Would really love some guidance, feedback and general comments

The place to ask about degree courses, conversion courses, masters, PhD or other qualifications. Discuss specific courses, their pros and cons, the content, the application process, different institutions, how to fund them, etc. Includes advice if you have a 2:2 and questions on transcripts
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Would really love some guidance, feedback and general comments

Post by Black1Adam » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:51 pm

Hi all Adam here,

I am 23M. I have a 2:2 Psychology BSc (BPS) and Merit Clinical and Health Psychology MSc (not BPS). I currently managed to secure a Healthcare Assistant at an in-patient older adults functional illness (mental illness) in the NHS, Crystal Centre - Ruby Ward.

The following are the unis that will accept me (not sure about the last one): 1) Lancaster; 2) Teeside; 3) Southhampton; 4) Exeter, and 5) Leicester (I'm not sure about Leicester since it said research-based, but my MSc did have a research component so I hope that counts unless they mean MRes).

Are my chances good? Should I try or quit? Am I doing good so far?

I have read how competitive getting the course so I would appreciate the honest to god truth about my chances. In the meantime, I was thinking of studying numerical and verbal reasoning tests, reading up on Psychological topics and just generally keeping my mind active with the literature. I am willing to give it my all but I do not want to waste my time either. So, if I am going about it the right way - the degrees and focusing on completing the one year experience - I would love to hear the feedback. I did read on this forum that someone went from HCA to DclinPsy...is this common?

Thank you so much!

p.s. I have always contemplated doing a conversion course if all of my efforts are not enough.

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Re: Would really love some guidance, feedback and general comments

Post by hawke » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:43 pm

In terms of experience, you will need much more than that. Although the courses generally say a minimum of one year's experience, in practice most people have a lot more than this, often in multiple roles with different client groups and often involving direct experience of therapeutic work. You also need to demonstrate that you have an understanding of clinical psychology in the NHS - you certainly don't need years of experience in an Assistant Psych or an IAPT job for this, but they help hugely in providing experiences to reflect on.

In terms of academic qualifications, I don't think a conversion course would help - you already have BPS accreditation and a Masters, and a conversion course won't overwrite your undergrad result. Possibly doing another Masters and getting a distinction (particularly in a research dissertation) might boost your application? Realistically, though, you will be competing against people with 1sts, distinctions, PhDs, research posts and publications, so you are probably going to struggle here.

The saving grace is short-listing tests, which I believe Lancaster, Exeter and Leicester all use. If you can score highly on the verbal/numerical reasoning type tests, that will massively increase your chances of being short-listed for an interview. For example, Lancaster (I believe) base their interviews entirely on those results.

So from my limited experience of applying (no experience of short-listing, or even of completing the course yet), I would say you face an uphill battle - certainly not impossible, but I would advise having a good plan B up your sleeve.

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Re: Would really love some guidance, feedback and general comments

Post by olive » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:00 am

I agree with Hawke, I personally think having a 1st degree honors has really helped me in getting AP jobs and in getting onto the doctorate this year (without any further education). I would repeat what Hawke said and be looking at the unis that do short-listing tests (Trent, Leicester, Salomons etc) as they may be your best chance of getting an interview. In the meantime, in terms of experience your next steps would be getting a job like a support, time and recovery worker with a clinical group and this will improve your chances of getting an AP job, as well as confirming this is what you want to do! You may get an AP job and decide clinical psychology is not for you (it does happen). It's a hard process, but not impossible, if it's what you want to do keep at it and good luck :) but having other interests and potential careers in mind always helps!

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Re: Would really love some guidance, feedback and general comments

Post by lingua_franca » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:48 pm

As you already have GBC, a conversion course will add nothing to your application - it doesn't override a 2:ii in your previous degree (and universities are unlikely to accept you onto a conversion anyway if you have GBC). I think you're being sensible to focus on courses with selection tests, although as others have said, you need to build up more experience before applying. Remember that it's not just a question of how many different types of roles you can tick off, but what you can learn from each. I was a HCA in a ward for older adults with dementia and I learnt a lot there, particularly when it came to communication with people who are very disorientated and with families who are distressed, so rather than worrying about your next step I would concentrate on your current job and how you can grow in it. If there is a CP on the ward, perhaps you could ask if there is anything you can help them out with? The CP at one of my old workplaces let me assist her with service evaluation when I asked. It's good to be proactive.

You also need to be able to reflect on whether you are ready to train, regardless of what the minimum criteria for the DClinPsy are. My first relevant job was as a speech and language therapy assistant for people with learning disabilities, and by the end of one year there I'd learnt a lot but I would certainly have been nowhere near ready for a DClinPsy.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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Re: Would really love some guidance, feedback and general comments

Post by kathrynjane » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:25 pm

I don't have much more to add, except a few more courses used the same GMA testing as Lancaster this year (e.g. Staffordshire) and people were shortlisted for interviews based purely on test scores.

I would mirror other's views that it is more about what you have learnt and how you reflect on your experience, rather than ticking a number of boxes.

Good luck!

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Re: Would really love some guidance, feedback and general comments

Post by maven » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:00 pm

Also bear in mind that competition for AP posts is often higher than for training, so it is worth looking out for non-NHS AP posts or other posts that bring you into contact with CPs to build up that experience.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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