MSc or try for an AP position?

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MSc or try for an AP position?

Post by Gemakins » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:10 am

I am an aspiring Clinical Psychologist who is about to finish an undergraduate degree in Psychology this summer with a high 2:1 (hopefully)! I'm really unsure as to what route after my undergrad would help me the most.

I have Been accepted on a MSc(res) in Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging at the University of Sheffield as I am very interested in brain imaging. However, I am wondering whether this would be worth while or not with the aim of eventually getting on to the DClinPsy. I have also applied to Nottingham Trent University for a MSc in Psycholgy in Clinical Applications which includes a 6 month placement working under the supervision of a clinical psychologist.
I have 6 years experience as a swimming teacher, two years as a support worker for children and adolescents with mental health issues, one year as a bank HCA in a variety of forensic mental health units and I have undertook a placement year as part of my degree working on a European project at the University of Birmingham on children and adolescents with conduct disorder.

I was wondering whether it would be more beneficial for me to try and get a job as an assistant psychologist? Do the MSc in cogneuro and imaging a field I'm interested in? Or do the MSc in clinical applications with the placement?

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Re: MSc or try for an AP position?

Post by Randomswirls » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:49 am

I would say do what is right for you and what interests you the most.

That said if you have good academics at undergraduate level you may be better of getting experience as out of my colleagues the AP who got the most interviews was the one who had lots of experience and no masters!

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Re: MSc or try for an AP position?

Post by mungle » Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:49 pm

There is a lot to be said for following your interests could lead you into a preferred area in CP or something else you'd never considered. If you do a masters then pick the one that really grips you. If you do choose to do the imaging masters then you could always look for voluntary AP work alongside, e.g. 1/2 day a week.

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Re: MSc or try for an AP position?

Post by dreamer14 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:36 pm

Hi Gemakins,

I can't say what you should do, but maybe my previous experience will be of use. I have had very similar work experience to you (minus the teaching!) and also did a placement in my undergrad. I chose to do an MSc with a placement after graduating, and after finishing my MSc was offered an AP post I was offered an AP post within a couple of months. This was similar for most of my cohort. One of the other students actually said that she had spent a year trying to apply for AP positions with no luck when she chose to start the MSc, then within a month of finishing she was offered an AP role. So for myself and my cohort, it seems completing the MSc with an AP placement was the key to opening that door. Again, the decision is really personal and I would suggest strongly thinking about what you will enjoy - completing an MSc is hard, and if you are doing it in something you do not enjoy, it would be even harder. But I hope my two pence helps! Feel free to PM me if you want any more details :)

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Re: MSc or try for an AP position?

Post by Gemakins » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:40 pm

Thank you for your advice. I have PM'd dreamer :).
I have applied for a MSc in Psychology Rehabilitation which I think is my main option so far with the hope of getting a part time assistant position at the same time!

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