Company Formation

How to become a psychologist?

Cover fiche pratique

While psychologists are generally regarded as shrinks and hypnotists by the unlearned public, being a psychologist is actually a noble profession. Too many ailments that people experience daily are caused by underlying psychological issues that they refused to deal with early. With the help of trained psychologists, it is possible to have a stress-free life.

Logo HelloPrimo
Answer Adeosun
Sep 29, 22 · min read
Too long to read?
Become an entrepreneur with HelloPrimo.

A team of experts will get you the answers you need to get started with your business.

How then do you train to be a psychologist and what do you stand to gain? Being armed with the right information is important for you to prepare ahead of time and also as a form or milestone checker. 

Keep reading to find out more in this article.

Who are psychologists?

Psychologists are professionals who have been trained and certified in everything related to human psychology – basically mental health. Some of the issues they help their patients out on include anxiety, eating disorders, depression, family or relationship issues, psychosis, addictions, learning disabilities, and personality disorders.

Qualifications required to become a psychologist in the UK

To become a full-fledged psychologist in the UK, one major qualification is that you will need to complete a 3-year course in psychology from any higher institution that is accredited by the British Psychological Society. After that, you will have to also complete a 3-years postgraduate, or a master degree, course in clinical psychology before you can be allowed to practice.

However, advancing to take a postgraduate course is quite competitive and requires a first-class or second-class upper degree to be eligible to enrol.

Alternatively, if you have studied a course unrelated to psychology, the British Psychological Society offers a conversion course that you can take before proceeding with a postgraduate course in clinical psychology.

Specialisation areas in psychology

Although all psychologists are referred to as clinical psychologists, there are still various areas of specialisation that help you narrow down your choices. Some of the specialisations include:

  • Occupational psychology
  • Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Exercise psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Health psychology
  • Educational psychology
  • Counselling psychology
  • Psychological research
  • Social psychology
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy
  • Psychiatry

This list is not exhaustive.

Required certifications to practice as a clinical psychologist in the UK

To be able to practice in the UK, in addition to your academic qualifications listed above, you must have at least a year of field experience working with a registered clinical psychologist. 

Also, you must be duly registered and certified by the British Psychological Society.

Salaries of psychologists in the UK

Depending on the area of specialisation, experience, as well as the employment industry, the salary range for psychologists differs widely.

Apprentice psychologists can earn up to £10,000 per annum. According to the National Career Service of the UK, an entry-level psychologist can earn up to £24,000 while a professional can earn about £60,000 per year.

Where psychologists can work in the UK?

These days, psychologists are employed in basically any establishment from hospitals to schools and law enforcement agencies. 

The following are some of the institutions where a trained psychologist can find a job in the UK.

  • National Health Services
  • Health institutions
  • Legal firms and organisations 
  • Careers and counselling services
  • Rehabilitation Centres
  • Commercial and industrial companies
  • Human resources departments
  • Local and national governments
  • Marketing Companies
  • The media
  • Financial organisations
  • Police forces, the national probation service, and prisons
  • Educational institutions
  • Social research organisations
  • Department of social services

Desirable skills of a psychologists

Being a good psychologist goes beyond obtaining the required certifications. The following are the required skills a good psychologist must possess.

  • Listening skills – a good psychologist must be able to listen attentively to patients without being judgmental. The aim is to be able to find the underlining psychological issue behind what the patients talk about themselves.
  • Counselling skills – psychologists must be able to offer good counsel to their patients. When your counsel yields results, you gain the experience and traction that helps you build your career.
  • Ability to read and understand even the minutest of human reactions.
  • Sensitivity – being sensitive to every detail including moods and problems is important to succeed as a psychologist.
  • Empathy – you must be able to connect with the emotional psyche of your patients as a psychologist.
  • Analytical thinking skills – a good psychologist must be able to analyse each situation well before proffering solutions or advice.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Patience is a skill that comes with the territory. People’s disposition to being psychoanalysed varies and therefore a psychologist must be patient until the patient is ready to be treated.
  • Ability to remain calm in stressful situations. You need to be a master of your own emotions to be able to offer counselling services to others. Nobody takes advice from someone who is unstable or unpredictable.
  • Good computer knowhow.


Becoming a psychologist requires, first of all, being able to connect with people’s emotional needs. It does not matter how many certifications you have or your level of education, if you cannot connect with your patients, they may not trust your judgement.

How to become a psychologist?

Follow this guide:
HowTo step image

1. Complete a 3-year bachelor's degree in psychology

Applying directly to a college or an institution accredited by BPS is the way to go. If you have however studied a course other than psychology at the university, you can take a conversion course offered by the BPS

1 sur 4
Become an entrepreneur with HelloPrimo.

A team of experts will get you the answers you need to get started with your business.

Frequently asked question

How long does it take to become a psychologist?
What are the 4 different types of psychology?
What is the difference between a psychologist and a therapist?

Topics in
company formation

Define your needs and find the right solution for your project
Get Started
logo HelloPrimo newsletter
No noise. Just signal.
Get the latest news in business dropped to your email once a month.