masters and work vs masters then work

The place to ask about degree courses, conversion courses, masters, PhD or other qualifications. Discuss specific courses, their pros and cons, the content, the application process, different institutions, how to fund them, etc. Includes advice if you have a 2:2 and questions on transcripts
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Taira87
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masters and work vs masters then work

Post by Taira87 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 2:50 pm

Hi everyone,

I am new to the site, but I think it is amazing! I will be trying to participate and help as much as I can.

I am having a bit of a dillema about what to do at the first stage in my journey.

I have been offered a place on the following programmes: Psychology of Education at The University of Manchester and Psychology at Leeds Met and UEL.They are conversion courses as I need to get my graduate membership. I have also been offered a full time role as a clinical support worker on a neuro rehab ward at my local hospital. A really good opportunity i dont want to miss out on.

So...

Would anyone be able to give me any advice as to what they would do?

I want to stay in Manchester as i live here and the Univeristy has an excellent reputation, hwever i know that doing the education element of this course may not be the best idea in the long run? I want to do straight psychology really, but the places where I have got places for these courses are not as good unis.

I also was thinking of studying part time (so i could keep the job) but this would mean two years of part time work, when i know doctorate courses are keen to see full time paid work. So i would have to do another couple of years full time.Do you think it is worth doing a full time masters then working for a few years full time instead and not starting the job at all? I would be worried about turning down such good clinical experience.

Does anyone recommend f/t study over p/t? Has anyone done the masters at any three of the uni's? Perhaps you know of their reputations etc?

Sorry for the massive blabbering message! i didnt mean to write that much. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Gilly
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by Gilly » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:13 pm

At the end of the day it has to be your choice, but on one point - noone looks at where you did your degree and makes a judgement on it, to tick that certain box, you need to have "a degree in psychology that allows graduate membership of the BPS" - as long as its certified by the BPS, it doesn't matter where you did it :) (so think about which you would enjoy more, YOU'RE the one who has to do the work)

In regards to the part time work - yes applications are more favourable on full time work, but the support worker post you've acquired is often seen as a starting position which leads onto jobs more directly relevant to psychology, such as Assistant Psychologist and Research Assistant posts, so i wouldn't think too much about that at this point in your journey - there will be time for that later on. Also, you're unlikely to get far in the clinical doctorate process with just support worker experience (due to the competition at the moment) so you may need to do further experience anyway

One thing to consider though is the workload, unfortunately i'm not familiar with the courses so i don't know, but are you someone who is organised enough that you could fit in those commitments? (although i would imagine that the support worker position might be able to be changed to shift based, so therefore flexible?) Maybe you could see what the actual timetable of the courses are like, to see if you could fit in part time work alongside a FT course?

I hope that makes some sense?
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Taira87
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by Taira87 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 3:56 pm

yes it does, thanks so much for your help.

I understand i need to look at AP/RA roles in the future, i am just worried about giving up work experience now which would help me to get roles like these after i have completed my masters.

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Gilly
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by Gilly » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:03 pm

Taira87 wrote:yes it does, thanks so much for your help.

I understand i need to look at AP/RA roles in the future, i am just worried about giving up work experience now which would help me to get roles like these after i have completed my masters.
its definitely worth thinking about, hopefully others may have experiences that can help you reflect on this?

(unfortunately I remained poor during my MSc, sleeping on a couch and eating 1 meal a day - I can definitely recommend NOT to do that! :P)
You're not calling for help, are you?! ;)

"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity" - Abraham Lincoln.

Taira87
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by Taira87 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:17 pm

Haha thanks Gilly!
I have plenty of time to decide at least.

Its certainly going to be a tough couple of years :(

sar302
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by sar302 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:17 pm

Dear Taira87

I was in your position a few years ago – wanting to study psychology but my first degree was in English. I had worked at a school for a couple of years before doing my conversion course and at the time I wanted to train to be an Ed Psych. So I did an MEd in Psychology of Education at Bristol Uni, one year full time course.

When I realised a year or so afterwards that actually I wanted to do clinical psychology, I was worried I’d made a huge mistake! But it turns out not to have been the case. The course gave me GBC, so I am eligible to apply for the clinical doctorate. Plus I have studied at Masters level, which looks good on application forms! :D

The course will probably contain more modules than a straight Masters degree – mine did - because of the conversion element. But it wasn’t impossible to work at the same time, because the lecture timetable wasn’t that hectic. (Around essay deadline time it’s slightly different!) I worked part time as an early years worker, then when I graduated, I got job as an ABA tutor and now I work as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist in a school for young people with LD and ASD.

I do feel there are gaps in my knowledge with regards to certain specific mental health conditions. However I am addressing these myself now in my spare time through a bit of self study. I’m also volunteering for a mental health charity to get a bit of experience working in adult mental health. Don’t forget that working with children and families is a MASSIVE area of clinical psychology, and all children are in education! Therefore I have found it very relevant!

Only you can decide what’s best for you, and I echo Gilly’s thoughts that you’re doing the study, so you have to enjoy it, and that means being comfortable and happy in your personal life too. Don’t know if this has been any help... but having been in your shoes, I wanted to say that whichever one you pick, it will be OK! Just pick what will make you happiest, get as much good experience as possible and worry about the rest once you’ve graduated!
Never assume that the other fellow has the intelligence to match yours... he may have more...

Taira87
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by Taira87 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:27 pm

Thank you Sar302!

that was certianly helpful and has reassured me about the Manchester course and the fact that you managed to fit part time work in with your studies. I wont rule it out as it seems you have had some amazing roles since you graduated.


Thanks again

ILikeBrains
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by ILikeBrains » Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:24 pm

Hi Taira87,

Are you able to get in touch with students on this year's program about their experiences of workload? When I did my conversion, we were able to contact a couple of the students which gave us an idea of what to expect. Our course tutor actually stated during our interviews that due to the heavy workload, they actively discouraged part-time working. I had to work due to finances and although I only did about 4 night shifts per month, it was tough. However, I think there is quite a variation in course organisation. Have you thought about some bank HCA work during study? It might be helpful when applying for other positions later on, but you aren't comitted to a certain number of hours per week and could always drop back if it's too much. There's a lot to be said for support work roles though (depending on the role and supervision), I've never had an AP post and it hasn't done me any harm. Good luck :D

sun84
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by sun84 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:22 am

Hi - it's a little bit different than your situation, but I was struggling to decide whether to work part time when I did my masters. In the end, I decided to do the MSc full time, and try and find work for the weekends, however, I found myself struggling with money, and in the end took a year out, got experience as a support worker, rejoined my MSc at the point I left it a year on, and kept a part time support worker post, which gave me the stepping stone to IAPT/ AP posts when I'd finished...

As everyone's said, only you can make the decision, and I suppose weighing up how you think you'd manage financially, how you'd manage the time and whether there are likely to be other support worker experience options, such as something part time, or joining a nursing bank etc.

Good luck with the decision!

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missvanwilder
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by missvanwilder » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:23 am

Hi Taira87,

I haven’t been to either of those universities and I can't really comment on completing a conversion course part time, but I did complete a part time masters whilst working full time. I did this mainly because I couldn't afford to do it any other way. I was working as a Nursing/health care assistant at the time and so the shift work type hours allowed me to spend one day a week at university. Although it can be difficult juggling work and study - I found it manageable.

You may be able to get a fee reduction/waiver etc if you study part time, so that maybe worth looking into...

Good luck with whatever you decide anyway :) x x

Taira87
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:30 pm

Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by Taira87 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:51 am

Thank you all for your replies,

They are honestly really helpful to someone who just has no idea what to do for the best!

I will definitly try to contact some of the current students and perhaps start working towards my part time masters with as little hours as i can afford and then do more if i feel i can manage (or not as the case may be). It is so difficult as i obviously want to get the best possible grade whilst on the course.

I am quite reassured by your responses!

Could i ask you more about the fee reduction for p/t studies? i thought it was exactly half if you did it in two years?

Taira87
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by Taira87 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 10:58 am

I mean half each year (so basically the same cost just spread over two years)

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missvanwilder
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by missvanwilder » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:23 am

Hi,

No not necessarily. I think it may vary from uni to uni, but the university I went to for example gave a significant reduction if you worked part time and earned less than a set amount (which I imagine you would qualify for if your support worker role pays similar to the one I used to have). They generally don’t advertise this on big banners or anything, but with some digging around you might find something...

Good luck :) x

Taira87
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Re: masters and work vs masters then work

Post by Taira87 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:56 pm

Can anyone else shed light on the Psychology of education course?

Has anyone else done this type of conversion and got on to training? Would it be foolish to do a course that is more geared towards ed psych just because i want to attend Manchester Uni!

Really struggling with this decision now!

thanks

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