Post Graduate Advice needed

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Post Graduate Advice needed

Post by Poppy » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:25 pm


I was wondering if I could get peoples advice/opinions. I graduated in Applied Psychology two years ago and have since worked in support worker roles until recently, I am now working as an Associate Practitioner for an Alcohol Service. I graduated with a 2:2 so am very aware that I need to strengthen my grade as I want to become a Clinical Psychologist.

I have looked into the Graduate Mental Health Worker (GMHW) roles and I am unsure if I should aim for the GMHW roles or continue in my current role and look to start an MSc in Psychological Research Methods with the hope of becoming an Assistant Psychologist in the first instance.

I am a bit concerned if I start an MSc, it would have to be under part time distance learning (Open University) and I may struggle without the standard university taught environment. I think gaining a GMHW post might be more benifical in the short term and the Postgrad Certificate that the role offers delivered by a university along with the clinical environment.

Any advise you have would be really appricated. I have tried applying for Assitant Psychologist posts since graduation without any luck, would you consider the GMHW role to be on a par with AP posts? I know in the long term i'd need to take on a MSc but im unsure what the best step forward at the moment.

Many thanks Poppy


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Post by Enigma » Sun Jul 22, 2007 1:31 pm

Hi Poppy, I too got a 2.2 degree. I worked in probation service etc and teaching while I did an MSc with the OU. Took me 3 years part time to do it, but I was able to work too and gather all that experience. The route isn't too bad, they have much better online confrencing and tutor and peer support now so it isn't too isolating. This would also set you up for all of that self directed learning you will need to do on a doctorate course. I found that this is where i differed hugely with my peers on the doctorate course. Working with OU gave me the confidence in my ability to just get on with it and 99% of the time get it right without having to look for advice on essays etc.

I do see the other oute being attractive GMHW. You maight be likely to gain employment quicker the way things are at the moment. I see your dilemma here.

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Post by Poppy » Sun Jul 22, 2007 9:44 pm

Hi Enigma

Thanks very much for that it really helps, you have put my mind more at ease about doing the OU course.

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Post by miriam » Sun Jul 22, 2007 10:52 pm

I also think it might be a good idea to apply for posts and see whether you get interviews, as if you easily get a GMHW post that would favour the one route, and if you don't get shortlisted then that would suggest the other. I suspect that GMHW posts are becoming more and more competitive though...

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Post by Milka » Mon Jul 23, 2007 11:14 am

another issue to bear in mind is that a lot of GMHW posts no longer offer the opportunity to do the postgrad cert (unfortunately the course has been cancelled in many areas of the country)

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Post by Ruthie » Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:30 pm

Can you get a GMHW job with a 2.2? I thought they had more or less the same requirements as assistant's jobs and you definately need a 2.1 or higher to get those (which explains why you've not been shortlisted poppy - you probably have great experience and skills but are getting screened out at the first stage for not having a high enough degree).

I would suggest seriously looking into a Masters degree if you want to do clinical training as it will be absolutely essential and may open doors to clinically relevant research roles as well as assistant jobs.

Good luck with it.


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Post by nettyb » Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:42 pm

Ruthie wrote:Can you get a GMHW job with a 2.2?
It depends, I got my GMHW post with a 2:2 but they asked for someone with a second class degree in psychology or social sciences. GMHW posts are meant to be open to all graduates and not just psych graduates, I'd suggest that you go for those posts rather than the ones who state that they want psych grads with a 2.1+

You most definately need a masters, some trusts advertising GMHW posts who are still offering the training course (I don't know if the Preston ones have closed yet but they were offering posts to unqualified GMHWs) will allow you to do an MSc in Primary Care Mental Health Practice instead of the PGCert.

Take a look at this thread for some hints and tips: viewtopic.php?t=84
Last edited by nettyb on Sat Jul 28, 2007 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Poppy » Fri Jul 27, 2007 8:31 pm

Hi all

Thank you all very much for your advice. I did get an interview last year for a GMHW post and it was the first time I applied. I got very nervous on the day and knew I had not done well in the interview. I have had a few interviews since then and calmed down which has led to me coming 2nd a few times but also obtaining my current role.

I think you are right Miriam it may depend on which comes first. If I do not manage to get a GMHW role this year I will then definitely do a masters independently. I know in this area, NW, that the post still comes with the PGCert and I think at the moment if I am successful this year I will then extend that to a masters.

It was great to gain so many responses.



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