Careers Service Occupations




The British Psychological Society (BPS) estimates that 750,000 people in the UK work in an area which involves psychology as part of their role.

To become a professional psychologist in the UK you need to complete:

  • a psychology degree accredited by The British Psychological Society (BPS)
  • Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership
  • an accredited postgraduate qualification in your chosen specialism, for example educational or forensic psychology. 

If your first degree is not in Psychology, and you are considering a career change, then you will need to take a conversion course accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) prior to embarking on the relevant postgraduate training.

There is also a Wider Psychological Workforce – a number of psychological practitioner roles that are not currently regulated by law.

These include:

  • Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP)
  • Children’s Wellbeing Practitioners (CWP)
  • Education Mental Health Practitioners (EMHP)
  • Clinical Associates in Applied Psychology (CAAP) Scotland
  • Clinical Associates in Psychology (CAP)

Some of these roles do not require a psychology degree, while others are intended to supplement your main career as a psychologist.

See also the Psychological Professions Network's article about growing/emerging roles in the NHS.

Find out more at Roles and Skills.

Careers Advice 

Professional bodies

These represent people working in the sector, providing training and networking opportunities. They often provide careers support for students and graduates.

They also provide development for people already working in the sector. Follow them on LinkedIn, or visit their websites for news, contacts, work experience and vacancies.

The main professional associations for this sector include:

Find professional bodies outside of the UK on GoinGlobal by selecting ‘Professional and Personal Networking’ on each of the individual country guides.

Making contacts

Making contacts is helpful for success in this sector. Many jobs in this field are gained through networking and speculative applications. Start off with the following: 


Recruitment fairs, open days, talks and events give insights and opportunities to make contacts. Regular events organised by the Careers Service include Employer & Sector Insights and Recruitment Events.

Related sectors

You may also be interested in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Healthcare and Complementary Therapies or see Explore Occupations for more options.


Roles & Skills

There are a variety of psychology specialisms available, including clinical practice, educational, and forensic psychology. Find out more about the roles available as well as the typical skills required in this field

Job profiles

Have a look at the job profiles in this sector on Prospects and BPS to find out more about what psychology roles involve and how to get into them. These are just some of the profiles available: 

Get inspiration from people working in the industry

  • LinkedIn’s Alumni tool can help you find out what Newcastle graduates are doing after their degree, where they’re working and in what role. You could ask to connect with them, to gain advice and insights into their career. See Newcastle Alumni on LinkedIn to help you get started. 
  • Attend alumni events, such as Newcastle Develop from NU Advancement to hear directly from our graduates. 
  • Sign up for mentoring support with Graduate Mentor and The 1 Hour Project. These aim to match students with industry professionals who can provide invaluable insights. Register to be connected for a one-hour meeting. 

Skills employers look for

The skills required to work as a psychologist can vary, depending on the area of specialism. 

There are a number of key skills that are common across most specialisms:

  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • self-confidence and an ability to establish effective working relationships with clients and other professionals
  • adaptability, flexibility and creative problem-solving skills
  • resilience and the ability to work under pressure
  • sensitivity and diplomacy
  • negotiation, teamwork and leadership skills

Gaining Experience

Relevant work experience is essential to develop expertise and demonstrate motivation and commitment to psychology. It is also a requirement for entry on some postgraduate study routes, and to achieve chartered status.

The British Psychological Society (BPS) advise that the type of work experience you will need depends on the area of psychology you want to go into.

If you are considering post graduate study, many universities have specific requirements work experience requirements, so contact course providers for their criteria.

Below are websites and articles that can help you find relevant experience:

Finding Jobs

There are many sources of vacancies within the field of psychology.

Advertised vacancies



Finding organisations

Not all jobs are advertised. You could also approach organisations or find work through networking in the industry.

Find organisations that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for. Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. 

Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

Try the following sites to find organisations to approach:


Find organisations on My Career - click on ‘search organisations’ under the Vacancies tab

BPS features tips for using an agency to find a position while NHS authorities and trusts also list available posts.


BASES has a directory of consultants, which includes sports and exercise psychologists.

Counselling and psychotherapy

The Association of Child Psychotherapists lists a directory of therapists on its website.


For the majority of careers within psychology it's essential to have studied qualifications approved or accredited by the relevant professional body.

See the occupational profiles in the Roles and Skills section for full details and relevant links.

Funding for postgraduate study depends on the career area you're entering. Funding for clinical psychology is provided by the NHS and a limited number of bursaries and funded places are available for other career areas e.g. educational psychology.  Most people will self-fund their postgraduate study. 

GOV.UK Educational Psychology Funded Training Scheme is a good place to start, as is BPS: Accredited training courses & funding.