What you can do with a psychology degree

Graduating from university can be an exciting yet daunting experience. On one hand, it’s validation and celebration for all the work you’ve put in during your time as student, but on the other hand there can be a feeling of uncertainty about what the future holds. This is no different for psychology graduates, however with a degree that gives you as many transferable skills as psychology does, there are many different career avenues you can explore. We spoke to three recent psychology graduates to see how they’ve been getting on since leaving the University of Manchester…

Graduation star balloon and graduates

Zoe Manley

I graduated from Manchester in 2015 and am currently working as an Assistant Psychologist for Salford learning disability team. I take the lead on dementia, so I conduct baseline screenings and cognitive assessments on people with learning disabilities to find out whether they have dementia and to decide on what the best course of action is for people who are diagnosed with dementia.

Since graduating I’ve  also furthered my undergraduate dissertation and am currently preparing it for publication. I have done a variety of different roles, starting off in inpatient services before moving to the NHS. There, I have gone from working in trauma services to where I am now, as an assistant psychologist.

The advice that I’d give to current students in terms of making the most of university life is to just get involved with as much as you possibly can. Say yes to every opportunity, make use of the careers services, and keep good relationships with your lecturers, your supervisors and those around you because you never know when those connections might help in the future.

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Dr Rai Fayette

I am an Educational Psychologist, and what that basically entails is working with children and young people aged 0-25, working with schools and working with families to find out what the areas of need are for young people. Upon discovering the areas of need we then develop strategies, interventions and outcomes to support those young people.

I did my master’s and my doctorate at Manchester for a couple of reasons. I did my master’s because my writing was rubbish and my research skills weren’t up to scratch! So I did a full year masters in Educational Psychology where I learned to hone my craft in terms of academic writing as well as consuming research and analysing research. Then obviously the doctorate was a little more intense and more geared towards helping me qualify as an Educational Psychologist.

My advice for current undergraduates or recent graduates of psychology is to explore different avenues of psychology. There are lots of different branches of psychology so get as much experience in as many of these areas as possible. Feel free to ask professionals such as myself and get in touch with the careers department at the university as they will be able to signpost you towards companies and individuals who are in a good position to give you a advice. I first came in to contact with the company I work for now through the University so it’s always good to take every opportunity that comes your way.

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Rosie FitzGerald

I graduated from Manchester in 2012 and I’m currently working for the BBC as a User Experience Creative Director. My job is to understand how things that we make at the BBC can be used by real people. That’s all about understanding how we can make our products really easy to for people to use and really enjoyable as well.

Psychology is all about understanding how humans behave and what they’re thinking and that’s really true for user experience design too. What we’re trying to do is make our products really easy to use and to do that we need to understand what people want, what they need and the context within which they are using our products and services. Everything that I learnt in my studies at Manchester about human behaviour massively helps in my job every day.

I think getting involved with as much stuff as possible at university is the best advice I could give to psychology students. You meet so many different people and that really stands you in good stead for when you go out in to the work place and have to work with loads of different people who come from loads of different backgrounds. Also, when it comes to applying for jobs don’t shy away from careers that you think you don’t have experience for because everything that you learn at university is transferable to a variety of jobs.

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