Psychology is an enormous field, and the skills you gain from studying it can be extremely beneficial in a variety of workplaces. Deciding what kind of role you might like to pursue after completing your course could be a little overwhelming. Read on to find out where a master’s degree in psychology could take you.
By Grant Longstaff. Published 26 October 2022.
A health psychologist helps an individual come to terms with the mental and emotional impact of an illness. Depending on the cause and type of illness you may promote healthier lifestyle choices or offer wellbeing advice. You may also work closely with the families of the individual, offering support as and when required. You’ll need to complete either a doctorate accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS) or a BPS qualification in health psychology.
Mediators use their communication and listening skills to help facilitate and resolve a dispute between two or more parties. You could choose to work within personal mediation, regarding issues such as divorce or child custody, or professional mediation, which could have legal or financial ramifications. You’ll need to have empathy and draw on your problem-solving skills to reach a successful outcome for your clients.
Counsellors help people by offering an empathetic and respectful environment for clients to explore the difficulties and challenges they may be facing in their lives. There are many reasons people may seek counselling, from difficult relationships and bereavement, to stress or generalised anxiety. Whilst you don’t need a psychology degree to become a counsellor, the skills you’ll gain from completing one will help refine the necessary qualities for the role. If you’re a good listener, compassionate, and able to build strong relationships with people, this may be the career for you.
It’s worth noting there are also counselling psychologists. Their work will often address more complex mental health challenges and involve research and clinical study. It also requires either a doctorate or a BPS accredited qualification in counselling psychology.
Clinical psychologists work with individuals with a range of mental and physical health conditions. These could include mental illnesses or neurological disorders. Unlike counselling, the work may also involve observation and psychometric testing. You will also require additional education, such as a doctorate approved by the BPS, and accreditation from the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC).
A social researcher uses their skills to help shape new policies or implement change in existing policy. This requires many of the research skills present in psychology, such as quantitative and qualitative research, data analysis and critical thinking. The areas you could carry out research into are wide ranging, including sectors such as education, health and social care, justice, and human rights.
If you’re interested in helping children and young people thrive, then the role of an educational psychologist could suit you. You’ll use psychology to help young people, along with their families and schools, enhance their wellbeing and learning. The work could extend from working with children who require emotional support to those with learning difficulties. As with other roles you’ll need to complete a doctorate after a masters and register with the HCPC. You can find out more about the role, and the training required, on The Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) website.
Human resources officer
As a human resources officer you’ll work as part of a team to ensure an organisation has the right people for the job. You may be involved with recruitment and training, protecting equality and diversity, and carrying out disciplinary procedures. You’ll need both business acumen, and a consideration for people, to successfully navigate and mediate disputes.
Forensic psychology relates to the study and assessment of criminal behaviour. The role will involve a great deal of research and analysis, and you’ll work with both offenders and professionals within the legal sector and prison system. Again, this role will require a doctorate or a BPS qualification in forensic psychology. Once you’ve completed this, you can apply to become a chartered forensic psychologist with the HPCP. If what makes the criminal mind tick fascinates you, this could be a stimulating career option.
Of course, this list isn’t definitive. It only scratches the surface of the wide range of career options a master’s in psychology can lead to. Furthermore, if none of these roles seem quite right for you there are many other sectors where a master’s in psychology isn’t required, but will develop your professional skillset. From business and media to law and health and social care, the expertise you’ll gain from our MSc Psychology (Conversion) will help you stand out from the crowd. Finally, if you choose to study psychology with us, our in-built employability module will guide you through industry relevant experiences and ready you for any workplace.
Contemplating a change of career? Our MSc Psychology (Conversion), specifically designed for non-psychology graduates, could be the perfect course for you.