How Long Does It Take To Become A Clinical Psychologist UK?

How long does it take to become a clinical psychologist uk

A career as a clinical psychologist is an ideal option for anyone with a passion for helping people. You’ll use your scientific knowledge and experience to support individuals, families and groups to overcome a range of mental health issues and behavioural problems that can have a significant impact on their quality of life.

Your duties as a clinical psychologist will vary depending on the service you work in, but your main focus will be to help people with psychological issues improve their well-being and reduce distress. Your patients will range in age and background and could be suffering from a variety of different conditions such as anxiety, depression or dementia. You’ll work alongside other healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses and allied health staff.

Qualification and training

You’ll need to study a university bachelor degree or a postgraduate research degree before you start your psychology training. These can be either general degrees or courses which focus on clinical psychology. Once you’ve completed your degree you’ll need to undertake an accredited postgraduate degree or training course, which will normally take three years full-time and can be funded through the NHS.

The British Psychological Society (BPS) is the professional body for clinical psychologists in the UK and you’ll need to get a BPS-accredited degree in order to become a registered clinical psychologist. You may also want to get chartered membership with the BPS if you’d like to follow an academic career.

A BPS-accredited undergraduate degree should be at least a 2:1 Honours level and will need to include at least one year of study in a subject that is relevant to clinical psychology. If you have a bachelor’s degree in another subject you can convert this to a psychology-based degree through a conversion master’s programme.

Getting your degree and experience overseas

You can apply to an English-speaking university for a place on a BPS-accredited masters or doctorate in clinical psychology. Some universities also offer conversion masters if you have an international qualification that is relevant to the field.

Getting a job as a clinical psychologist in the UK

In the UK you’ll find that there are plenty of opportunities for you to gain experience in a variety of healthcare settings. These will include roles such as a clinical psychologist or an assistant psychologist within the NHS, social services or probation services.

Working as a clinical psychologist is challenging and you’ll need to be resilient and flexible. You can expect to spend a lot of time with people who are experiencing intense emotional or psychological distress. Your colleagues will be there to help you if you feel overwhelmed or need extra support.

It can be difficult to secure a position as a clinical psychologist in the UK but there are some ways to boost your chances. You can try to obtain a visa that gives you the right to work part-time in the UK and you can also try to apply for a student visa.