Psychology is a multi-faceted subject that leads to an array of diverse career roles.
For instance, a psychology graduate could become a clinical psychologist that focuses on the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental illness or a market researcher that collects and analyses data to present to clients.
With potential opportunities like those and more, psychology’s dynamic nature is what links learners to promising career prospects.
With their research-oriented outlook, critical thinking abilities and strong problem-solving skills, it’s no surprise that psychology degree holders are highly sought after.
This may be the reason why the overall employment of psychologists in the US is projected to grow 14 percent from 2018 to 2028, according to the US Bureau of Labour Statisti(BLS).
“Employment of clinical, counselling and school psychologists is projected to grow because of greater demand for psychological services in schools, hospitals, mental health centres, and social service agencies,” BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook said.
“Demand for clinical and counselling psychologists will increase as people continue to turn to psychologists for help with their problems. Psychologists also will be needed to provide services to an ageing population, helping people deal with the mental and physical changes that happen as they grow older.”
And in the UK, a recent survey revealed that the country is facing a shortage of mental health professionals. The British Medical Association’s analysis of workforce figures and survey of more than 1,000 doctors, psychologists and mental-health nurses, was carried out together with the Royal College of Nursing and the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK.
“Almost seven out of 10 respondents work in teams with vital members of staff missing most or all of the time. Nearly half (47 per cent) of doctors work shifts in which they are down at least one medical colleague,” the survey found.
In response to the study, Royal College of Nursing Professional Lead for Mental Health Catherine Gamble said: “The clear majority of nursing staff felt the absence of one of their own on their last shifts. This hammers home the reality of the chronic workforce shortages that have plagued our profession.”
“Unless there is urgent investment in growing the nursing workforce the pressures will continue to grow to the point where it will no longer be possible to attract nurses to work in the NHS, and parity of esteem for physical and mental health remains a goal yet to be realised.”
With such high demand in this field, psychology graduates today are set for a wealth of opportunities ahead.
Here are four UK universities to kickstart a bright future in this field…
The School of Psychology at the University of Plymouth is dedicated to developing the next generation of psychologists, from education and health to business and the media. Students benefit from research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning from a university in the top 20 for research in psychology, neuroscience and psychiatry. With accreditation by the British Psychological Society, undergraduates are equipped to address today’s most challenging psychological issues, with further specialization offered from a range of exciting postgraduate courses such as clinical psychology and human neuroscience.
A hands-on approach to learning ensures that practical activities are embedded throughout the courses, with access to the on-site Psychology Experiential Learning lab (PsychE). An optional placement year also allows undergraduates to acquire professional training in the institution of their choice: healthcare, education, business, judicial system, etc. This allows students to put their new knowledge into practice, build practical skills relevant to their future careers and benefit from world-class research labs such as Babylab and the Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC).
All these make for graduate success at the School – nearly nine in ten graduates are employed or in further studies six months after graduation.
With a safe campus located in an idyllic waterfront city, international students can explore the British seaside and its maritime heritage.
The BSc (Hons) Psychology degree at the University of Loughborough offers learners the knowledge, skills and competencies that are prized by employers, such as critical thinking and research abilities.
Their undergraduate psychology course is taught by internationally-respected academics and accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
This course covers a full range of modules which aim to build students’ core knowledge and skills, allowing them to tailor their degree to their interests and aspirations.
Student are encouraged to undertake an optional year-long work placement or study abroad opportunity. A year in placement or a year abroad will allow them to gain an additional award alongside their final qualification.
University of Loughborough students go on to pursue a variety of career paths in different sectors, such as management, human resources, education, social work, financial services and research.
Challenging existing conventions, the Department of Psychology at the University of Essex focuses on three distinct areas of concentration: thinking about the world, interacting with the world, and experiencing the world.
As the Head of Psychology Department Professor Paul Hibbard said: “Psychology’s ideas and concepts are part of our everyday culture, yet many underestimate how influential as a science our discipline can be. Our aim is to highlight how our research findings concern every one of us and how psychology affects us as groups as well as individuals.”
Therefore, to dig deeper into psychology, the department has created a stimulating and vibrant research environment and promotes undergraduate and postgraduate courses that have been accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
With notable psychology professors, such as Dr Aja Murray who was recently awarded the British Academy/Wolfson Fellowship, studying here is to study under the guidance of experts.
At the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, undergraduate psychology students are introduced to a flexible programme structure that provides core courses alongside optional courses in areas such as cognitive neuroscience, language, vision and intelligence. There is also an option to enrol in a four-year degree programme.
Without the need to commit to a long-term degree, the four-year style grants students more time to grow intellectually and academically. The extra years lets students develop their confidence and sharpen their essay writing skills.
Plus, with more than 200 study abroad arrangements with universities in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, psychology students here can explore different modules and gain experience overseas.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article may be commercial partners of Study International