Skip navigation

7 Careers Gaining A Psychology Degree Could Lead To

Which psychology career is right for you? We take a look at the careers in psychology that are out there.

If you are considering a Psychology degree, it may be that you have a particular career path in mind. However, it's also possible that, although you know you are interested in the workings of the mind, you're still asking yourself which psychology career is right for you.

What jobs are there in psychology? The simple answer is: lots. There is bound to be one that suits your passions and your interests, so a good first step is to do your research into the different pathways available.

Below, we take a closer look at some of the most popular careers in Psychology, and the steps you'll need to take to become a Chartered Psychologist in each.

  1. Educational Psychologist
  2. Health Psychologist
  3. Forensic Psychologist
  4. Sports Psychologist
  5. Counselling Psychologist
  6. Clinical Psychologist
  7. Occupational Psychologist

 

1. Educational Psychologist

Educational Psychologist with child

What is an educational psychologist?

Educational psychology is about providing support to children and young people who face challenges in their development due to a disability or issues such as social, behavioural or emotional difficulties.

Who does an educational psychologist work with?

In addition to the young people themselves, you could be working alongside their parents, and teaching and support staff in a range of educational settings. 

What does an educational psychologist do?

You’ll be carrying out assessments – from interviews to observations – to assess the situation before recommending actions aimed at improving the young person’s development and wellbeing. Running programmes to improve the lives and education of young people more generally may also be part of your educational psychologist role.  

How to become an educational psychologist:

  1. Gain a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Psychology BSc or MSc (conversion) and Graduate Basis for Membership to the BPS (GBC). 
  2. Complete a BPS accredited Doctorate in Educational Psychology.

Top Tip: Having relevant experience in an educational setting or with children will help you to progress in this area.

 

2. Health Psychologist

Health Psychologist

What is a health psychologist?

Health psychology is about helping people to manage the psychological and emotional aspects of physical illness. They also support people trying to maintain healthier lifestyles. A health psychologist will advise other healthcare professionals on the psychological impact that ill health can have, improving the services they provide to patients. 

Who does a health psychologist work with?

Health psychologists work in a number of environments such as hospitals, community health settings, research units, public health departments or consultancy companies. You’ll work closely with patients and their families, as well as medical professionals (such as GPs, nurses, dieticians and rehabilitation therapists) and health care agents. 

What does a health psychologist do? 

The role of a health psychologist is varied. Depending on where you work, you’ll be responsible for different tasks including raising awareness of the importance of healthy lifestyles; supporting healthcare staff with dealing sensitively with patients; helping patients to cope with illness or addiction; working with authorities to improve health policy or researching how patients and doctors decide upon treatments.

How to become a health psychologist:

  1. Gain a BPS accredited Psychology BSc or MSc (conversion) and GBC.
  2. Complete a BPS accredited Masters in Health Psychology (Stage 1).
  3. Complete one of the following Stage 2 qualifications:

a) The BPS Qualification in Health Psychology Stage 2  (QHP Stage 2) 

OR

b)   A BPS accredited Doctorate in Health Psychology.

Top tip: Stage 2 training comes in different formats, so it’s important to research which is best for you. However, you should always choose a BPS accredited qualification. 

 

3. Forensic Psychologist

Careers in psychology - forensic psychologist

What is a forensic psychologist?

Forensic psychologists bridge the worlds of psychology and the criminal justice system. In the UK, most are employed by the HM Prison service but they may also be based in universities, forensic labs or research centres. 

Who does a forensic psychologist work with?

You’ll largely be engaging with prison, young offenders and probation staff, the police, and legal, health and social professionals, as well as prisoners and victims of crime.

What does a forensic psychologist do?

Armed with a strong understanding of the psychological issues associated with criminal behaviour, having the role of a forensic psychologist could lead to you doing anything from implementing treatment programmes to providing hard research to be used as evidence in court, to advising parole boards and helping with prisoner profiling. You could also work to analyse crimes and reduce the stresses and strains of prisoners and prison staff.

How to become a forensic psychologist:

  1. Gain a BPS accredited Psychology BSc or MSc (conversion) and GBC.
  2. After this you must either complete a:

a) BPS accredited Masters in Forensic Psychology (Stage 1) then a BPS Qualification in Forensic Psychology Stage 2 

OR

b) Doctorate programme in Forensic Psychology.

Top tip:  this career path can be challenging but if you are resilient and calm under pressure, you could make a real difference.

 

4. Sports Psychologist

Football field

What is a sports psychologist?

The mission of sport psychologists is to help sports people navigate the ups and downs that come with working in their uniquely competitive environment.  If your passion for sport and fitness rivals your interest in the human mind, this is a great career.

Who does a sports psychologist work with?

You’ll primarily be working with athletes and other sports professionals, such as referees and coaches.

What does a sports psychologist do? 

It will be your job to use psychological theories and techniques to enhance sporting performance. Whether it’s helping to build team spirit in squads or advising professionals on how to deal with the pressures of competing, you’ll play a key part in their success. You’ll be on hand to assist people through the psychological impact of, or depression caused by, injuries too. 

How to become a sports psychologist:

  1. Gain a BPS accredited Psychology BSc or MSc (conversion) and GBC.
  2. Complete a BPS accredited Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology (Stage 1).
  3. Complete one of the following Stage 2 qualifications:

a) The BPS Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (Stage 2)

OR

b) A BPS accredited Doctorate in Sport and Exercise Psychology. 

Top tip: Exercise psychology is closely related to sports psychology, though the responsibilities involved are a little different. An exercise psychologist’s role is concerned with motivating the public to lead healthier, more active lifestyles. 

 

5.  Counselling Psychologist

Counselling psychologist - careers in psychology

What is a counselling psychologist?

Counselling psychology aims to apply psychological theory and research to therapeutic practice. Psychologists help people, groups and families to navigate through difficult stages in life (for example relationship breakdowns, abuse or bereavements) or manage mental health conditions (for example depression, psychosis or eating disorders).

Who does a counselling psychologist work with?

It’s likely you’ll be based in a health or mental health setting, such as a hospital or health centre, and interacting with a range of health and social care staff. You’ll also be communicating daily with your clients and their loved ones.

What does a counselling psychologist do?

You’ll assist individuals along the road to recovery or help them live without acute distress. Key responsibilities will include: carrying out assessments, such as mental health needs, risk assessment and psychometric testing; planning and implementing specialist treatments and analysing their outcomes; and working with other professionals to ensure the patient receives a multidisciplinary service that meets their needs. 

How to become a counselling psychologist:

  1. Gain a BPS accredited Psychology BSc or MSc (conversion) and GBC.
  2. Complete either:

  a) A BPS accredited Doctorate in Counselling Psychology 

OR

b) The BPS Qualification in Counselling Psychology. 

Top tip: counselling psychology requires self awareness and the ability to connect a knowledge of interpersonal dynamics and communication with a therapeutic context.

 

6.  Clinical Psychologist

Clinical Psychologist performing test

What is a clinical psychologist?

Clinical psychologists specialise in providing treatment for a range of mental and physical health disorders – from anxiety and depression to learning difficulties. It’s their aim to reduce the level of distress people experience and improve quality of life for patients. 

Who does a clinical psychologist work with?

As well as your patients and their loved ones, it’s likely you’ll interact with a wide range of other professionals, including doctors, social workers, health visitors and psychiatrists. 

What does a clinical psychologist do? 

Working closely with your patients, you will employ psychological methods and research to diagnose, assess and manage their condition. You may be undertaking psychometric tests, interviews or observations to get a better understanding of the situation, before recommending courses of treatment e.g. counselling or therapy. 

How to become a clinical psychologist:

  1. Gain a BPS accredited Psychology BSc or MSc (conversion) and GBC.
  2. Complete a BPS accredited Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Top tip:  Most Clinical Psychology Doctorate courses accept applications through the Clearing House for Postgraduate Courses in Clinical Psychology but not all: do your research. 

 

7. Occupational Psychologist

Occupational Psychologist in office

What is an occupational psychologist?

The occupational psychology profession is concerned with the ways in which organisations, and their employees, behave. It’s their task to ensure that people are performing as effectively as possible at work to help drive organisational success. They’re also key in making sure staff are satisfied in their jobs.

Who does an occupational psychologist work with?

You can expect to be based within an office environment, either as a contractor or permanent employee, and working alongside managers and HR professionals, as well as employees.

What does an occupational psychologist do? 

You’ll be key in cultivating a business’ culture and keeping employees motivated and happy. You may be involved in:

  • Making sure the office environment is maximised to encourage productivity
  • The hiring and assessment of new personnel (for example developing psychometric tests and interview or assessment centre tasks)
  • Developing talent management processes, including the development of appraisal systems
  • Providing coaching to help employees achieve their company and personal objectives
  • Helping to drive smooth, effective organisational change
  • Assisting in employee/management disputes

How to become an occupational psychologist:

  1. Gain a BPS accredited Psychology BSc or MSc (conversion) and GBC.
  2. Gain a BPS accredited Masters in Occupational Psychology.
  3. Complete Stage 2 of the Society’s Qualification in Occupational Psychology (two years supervised practice).

Top tip: Occupational psychologists are found in businesses of all shapes and sizes.  It’s worth doing some research and thinking about where you could see yourself working.

 

Broaden Your Mind with our BPS accredited degree

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in any of the fields above, taking our distance learning Psychology MSc (conversion) is a great first step. Accredited by the BPS, it will provide you with the essential qualification that you will need to gain GBC into the sector, whilst giving you the freedom to study part time, whenever and wherever you want.

Discover more.

 

 


what jobs are there in psychology.
what jobs are there in psychology.
what jobs are there in psychology.
what jobs are there in psychology.

+

Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

+
+

Virtual Tour

Get an insight into life at Northumbria at the click of a button! Come and explore our videos and 360 panoramas to immerse yourself in our campuses and get a feel for what it is like studying here using our interactive virtual tour.

Latest News and Features

More news
More events

Upcoming events

National Student Pride
CVs and Covering Letters
Career opportunities and finding job vacancies

Back to top