Msc - BPS Accredited??

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Bookworm89
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:39 pm

Msc - BPS Accredited??

Post by Bookworm89 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:57 am

Hi everyone,
I was just wondering if anyone could help me. I'm hoping to apply for a Masters beginning in September 2012. I have seen a few courses, some are BPS accredited and some are not. Will applying for a Non-BPS accredited course effect my career path later on? I have just recieved a BSc 2:2 (Hons) in psychology (Missed out on a 2:1 by 2% due to having an operation) and I already know that this will count against me, and I don't want to make another choice that will work against me.
Thank you for any advice given.

sparki
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Re: Msc - BPS Accredited??

Post by sparki » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:48 am

What MSc course are you interested in applying for? It is important to get BPS accreditation if you want to become chartered in the area of your MSc e.g. forensic psychology. Otherwise I don't know how much it matters..

Some courses, such as Research Methods would not be BPS accredited. ESRC accreditation is worth looking out for though, especially if you have any interest in going down the PhD route, for funding purposes.

Bookworm89
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:39 pm

Re: Msc - BPS Accredited??

Post by Bookworm89 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:52 am

I'm unsure at the moment, I'm having a feel around the area's available at the moment. I did my dissertation around a Health subject, which I did enjoy, yet Im considering doing an MSc in Research Methods first and then continuing onto an MSc Health.
I have just seen an MSc Research Methods at the University of Hertfordshire which is "approved by the ESRC For 3+1 PhD funding". Could you explain what this means please?

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ell
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Re: Msc - BPS Accredited??

Post by ell » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:02 pm

Bookworm89 wrote:I'm unsure at the moment, I'm having a feel around the area's available at the moment. I did my dissertation around a Health subject, which I did enjoy, yet Im considering doing an MSc in Research Methods first and then continuing onto an MSc Health.
I'm not sure what the wisdom of doing two MScs is (especially considering the cost of them!), though I confess I have no idea about Health Psychology and the routes into that career path.
Bookworm89 wrote:I have just seen an MSc Research Methods at the University of Hertfordshire which is "approved by the ESRC For 3+1 PhD funding". Could you explain what this means please?
This means that the MSc is attached to a Phd - so you would be signing up to do an MSc first, then continue on to a Phd. If you want to do a Phd this is a good way to getting your academic skills up and often doing a little legwork towards the Phd (your MSc project would be a good pilot for the Phd), but obviously it's not worth going for if you don't want a Phd! ESRC is just a body that provides funding for Phds - very hard to get, but sounds like the dept already have the funding and are looking for someone to do the project.

Hope that helps. Have a good look round the threads on the forum, and use the search function, to find out about other people's experiences of boosting a 2:2.

L

faz121
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Re: Msc - BPS Accredited??

Post by faz121 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:42 pm

Hi

Just to add a bit more information for OP as I completed this MSc at UH in 2009. My understanding of ESRC 3+1 funding was that if you wanted to go on and do a PhD then you would be exempt from the some of the more standard research methods teaching part of your PhD if you wanted to go down that route. Sorry if that sounds a bit confusing, sounded a lot more coherent in my head! I didn't think it meant that you had to go down the PhD route (which I didn't do). However saying that I know two people from my cohort who did go on to start PhD however I don't think that is a prequisite for completing the MSc

If you want more information about the course I would suggest that you contact the course leader, he should be able to provide you with a lot more information about the course.

Hope that helps :)

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ell
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Re: Msc - BPS Accredited??

Post by ell » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:50 pm

faz121 wrote:Hi

Just to add a bit more information for OP as I completed this MSc at UH in 2009. My understanding of ESRC 3+1 funding was that if you wanted to go on and do a PhD then you would be exempt from the some of the more standard research methods teaching part of your PhD if you wanted to go down that route. Sorry if that sounds a bit confusing, sounded a lot more coherent in my head! I didn't think it meant that you had to go down the PhD route (which I didn't do). However saying that I know two people from my cohort who did go on to start PhD however I don't think that is a prequisite for completing the MSc

If you want more information about the course I would suggest that you contact the course leader, he should be able to provide you with a lot more information about the course.

Hope that helps :)
Ah, apologies if I had got this wrong - all the people on my MSc course who were 3+1 went on to their Phds, so I assumed it was compulsory. The advice to contact the course leader is a good idea.

L

sparki
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Re: Msc - BPS Accredited??

Post by sparki » Thu Jun 30, 2011 4:21 pm

I studied MSc Research Methods and the course enabled me to carry out my research projects in a research area that I was interested in. I think most courses would be structured in this way, so if you choose to study MSc Research Methods you would probably be able to build up research experience in Health Psychology if this is what you're interested in. When choosing courses, it is also worth looking at the staff in the department to identify potential supervisors, so have a look to see if there are staff that have similar research interests to yourself.

ESRC 3+1 funding means that they fund your MSc and PhD, so you would be required to do both. They won't fund the MSc unless you're going on to do a PhD.

Hope that helps...

Bookworm89
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Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:39 pm

Msc - BPS Accredited??

Post by Bookworm89 » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:14 pm

This is fantastic advice! Thank you very much for clearing this up for me! I'm beginning to wonder what my tutors jobs actually were at university! No one ever explained or helped like this!

ElizabethB
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Re: Msc - BPS Accredited??

Post by ElizabethB » Fri Jul 01, 2011 1:38 pm

Hi Bookworm89,

Welcome to the forum! :) (I'm the same Elizabeth answering your posts on the other student room forum :wink: ).

As you know, between 2003-2006, I completed both of the MScs mentioned on this post and I'm currently working through my thesis corrections for my PhD award following from a relatively successful PhD viva voce/exam (eeek)

Health Psychology

As others have pointed out, completing a BPS accredited MSc ie in Health Psychology, Forensic Psychology, Occupational Psychology (?!) means that you can apply for stage 2 training leading to Chartership Status with the BPS and registration with the HPC. In order to progress onto stage 2 courses (ie Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology) you will need a BPS accredited honours degree (some courses specify a 2.1 whereas others don't) and a BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology with at least a 60% average (ie a Merit) AND relevant placement opportunties. I deliberately only applied for BPS accredited MScs in Health Psychology because I wanted a plan b career option as a Chartered Health Psychologist. I would have kicked myself if I completed a non BPS accredited MSc in Health Psychology if I wanted to pursue Chartership in Health Psychology! I've just submitted a bunch of applications for stage 2 in health psychology training. eeeek fingers crossed.

Research Methods

Completing an ESRC accredited MSc in Research Methods in Psychology courses means you have the option to apply for ESRC +3 PhD studentships. As with the health psychology MSc, I deliberately only applied for ESRC accredited MScs because I wanted to keep PhD study as a potential option. Because of my research MSc, I was able to opt out of any research methods training etc during my PhD registration period.

Back in 2006, I applied for a competitive advertised ESRC +3 PhD studentship (sometimes advertised on jobs.ac.uk) in a clinically relevant area and I was successful. An ESRC +3 basically means the ESRC will provide you funding for three years (the +3 bit) for a PhD and assumes that applicants already have research methods training at masters level. Studentships such as ESRC 1+3 means the ESRC will provide 1 years funding for an MSc in Research Methods (the +1 bit) and 3 years funding for a PhD (the +3 bit). But, 1+3 ESRC opportunities are very competitive!!

Word about PhDs

Generally speaking, there seems to be two types of PhDs- a) advertised competitive ESRC PhD studentships (which was my PhD) and b) Other more student devised PhDs.

a) Competitive PhD studentships tend to be advertised by supervisors recruiting a PhD student to take on a project and devise a PhD out of a larger project. These studentships tend to have funding secured for the full three years- which I think is very attractive considering current economic climate. In my experience, I was rather restricted as my PhD was devised out of a larger project, but I developed my own measures etc and conducted smaller studies which complimented findings from the larger project. As an ESRC student, I was also placed under considerable pressure to submit within 4 years (PhD candidates can apply for an additional extension year on top of the 3 years registration period)

b) In contrast, prospective PhD applicants devise a project, contact supervisors and apply for PhD funding (ie ESRC etc etc). I think with this option, departments select the 'best' PhD proposal out of a pool of applicants and submit a PhD proposal for funding.

In both cases, in general, applicants are up against some tough competition, but possessing relevant experience should strengthen an application. But bottom line, don't to a PhD unless you really want to do one and/or have a geninue interest in research.

Also, at my university (and I think with most unis) all PhD students start of as MPhil students and upgrade to full PhD status after passing some academic assessments in the 1st or 2nd year. So there are options to leave a PhD and leave with an MPhil if you decide you don't want to continue on with a PhD.

One more thing, I only completed 2 MScs to open up more career opportunities. I've sacrificed a great deal mainly because I funded my MScs myself (with help from Barclays). I also need to readdress the work/life balance sometimes, but I’ve learnt a great deal about myself so I don’t regret it. I’m feeling very disillusioned at the moment about my career paths, but I know I’ve got some options other than clinical psychology which I’m pleased about. Time will tell whether my sacrifices will pay off, but I don’t regret anything and I’ve mostly enjoyed my journey (although I have occasion wobbles!)

Apologies for the long post :oops:

Best of luck Bookworm (great name by the way! :mrgreen: )
"I am different, not less."—Temple Grandin
'A door opened and I went through it!' Temple Grandin
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

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