What shall I do next year?

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What shall I do when I graduate?

Further Study - MSc in child/developmental psychology
3
60%
Further Study - PhD
2
40%
Get a job
0
No votes
Year Out
0
No votes
Other (please post and specify)
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 5

What shall I do next year?

Postby C » Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:00 pm

I remember Vicky posting a topic like this about a year ago regarding her future options after undergraduate study. So I'm doing the same thing now!

I really don't know what I'd like to do. I worry about getting a job, though no-one around me seems to understand the problems I have. If I was getting a job I'd like to go into childcare, maybe work with children with autism. I really enjoyed the placement I did at the preschool for autistic children. I'd like to go into further study (my dad has said he'll support me all the way), maybe do an MSc. I'd want to do one in child/developmental psychology though and they don't do that at the Uni I'm at so I'd probably have to change Uni and live away from home. I could even consider... a PhD. I worry I'm not academic enough though.

In reality I just want to stay at Uni forever. It just suits me and I'm worried I won't be able to cope in the world getting a job and being 'normal' when I'm not. No-one seems to understand though :cry:
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Postby Creative » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:38 am

I think you should get work relating to children. You have this type of work now so you are obviously good at it.

Your stages on from where I am right now as I've never had a paid job of any sort.
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Postby parnassus » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:59 pm

I think it depends on what you see yourself doing in later years. If you want to become a chartered educational psychologist, an MSc in child/developmental psychology could increase your chances of getting a place on a BPS-accredited doctorate programme, as there is such stiff competition for places.

However, the utilitarian approach on its own isn't enough. You need to think about what really interests you. Do you have an idea for an MSc project and later a PhD thesis that you're burning to research? It's almost always necessary to complete a Master's before you embark on a PhD, so you're looking at four years of intense and mostly independent study. If you have a special interest that you know would engross you for the duration of that time, you should go ahead and apply. If you haven't, it probably wouldn't be the best thing.

I think that you should also keep an eye out for jobs that interest you. If there is something that really grabs your attention and that you feel you would really enjoy, apply for it. You could always do postgraduate study once you have had more practical experience. (If you don't have a proposed topic already, it might help you to refine your ideas on what you would like to study.)

In the meantime, here are some options that you might not have thought of:

* Teacher training (one year)
* A speech and language therapy conversion course (two years)

I add the second one not just because of my own personal interest in linguistics (honestly) but because of what you say about wanting to work with children who have autism.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby C » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:00 pm

I don't know if I could be an educational psychologist. I have thought about it a lot, actually, but I think I'd have real difficulty in administering the cognitive tests (e.g. IQ tests). I remember the test the ed psyc did with me, that I did really badly on, and I really struggling with doing it myself, so I think actually doing it on someone else and having to keep track on their score, the things they were getting right etc. would just not be possible.

I have considered doing an MSc in child development/child psychology, although there aren't very many of them about - my Uni doesn't do any child related psychology degrees. So I'd also have to live away from home if I did this - first of all that really put me off the idea but another part of me thinks it might be quite exciting, I'll be 22 by the time I start, I'll have a new baby brother crying all the time and I need to move away from my parents at some point (at least, I think I do)!!!

I know a lot of people do a masters course before a PhD but you don't have to, at least not for psychology. My current tutor at Uni, for example, did a PhD immediately after her psychology undergraduate degree and I know quite a few people have done the same (one research student doing a PhD in autism is only a few years older than me and she started doing it immediately after her undergraduate psychology degree).

I had actually considered the teaching training option... or rather lots of people have suggested it for me! I think teaching very young children, reception, may interest me, but although I love children and love the work at the school that I help out at sometimes I think I don't have enough patience! Plus there's a lot about the school curriculum I personally don't agree with (the formalised testing, lack of play etc.) Also, I would have to retake my science GCSE before being accepted onto a PGCE, as you need at least a C in science and I got a D, I'd imagine that would take about a year.
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Postby parnassus » Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:36 pm

C wrote:I don't know if I could be an educational psychologist. I have thought about it a lot, actually, but I think I'd have real difficulty in administering the cognitive tests (e.g. IQ tests). I remember the test the ed psyc did with me, that I did really badly on, and I really struggling with doing it myself, so I think actually doing it on someone else and having to keep track on their score, the things they were getting right etc. would just not be possible.


Remember that you would be taking notes throughout the assessment, so you wouldn't have to hold all the scores in your head. You would also have the test information right in front of you, where the child couldn't see it, so your own difficulties wouldn't affect you in quite the same way. As you've coped with statistics at university, you would probably be able to calculate all the percentile scores without too much difficulty either.

I have considered doing an MSc in child development/child psychology, although there aren't very many of them about - my Uni doesn't do any child related psychology degrees. So I'd also have to live away from home if I did this - first of all that really put me off the idea but another part of me thinks it might be quite exciting, I'll be 22 by the time I start, I'll have a new baby brother crying all the time and I need to move away from my parents at some point (at least, I think I do)!!!


A university near here offers an MA in Autism. Would that interest you?

http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/?view=Cour ... de=DTPESA6

It takes three years to complete, as it is only available part-time. However, you can exit after one year with the Postgraduate Certificate in Autism. I considered it for myself at one point, but I decided against it as I don't plan on working in education. If you're thinking about retaking your science GCSE, a part-time course of that sort might be best - then you could enrol in evening classes for your science without overworking yourself. You could probably do some work in schools on the side as well.

I had actually considered the teaching training option... or rather lots of people have suggested it for me! I think teaching very young children, reception, may interest me, but although I love children and love the work at the school that I help out at sometimes I think I don't have enough patience! Plus there's a lot about the school curriculum I personally don't agree with (the formalised testing, lack of play etc.)


Have you looked into training as a teacher in a Montessori or a Steiner school? I have participated in a Steiner special needs conference before, and I think that it is the sort of system that you would very much appreciate - there is a lot of focus on play, using the imagination, and 'learning by doing'. Competitive sport is not a part of PE in the primary classes. You've probably come across this system before in your childcare course. I know that Rudolf Steiner had a few ideas about reincarnation and so on that you may not agree with, but those ideas are not taught in Steiner schools.

If you're able to go straight into a PhD after university, perhaps you could try e-mailing a few potential supervisors to discuss your thesis ideas? Talking them over with people might help you to make up your mind.
"This above all, to thine own self be true." - Polonius, Hamlet.
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Postby Rosie-posie » Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:04 pm

my uni specialism was early years, so i know what you mean about play the nursery i work in is very play based which is fantastic.
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Postby Thirteen-thirty-seven » Sat Oct 11, 2008 3:23 pm

My mum works in a school. The new Foundation Stage Curriculum (fr kids in nursery and reception) specifies that children should spend at least 50% of the time outdoors (unless weather makes this unadvisable) and that 80% of the time must be spent doing play-based learning (that doesn't include play times.)
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