What can i do with a degree in psychology
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What can I do with a Degree in Psychology?. Careers and Employability Service. Nicola Urquhart Careers Adviser www.kent.ac.uk/careers/slides.htm. What we will cover. The graduate labour market What do employers want? What skills do psychology graduates have?

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What can i do with a degree in psychology

What can I do with a Degree in Psychology?

Careers and Employability Service

Nicola Urquhart

Careers Adviser


What we will cover

What we will cover

  • The graduate labour market

  • What do employers want?

  • What skills do psychology graduates have?

  • What do psychology graduates do:

    the jobs they get

    their typical employers

    the further courses they study


The graduate labour market in 2013

The graduate labour market in 2013

  • Approximately 30% - 40% of vacancies are open to graduates with a degree from any discipline

  • Employers increasingly focusing on professional attributes in addition to transferable skills

  • Relevant work experience increasingly important

  • Need for students to think earlier about their employability

  • Employers are expecting to increase their graduate recruitment by 2.7% in 2013

What do employers want

What do employers want?

Commercial Awareness

Degree awarded at 2.1 or above

Work Experience

Extra-Curricular Activities

Professional attributes

Employability skills

What is a career

What is a career?

  • Career choice is not an event or occasion

  • Career choice isaprocess

The challenge

The Challenge

“it can be difficult for psychology students to become employment focused because of the breadth of the degree and its open-endedness”

What skills do psychology graduates have

What skills do Psychology graduates have?

  • Communication

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Information technology

  • Handling of data/statistics

  • Problem-solving

  • The ability to work in teams

  • Research skills!

Skills and attributes that graduate recruiters are looking for

Skills and attributes that graduate recruiters are looking for?





Contextual/cultural awareness

Self awareness

Report writing


Problem Solving


Positive attitude




Team working

Capacity to develop


Drive and resilience

Project management


IT skills

Business and customer awareness

Planning and organisation



Jobs directly related to subject

Jobs directly related to subject

Jobs directly related to your degree

Jobs directly related to your degree


  • Clinical Psychologist

  • Counselling Psychologist

  • Educational Psychologist

  • Forensic Psychologist

  • Health Psychologist

  • Occupational Psychologist

  • Teaching Psychology

Jobs directly related to your degree1

Jobs directly related to your degree

Educational Psychologist

  • concerned with children and young people in educational and early years settings – tackle challenges such as social and emotional problems, issues around disability as well as more complex developmental disorders

  • Work mainly in schools, colleges, nurseries and special units (most employed by LAs)

Jobs directly related to your degree2

Jobs directly related to your degree

Clinical Psychologist

  • deal with a range of mental and physical health problems including addiction, anxiety, depression, learning difficulties and relationship issues

  • Work largely in health and social care settings such as hospitals, health centres, community mental health teams, child and adolescent mental health services and social services (most employed by NHS)

Jobs directly related to your degree3

Jobs directly related to your degree

Forensic Psychologist

  • concerned with psychological aspects of legal processes in courts, applying psychological theory to criminal investigation, understanding psychological problems associated with criminal behaviour and the treatment of those who have committed offences.

  • Work mainly in rehabilitation units, secure hospitals, social services and in university departments (most employed by HM Prison Service )

Jobs directly related to your degree4

Jobs directly related to your degree

Sports and Exercise Psychologist

  • concerned with helping athletes to prepare psychologically for the demands of competition and training

  • Work mainly in universities and private practice.

Jobs directly related to your degree5

Jobs directly related to your degree

Occupational Psychologist

  • concerned with enhancing the effectiveness of organisations and developing the performance, motivation and well-being of people in the workplace

  • Work with organisations and businesses of all sizes across the private , public and third sector (most employed by Civil Service and in private practices )

Jobs directly related to your degree6

Jobs directly related to your degree

Psychological Well-being Practitioner

  • developed to deliver recommended low and high intensity interventions for people with mild, moderate to severe depression and anxiety disorders in a system of stepped care

  • Many places including hospitals, community centres and rehabilitation centres

  • http://www.iapt.nhs.uk/workforce/

Jobs where a psychology degree useful

Jobs where a psychology degree useful

  • Advertising

  • Careers Guidance

  • Counselling

  • Human Resources

  • Market Research

  • Marketing

  • Mental Health

  • Nursing

  • Occupational therapy

  • Probation Work

  • Public Relations

  • Social Research

  • Social Work

  • Youth work

Related jobs stepping stones

Related jobs, stepping stones …

  • Care Worker

  • Social Worker

  • Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners

  • Mental Health Nurse / Nursing assistant

  • Healthcare Assistant

  • Research Assistant

  • Learning Support Worker

  • Sports Coach

Researching careers

Researching Careers

  • http://www.prospects.ac.uk/clinical_psychologist_vacancy_sources.htm

  • Overview of the sector

  • Job descriptions

  • Salary and conditions

  • Entry requirements

  • Training

  • Career development

  • Employers and vacancy sources

  • Related jobs

Jobs that are not directly related to your degree

Jobs that are not directly related to your degree

Many employers value the skills you have gained more than the subject

Graduate schemes www kent ac uk careers graddirector ies htm

Graduate Schemes www.kent.ac.uk/careers/graddirectories.htm

  • www.prospects.ac.uk

  • www.get.hobsons.co.uk

  • www.targetjobs.co.uk

  • www guardianuk300.com

  • www.top100graduateemployers.com

  • www.kent.ac.uk/ces/vacancies.html

Example graduate schemes

Example Graduate Schemes

  • Accenture

  • Aldi

  • Arcadia

  • BAE Systems

  • BBC

  • Bloomberg

  • British Sugar

  • Cancer Research UK

  • Deliotte

  • DFID

  • Diageo

  • Ernest & Young

  • EU Careers

  • IBM

  • L’Oreal

  • Mars

  • McDonalds

  • MI5

  • National Grid

  • Penguin

  • TeachFirst

  • BBC

Example graduate scheme bloomberg

Example Graduate scheme (Bloomberg )

  • Finance

  • IT

  • Media

  • Sales

Example graduate scheme dfid

Example graduate scheme: DFID

  • Engineering

  • Finance

  • General Management

  • IT

  • Purchasing

  • Research and Development

Postgraduate study

Postgraduate study

  • Approx. 26% of Psychology grads do PG study after graduation

  • Many students work for a year to fund it or do it part-time whilst working

  • Normally apply middle of final year. No UCAS can apply to as many course as you wish to – 3 or 4 is normal

Where to get work experience

Where to get work experience …

  • Hospitals

  • Schools and Colleges

  • Nursing Homes

  • Sports Teams

  • Social Services

  • Local Authorities

  • Prison Service

  • Rehabilitation Units

  • At the University

Volunteering opportunities

Volunteering Opportunities

  • http://kent.prospects.ac.uk/index.html

  • www.kentunion.co.uk/eandv/

  • http://timebank.org.uk/

  • www.do-it.org.uk

  • http://vinspired.com/

  • http://www.volunteering.org.uk/

  • Speculative approaches

Using social media to job search

Using Social Media to Job Search


  • Follow organisations @BPSOfficial @PsychologyNow @PsychAssistant

  • Follow @unikentemploy

  • Get industry updates

  • www.twitjobsearch.com

  • Remember everything is public



  • ‘Like’ company pages (Civil Service Fast Stream, NHS Management Scheme )

  • ‘Like’ https://www.facebook.com/UKCES

  • Is your profile professional enough?!



  • www.linkedin.com

  • Search for jobs.

  • Use key words in your profile.

  • Follow companies.

  • Connect with people in the industry.

  • Join relevant groups.

Websites to become familiar with

Websites to become familiar with

  • www.bps.org.uk

  • www.prospects.ac.uk

  • www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/

  • www.kent.ac.uk/ces/l

  • https://chpccp.leeds.ac.uk/

  • http://www.kent.ac.uk/psychology/employability/

Job websites only a selection

Job Websites (only a selection!)

  • www.jobs.nhs.uk/

  • www.psychapp.co.uk

  • www.psychminded.co.uk/jobs.htm (including Assistant Psychologist positions

  • www.kca.org.uk (also offer work based placements)

  • www.mentalhealthjobs.co.uk (includes Research Assistant Posts)

  • www.justice.gov.uk/jobs HM Prison Service, Probation Trusts (35)

  • jobs.communitycare.co.uk/jobs/ (including support worker roles)

  • www.lgjobs.com/Local Government Jobs

  • http://voluntarysectorjobs.co.uk

What do psychology graduates do

What do psychology graduates do?

What do psychology graduates do 2011

What do psychology graduates do? (2011)

  • Employed 66%

  • Further study 26%

  • Unemployed 6 %

  • Not available 1%

Employment examples

Employment examples


  • Assistant Psychologist - Kneesworth House Hospital, Brumon Hospital, Northern Health & SS Board, Bournewood NHS, National Autistic Society, Kent & Medway NHS Trust, Cambian Educational Services, Disabilities Trust, East Court School for Dyslexia, Learning Assessment Centre, NHS Trusts, West Kent NHS Social Care Trust, NHS Adult Mental Health

  • Psychologist - St Martin's Hospital

  • Psychologist - dstl

  • Psychology Research Assistant - University of Kent

  • Psychology Technician - Huntercombe Manor Hospital

  • Psychology Teacher - Kent County Council (x3)

  • Psychology Lecturer - Canterbury College

Employment examples1

Employment examples


  • Classroom Assistant (x2) - Horndon-on-the-Hill, Noble School

  • Learning Support Assistant (x5) - Axcis Education, Catholic School, Wyvern School, Secondary School (x2)

  • Lecturer (x3) - Canterbury College, University of Derby, Oaklands College

  • Psychology Research Assistant (x2) - University of Kent (x2)

  • Teaching Assistant (x4) - Hong Kong, Weald of Kent Grammar School, JET Programme (Japan), Greenwich

  • Youth Trainer - NACRO

  • Retail Management Trainee - Matalan


  • Care Assistant (x4) - Oast trust, Essex Social Services, Learning Disabilities School etc

  • Counsellor - Samaritans

  • Hostel Worker - Cambridge Cyreneans

  • Nursing Assistant (x3) - City of London Health Authority, New Sussex Hospital, St. Martin's Hospital

  • Probation Services Officer (x3) - Hertfordshire Probation Service, Kent Probation Service (x2)

  • Rehabilitation Support - Libra Health Group

  • Residential Social Worker (x2) - Hammersmith & Fulham, Ravenswood Village

  • Social Care Worker - Sussex Autistic Community Trust

  • Special Needs Assistant (X2) - Haringey Education Support, West Sussex County Council

  • Therapeutic Teacher - Caldecott Community

Further study examples

Further study examples

  • PhD - Kent, Greenwich, Institute of Psychiatry

  • MPhil - Kent

  • MSc (eg in Developmental, Forensic, Health, Occupational, Social) - Kent, Bristol, Southampton, Cranfield, Essex, Guy's Hospital, London, LSE, UCL, Manchester, Oxford, Nottingham, Sheffield

  • MSc HR Management - Middlesex

  • MSc Nursing - Essex

  • MSc Occupational Therapy - Essex

  • MSc Research Methods - Kent, Liverpool, Reading

  • MA - Brunel, Canterbury Christchurch, Kent, King’s College London, Lancaster, Oxford Brookes, SOAS

  • MA Social Work - many & various

  • PGCE (Primary & Secondary Teacher Training) - many & various

  • PG Dip Psychotherapy - Kent

  • PG Dip Mental Health - Southampton

  • PG Dip Speech Therapy - Greenwich

  • Graduate Diploma in Law - College of Law

What if i m still stuck

What if I’m still stuck?

  • Make the most of opportunities (planned happenstance)

  • Think about it little and often

  • Make an appointment to speak to a careers adviser

How the careers and employability service can help you

How the Careers and Employability Service can help you.

What we do

What we do

Careers Talks and Workshops

Careers Library: Employer Directories, Occupational Profiles, Books etc

Comprehensive Web Pages

Careers Employability Award (CEM) on Moodle

Vacancy Database

Alumni Careers Network

Annual Careers and Recruitment Fair

Drop In - Quick Query

Careers Guidance Interviews

Careers and employability service web site www kent ac uk ces

Careers and Employability Service Web Site: www.kent.ac.uk/ces

Careers and employability service web pages

Careers and Employability Service Web Pages

  • I want to work in …. http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/workin/psychology.htm

  • What can I do with my degree in http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/psychol.htm

  • Choosing a Career http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/Choosing/ChoosingCareer.htm

  • Interviews (includes assessment centres and psychometric tests etc.) www.kent.ac.uk/careers/applicn.htm

  • Example CVs & Covering Letterswww.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/cvexamples.htm

  • Employability Skills http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sk/skillsmenu.htm

Careers employability award

Careers Employability Award


  • The module takes about 12 hours to complete

  • But this can be done at your own pace

    You do this by completing:

  • 9 quizzes

  • 3 short assignments

  • 1 feedback form

Comments from students who have completed the award

Comments from students who have completed the award.

  • “I liked the fact that the assignments relate to how you would fill in answers on a graduate job application step by step and provides examples of how to fill it in.”

  • “I really enjoyed the quizzes. They effectively highlighted the gaps in my knowledge, as many of the answers surprised me. I also found the module on creating my own CV very useful, these skills will be invaluable for tailoring my CV to particular jobs.”

  • “There is a wealth of information about everything; I especially liked the individual information about specific job types and the advice given about interview skills.”

Vacancy database

Vacancy Database

  • All vacancies sent to the Careers and Employability Service by employers, whether for graduate jobs, sandwich placements or vacation work/internships are entered on this database which offers:

  • Email alerts of new vacancies which may interest you

  • Employers notifying vacancies are often specifically targeting Kent graduates, so competition for jobs is lower than on other vacancy sites www.kent.ac.uk/careers/jobs/index.htm

Attend careers talks and workshops

Attend Careers Talks and Workshops.

  • A Career in Sales

  • Champions Life Academy

  • The Network

  • CRCC (Asia, China Internship Programme )

  • http://www.kent.ac.uk/calendar/ (Student Skills and Employability)

  • http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/casevents.htm

Speak to an adviser

Speak to an adviser:

  • Quick query, drop in and speak to an adviser 10.30am -12.30pm and 2.00pm-4pm Monday to Friday.

  • E mail [email protected] and an adviser will respond to your query.

  • You can also book a longer career guidance appointment over the phone or pop in.

Action points

Action Points

  • Gain relevant work experience (Work Experience Scheme)

  • Gain relevant research experience (Research Experience Scheme – 2nd Years!)

  • Gain experience of working with people ‘in receipt of mental health services’

  • Learn to reflect and to relate even what may seem menial tasks to your learning!

  • Use Social Media in your networking and job search

  • Don’t give up, on average it takes 3 years from graduation to a place on a doctoral course

  • Make use of the Careers and Employability Service

Careers and employability service

Careers and Employability Service

You can download a copy of this presentation at www.kent.ac.uk/careers/slides.htm

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