MEd Psychology of Education conversion course questions

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rurikar
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Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:06 pm

MEd Psychology of Education conversion course questions

Post by rurikar »

Hi all

I’ve been a lurker for a while here and so, firstly thank you to all for the wealth of information that has been hugely useful to read/absorb.

I’m currently in the process of applying to conversion courses and have weighed up staying in the city of my undergraduate degree (I’m a final year computer scientist) or moving to London. Moving to London is entirely dependant on getting into an MSc Psychological Sciences course which is highly competitive and by no means a certainty. However, the questions I have arise from the possibility of me staying in the city of my undergraduate degree.

My principal question was specifically with regard to doing an MEd Psychology of Education as opposed to an MSc Psychology (conversion) and how likely this is to impact my career, and possibly clinical, prospects further down the track? While the MSc Psychology (conversion) course that I’m looking at, specifically Staffordshire University, is a good option, particularly as a university that also offers the clinical doctorate, it really doesn’t jump out at me for an array of reasons (mainly the prospect of having to commute there 2/3 times a week). I’m really keen to stay at the university where I am at the moment and that, with the benefit of a £3k fee reduction should I get a first, is massively appealing. I also really like the university, the city and for me, is somewhere I really enjoy studying.

I have done some hunting around on LinkedIn and have found individuals who have done an MEd Psychology of Education degrees (both at my undergraduate university and elsewhere) and ultimately have ended up on the doctorate, so I know it is feasible. My concern is whether I’m ‘shooting myself in the foot’, particularly in applying to assistant psychologist/PWP positions before even starting this change in direction? I do feel that any shortcomings in me doing a specialised conversion course, particularly in applying to an assistant psychologist/PWP positions, could perhaps largely be overcome with a wide breadth of relevant experience whether it be practical or research-based? Is that completely naïve, particularly in applying to positions that are famously (at least on this forum!) competitive?

I’m also slightly intrigued if anyone has any insight into whether it would be increasingly difficult it may be to apply for general (in the sense that it could be in any area) psychology PhDs with an MEd Psychology of Education as opposed to an MSc Psychology (conversion), given the outcome is fundamentally the same, in terms of obtaining GBC?

I have also read this post: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=22064&p=195470&hili ... on#p195470 which was both intriguing and helpful, so thank you to Hawke for their reply.

Thanks in advance for your replies!
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Geishawife
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Re: MEd Psychology of Education conversion course questions

Post by Geishawife »

I think there are several issues here. First things first, do concentrate on getting the best grade possible in your current degree. Some clinical doctorate courses will not consider you if you do not get at least a high 2:1 in your first degree, even if you do brilliantly in the conversion, so do make that your priority. Getting a good first degree gives you more options further down the line. Secondly, so long as the conversion you do gives you GBC, it really doesn't matter if it's "straight" Psychology or the Psychology of Education. GBC is the important thing, and if all the courses you are interested in offer it choose your course according to what will suit YOU, not what might or might not suit future employers/selectors.

The third thing I would say leads on from the 2nd point above. You will serve yourself best going forward if you enjoy your studies and do well in them. Given that, pick the course that you feel will suit you best in terms of delivery, assessment, how settled you are/like where you live and any other things that will contribute to you doing well. If that means staying in your current location, then go for that. If you feel another course has more to offer in this regard, go for that. Where you study is really not important, whereas how well you do IS. So, choose the course that suits you and your individual needs.

Finally, I really wouldn't worry at this stage about what might or might not happen re AP posts. You are falling into the classic trap of looking too far ahead and trying to second guess what people might want. For a start, an AP or PWP post is not essential for getting on to the doctorate - there are multiple posts that can give you very valuable experience and what matters most is how you reflect on your experiences (both work and academic experiences) and demonstrate how they make you a good candidate for training. Horizon gazing, whilst tempting, can take you away from the here and now and stop you getting the most out of the journey and current experiences. So don't worry at this point what people might or might not look for further down the line as it will only detract from enjoying the present.

So, in short (which is ironic given my lengthy reply!)just go for what suits YOU, focus on the here and now and enjoy the journey. Do that and the future will take care of itself. Good luck.
rurikar
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Re: MEd Psychology of Education conversion course questions

Post by rurikar »

Hi Geishawife

Thank you very much for your detailed reply. I do realise, as you say, it’s important to focus on the here and now rather than looking too far into the distance. While I do feel there is some value in trying to prepare for the steps further down the track, it will inevitably detract from the current and present experiences and then, crucially, the ability to be able to reflect upon them. Your reply though has definitely given me some clarity on making a decision on the next immediate step and so, thank you very much for that. We'll wait to see what the next few months of university hold before thinking too much about the next stage!
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miriam
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Re: MEd Psychology of Education conversion course questions

Post by miriam »

Realistically, you won't get an AP post or PWP post without experience after your conversion, and it will be what you gain from that first post after your conversion that determines whether you are shortlisted for the more competitive posts, rather than the title of your conversion. And I agree with Geishawife about following your interests and not trying to work out the shortest route to training.

That said, IMHO an education focused conversion course will open up options in education for further experience or training, but won't add as much to your CV as a wider psychology course remit when it comes to applying for posts with adults or in other areas of service delivery. So if you are thinking about educational psychology, or working in a school, nursery or college, or with children with special needs -either inside or outside of clinical psychology- this would be a great option. But if your goal is to work in health settings, or therapeutic work, or with older people you might find less knowledge and transferable skills to draw on when looking at next steps.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com
rurikar
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Re: MEd Psychology of Education conversion course questions

Post by rurikar »

Hi Miriam

Sorry for the delayed reply but thank you too for your helpful response. I think what is shining through is the necessity of enjoying the ‘journey’ and whether that ends at the doctorate or not should be much less of an issue. I take your point about the MEd not adding as much to my CV but my hope is that with prior experience to the conversion and experience gained alongside, that this may bolster it to some degree in places that it is lacking. We’ll see. At least there is more clarity over the next step, for which I’m very grateful for both of your help!
lunathecat
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Re: MEd Psychology of Education conversion course questions

Post by lunathecat »

Hello!

I did an MSc in Psychological Sciences in London in 2019/20. I like you was caught between courses but in the end I opted for 'straight' conversion course as I felt it gave me more options in the future if for some reason I decided against clinical. If you are interested in education, then it might be worth that course. I think as long as you have GBC you will be able to apply for jobs, but I would expect to be asked why you did an educational psych focused course in interviews that aren't related to edu psych. As long as you can explain it I don't see a problem. I personally did get straight onto PWP after my conversion, so it's not impossible. I did have experience, but only very basic volunteer experience and nothing full time.
Bella272
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Re: MEd Psychology of Education conversion course questions

Post by Bella272 »

Hi Rurikar,

I just wondered what you had decided to do in the end? I have a lot of the same questions as you do but about the BPS accredited undergraduate BSc course that I'm thinking of taking (BSc Psychology in Education at the University of York) as I'm very interested in pursuing a career as a Clinical Psychologist (or possibly Counselling Psychologist) and unsure of how a 'Psychology in Education' degree will be viewed if I do apply for a doctorate further down the line.
rurikar
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Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 2:06 pm

Re: MEd Psychology of Education conversion course questions

Post by rurikar »

Hi all

Sorry for the delayed reply and thanks for your posts. I wanted to wait until I had received news about the MSc Psychological Sciences course to be able to reply properly (it’s been quite the wait!). However, fortunately, I found out a few days ago that I was successful and so will be going to London to study the more generalised conversion course.

@Bella272 - I opted for the MSc Psychological Sciences course as it was the better option for a whole host of reasons (principally the quality of the course, reputation of the University and the foundation it provides for future options, even perhaps outside clinical psychology). The MEd was a really good backup option and while I think that it perhaps doesn’t offer you the flexibility of a more generalised conversion course, I don’t believe that it would necessarily be an inhibiting factor. I think that you could make up for lack of experience in other areas by supplementing your degree with volunteering/paid experience with any clinical population that you were interested in working with. I do also think to some degree that you’re not losing anything by doing an MEd as you ultimately still emerge with the GBC and if anything, you have the added benefit of having a specialist degree of knowledge in one given area. Ultimately, I think it’s going to be how you sell it further down the track (as @lunathecat alludes to), in-line with your complementing experience which will really decide what impact it has. Anyway, I hope that was vageuly helpful (and sorry if it's come too late) but good luck all the same!
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