Psychology & Social Sciences

“What does a psychologist do?”

The role of a psychologist is to study how brains and minds dictate conscious and unconscious experiences, and to sometimes diagnose psychological disorders. We have a natural fascination to understand 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 be take great confidence in the fact there are plenty of social science and psychology jobs ready for those who graduate with a relevant bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Psychiatrist
£26,350
per year
£102,500*
per year

Gain the skills to make a difference

Beyond a potentially favourable psychologist’s salary, there are many reasons to consider a psychology degree. As well as positions within counselling and teaching, a psychology degree opens up career paths to various industries and positions. Much of this is due to the data analysis and communication skills required. 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 brains and minds dictate conscious and unconscious experiences, and to sometimes diagnose psychological disorders.

Opening the door to better career options

There are many types of different of psychology. Beyond the work of mental health work, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, child therapy, and social psychology, psychology can be combined with other subject areas, such as sociology and law. From there, a career in politics or economics can be achieved with the psychological insight gained from a related bachelor’s or master’s degree. The increasing prominence of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter has created fresh interest in the behaviour of people. Now, more than ever, people are keen to understand the reasons behind people's behaviour, usually to either help them or to successfully sell to them.

Most in-demand psychology & social sciences jobs
  • Key responsibilities: Diagnose and treat patients with mental health problems.
    Psychiatrist
  • Key responsibilities: Study the behavioural development of children through to adolescence.
    Child Psychologist
  • Guidance Counsellor
Most in-demand psychology & social sciences jobs
  • Key responsibilities: Using applied behavioural analysis methods, observe, record, and measure human behaviour and its influences.
    Behaviour Analyst
  • Key responsibilities: Plan and co-ordinate appropriate recreational activities for patients.
    Recreational Therapist
Careers in Psychology & Social Sciences
  • Possible salary range:
    £26,350 – £102,500*
    Key responsibilities:
    Diagnose and treat patients with mental health problems.

    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:The role of Psychiatrist differs from that of Psychologist in that a Psychiatrist is a trained medical doctor. Different specialisations of psychiatry are General Adult, Child & Adolescent, Old Age, Forensic, Intellectual Disability, Medical Psychotherapy. 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 psychoanalysis and psychiatric tests, prescribe medication
    • Referring to counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

    Career progression: You may decide to lead a team or manage departments, or with experience become a medical director. You may choose to work part-time, or run a private practice as a consultant. Further options include teaching, or research.

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

    Suggested courses:
    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

    Suggested courses:
    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

    Suggested courses:
    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

    Suggested courses:
    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

    Suggested courses:
    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