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What Is The British Psychological Society And Why Is Accreditation Important?

With a plethora of Psychology courses out there, it can be hard to know which one to choose. As well as excellence in teaching and research, one of the gold standards to look out for — both at undergraduate and at postgraduate level — is whether the programme has achieved British Psychological Society (BPS) accreditation. BPS accreditation is both an important hallmark of quality that’s extensively acknowledged by employers in the field, and also an essential stepping stone for students who are looking to progress to become a Chartered Psychologist after graduation. 


What is the British Psychological Society? 

The BPS was founded on 24 October 1901 when a group of ten burgeoning psychologists met at University College, London. In 120 years, the Society has grown to over 60,000 members and now acts as the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK. It is responsible for the promotion of excellence and ethical practice in the discipline and sets high standards for research, education and knowledge. In the UK, the BPS has also been responsible for the accreditation of psychology education and training programmes since the 1970s. 


What is Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership?

All programmes that are accredited by the Society have met rigorous criteria, which means that if you graduate from a BPS accredited undergraduate or postgraduate conversion course, you’ll be eligible for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) of the Society.  

GBC is an essential milestone which demonstrates that you have studied psychology in sufficient depth and breadth to provide a sound basis to be able progress to the next step; the society accredited professional postgraduate training needed to become a Chartered Psychologist in your chosen field. 

For example, if you’re interested in becoming an educational psychologist, you’d first need to gain a BPS accredited Psychology BSc or MSc (conversion). You’d then be eligible for GBC, which would pave the way for you to be accepted onto a BPS accredited Doctorate in Educational Psychology. Upon completion,  you’d be permitted to register for Chartered Membership of the BPS and be authorised to use the title of Chartered Psychologist  — a legally recognised qualification that reflects the highest standards of psychological knowledge and expertise. Find out more about the other career pathways you could follow with a BPS accredited degree. 


What is BPS Student Membership?

From the moment you enrol on a BPS accredited degree, you’re also able to become a member of the BPS student community. For a small fee, you’ll receive:

  • Access to both digital and physical copies of The Psychologist and PsychTalk magazines
  • Membership of your local branch, providing networking opportunities and valuable information to support your studies
  • Online access to the BPS community where you can engage, interact and network with other psychology students and learn from industry professionals, as well as access to the Society’s archive of academic journals
  • The option to transfer to graduate membership free of charge after completing your course.


Broaden Your Mind With Our BPS Accredited Degree

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a Chartered Psychologist, taking our BPS accredited online Psychology MSc conversion course is the perfect first step.   

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