A good age

Your chance to ask for advice on any aspect of career development that doesn't fit in any of the above categories
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Post by CurlyHair » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:08 am

Hello g4reth!

I am doing the OU BSc and am almost 32, I guess that makes me an oldie :) Am doing DD303 at the moment so am getting to grips with E-prime which is fun!

Personally I think us oldies have a bit of an edge, especially if you have experience of another career. It gives you a bit of persepective I think - useful especially when you are attempting to go down a challenging path like the one to being a CP.

I think it makes you a bit more realistic about how hard it can be, and also to realise it isn't the be all and end all - even if it is something very important to you.

Anyway, nice to ClinPsy meet you :D

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Post by catg » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:37 pm

Well it seems there are certainly plenty of us around!

Would def be great to hear how everyone gets on and thanks for the further encouragement, astra, especially from one who is also juggling small children.

I'm with you, CurlyHair on the life experience...it's got to count for something! By the way, I am also in the Edinburgh area so we may even bump into each other along the way!

Stay positive! :P

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Post by CurlyHair » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:06 am

There are a few Scottish types lurking about :D One day we should meet up.

I am also goign to be at the BPS student conference in Brighton in April - looking forward to it already!

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Post by Toscapuss » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:47 pm


I just wanted to add to this, I'm new and at 38 have decided I don't want to be a community worker anymore... I'm about to embark on ou conversion course starting in Oct... probably going to take 4 years - as I need to work, and then I intend to do the MSC in Psychological therapies in Primary care so ... guess I'll be 43 by the time this is all done ! lol
But so looking forward to the course and getting into it all : )

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Post by Toscapuss » Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:48 pm

Ps I live near Dunblane so another Scot kicking about the scene!

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Post by jbs » Sat May 16, 2009 10:03 pm

Thank you for sharing your experiences! So good to hear the age is not a barrier to studying! I am 39 in few months time and would like to become Clinical Psychologist... It's not exactly career change for me, it is coming back to where I came from.... I got Masters Degree in Psychology in different country in 1994 (I was 24 then) and worked there for few years as qualified Child Psychologist. Then I came to live and work in the UK and also in Canada (in community settings and projects with adults with learning disabilities, I loved it), but never worked here as psychologist. I spent last few years as full time Mum to our little girl and I worked from home as self employed artist. Last year I came to study postgraduate programme and really enjoy it. Reflecting on my new learning and my previous life and professional experience, I realized I really would like to work as Clinical Psychologist. I received GBR with BPS this year. Now I am completing Postgraduate Certificate in Early Childhood Studies part time (most of my colleage students are 15 years younger than me and we get on well) . I will apply soon for part time Masters in Psychological Research, as I feel this would be really helpful for me.

I find this forum really, really helpful, things are becoming much more clearer for me. I know I need lots of perseverance...

Last edited by jbs on Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by astra » Mon May 18, 2009 10:00 am

Hi Jana
I think your previous experience will count as relevant experience but only really in the context of using it as a comparison to how things work in the UK, so some experience of working in the NHS in the UK would probably be necessary given the time since you last worked in this field. I think applying for AP posts can be a very unrewarding and frustrating process, but you might just get lucky if you persevere and if you don't get offers then phone and ask for feedback, they may not give it but if they do it can be really helpful.
I did the doctorate as a mature trainee with a young child in tow so if you want specific advice just ask.

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Post by jbs » Mon May 18, 2009 10:14 am

Hi Astra,

thats very helpful. Thank you!

I just applied for part time job in NHS as support worker with adults with learning disabilties, as I hope I have more chances to get this role because of my experiences... And I hope being employed in NHS would help me to find more contacts and networking regarding AP voluntary or paid posts...and I a will apply to study part time Masters in psychological research methods.

Is it possible to ask for feedback on my application for AP job when I wasn't even shortlisted for the interview? I was very disappointed not to be shortlisted for AP post I applied for, as I had very relevant experience for it (working with children and adolescents with LD). Is it worth trying to email them to ask for feedback and ask about possibility of volunteering with their service?

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Post by psyt » Thu May 28, 2009 3:15 pm

Hello to everyone,
I am new of this forum and yet I have to orient myself, but of course I consider this forum very nice and useful.

I am very pleased to read about some older people willing to undertake a CP career path. :)

I am 46 and would like to get a British qualification in CP or CounsP. I do not know if I will succeed on it, because an additional problem for me, other than a foreign degree in Psychology, is the English language: learning it is a time-consuming process and I am oldie yet.

I am planning to move to UK in the next semester and I wonder which jobs I could do there to gain the both linguistic and psychological skills.

I would like to save time: I quake imagining myself washing dishes and/or cleaning stairs and/or similar for three years al least, before being allowed to access to a proper job! :roll:

Anyway, 46 or not, "the show must go on", mustn't it?

I would welcome advices that any of you might want giving to me.
Thank you very much.

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Post by jbs » Thu May 28, 2009 3:51 pm

Hi Psyt,


I have Masters in Psychology from other country as well.

I think that the first step for you could be to check the BPS website to find what level of membership you can get with degree from your home country:

http://www.bps.org.uk/membership/overse ... o_home.cfm

and if you get GBR (Graduate Basis for Registration), you would be eligible to apply for jobs as Assistant Psychologists - if you are from EU.

This forum is really great resource for information about applying for CP courses, AP jobs etc, I just keep coming here and searching for information I need myself.

Did you see following threads?

where to find jobs and courses:


applications for jobs


about shortlisting for AP posts


interviews for AP posts


about NHS VS non NHS experience


Re: English language skills - if English is not your first language, Universities will ask you for a minimum requirement of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. More information about IELTS is at


It is best to check with the University, where you would like to study, what are their language requirements.

All the best!


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Post by miriam » Thu May 28, 2009 4:53 pm

Good post, JBS, thanks!

Psyt, I'd suggest that a lot of care assistant and support worker posts might be accessible with no British experience and less than perfect English. I'd look out for work in homes for older people, or people with learning disabilities, perhaps those that are small local businesses rather than national companies. See if you can find someone with native English to help with your application form, and preparing for interview.

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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Post by psyt » Fri May 29, 2009 8:24 pm

Many thanks to Jana and Miriam!

I have already read something about the AP position and I realized that, being very difficult for British graduates to get it, it would be more difficult for those having a foreign degree not enough "research-oriented".

My degree is five-year and I have only a year of postgraduate practical experience, spent in a day centre with adult patients; it is not enough to apply for AP positions since many more skilled graduates are competing for it.

The same is for the PCGMHW position, as a NHS head of service replied to me some months ago.

More, I have not contacted the BPS yet for the GBR since now there is a transition process between BPS and HPC, and is is not clear to me whether the former will become an "optional" membership or not.

Next week I will be in UK to visit a school for autistic children, as I will finishing to attend a master in ABA on the next autumn.

As my (especially spoken) English is not good, I guess I will cut a poor figure. :cry:

If so, of course I will follow the advices of Miriam :wink: although the HA and SW positions might not be so "psychological"...

At the moment I do not know any British people to ask help for the application form and the interview, as I am still living in my country; I only can search any documents on the internet.

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Post by serene » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:30 pm

Hi everyone, I'm 33 and I've just completed (and hopefully passed) my conversion diploma. If I get as far as the doctorate I guess I'll be 40 when I qualify so it's really good to see that it's possible :) It feels a bit alarming to be starting out from the bottom again but at the same time my volunteering experience makes me feel motivated that it's worth trying - and sites like this are great for keeping your spirits up when you're feeling a bit isolated studying or applying for jobs.

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Post by jbs » Tue Jun 02, 2009 4:46 pm

Hi Catherine,


I was myself very encouraged by reading this dicussion thread, as I am bit older than you. If I get accepted to Doctor Clinical Psychology training on the first attempt (I know I am asking for a miracle here!) I will be 40 when I begin the training in September 2010 (I keep saying that would be really nice present for my 40th birthday). But I think I need to be realistic and expect it will take me few more attempts to get in, but I am very stubborn and very convinced that clinical child psychology is the path I would like to go (as I already worked as Child Psychologist ages ago in different country, but more in Educational Psychology field). Having a young daughter (4 and half) makes me feel younger and I am currently completing postgraduate training, where most of my fellow students are 15 years younger than me and I didn't see my age as a problem there at all. And I really enjoyed studying. However, I would like to complete studying much before the age of 55, that Miriam wrote would be the limit given by NHS for Doctor Clinical Psychology trainees....

Catherine, all the best for you and your choices about your next steps!


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Post by Firelady » Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:50 pm

Hi everyone,
I am a new member and interested in this age discussion. I am 53 and just starting a degree in September in Edinburgh , which means 4 years to start with. I've given up a stressful career elsewhere to live on a shoestring and follow the psychology route.
Everyone thinks I am mad but I decided to go down this road with a view to working in some area of psychology (counselling, clinical or health). I have been advised by other health professionals that I will have no chance in the NHS and they are probably right. But it won't stop me trying.
So I just wanted to say that I am going into this with an open mind and a determination to find something worthwhile.
It is great to have a plan but sometimes the need to know exactly what will happen can prevent us from even starting!
Thanks for all the info on this forum, I look forward to using it in the years to come!


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