Clinical psychologist

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Clinical psychologists help people to deal with mental health issues, phobias and addiction.

Salary range: £30,401 to £50,819

How to become a clinical psychologist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course


You’ll need to complete:

Competition for postgraduate training is strong. You’ll need a first or upper second class degree, and evidence of excellent research skills to apply. You’ll also need relevant work experience.

If you have a degree in a different subject, you may be able to complete an approved psychology conversion course.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 3 A levels or equivalent

More information

More information


Professional and industry bodies

You can join The British Psychological Society for professional development and training opportunities.

Further information

You’ll find more about careers in clinical psychology from The British Psychological Society and Health Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • excellent written communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and requirements

You’ll need to:

What you’ll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this job, you’ll:

  • assess clients’ needs through interviews, tests and observations
  • decide on the most appropriate treatments, like therapy or counselling
  • plan treatment programmes
  • work with clients in groups or individually
  • go to case conferences
  • carry out research
  • work closely with other professionals like doctors
  • produce legal reports and act as an expert witness in court

Working environment

You could work in an NHS or private hospital, at a client’s home, at a university or at a health centre.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

You could work with particular groups like children, young offenders or people with addictions.

With further training, you could specialise in clinical neuropsychology, or move into research or university teaching.

You might also work as a freelance consultant, advising other professionals and clients, or set up your own psychology practice.

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