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DBS - Starting a part time Psychology degree at 33

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭✭ wired90


    I'm considering applying for a place as a part-time BA Psychology undergrad at DBS next year. It would be a complete career change as I come from a mostly technical / manufacturing background. I would like to then go on to study Clinical Psychology.

    My two main questions are:

    1: As a mature student am I likely to face difficulty being offered a place as I don't have relevant academic experience? I have some third level qualifications but they are from technical / IT disciplines. Would I need to complete a foundation course first?

    2: Is it realistic to start from scratch at 33 without relevant professional or academic experience?

    It'd be great to hear from some people who started off in a similar situation.


Comments



  • I wouldn't imagine a lack of relevant academic experience will hold you back. If you have previous education at 3rd level you'll be fine in terms of academic ability. I think those foundation courses are more useful to demonstrate an interest in the field and to show that you don't have a misconception of what psychology id about. If you can demonstrate those things in some other way, that should be fine.

    It's absolutely realistic. You're looking at a minimum of about 7 years from the start of your undergrad to qualifying as a clinical psychologist. And it could very possibly take more than that. But if you're interested and you can enjoy each part of that journey on its own merits, rather than a step that you are trying to finish as quick as possible, there's no reason not to do it.




  • Hey OP I done my psy degree in DBS, I don't think you'll have an issue with the academic experience, as long as you are willing to do the reading and work. The class sizes are small enough and the lecturers are very helpful, so I wouldn't worry about getting into the swing of things academically.


    I went back when I was 22 to do degree full time during day, and I will say it was painful at times due to some spoiled little brats, I was paying myself so it was annoyed at the interruptions; but maybe the evening/ part time one won't have that element.

    It is a long road, and it would be a good idea to flick through a Introduction to Psychology book just to be sure that you know what it is and it isn't, because a lot of people get it wrong (I know I did, but I still liked it!!)Plus DBS isn't cheap, neither is any of the colleges that you will progress to after.

    Best of Luck




  • Its possible, depends on what you really want. I did my degree and masters there, I was 27 when I started and during that time I would have met older people doing the same. I had no formal training, no leaving cert etc. Really it comes down to your desire!

    I'm tight on time now, but I see if I can post more later.




  • Thanks for the encouraging words guys. I've more or less decided now that I'm going to apply for the upcoming term in the new year. Not sure yet where I'll get the money from but where there's a will there's a way!




  • Psychology has more mature students doing it than any other undergraduate degree iirc. I remember a large percentage of my class were mature students in Trinity. Also being a 23 year old graduate is not very conducive to getting onto a clinical psychology doctoral programme.

    One thing to be aware of is that if your previous tertiary level qualifications include a degree then you would be eligible to do a 2 year H.Dip in psychology rather than a longer degree. It has equal status to the longer degree. DBS does that at night time too.


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  • A friend of mine became a psychologist in his early 50s. It's doable, though he has a truckload of degrees, tbf. Don't let anyone tell you you're too old.




  • I think you should go for tbh. Like the other the posters above have said, a large % of my undergrad class was made up of mature students - all of which are doing some sort of a postgrad now - masters or research PhD, etc. Their age was most certainly not held against them, instead it was advantageous!!

    Also as hotspur said - I now know that being 22/23 does not give you any better chance of being taken onto a D.Clin, Phd in Ed psych, etc. - In fact, from talking to people who are doing these courses, they are at least 26+

    Likewise, afaik (now I have never read the small print or anything) these courses don't have any upper age limit.

    I wish you the very best of luck - it's a brilliant area of study - I hope you enjoy every minute! :D




  • i am first year BA degree in psychogoly evening course student in DBS

    im 28 and never went to college before... working during the day and lectures twice a week (from 6pm - 9.30pm) every monday and tuesday

    long days if youre working and lots of reading required, so far i have managed to coast through the first half of the year but i should be studying more if i want to get bette grades

    the modules in first year are:

    1. Intro to psychology (till xmas) then changes to history of pscyhology
    2. Social psychology
    3. Intro to Psychoanalysis and unconscious
    4. Psychology learning lab -> very useful for undergrads with no prev academic experience

    you take four modules per year (in later years the modules change to cog psychology, developmental psychology, statistics etc etc) and each module is €900, so its €3,600 per year - for four years if youre doing part time... government will give you something like €500 tax back at the end of each year though which is grand.

    so far course is going good but there is a load of reading and work required in this, more than i probably realised at first but its interesting and a great thing to do (in my opinion, so far... im still only new to it so im sure there are though times ahead)

    dbs is a good modern professional campus and the people who run the psychology course are very nice so thats a bonus..

    the evening course in psychology is mainly older types, id say the average age is around 30 and there is no messin - id say the full time courses would have a bit more banter but everyone in the evening courses are there for one reason.
    I think you should go for tbh. Like the other the posters above have said, a large % of my undergrad class was made up of mature students - all of which are doing some sort of a postgrad now - masters or research PhD, etc. Their age was most certainly not held against them, instead it was advantageous!!


    being older when studying psychology is definitely an advantage.. go for it




  • one downside bout psychology in DBS, and i dont know if this kinda stuff applies to all colleges but the results of assignments and tests never seem to be on time

    we have had a few assignments and tests so far and all of the results are promised on certain days but never on time

    its a bit frustrating when you are expecting to get your results on the day that the college tells you and then when the day comes around theyre not ready and are not told a definitive date of when you will receive them

    if we kept submitting assignments late i wonder if dbs would be as flexible with their timelines..




  • I think it's fantastic that you want to go back and study but have you looked into the career structure for psychologists?

    On average it takes 10 years (beginning at undergraduate) to get to a point that you can work as a psychologist (I read that in the IP but I'm not sure what the article was called - if anyone remembers the reference I'd appreciate it).

    It's a really competitive field and there are very few paid jobs around, there are even less geared directly at psychology graduates. Your quality of life is most likely going to take a hit for a while. You'll also be competing with graduates that are willing to work for free.

    I hope I don't sound too negative but I'd really recommend you do as much research about it as you can before starting. Being prepared will make it all seem more manageable. If you are motivated by this though and have a passion for it I wish you the very best of luck in your journey.


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  • I had anticipated maybe 7 years before being able to work in at least some capacity as a psychologist (which is still a lot better than doing what I am now in 7 or even 10 years time). I'd be interested in reading that article too if anyone has a link.




  • not everyone who studies psychology wants to be a psychologist.

    having a psychology degree will surely open up various avenues for employment and if you ask me it is a very interesting subject which can help you in many aspects of life.

    its the wrong degree to do if youre in it for the job or the money seemingly.

    an engineering degree would probably be easier and offer better employment prospects if thats your motivation ;)




  • Humria wrote: »

    On average it takes 10 years (beginning at undergraduate) to get to a point that you can work as a psychologist (I read that in the IP but I'm not sure what the article was called - if anyone remembers the reference I'd appreciate it).

    I don't know if these are the specific articles you were talking about, but I think they're a good read anyway to give insight into the career path - please see following links:

    http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/IrishClinicalTrainingProgrammes.pdf

    http://lenus.ie/hse/bitstream/10147/118070/1/Inpursuitclinicaltraining.pdf

    And with with regards to research (funding) http://lenus.ie/hse/bitstream/10147/145512/1/PsychResearchFundingOpps.pdf

    @Wired90. I have a psych undergrad; psych masters; have worked as an assistant psych (HSE); have worked as a research assistant; (and starting a psych research PhD soon . . . funding pending . . . . eeek!), so if you need anymore advice - please feel fee to PM me. :pac:

    Before I started my studies I was very confused and I didn't have any guidance - so I was really unsure of what to expect. I don't know if I would be much help to you, but if you have any questions - you are welcome to send them my way :)


    Puddles and umbrellas




  • Clinical psychology is a difficult career to get into.
    I started an undergrad psychology course this year (I'm 18) and one of the first things we were told at orientations, that after our undergrad we;re qualified to do sweet f all.
    So you need to know for the get go that you're looking at a postgrad, about 3 years, amounting to 7 whole academic years to get your degree, and then obtaining the experience necessary to actually get a job as a clinical psychologist.
    I think it;s absolutely doable, but you ave to be prepared for the amount of time it;s going to take.
    If it's what you want then go for it.
    There's a 50 year old woman in my class at Uni and I think it's great to see people go after what they want, no matter what their age.




  • Just for info - the DBS H. Dip is much less psychoanalyticial-heavy than the degree. I'm 39, have only started the H.Dip last year (thoroughly enjoying it) and like the OP I'm also from a mechanical/mathematical background (Engineering degree).
    I don't know that I'm going to try and spend the next 7-10 years becoming sufficiently qualified to make a second career out of psychology, but as others have pointed out, there are lots of spin-off or associated areas that it could lead to once you have a degree/diploma + experience under your belt..




  • Hi OP. Been there. Not a good career to choose late. I'm still plugging away because I have no choice. I've ended up emigrating.
    Heres the realism.
    Time. If you want to do clinical psychology then prepare for a very long painful haul.
    3 year degree at DBS. 1 year masters wherever. 1-2 years work experience. 3 year DClin. 9 years - thats if you're lucky and get on the DClin when the time comes.
    Money. You will be earning next to nothing for most of these 9 years. If not voluntary, it will be close to minimum wage in any 'Clinical Psychology' related work you must do.
    Personal. If you are entrepreneurial or ambitious for earning, you will not do well as this mentality doesn't sit well as you become moulded. Also consider the pain of competing with all the twenty somethings for entry level positions just to get experience when you finish the masters. It is soul destroying being rejected over and over again in your mid or late thirties when you feel like you should be settled with a family and earning a decent wage.
    If I was you and had the option of getting a decent salary by using existing experience in a new IT/technical role, I would jump at it. One decision I regret is not doing Medicine instead. 4 years and you are sorted, and you feel wanted, whereas when you finish your Psy qualifications no-one cares because there are no jobs... Hate to bring the rain but I wouldnt like to see someone else go through the crap I have.

    Also - DBS force feed you Freud and Psychoanalysis as their lecturers are long established in Dublins mental health system. Be very wary of this for many reasons, mainly because it is almost cultish the way it is taught. Real Psychology is very different to Freud and all his derivatives - Lacan, Jung etc. If you can, go to UCD or TCD.




  • emigrating wrote: »
    Also - DBS force feed you Freud and Psychoanalysis as their lecturers are long established in Dublins mental health system. Be very wary of this for many reasons, mainly because it is almost cultish the way it is taught. Real Psychology is very different to Freud and all his derivatives - Lacan, Jung etc. If you can, go to UCD or TCD.

    In fairness I wouldn't say that it's force feed. It is definitely part of the ethos, but when I done my degree, you done all subjects in first year, then you choose psychology and one other subject. That can be psychoanalysis, which I chose but my friend picked anthropology, he never studied psychoanalysis after first year.

    Personally I think it's good to know about some of the theory of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, both will lend to a more rounded clinician. They don't have to actively use them in their work but to maybe be able to identify the theory. And the other way round as well, psychotherapy students could do with more psychology/ research training too.




  • Hi,
    I am doing the degree as well in Sept. It will be my first time in college so don't worry about past academic experience.
    If you want to do it then go for it. Your as well to do the degree as you must have an interest in the course to want to
    do it in the first place. Every one will give you a different post. Some positive and some negative. If your determined enough you will get a job out of it. See you in Sept




  • PaulieMac wrote: »
    Hi,
    I am doing the degree as well in Sept. It will be my first time in college so don't worry about past academic experience.
    If you want to do it then go for it. Your as well to do the degree as you must have an interest in the course to want to
    do it in the first place. Every one will give you a different post. Some positive and some negative. If your determined enough you will get a job out of it. See you in Sept

    I am a mature student studying Psychology, I will be almost 31 when I finish. I agree with the above advice. Don't get too hung up on your age, you will have confidence and life experience that younger students lack. From my observations, its the mature students who ask the most questions and generally aren't afraid to engage more in tutorials etc.
    I would also say try not to get too disheartened from the war stories you will hear about Clinical Psychology etc. Yes it takes many years to get the experience, however you may find after your degree that you want to go into another area of Psychology that is not as demanding. I am currently contemplating doing Neuroscience when I graduate, but I have changed my mind several times since I started, the more I learn in classes the more options I see. That's one of the great things about Psychology, there so many avenues you could go into afterwards.
    The most important thing right now is that you enjoy what you are learning. It's always scary to go into a totally new direction, however Psychology is one area that seems to have a lot of mature students, so you certainly won't be the only one.

    One thing my mother told me when I was thinking of starting my degree and like you I was worried about being too old to start again - she said 'it is better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb, than to be half way up one you don't'. Ok, it's a cheesy saying, but its one that I have thought of several times over the past few years.

    You are doing a good thing for yourself and your future. Think positive :-)




  • I am contemplating doing a degree course with the Open University (OU) in either Psychology or Counselling. I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with these courses via the OU and what has been the outcome as regards quality of course & qualification aswell as how useful (how rated) such a degree was in attaining employment. Thanking you.


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  • Just for info - the DBS H. Dip is much less psychoanalyticial-heavy than the degree. I'm 39, have only started the H.Dip last year (thoroughly enjoying it) and like the OP I'm also from a mechanical/mathematical background (Engineering degree).
    I don't know that I'm going to try and spend the next 7-10 years becoming sufficiently qualified to make a second career out of psychology, but as others have pointed out, there are lots of spin-off or associated areas that it could lead to once you have a degree/diploma + experience under your belt..


    Hi there
    its been a few years!! but am wondering if you are still on boards.ie, how your career has progressed. i am a similar age to you and thinking of doing the H.Dip
    be interested to hear how you got on and any advice you could offer me




  • Hi guile4582 - gosh, it's been over 4 years since my last Boards post! (that sounds like confession, doesn't it?!)
    I finished my H Dip in Psychology in DBS and really enjoyed it (and the variety of people that were on the course in particular)..
    It didn't change my career in so far as I kept working for the same employer - but it did provide useful insights on customer behaviour (not to mention friends and families' behaviour!) which I have leaned into in preparing some of our marketing approaches.
    I've just graduated from IADT Dun Laoghaire's MSc in Cyberpsychology (a 2 year part-time taught masters looking at how technology and the internet affect psychology and vice versa) which has been really excellent also. I got support from my employer to assist with the cost of this course (approx. €4000 per year) and used our customers to help with the research assignment (looking at the psychology of the take-up of innovative technologies) as the outcome is relevant to our strategy.
    On the whole, I'd say that the psychology studies have helped in broadening my previously technical focus, have helped me be taken more seriously as a manager (rather than "only" an engineer) and have helped me be more interested in consumer behaviour generally.
    There are such a variety of sub-topics and applied areas in psychology that could lead to a change in career or change of focus; from sports psychology, health psychology, behavioural economics, consumer psychology and organisational - any of those might be applied to an existing or new role..
    However, I can't say that I see a lot of jobs advertised in either the core/therapeutic/practicing areas of psychology or the applied areas.. I think you might have to carve out your own niche, which fortunately a mature student has more potential to be able to do..
    My advice, if I have any, is to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to find that niche and to talk to everyone who is already working or studying in the area to see where they think the exploitable potential lies - you will find something that really fascinates you - it may be difficult to limit it to just one area!




  • Hi guile4582 - gosh, it's been over 4 years since my last Boards post! (that sounds like confession, doesn't it?!)
    I finished my H Dip in Psychology in DBS and really enjoyed it (and the variety of people that were on the course in particular)..
    It didn't change my career in so far as I kept working for the same employer - but it did provide useful insights on customer behaviour (not to mention friends and families' behaviour!) which I have leaned into in preparing some of our marketing approaches.
    I've just graduated from IADT Dun Laoghaire's MSc in Cyberpsychology (a 2 year part-time taught masters looking at how technology and the internet affect psychology and vice versa) which has been really excellent also. I got support from my employer to assist with the cost of this course (approx. €4000 per year) and used our customers to help with the research assignment (looking at the psychology of the take-up of innovative technologies) as the outcome is relevant to our strategy.
    On the whole, I'd say that the psychology studies have helped in broadening my previously technical focus, have helped me be taken more seriously as a manager (rather than "only" an engineer) and have helped me be more interested in consumer behaviour generally.
    There are such a variety of sub-topics and applied areas in psychology that could lead to a change in career or change of focus; from sports psychology, health psychology, behavioural economics, consumer psychology and organisational - any of those might be applied to an existing or new role..
    However, I can't say that I see a lot of jobs advertised in either the core/therapeutic/practicing areas of psychology or the applied areas.. I think you might have to carve out your own niche, which fortunately a mature student has more potential to be able to do..
    My advice, if I have any, is to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to find that niche and to talk to everyone who is already working or studying in the area to see where they think the exploitable potential lies - you will find something that really fascinates you - it may be difficult to limit it to just one area!


    nice one thanks very much for this. i am looking for a change in career! again I have a technical background. Cyber-psychology sounds really interesting..if you log in again, any handy little quick reads on that you'd recommend?

    my interest changes between sports and/or addiction therapy. for now i will keep up my reading and ponder on it some more

    thanks again for your reply




  • wired90 wrote: »
    I'm considering applying for a place as a part-time BA Psychology undergrad at DBS next year.

    Did you go ahead and take on the course? If so you should be graduated by now...

    I am 29 and thinking about taking the course bon next year in September 2019 bug I have no clue of this would be a good idea or not...I'm mostly worried about the prospects of employment post graduate as well as how much work the course will take.

    If you completed the course did you find it tough? Or ok once your time was put in? Was the course run well by the college and lectures in your opinion?

    I am should be starting a deploma in child psychology in February of next year (to end in the summer) as a tester if it's right for me. It's the area I would like to possibly specialise on in the future

    I have degrees in child education and
    a very good job now but can't see myself still employed in this in 20 years time (people might now want an old lady educating of minding their kids which surprisingly pays a lot more then teaching)

    I'm afraid that if I go ahead and spend the next few years studying while working and take on a specific master's degree I will be left with no job prospects and have to go back to where I am at now.

    I have read that there is little to no funding Hy the government in Psychology areas and that even though there might be many jobs advertsed many people with good degrees are pushed away




  • Here's a free introductory course in psychology (with certificate!) to give you an idea of what it's like. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/health-sports-psychology/psychology/starting-psychology/content-section-0?active-tab=description-tab

    Have a look at the oscail distance learning degree in psych with DCU as well, it's a longer and more expensive road but it's nice to know what's out there.

    I work in TEFL and we have loads of people with undergraduates in psychology, as far as I know there aren't jobs until you have done your masters, that is what psych graduates have told me.

    I know someone who was a primary teacher, did the 2 year psychology conversion course with DBS, then got a masters in... something? Child psychology? Somewhere else. And now is a psychologist working with kids, she got a job pretty much immediately, but I don't really know what she does heh. Sorry!




  • Probably a few years late but it looks like people pop in every now and then.
    I'm in a similar position to OP, 33, and starting a degree in psychology with DCU connected in September.
    Anyone else starting as a psychology degree in their 30s?
    Have the employment opportunities got better or worse over the years?
    Is there any hope for me?




  • Probably a few years late but it looks like people pop in every now and then.
    I'm in a similar position to OP, 33, and starting a degree in psychology with DCU connected in September.
    Anyone else starting as a psychology degree in their 30s?
    Have the employment opportunities got better or worse over the years?
    Is there any hope for me?

    I started my psychology undergrad (a H.Dip, as I had a prior degree) at the age of 27, so a little younger but not far off.

    What employment opportunities are you looking at? There's a huge number of careers related to psychology, so what are you shooting for? Is it educational, clinical or counselling psychology? Cyberpsychology or organisational psychology? Academia?

    With regard to hope, that's not really a useful question.
    Hope for what?
    Completing a degree? Changing career? Successfully getting a particular job?


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