I’ve blogged recently on work experience for clinical psychology, vital for gaining that place on the DClin course.
This week two more ideas for experience came my way – one via the Third Day of the Career Fair, the other via my inbox.
At the Third Day fair yesterday I got talking to Frontline, – a sort of ‘Teach First’ equivalent for Social Work, whose mission is ‘to transform the lives of vulnerable children by recruiting and developing outstanding individuals to be leaders in social work and broader society’. They have some psychology grads on their programme, and were keen to stress how useful your psychology degree is for this role, and perhaps more importantly for those of you interested in Clinical Psychology – how useful going through this programme can be for giving you both practical and research experience (yes, not only do you qualify as a Social Worker, you get the chance to do a research Masters too!). So you get:
- experience of working with young people with challenging issues – and potential to liaise with clinical psychologists working with these young people
- The opportunity to complete a research Masters in the second year of the programme – enhancing your research skills necessary for the DClin.
- Your Plan B – you’ll be a qualified Social Worker, with all the opportunities that opens up, if you decide not to continue into clinical psychology
- Money! – This programme is well-rewarded.
Of course to get all the above, you’ll have to put a lot in yourself – as Frontline say themselves, Social Work is ‘one of Britain’s toughest’ as well as ‘most rewarding’ professions. However, if this sounds like the sort of challenge you’d relish – take a look at the Frontline website, and come along to the evening session in Appleton Tower LT1 on Tues 28th Oct on grad schemes in the public sector and find out more – full details on MyCareerHub events section.
The second idea for gaining experience arrived by email from SLV, a grad-led organisation providing degree-specific placements in Sri Lanka, including psychology placements. As it’s not UK-based, (though the placements were set up by a UK psychology grad), it’s advisable to add to this with UK-based experience too. However, if you want to combine gaining experience with travel – and have a bit saved up to enable you to pay for the programme – this may be something to explore. You’ll get experience with the clinical psychology client group, and work with clinical psychologists trained in the country. However, as with all overseas placements, we advise you to consider certain things before you accept the offer of a placement. Check out our advice about researching organisations offering placements, and read the handout on questions to ask before accepting an overseas placement.
You’ll also find lots more websites for exploring volunteering and gaining experience abroad via our International Volunteering resources – search these to find out whether anyone else offers clinical psych opportunities – via a quick search on the Idealist website I found psychology-related opportunities in Peru and India – I’m sure you’ll be able to find others (though as advised above, research the organisation thoroughly before you sign up).
There are many ways to gain the research and practical experience necessary to get onto the DClin course. Explore the ideas above to find a route that suits you – and be open to the idea that you may find the rewarding career you were looking for en route, whilst working towards Clinical Psychology. There are many different ways to use your psychology skills and change lives.