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How to get Psychology related work experience...

Updated: Feb 8

I often get many questions on my social media relating to psychology work experience, where to look and how to get it. It is one of those things that post-graduate programmes ask for but universities often don't help with! Which can be really frustrating and often lead you feeling a little lost. So here goes, here is my advice on where to look and how to get psychology related work experience!

1. Don't stress it!

You're probably thinking what? That's your advice? But hear me out, often undergraduate students feel pressure to get psychology related work experience the minute they begin their degree. Try to not fall into this trap!

Often places won't provide first year students with psychology related work experience due to the confidential or complex nature of the role. Some organisations don't offer experience to psychology students until they have completed or nearly completed their undergraduate degree. In first year you are still finding your feet, you may be new to the subject of Psychology, so use this time to understand the basics of Psychology and adjust to University life (I worked in a clothing store in my first year because I just needed the money!)

If you are in your final year or have completed your psychology degree, check out the blog post I finished my Psychology degree... Now what? For some advice on gaining work experience after your degree.

2. Look for voluntary opportunities

Again, with psychology related work experience majority of the time the experience is unpaid (a separate debate and frustration I know), but by looking for these opportunities and showing your willingness to work and prove yourself without pay, may lead to paid opportunities in the future. Sometimes its just about getting your foot in the door.

3. Utilise your University and tutors

Investigate what services your university has, because I reckon they have more than you think. If you have a tutor you feel you have a good rapport with, speak with them and get their advice on gaining experience or places to look. Most universities also help with CV's, so ask around if your university provides this or if a tutor can help you. Universities are there to set you up before going into the employment world so find out what services are available for you and utilise this.

(I only found out about our careers advice service in my final year! But they did help me with my CV and how to look for jobs and internship opportunities).

4. Set up a Linkedin profile

Get your name out there, often employers want to see more than your CV. By setting up a Linkedin profile shows your passion for networking and opportunities may arise through Linkedin as jobs/ voluntary opportunities are often posted on this platform.

5. Try to not look for shadowing experience

I have often seen or heard of requests from students to shadow practitioners. I would avoid wasting time asking to do this, as due to the confidential nature of a psychologist's role this is often not possible or ethical. It can also make you look inexperienced, as you should be aware of the confidential and ethical nature of the role. Instead be more open and ask what opportunities are available for you as an undergraduate student, for example: are you able to get involved with some admin tasks within the organisation? etc.

Where to look?


Local organisations related to your chosen field of Psychology (Education, Sport, Health, Forensic)

Healthcare services (NHS or Private)

HR departments

If you enjoyed this blog post or found it helpful, be sure to check out this one-


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