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Any hope for getting into a Clinical Psycology Phd with a 2.2 undergrad?

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 355 ✭✭ MmmmmCheese

    Hi all some advice needed from those in the know, or from these who may have had a similar experience.

    Is there any hope of ever being accepted into a clinical psychology course for somebody who got a 2.2 in their undergrad degree? I basically messed up mine, was not mature enough at the time to apply myself or know what I wanted to go on to do back then and came out with a 2.2 in my arts degree (did psychology and English). I went on to a psychology conversion course afterwards and got a distinction in that.

    Does anyone know if my grade from the conversion course will count or if it's just the undergrad they take into consideration?

    I've worked for a year and a half in a mental health hospital as a support worker after that.

    Should I just abandon hope of ever becoming a clinical psychologist or is there anything I can do? I'm so mad at myself for messing up my undergrad but I also feel a bit aggrieved that it is the be all and end all.

    All advice welcome.


  • Hi MmmmmCheese,

    Just to say, I really feel for you. The gap between undergrad/conversion course and further training can be a really lonely place full of uncertainty and pressure. We have all been there and it sucks!

    My instinct would tell me that your conversion course mark would be the best indicator of your academic performance (aka its your best mark so far!). The requirements are usually an honours degree in psychology, so you have met that requirement with your conversion course. I would clear it up with a quick mail or two to some of the PhD course admins just to check!

    I think its probably worth having a chat to any trainee clinical psychologists that you come across to get an idea of their background. One thing that struck me from your post is that you didn't mention a Masters course. I am a trainee and all of the other trainees I know at the minute would have done a masters (or in some cases, a PhD by research/doctorate in counselling). I only know one person who gained entry onto a course without a masters.

    Well done on getting some clinically relevant experience. If I were you, I would keep working as you are, and consider some options for taught masters courses (e.g. applied psychology/psychological science).

    The other option you have is to wait around till the November-March application period, and apply for some clinical PhD courses and then ask for feedback on your application if you're not successful. This will give you a bit of guidance as to what some universities are looking for, and you can work on strengthening your application from there.

    Lastly, I would encourage you not to give up if Clinical Psychology is your preferred career course. But I would also say that it could be worth considering all the available training routes in psychology (counselling, ed psych, health etc), to see if some of these might suit you better. One of my main regrets of being in your position (an undergraduate desperate to do clinical!), was that I knew next to nothing about other psychology routes like the above. Clinical just seemed like the "thing" to do, when in reality, I work alongside lots of types of psychologists who do very similar work to me, yet have taken different routes of training. I think being less tunnel visioned would have really helped take the pressure off me at the time, and having more options opens up a bit more space to breathe through it. One of the best pieces of advice I got was that the more desperate I looked at interview for clinical training, the more it would put the interviewer off, and so after a few rounds of failed applications, I finally realised it wasn't the be all and end all route of training. Then I relaxed about it and subsequently came across much better at interview and got a place!

  • I wouldn't give up. I had the same result from my undergrad, then did the conversion dip - 2.1. Not looking taking psychology further, so can't comment on that. My MA is unrelated to psych. Have met a good few people starting or are in the process of getting into clinical, if it's your dream keep at it, even if it takes years.

    And as above, look into a Masters.