MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

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WindWhisperer
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by WindWhisperer » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:49 am

Alexander wrote:I would say that Research Methods MSc are not just statistics courses. I'm taking one at the moment and only two of the ten taught modules I'm taking are statistics. The rest are research methods, generic research skills, neuroscience methods, fMRI methods, and general Issues in psychology.
I also second this (doing a lot of that today!) My MSc in Research Methods consisted of a pretty even mixture of stats, cognitive neuroscience (also included fMRI methodology) and forensic psychology (from a research perspective). My course allowed you to choose which other areas of psychology you studied outside of the statistics module, I think there were also modules in developmental and social psychology available. Lord knows I couldn't have handled a full year of pure stats!!

As Alexander said, most Research Methods courses allow you to venture beyond just Stats 101, my course also supported me to do a clinically-relevant dissertation as they knew my next move was to apply for Clinical Training. It might not sound as "fun" on the surface as a Clin Psy masters but I'd definitely recommend it! :P

jakejames1990
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by jakejames1990 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:20 pm

Thanks so much for all of the responses thus far, it's really helpful to hear from people who have essentially been there and done that and are therefore able to reflect their thoughts back to people like myself who have little/no postgraduate experience.

I have consistently seen that an MSc in Research Methods is highly recommended due to the obvious transferable skills pertaining to clinical research and publications. However I have always been put off because I really dislike research and stats. I am definitely more of a clinician that a statistician and, although I appreciate that a heavy component of the D.ClinPsy will have a great deal of emphasis on this, I are moreso interested in actual treatment and client-focused work. In fact, the grades I received for my research methods / stats modules in my undergrad degree from Exeter meant achieving a mid-2:1 rather that a First which is a ball ache. I'm not sure if this would be a reason to do a degree of this nature or avoid it really; on the one hand I could potentially be improving the skills with which I have little confidence/ability but on the other, I wouldn't like to achieve a poor grade in an MSc within this field and therefore confirm my inadequacy.

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WindWhisperer
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by WindWhisperer » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:31 pm

If it helps, I was shockingly bad at undergrad when it came to stats, to the extent that I just managed to get a 2:1 by the skin of my teeth (average of 61%), yet I got a distinction for my masters. This by no means makes me a stats whizz (still a lonnnnnnng way off that!) but I really think the way they assess you at masters level and support you to discover things about research that actually interest you rather than being forced into it really helps. I.e. Given what you've said your interests are you could do a dissertation that looks at a clincial topic such as treatment efficacy etc? It's often easy to adapt clinical interests to research, which I would never have said before my MSc!

Obviously Research Methods might not be for you- most of my friends thought I was completely crazy for signing up as like you I've always been open about my disliking of both stats and research and far preferring clinical stuff, turns out all I needed was to discover qualitative research and it made the whole thing much more palitable (/ dare I say enjoyable?)!

I think looking back for me and the skills that I needed to demonstrate I was developing it was definitely the right choice at the time. Having said that I decided I wanted to do a Masters, applied straight away, handed in my notice to my AP post 2 weeks later and started the course a month after that, so maybe if I'd tried to consciously plan ahead more I'd have found it much harder to choose a course :)

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amadea
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by amadea » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:51 pm

I havent done a Msc yet, however I am also considering one as a plan B. I graduated with a First Class degree. and some people tell me I dont need a Msc while other people tell me that I need it. I would really like to do it in order to have a stronger CV.

On the other hand most people I know who are coursing a Msc or have done one, say that most Msc's are really a waste of time as some universities mix final year students with Posgraduate students. Some other say that Many of the things being taught in a Masters are almost the same stuff they did at Uni. This makes me think twice as Msc's are not cheap and I would have to start working Part time etc etc.

Can anyone provide any feedback on when it is really worth doing a masters and when not?

Valentina86
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by Valentina86 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:27 pm

Amadea,

I wouldn't do a masters if I were you. I have a first as well and although I felt a bit nervous about not doing a masters (was hearing through the grapevine at that time that AP posts were only shortlisting people with masters degrees - turned out not to be true) but I actually couldn't afford it. The only people I knew of who went on to do Masters either worked (usually in bars or shops) to save up for it or had parents who could pay it for them. I just had to tell myself it wasn't necessary and it worked out fine because with 2 years of work experience (support work, AP, RA) i got onto a course.

I think it's only worth doing a masters if you have less than a 2.1 or if you really really want to research a specific area. Oh and if you can actually afford it. If it would involve getting into debt then you really don't need it.

Valentina86
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by Valentina86 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:31 pm

Having reflected a bit, it is possible that by doing a masters you could end up in an RA job through it, create contacts in the University you would be studying at. It's not that it would be a waste of time at all. I think I am just biased by my own experience and also very debt averse!

jakejames1990
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by jakejames1990 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:45 pm

I just assumed that mt 2:1 would be enough considering I have a fair amount of clinical experience for my age (15+ months working within a substance misuse capacity; 9 months as a Psychology Assistant; 6 months as a children's complex needs facilitator; several years as a youth offending support volunteer). However, given that I didn't get any interviews this year following my application, I would assume I'm lacking the academic component?

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Geishawife
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by Geishawife » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:55 pm

jakejames1990 wrote:I just assumed that mt 2:1 would be enough considering I have a fair amount of clinical experience for my age (15+ months working within a substance misuse capacity; 9 months as a Psychology Assistant; 6 months as a children's complex needs facilitator; several years as a youth offending support volunteer). However, given that I didn't get any interviews this year following my application, I would assume I'm lacking the academic component?
Not necessarily. Whilst you do have some excellent experience, It's not the AMOUNT of experience that matters-it's how much you as a person have gained from it and how you can reflect on that in your application that matters. If you have not had any offers for interview it's probably worth having a look at your supporting statement to see if it really does support your application! By all means do a Masters if you think you would benefit from it, but in and of itself it will not strengthen an application that lacks reflection and does not demonstrate development(not that I'm saying this is the case for you - just something to be thinking about).

Valentina86
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by Valentina86 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:19 pm

jakejames1990,

I definitely concur with Geishawife that it's not necessarily that you are lacking on the academic component. Have you had a chance to get a CP to read your form? I know the form is so tight for space but reflecting on what you've learned from posts really does seem to be key.

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amadea
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by amadea » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:20 pm

Valentina86 wrote:Having reflected a bit, it is possible that by doing a masters you could end up in an RA job through it, create contacts in the University you would be studying at. It's not that it would be a waste of time at all. I think I am just biased by my own experience and also very debt averse!

Thanks a lot Valentina.
It makes me feel a bit insecure not to have a masters, but as you put it ''DEBT'' and oh dear, I would have to as for a career development loan, find a PT job and live again with £700 a month, which after rent, bills, transport (I Cycle), books, photocopies, and food (LIDL) will be like £20 for partying. :oops:

jakejames1990
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by jakejames1990 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:25 pm

Geishawife wrote:
jakejames1990 wrote:I just assumed that mt 2:1 would be enough considering I have a fair amount of clinical experience for my age (15+ months working within a substance misuse capacity; 9 months as a Psychology Assistant; 6 months as a children's complex needs facilitator; several years as a youth offending support volunteer). However, given that I didn't get any interviews this year following my application, I would assume I'm lacking the academic component?
Not necessarily. Whilst you do have some excellent experience, It's not the AMOUNT of experience that matters-it's how much you as a person have gained from it and how you can reflect on that in your application that matters. If you have not had any offers for interview it's probably worth having a look at your supporting statement to see if it really does support your application! By all means do a Masters if you think you would benefit from it, but in and of itself it will not strengthen an application that lacks reflection and does not demonstrate development(not that I'm saying this is the case for you - just something to be thinking about).
Hmm, good point. Just out of interest, approximately how many successful applicants gain a place without having studied a postgraduate degree? I would be able to fund a Masters (although it would financially cripple me!) and my workplace would give allowances for study time I'm sure as I have already had discussions surrounding the benefits of my own practice. But if I were to gain a place from clinical experience alone, that would obviously be the ideal situation for me. It's comments like this that lead me to think that gaining a place is almost impossible;

"Dear Jake,

Thank you for applying to the Bath clinical psychology doctorate programme. We received 543 applications for this year's intake of 17 trainees. The strength of the applications has made shortlisting extremely difficult. It is with regret that I have to inform you that you are not being shortlisted for interview on this occasion."

Valentina86
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by Valentina86 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:31 pm

amadea wrote:
Valentina86 wrote:Having reflected a bit, it is possible that by doing a masters you could end up in an RA job through it, create contacts in the University you would be studying at. It's not that it would be a waste of time at all. I think I am just biased by my own experience and also very debt averse!

Thanks a lot Valentina.
It makes me feel a bit insecure not to have a masters, but as you put it ''DEBT'' and oh dear, I would have to as for a career development loan, find a PT job and live again with £700 a month, which after rent, bills, transport (I Cycle), books, photocopies, and food (LIDL) will be like £20 for partying. :oops:

and partying (even if it is just a wee cheeky wine now and again) is very important! :-)

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GingerOwl
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by GingerOwl » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:47 pm

I'd also like to add the point that working as a researcher (potentially with the opportunity to publish) would strengthen the academic side of your application. Have you considered working as an RA? My current RA role is very clinically focused and client based.
~ * Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'! Audrey Hepburn * ~

jakejames1990
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by jakejames1990 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:44 pm

GingerOwl wrote:I'd also like to add the point that working as a researcher (potentially with the opportunity to publish) would strengthen the academic side of your application. Have you considered working as an RA? My current RA role is very clinically focused and client based.
I have considered this but, much to my dismay, there just don't seem to be a lot of RA positions available down here unfortunately. Additionally, I really love my current job and am doing some funded courses alongside my role (Level 4 City & Guilds in Substance Misuse, Level 4 Diploma in counselling). I did initially think of doing an MSc in Substance Misuse because it's related to my job, I already have extensive knowledge on the subject - including dual diagnosis - and I am passionate about the work I do. However I didn't want to pigeon hole myself.

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enid
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Re: MSc Considerations for D.ClinPsy App

Post by enid » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:30 pm

jakejames1990 wrote:However I have always been put off because I really dislike research and stats.
This is not so good though, as the CP doctorate has an enormous research component - the project is bigger than an MSc thesis (though not quite as big as a PhD) but the thesis is a big part of the final year. Have you ever considered IAPT as a way of training to work clinically? As obviously that training is entirely case/clinical based. You will have to do research and stats on the doctorate and some course centres are really heavy on the research side of things. Any good MSc will have a heavy research/stats component, and this is the bit of it that is appealing to CP doctoral courses I think. If you don't like research I wouldn't do a masters.

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