to investigate a clients’ situation. There are a variety of methods available including psychometric tests, interviews and direct observation of behaviour. Assessment may lead to advice, counselling or therapy

(Source: BPS)

Many students who are interested in clinical psychology undertake relevant mental health related voluntary work while they are at university. After graduating students could apply for roles such as:

Many graduates also choose to undertake a relevant masters qualification.  On average applicants have two to three years relevant experience when they apply for a clinical psychology doctorate. Find out more in The Alternative Handbook 2020: Postgraduate Training Courses in Clinical Psychology.

Following qualification, clinical psychologists can choose to specialise in specific areas, for example neuropsychology, child psychology and rehabilitation psychology.

Explore more...

The British Psychological Society

Health Careers

Prospects 

Amy Aston, UoN alumna

Amy Aston

Amy talks about her role as a clinical psychologist and her career pathway as well as offering advice to students considering clinical psychology.

Go to Amy's case study

 
 

Educational psychologist

Educational psychology is concerned with helping children and young people experiencing problems that can hinder their chance of learning.

Educational psychologists work in educational and early years settings. They tackle challenges such as learning difficulties, social and emotional problems, issues around disability as well as more complex developmental disorders. They work in a variety of ways including observations, interviews and assessments and offer consultation, advice and support to teachers, parents, the wider community as well as the young people concerned. They research innovative ways of helping vulnerable young people and often train teachers, learning support assistants and others working with children.

(Source: BPS)

Many students who are interested in educational psychology undertake relevant voluntary work while at university. This could involve working in a school or other childcare setting. There are a variety of opportunities offered at University of Nottingham where you can gain experience within an educational setting.

Find out more - working with young people at Nottingham

Explore more...

The British Psychological Society

Prospects 

Mark Bowler, UoN alumnus

Mark Bowler

Mark talks about his role as a clinical psychologist and his career pathway.

Go to Mark's case study

Siya Mngaza, UoN alumna

Siya Mngaza

Siya talks about her role as a educational psychologist and her career pathway as well as offering advice to students considering educational psychology.

Go to Siya's case study

 
 

Forensic psychology

Forensic psychology is concerned with understanding psychological problems associated with criminal behaviour and the treatment of those who have committed offences.

It can also be associated with the psychological aspects of legal processes in courts and applying psychological theory to criminal investigation.

The daily key tasks for forensic psychologists may include; piloting and implementing treatment programmes, modifying offender behaviour, responding to the changing needs of staff and prisoners as well as reducing stress for staff and prisoners.  

Forensic psychologists also provide hard research evidence to support practice, including undertaking statistical analysis for prisoner profiling, giving evidence in court plus advising parole boards and mental health tribunals.

(Source: BPS)

Many students who are interested in forensic psychology undertake relevant voluntary work while at university.  

Explore more...

The British Psychological Society

Health Careers

Prospects 

Sarah Ashworth, UoN alumna

Sarah Ashworth

Sarah talks about her role as a forensic psychologist and her career pathway as well as offering advice to students considering forensic psychology.

Go to Sarah's case study

 
 

Health psychology

Health psychology is primarily concerned with people’s experiences of health and illness.

Health psychologists use their knowledge of psychology and health to promote general well-being and understand physical illness. They are specially trained to help people deal with the psychological and emotional aspects of health and illness as well as supporting people who are chronically ill.

Health psychologists promote healthier lifestyles and try to find ways to encourage people to improve their health. For example, they may help people to lose weight or stop smoking. Health psychologists also use their skills to try to improve the healthcare system. For example, they may advise doctors about better ways to communicate with their patients.

(Source: BPS)

Explore more...

The British Psychological Society

Health Careers

Prospects 

Bethan Davies, UoN alumna

Bethan Davies

Bethan talks about her role as a health psychologist and her career pathway as well as offering advice to students considering health psychology.

Go to Bethan's case study 

 
 

Occupational psychology

Occupational psychology is concerned with the performance of people at work and with how individuals, small groups and organisations behave and function. Its aim is to increase the effectiveness of the organisation and improve the job satisfaction of individuals.

Occupational psychologists aim to increase the effectiveness of the organisation and improve the job satisfaction of individuals. The speciality is broader in scope and less formalised than many areas of psychology and it touches on diverse fields, including ergonomics, personnel management and time management. Work can be in advisory, teaching and research roles, and to a lesser extent, in technical and administrative roles.

(Source: BPS)

Explore more...

The British Psychological Society

Prospects 

Phil Wilson, UoN alumnus

Phil talks about his role as a occupational psychologist and his career pathway as well as offering advice to students considering occupational psychology.

Go to Phil's case study 

 

 

 

Sport and Exercise Psychology

Sport psychology’s predominant aim is to help athletes prepare psychologically for the demands of competition and training. Exercise psychology is primarily concerned with the application of psychology to increase exercise participation and motivational levels in the general public.

Sport psychologists counsel referees to deal with the stressful and demanding aspects of their role, advise coaches on how to build cohesion within their squad of athletes, and help athletes with personal development and the psychological consequences of sustaining an injury.

Exercise psychologists optimise the benefits that can be derived from exercise participation and help individual clients with the implementation of goal setting strategies.

Explore more

The British Psychological Society

Prospects 

Lara Baker, UoN alumna

Lara Baker

Lara talks about her role as a sports and exercise psychologist and her career pathway as well as offering advice to students considering sport and exercise psychology.

Go to Lara's case study 

 
 

Explore more... 

 

 

 

Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679
email: careers-team@nottingham.ac.uk