Careers in Psychology

Psychology Careers


If you are fascinated by the human mind and want to understand human behaviour then Psychology is for you. You will study how the brain perceives and uses information and how the processes change as we become older.  Psychology is the study and science of the mind. The human brain is the most complex machine on the planet. It's the source of all thought and behaviour. Psychology is important to the study of many different disciplines, including biology, medicine, linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, and sociology. A BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology opens up many career possibilities apart from becoming a psychologist. Many graduates become practicing Psychologists or work in forensics, health departments, clinics or education. Read on to find out more.


What are the university entry requirements for Psychology degrees?

To apply to universities for a Psychology degree, you should have, or be working towards achieving, a relevant Access to HE Diploma in Health Science. Or, alternatively, 3 A Levels with at least one in a pure science area (Biology, Human Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Maths). Universities will advise on their own particular entry requirements and they also publish these on the UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website.

With the A Level route, you may also be expected to have a minimum of 5 GCSEs. With the Access to HE Diploma route, you are normally only required to have 2 GCSEs in English and Maths at Grade C or above.

Access to HE Diplomas are normally aimed at adults 18+ returning to education or wishing to change to a new career. There are no upper age limits. The Diploma qualification is viewed as being equivalent to 3 A Levels. Access to psychology can be studied from home via online learning with Academy Online Learning.

There are many websites that track university performance in all subject areas. Students are encouraged to research carefully which university has a good track record in the particular degree course they are interested in. It is also worth investigating the department that you are applying to and see what facilities are available, what sort of placements are on offer and the student satisfaction rate for each degree course.


Most universities have a September start date for undergraduate students. However, some do offer a January start, this includes courses such as Behavioural Sciences, Applied Psychology and Sports Psychology. View here to see the universities that have a January intake.


Enrol on an Access to HE course now


What do Psychologists do?

Psychologists study how people relate to one another and the environment. To do this, they will look for models that will help them understand and predict behaviour using scientific methods, principles, or procedures to test their ideas. Through such research, psychologists have experience that can help increase understanding between individuals, groups, organisations, institutions and cultures. A practising psychologist will meet with service users, carry out assessments to find out what is causing any difficulties, and recommend or provide treatment. They may carry out studies to advise health authorities and other organisations on social strategies, assess children who are having difficulties at school and even work with recruitment teams in companies. There are different types of psychology, such as cognitive, forensic, social, and developmental psychology. These different specialities can lead to careers in clinical psychology, sport and exercise psychology, counselling, market research, to name just a few. Major employers of psychology graduates include:

      • Financial organisations
      • Human resources departments
      • Local and national government
      • Marketing companies
      • The NHS
      • Police forces, the National Probation Service and prisons
      • Schools, sixth form colleges and colleges of further education
      • Social services


What personal attributes are desirable in Psychology?

      • Excellent communication skills, including report writing and presentation
      • Confidence using information technology
      • Attention to detail when engaged in analytical research
      • Problem-solving
      • The ability to work in teams


What are the pay and working conditions like?

Using the example of a Clinical Psychologist working in the NHS

      • Trainee clinical psychologists start at £26,565. After qualification, salaries within the NHS start at £31,696
      • More experienced psychologists can earn between £48,514 and £58,217
      • Consultant clinical psychologist roles typically range from £56,665 to £83,258
      • Heads of psychology services can earn in the region of £79,415 to £100,431
      • The Government has recently announced an increase in salaries across health sector employees over the next 3 years


Did you know?

      • The study of psychology can be traced back to the ancient Greeks
      • A human brain is 73% water. It takes only 2% dehydration to affect your attention, memory and other cognitive skills.
      • Your brain generates about 12-25 watts of electricity. This is enough to power a low-wattage LED light.
      • Sigmund Freud is one of the most well-known Psychologists. He was a prolific writer, publishing over 320 books, articles and essays. 



How is the degree funded?

Studying for a Psychology degree allows you to apply for the standard student support package in the form of a student loan. Scholarships, bursaries or grants may also be available for example, through the university or your place of work. 

If you would like to complete an Access to HE course to obtain the qualifications for entry onto a Psychology degree course at university, please choose your payment options below or contact us for more information. Studying and achieving this qualification provides a flexible way of achieving, as it is fully online and recognised and accepted by UK universities.


Access to Psychology