Psychology Mini-Guide


There are numerous careers in psychology which is the science of human behaviour and the mind.

It is a field which looks at the very complex ways that people feel, think, behave and communicate with the world. It involves both the conscious and subconscious mind. Some psychologits will research the nuances of psychological behaviour and some will focus more on clinical work with patients

What skills and qualifications will I need?

A degree in Psychology – or a degree in a different discipline but then you will need to take a conversion course in psychology.

You will need to pass background checks – and then get Graduate Basis for Chartered (GBC) membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS) in order to practise as a psychologist. You can get GBC by taking a BPS accredited degree in psychology or a conversion course as mentioned.


  • Skills you will need:           
  • Ability in science & maths
  • Communication and listening skills
  • Empathy and understanding – you will often be dealing with distressed people.
  • Accuracy, logical thinking, methodical approach
  • Decision making skills


What else do I need to know?


These are some of the areas in which you can work:


Education – you will be working with children and young people overcome difficulties.

Occupational – here you will work with businesses to improve their performance to increase employee job satisfaction.

Counselling – to help people resolve problems, enabling them to make decisions. This is often used at stressful times such as divorce, bereavement when patients may be experiencing anxiety.

Neuropsychology – focusing on patients who have brain injuries or diseases – helping them to recover and/or improve the quality of their lives.

Forensic or criminal – working with the police and the prison service to use psychological theory to investigate crimes, rehabilitate offenders and work to support staff within prisons.

Clinical – this is working with individuals to help them deal with anxiety, stress, depression and any mental health issues.

Sports & Exercise – this will be working to improve motivation and performance with individuals, teams and organisations.

Academia, Research & Training – based at a university, investigating and developing theories.


With any of these roles, you could be based in a school, hospital, prison, clinic or community mental health team. Your working environment will vary depending on your chosen specialism, but is likely to involve visiting clients in their environment, or at an office/consulting room. The hours will again vary depending your role and seniority.

  • Top Tip

Read up on the variety of careers within the field so that you can decide where to use your skills – there is information about Educational Psychology here - at the Association of Educational Psychologists.


Where can I get more information?


Look at the British Psychological Society for lots of advice about Psychology as a career and ongoing professional development