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How can I enhance my application?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 47 ✭✭✭ Helpish


    Hi, I am currently in the process of applying to study Psychology. I am trying to do my utmost to put together a convincing application that ensures I am accepted somewhere.
    A couple of weaknesses in my application are my lack of work experience and lack of previous study in the field. I intend to take up volunteer work in the near future so that I can include it in my application. I have also been doing my best to find a comprehensive course that would give me a valuable accreditation, but up until now have only found component qualifications at level 6 of the national framework instead of any full, level 6 qualifications.
    Could you offer me any advice as to how I should proceed in the coming months? I would very much like to have initiated some form of volunteer work and/or study by the end of this month so I can include it in my CAO submission.
    Thanks for any help.


Comments



  • Could really do with some advice here, have contacted all the major third level institutions regarding this but have heard no reply back.




  • Anyone?




  • Do you mean you are applying to universities to do a first degree where Psychology is the major subject? I don't think they expect first time students to have done any volunteering work at that early stage in their careers...
    What area of work are you hoping to end up in?




  • sadie9 wrote: »
    Do you mean you are applying to universities to do a first degree where Psychology is the major subject? I don't think they expect first time students to have done any volunteering work at that early stage in their careers...
    What area of work are you hoping to end up in?

    Yes, that is what I am doing. I would say I am at an early stage in my "career", because of the fact that I don't have one, and I'm also a mature student. So I think there will be some different expectations of me and what my experience should entail at this point in time, compared to say somebody who is just leaving school.

    I have no idea as to what field I would like to devote most of my time to, perhaps clinical Psychology. I am considering taking up a Statistics course also because I would like to give myself as many options as possible. The problem is I can't really get things started right now in full flight. A lot of things I feel I need to do to enhance my outcome start in September, so I could really use some help as to how I could circumvent this problem.




  • Might it be worth it to phone one of the mature student advisors at the college(s) you are interested in? They will have good experience in this area, and might help you see your way a bit clearer as to how best to proceed. They will know or can find out for you what the expectation is for the courses you are applying for. They can also tell you the career path that similar students might take. They are used to talking to mature students so they know where you are coming from and the sorts of worries you might have.
    That might save you doing too much work beforehand. There may be no need to do a Statistics course alongside it, if Statistics will form a big part of the degree you end up on.


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  • prior experience is not needed for an undergrad degree.




  • OpenUniversity have a site called OpenLearn where you can do free modules from their psychology course and get certificates for them. Do universities take these certificates seriously? I have no idea! I think they'll at least show interest, dedication, and maybe give you a talking point at the interview. Again, no idea.




  • dar100 wrote: »
    prior experience is not needed for an undergrad degree.
    For a lot of undergraduate degrees it absolutely 100% is if you are a mature student.

    I don't see why psychology would be any different, as it's very academic, they'll want you to prove aptitude and ability.




  • For a lot of undergraduate degrees it absolutely 100% is if you are a mature student.

    I don't see why psychology would be any different, as it's very academic, they'll want you to prove aptitude and ability.

    Prior experience is not needed for psychology, 18 year olds can apply through CAO from college.

    A psychology degree does not qualify you to do anything other than further study

    As you said it's based on aptitude, not prior experience




  • dar100 wrote: »
    Prior experience is not needed for psychology, 18 year olds can apply through CAO from college.

    A psychology degree does not qualify you to do anything other than further study

    As you said it's based on aptitude, not prior experience

    18 year olds have CAO points, and they need a LOT. 480 it was back in my day. Maybe not a lot by everyone's standards ha ha, but a lot by mine.

    So a mature student has to prove they have an aptitude along the lines of a kid who was able to earn 480+ in their leaving, which is quite the achievement.

    I mean unless it's a private college.

    OP you could do it part time in a private college, pay much more, not be entitled to susi, but be pretty much guaranteed acceptance.


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  • Just adding some resources, don't know if they'll be of use:

    http://www.open.edu/openlearn/free-courses/full-catalogue < all free courses

    www.open.edu/openlearn/health-sports-psychology/psychology/starting-psychology/content-section-0 < "starting with psychology"


    I found I could order older editions of textbooks for 1 cent plus post and packaging (3-5 euro) on Amazon.

    Here's an example of what I mean: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/0534211089/ref=sr_1_11_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1516888121&sr=8-11&keywords=biological+psychology+kalat

    I love this book so much. Fascinating stuff.

    Check out this NCI course:

    https://www.ncirl.ie/Courses/Course-Details/course/BAHPSYCHE

    Looks fantastic for mature students to me. I'd love to do it. I'm going to do a foundation course in Counselling and in the unlikely event I find it's not for me I'll try to get into that in September. Such a good price too!




  • If you have a degree already, you can do part time hdip level 8 in psychology over two years. It is equal to the undergrad degree, and you can do it part time, it qualifies for accreditation for PSI




  • dar100 wrote: »
    If you have a degree already, you can do part time hdip level 8 in psychology over two years. It is equal to the undergrad degree, and you can do it part time, it qualifies for accreditation for PSI

    The last time I looked at one of those it required a level 8 degree (not level 7) and in a related field, but maybe they're not all like that?




  • They're conversion courses so your degree does not matter, however, it does need to be hons level 8. Whether they will accept level 7 under any circumstances I don't know. However, I'm sure you can top up your degree to level 8 and then do it.




  • I'd rather spend a year in hell than do fourth year in my primary degree..
    It really is not worth the paper it is printed on, it's a piece of paper to say "I wasted a year of my life and thousands of euro doing nothing". Then in total that would be 3 years, so I might as well do the 4 years of psychology from scratch, because I'd be doing something every year and getting something from every moment and penny I spent.




  • Hi

    Just going to give you a bit of advice. A BA degree in Psych (level 8) is worth little, unfortunately I have learned the hard way. Finished it ten years ago and couldn't afford to go into a masters & PHD (still cant!) Husband who did same degree went onto & finished masters in addiction studies. I could only afford it after several years of full time work but then couldnt take the time off to keep up payment + couldnt operate a full time job around the hours available.

    Neither of us working in Psych now. Realised when I left college that unless you have your PHD and have been getting clinical experience/work placements that the level 8 in this field is little more than the 'first step'. Would still love to go back someday.

    So prepare to spend more than 4 years and a lot more money getting there.




  • Just from UCD themselves under 'career opportunities'

    Career & Graduate Study Opportunities
    The degree is recognised by the Psychological Society of Ireland and, as such, provides the foundation for further graduate training in any field of psychology, as well as for a wide variety of careers, including:

    Clinical psychology
    Educational psychology
    Organisational psychology
    Forensic psychology
    Counselling psychology
    Health psychology.




  • kg703 wrote: »
    Hi

    Just going to give you a bit of advice. A BA degree in Psych (level 8) is worth little, unfortunately I have learned the hard way. Finished it ten years ago and couldn't afford to go into a masters & PHD (still cant!) Husband who did same degree went onto & finished masters in addiction studies. I could only afford it after several years of full time work but then couldnt take the time off to keep up payment + couldnt operate a full time job around the hours available.

    Neither of us working in Psych now. Realised when I left college that unless you have your PHD and have been getting clinical experience/work placements that the level 8 in this field is little more than the 'first step'. Would still love to go back someday.

    So prepare to spend more than 4 years and a lot more money getting there.


    That's why I like the part time option, you can keep working and saving during the 4 years, then afterwards hopefully get your more practical MA. I've talked to lots and lots of psychology BAs and they've all said exactly what you've said. Of course, there's a bit of selection bias there, as I only met them because I worked with them and I only worked with them because they aren't working in Psychology.

    ( Of course if you aren't working you need the full time course for the BTEA or any grants )


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