Psychology & Social Sciences

“What does a psychologist do?”

The role of a psychologist is to study how the brain and mind dictate conscious and unconscious experiences, and – where necessary – to diagnose psychological disorders. We have a natural fascination with understanding what makes us think, feel, and behave as we do. The skills and insights learned when studying disciplines within the social sciences are being increasingly valued and sought after by employers. Indeed, graduates can take great confidence in the fact there are plenty of social science and psychology jobs readily available for those who graduate with a relevant bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Clinical psychologist
£26,250
per year
£99,500
per year

Gain the skills to make a difference

Beyond a potentially favourable psychologist’s salary, there are many reasons to consider a psychology or social sciences degree. As well as positions within counselling and teaching, a psychology degree opens up career paths to many industries and positions. Much of this is due to the data analysis and communication skills required in modern business. In fact, the problem-solving expertise and understanding of cognitive relationships that graduates possess can be applied within professions as varied as computer programming and business management.

The role of a psychologist is to study how the brain and mind dictate conscious and unconscious experiences, and – where necessary – to diagnose psychological disorders.

Opening the door to better career options

There are many different types of psychology. Beyond work within mental health, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, child therapy, and social psychology, psychology can be combined with other subject areas such as sociology and law. A career in market research, government, or neuroscience is made more achievable with the psychological insights gained with the relevant undergraduate or postgraduate education. The far-reaching significance of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter has intensified the focus on people’s behaviour, with studying and evaluating the reasons behind human behaviour having huge implications for business, politics, and wider-society.

Careers in Psychology & Social Sciences
  • Possible salary range:
    £20,000-£60,000*
    Key responsibilities:
    Plan, coordinate, and administer market research projects.

    Skills and abilities: Excellent communication and listening skills, with the ability to inspire trust and confidence, putting people at ease. Use good investigative skills, and make well-judged decisions.

    What you’ll be doing: Market research is concerned with the collection and analysis of information that indicates people’s thoughts about consumer products or particular societal issues. This involves one of two main methods: numbers-based quantitative analysis of surveys from large samples of people, and language-based qualitative analysis from focus groups and comprehensive questionnaires. Typical day-to-day responsibilities include:

    • Meeting clients to discuss current and potential research projects
    • Coordinating interviewers and researchers
    • Designing questionnaires and organising surveys
    • Analysing data and presenting results to clients
    • Advising clients how they can utilise the research

    Career progression: You may decide to lead a team or manage departments, or with experience become a self-employed market research consultant. You may also choose to work in the promotional aspect of marketing or advertising.

    * https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/market-research-executive

    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BSc (Hons) Psychology (BPS)
    £13,500 UK/EU
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    MSc Psychology (BPS)
    £9,500 (UK/EU)
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BA (Hons) Psychology & Sociology
    £13,500 UK/EU
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BA (Hons) Law & Psychology
    £13,500 UK/EU
  • Possible salary range:
    £31,000 – £98,500*
    Key responsibilities:
    Study the behavioural development of children through to adolescence.

    Skills and abilities: Excellent communication and patience, with the ability to inspire trust and confidence, putting people at ease. Use good investigative skills, and make well-judged decisions.

    What you’ll be doing: Different areas of expertise regarding child behaviour are developmental psychology, adolescent psychology, and abnormal child psychology. You may deal commonly with trauma victims. Typical day-to-day responsibilities include:

    • Assessing a patient’s condition from hearing their thoughts
    • Consulting with the patient’s GP, social worker, relatives, or others for information 
    • Conducting blood tests to rule out other health conditions
    • Carrying out psychiatric tests, prescribing medication
    • Referring to counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

    Career progression: Child psychology careers require appropriate qualifications to begin. You could lead a team or manage departments, or with sufficient experience become a medical director. You may choose to work part time, run a child counselling private practice, or work as a consultant. Further options include teaching, or research.

    * https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/psychologist

    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BSc (Hons) Psychology (BPS)
    £13,500 UK/EU
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    MSc Psychology (BPS)
    £9,500 (UK/EU)
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BA (Hons) Psychology & Sociology
    £13,500 UK/EU
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BA (Hons) Law & Psychology
    £13,500 UK/EU
  • Possible salary range:
    £20,000 – £40,000*
    Key responsibilities:
    Help people discuss problems in a confidential environment.

    Skills and abilities: Able to build trust and gain confidence. Empathic, non-judgemental, able to see how own opinions can impact others. Excellent listening skills, and appreciation of confidentiality.

    What you’ll be doing: You could decide to work with groups or individuals, and in various specialisations, such as career counselling, school or college counselling, and marriage counselling. Typical day-to-day responsibilities include:

    • Building a trusting, respectful rapport with the client
    • Agreeing a confidential contract, agreeing topics to be covered
    • Encouraging open discussion of issues, and listening to concerns
    • Understanding concerns, empathising, yet challenging when necessary
    • Helping clients towards a deeper understanding, and to make decisions going forward
    • Liaising as necessary with other departments or sources of help
    • Working to agreed targets as per contracts, and keeping appropriate records

    Career progression: Many counsellors maintain a similar professional level, however management opportunities exist with a more strategic role. You may decide to work as a school or college counsellor, or specialise in an area such as couple’s counselling. With experience, and professional contacts, you may choose to work as a self-employed practitioner.  

    * https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/counsellor

    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BSc (Hons) Psychology (BPS)
    £13,500 UK/EU
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    MSc Psychology (BPS)
    £9,500 (UK/EU)
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BA (Hons) Psychology & Sociology
    £13,500 UK/EU
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BA (Hons) Law & Psychology
    £13,500 UK/EU
  • Possible salary range:
    £20,000 – £41,000+*
    Key responsibilities:
    Using applied behavioural analysis methods, observe, record, and measure human behaviour and its influences.

    Skills and abilities: Excellent communication, with strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Good, detail-oriented observation. Willingness to work with a range of behavioural problems.

    What you’ll be doing: You may decide to work in a research capacity, or in applied behaviour analysis, and specialise in one of many areas, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders. Typical day-to-day responsibilities include:

    • Identifying behaviours and skills to target through behavioural assessments 
    • Maintaining and increasing a person’s skills, or teaching new ones, such as social interaction
    • Transferring behaviours, such as from controlled environments to the larger world
    • Modifying environments to improve behaviours, isolating or removing interferences
    • Reducing interfering behaviours such as self-harm
    • Writing and revising treatment plans, and overseeing their implementation
    • Training others, and increasing organisational functions

    Career progression: Entry level positions require a bachelor’s degree, whilst a master’s is often required for senior roles, and you may then choose to become a board certified behaviour analyst. Careers in behavioural analysis usually begin with internships and assistant positions. You could manage a team or rise to other senior positions within an organisation, or choose to move into a related specialisation, such as behavioural economics, pharmacology, or toxicology.  

    *https://www.careerjet.co.uk/jobview/317a8c440fa2553ad5484001af09e959.html

    https://www.careerjet.co.uk/jobview/63de5668877ffcc984ad1f6fb05a3a1f.html

    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BSc (Hons) Psychology (BPS)
    £13,500 UK/EU
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    MSc Psychology (BPS)
    £9,500 (UK/EU)
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BA (Hons) Psychology & Sociology
    £13,500 UK/EU
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BA (Hons) Law & Psychology
    £13,500 UK/EU
  • Possible salary range:
    £20,751 – £34,281*
    Key responsibilities:
    Plan and co-ordinate appropriate recreational activities for patients.

    Skills and abilities: Excellent observational, and analytical skills. Understanding of patient psychology and learning strategies. Strong communication and positive attitude, with ability to gain confidence and inspire.

    What you’ll be doing: You could decide to work with groups or individuals. Typical day-to-day responsibilities include:

    • Observe, record, and analyse patient participation during treatment
    • Develop treatment plans to suit needs of patient, based on interests and objectives
    • Encourage new skills, and health promotion in clients with special circumstances
    • Conduct mental and physical sessions, encouraging adoption of leisure activities
    • Instruct in techniques to meet a patient’s specific physical or psychological needs
    • Consult with other professionals, such as patient’s GP, for additional information

    Career progression: You may decide to improve your career prospects by becoming a certified therapeutic recreation specialist, or to enter an administrative or managerial role and head a team. Alternatively, you may wish to specialise in a particular field, such as physical fitness, or art. You may also decide to establish yourself as a freelance professional, or start your own company.

    * https://healthcaresalariesguide.com/recreational-therapist-salary/#ftoc-heading-6

    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BSc (Hons) Psychology (BPS)
    £13,500 UK/EU
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    MSc Psychology (BPS)
    £9,500 (UK/EU)
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BA (Hons) Psychology & Sociology
    £13,500 UK/EU
    Psychology & Social Sciences
    BA (Hons) Law & Psychology
    £13,500 UK/EU