Psychologists study people’s behaviour, motivations, thoughts and feelings, and help them to overcome or control their problems. All practising Psychologists must have post-graduate qualifications.

To become a Chartered Psychologist, you will first need to gain Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) by completing an accredited degree* or conversion course, and then go on to receive further training in the specific field of psychology that you want to work in.

It is important to consider that it will take at least six years to become a fully qualified Psychologist, which includes a full three year degree and three years of postgraduate training.

If your undergraduate degree is not in Psychology and you wish to become a Chartered Psychologist, it may be necessary to complete a “conversion course” that will convert your existing qualification to the equivalence of an honours degree in psychology.

Psychology specialisms:

Clinical Psychologist

  • work with people of all ages on a wide range of psychological difficulties in mental and physical health:
  • anxiety, depression, psychosis, ‘personality disorder’, eating disorders, addictions, learning disabilities and family or relationship issues
  • work with clients to diagnose, assess and manage their conditions
  • undertake clinical assessments to investigate a clients’ situation

Forensic Psychologist

  • concerned with the psychological aspects of legal processes in courts
  • apply psychological theory to criminal investigation
  • understand psychological problems associated with criminal behaviour and the treatment of those who have committed offences
  • undertake statistical analysis for prisoner profiling
  • give evidence in court as well as advise parole boards and mental health tribunals

Business / Occupational Psychologist

  • apply psychological theories, methods and processes to individual and group behaviour in the workplace
  • assess the productivity of a business and how the staff work
  • develop processes to measure employee talent and progress
  • have one-to-one sessions with employees to support their wellbeing

Educational Psychologist

  • help children to overcome challenges such as learning difficulties, social and emotional problems, disability issues and developmental disorders
  • observe and interview young people to assess their emotional state
  • offer consultation, advice and support to teachers, parents and young people
  • develop treatment programmes to help clients’ psychological wellbeing

Counselling Psychologist

  • work with children and adults to explore their social, economic, cultural and spiritual health
  • deal with a wide range of mental health problems concerning life issues including bereavement, domestic violence, sexual abuse, traumas and relationship issues
  • assess patients and recommend treatments to enable recovery and alleviate distress
  • use psychotherapeutic methods, like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), to treat patients


  • assess and rehabilitate people with brain injury or other neurological disease
  • investigate the impact of injury or illness on patients’ behaviour
  • make rehabilitation and treatment recommendations
  • look to improve patients’ health and quality of life

Different psychology careers can be explored in more detail here.


A large number of Psychologists work for the NHS but you could also work in a private hospital, in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), at a school or university, in a prison, in a therapy clinic, in private practice, in the community or at a client’s business.


The skills and knowledge required to become a Psychologist include:

  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Further information about a career as a Psychologist

* The University of Kent Psychology degree programme is accredited by The British Psychological Society.