Objective advice sought

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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Equinesaretherapy
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:02 pm

Objective advice sought

Post by Equinesaretherapy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:06 pm

Hello everybody,

I am hoping for some objective opinions and advice.

I’ve just finished my psychology undergraduate degree (2:1) and plan to do a masters while continuing to work part-time, subsequently applying for entry to the clinical psychology doctorate in autumn 2019.

My dilemma is that I have offers for two masters courses and I’m unsure which to choose.

My first option is MSc Clinical Applications of Psychology. I know it sounds like the obvious choice, but I think that’s where my unease originates from; it IS an obvious choice and I sort of feel like I’d be doing it solely as a means to an end (i.e. gaining admission to a ClinPsyD course). There is no doubt that I would find it interesting. I’ve loved my undergrad course and do plan long-term for a career in clinical psychology.

The second course I hold an offer for is MSc Clinical Anatomy at my local medical school. I was drawn to this initially because I’d get to dissect a brain! Then the more I’ve read about it, the more intrigued I am. I’d get to dissect a whole cadaver as well as choosing options in medical imaging, education and research, so I feel like there would be plenty of knowledge and skills that would be transferable to the doctorate and a career in clinical psychology. I didn’t meet their requirements on paper, so had to kind of talk my way into a place! I guess my worry with this option is that admissions tutors for the doctorate may be put off by my doing something that’s not psychological but rather more medical in nature.

My head is saying be sensible and do the MSc in Clinical Applications of Psychology, but my heart is saying go for the MSc Clinical Anatomy because it would be SO interesting and would give me something a bit different to most other applicants for the doctorate, and may also open up other career avenues should I be unsuccessful in my application to doctoral courses.

I’ve written pros and cons etc, but I think I’m just too close to the issue to be truly objective about it - help!

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mungle
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Re: Objective advice sought

Post by mungle » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:07 pm

The Clinical Anatomy would be an unusual choice for clinical psychology and I'm not convinced it would be relevant. However, it is what you would most enjoy perhaps you want to ask yourself why and are there other careers it is relevant for that you would enjoy more than CP? Graduate medicine being one obvious choice or research in the area of anatomy?
Also, if it is the brain that appeals do look at neuropsychology (a specialism within clinical psychology) and masters in this area.

Equinesaretherapy
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:02 pm

Re: Objective advice sought

Post by Equinesaretherapy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:07 pm

Thank you Mungle for your advice. That is my main worry - namely that I might shoot myself in the foot for future clinical doctorate applications by doing the Clinical Anatomy course.

Unfortunately there are no masters courses in neuropsychology near where I live. I am tied at the moment due to having a house, a husband and two small children plus a part time NHS job in Psychological Medicine. We could potentially move for a full time decently-paid role (such as the ClinPsyD), but not for a course.

hawke
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Re: Objective advice sought

Post by hawke » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:28 pm

My personal strategy with jobs and courses has been to do the thing that keeps my options open in the widest way. I've always had Plan Bs and always picked generalist options over specialist. It's partly because I have been indecisive about exactly what I want to do, and there are lots of jobs within the scientific/psychological/educational field that I am interested in. (Your job in psychological medicine, for example, sound fascinating - do tell us more!) Partly because I need security in my life, and was never willing to throw everything at one career option without the certainty of getting there. And increasingly I've learnt that psychology is a competitive field, and that to some extent I have to take what I can get in terms of offers! But then I am about to start the doctorate at age 30, so I haven't exactly raced through my career!

Equinesaretherapy
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:02 pm

Re: Objective advice sought

Post by Equinesaretherapy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:53 pm

hawke wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 7:28 pm
My personal strategy with jobs and courses has been to do the thing that keeps my options open in the widest way. I've always had Plan Bs and always picked generalist options over specialist. It's partly because I have been indecisive about exactly what I want to do, and there are lots of jobs within the scientific/psychological/educational field that I am interested in. (Your job in psychological medicine, for example, sound fascinating - do tell us more!) Partly because I need security in my life, and was never willing to throw everything at one career option without the certainty of getting there. And increasingly I've learnt that psychology is a competitive field, and that to some extent I have to take what I can get in terms of offers! But then I am about to start the doctorate at age 30, so I haven't exactly raced through my career!
Hi Hawke,

Thank you for your take on things. Congratulations on getting onto the doctorate! Where will you be doing your training? You must be so excited!

What you’ve said sort of resonates with why I applied for the Clinical Anatomy masters; it’s got links/transferable skills to clinical psychology (the neuroanatomy, the undertaking of research etc.) but yet it’s general and kind of casts my career net wider? I feel like if I put all my intellectual and emotional resources into aiming for clinical psychology, it will affect me more deeply if I don’t succeed, and I am painfully aware of how competitive it is to get onto the doctorate!

My job is actually awesome :D I work across several teams within the department (including both community and hospital mental health), providing emotional and practical support to service users. It’s very diverse and every day is different - I could be sitting in on initial mental health assessments, visiting inpatients on the wards, assisting clients to access care packages through social services or just providing a friendly face and a shoulder to cry on! I love it :mrgreen:

alexh
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Re: Objective advice sought

Post by alexh » Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:47 pm

There's no dilemma here if you want to do a dclinpsy. One masters is totally relevant and improves your chances. The other is barely relevant, possibly even slightly harmful to your chances. I expect the selectors for the anatomy masters would be equally bewildered if you told them you intend to do clinical psychology afterwards?

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maven
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Re: Objective advice sought

Post by maven » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:43 pm

alexh wrote:
Tue Jun 26, 2018 8:47 pm
There's no dilemma here if you want to do a dclinpsy. One masters is totally relevant and improves your chances. The other is barely relevant, possibly even slightly harmful to your chances. I expect the selectors for the anatomy masters would be equally bewildered if you told them you intend to do clinical psychology afterwards?
Agreed.
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

Equinesaretherapy
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Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:02 pm

Re: Objective advice sought

Post by Equinesaretherapy » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:27 pm

Thank you all for the words of wisdom :)

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