Music psychology MA, Psychology conversion MSc or both?

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Music psychology MA, Psychology conversion MSc or both?

Post by Amusicum » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:49 am

Hey there,
I'm just after finishing a degree in music (BMus) with first class honours and know that I want to branch into psychology in some way, although my mind keeps changing on this matter.
I was considering doing an MA in Music psychology either in the University of Sheffield, University of Roehampton or Goldsmith's, which would allow me to enter a field in psychology and gain a thorough grounding of qualitative and quantitative research techniques. In this way I could continue research and do a PhD, with a view to becoming a lecturer. I would also like to later do a qualification in psychotherapy.
This is option one, so to speak. Recently I've also been looking into clinical psychology as a profession. I know that if I wanted to go down this route I would have to do a conversion course in psychology. Research into music psychology could perhaps be incorporated into this. E.g. - music's effect on fear responses or people suffering from depression.
I'm wondering what my exact path should be next and would be interested to know peoples' opinions. Here are the options:
(a) Do music Psychology MA, PhD research and if I really feel like training in clinical psychology in future years, then do conversion course and clinical psychology training.
(b) Do the conversion course first, which will give me even more options about what I can research, then do the MA in Music psychology (with increased knowledge of psychology, which will make the learning process easier), then I will have a choice whether to continue music psychology research to PhD level or do clinical psychology training (or both).
(c) Do the MA in music psychology first, as I am sure that this would confer me with at least 60 credits of psychology (which means I could do any psychology conversion course that I want - only a few incorporate the 60 credits required into the conversion MSc - those being University of Nottingham Trent, University of East London and one or two others), then I have the choice of what I want to do.
It's important for me to make the right decision for when I go back to study from 2011-2012. I know all this sounds very hypothetical at the moment and possibly a bit deluded, but let's just call it the ramblings of a researcher's mind!

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Post by ElizabethB » Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:07 pm


Does the MA require a BPS accredited psychology degree/conversion course? if so then I would perhaps obtain the conversion course first. I would probably go with the conversion course first to familarise and learn about psychology so you can decide whether you want to continue working or specialising in psychology in someway. So probably b) and c)

Just wondering, the master courses your interested in- are they accredited by the ESRC? You may find that in order to progress to a PhD you need a masters degree with significant research methods training (ie courses accredited by the ESRC) Most of the PhD studentships advertised (like mine!) require research methods training, although some bypass the MSc route altogether and jump straight into a PhD- ie people with 1st class degrees! As your looking at MA courses, I'm assuming the MA will be rather minimal in terms of stats in contrast to MScs.....

Hope this helps!

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Post by eponymous85 » Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:06 pm

Hi Amusicum, welcome to the forum! I hope you find it useful. It might be helpful for you to read through some of the wiki posts on the path to qualifying as a clinical psychologist in the UK. There's even a recent wiki on how to change career to clinical psychology.

Do you want to continue using music in your work/studies? I don't know how much scope there is for that in CP. However if you want to work with people with mental health problems, you could always investigate training/working as a music therapist?

If you have any more questions after you'd read a bit, just let us know.

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The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many layered thing.

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Post by Amusicum » Sat Sep 04, 2010 12:17 am

Thanks for the replies. Elizabeth - the MA/MSc Applied Music Psychology course in the University of Roehampton is designed primarily for psychology graduates (as is the one in Goldsmith's), but they accept music graduates too. A psychology degree is beneficial but not essential to get into these courses. The MA in Psychology of Music in Sheffield is designed primarily for music graduates wanting to branch into the field of music psychology. It is the oldest established music psychology programme in the UK and has a strong research cluster there. Again, a psychology degree is not required. However for my overall career and for the sake of choice maybe doing the conversion course first would be a better option? I know I definitely want to do some clinical work. As for ESRC funding I am not too sure about this, though I will endeavour to find out.
Eponymous85 - I definitely don't want to count music out of my research interests in psychology. I did music therapy modules in college and although I think it is a novel idea and think it can work for a lot of people, I really can't see myself as a music therapist. I have a definite feeling about that. I could definitely see myself as a psychotherapist or clinical psychologist. There is also a course in Integrative Arts Psychotherapy at the Institute for the arts in therapy and education (part of London Metropolitan University), which looks very interesting, as it uses a variety of arts, incorporated with psychotherapeutic theory. I do believe that the arts, not only music, can be beneficial in the therapeutic process.
Maybe I have some wrong ideas about clinical psychology? I would like to have a stable job that pays well and where I would get to help people, but do lots of evidence-based research at the same time. Getting full time posts in music therapy and psychotherapy can be difficult, as far as I know?

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Post by miriam » Sat Sep 04, 2010 8:27 pm

Have you read about how difficult it is to get into clinical psychology? I'd start by reading the wiki and then seeing whether that's what you want to spend six or more years of your life doing.

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