Educational Psychologist

How did you get interested in what you do? What advice was available to you when you chose this career direction?
 
Even as a secondary pupil, I was interested in doing a job which involved helping people in some way. I wanted to work directly with people and I was particularly interested in working with children or people who had problems to overcome.

What was your journey to reach the role you are in today? 

There was very little advice available to me as a high school pupil. I was shown some university prospectuses in the library and I flicked through them. We were able to visit universities for a day also

I did an undergraduate degree in psychology at Edinburgh University. Lots of work experience with families. One year PGCE in teaching at Glasgow. Teach for 3 years. 2 year MSc in Educational Psychology at Dundee University. Worked as a psychologist in several local authorities.

Talk me through a day in your life... what sorts of things would it involve?

Visiting schools, discussing children’s problems with their teachers, their parents and the children themselves, meetings about council policies, looking at learning plans and advising on them; assessing children’s educational needs.
 
Was it your planned career when you were 18?

All I knew at this stage was that studying psychology sounded very interesting.

What did your mum and dad want you to do?

My parents did not really have any great plans for me. They were keen for me to get a job and earn money and be happy but they did not know what the job would be.

What advice would you give to someone interested in your career?
 
Psychology is a great starting point before progressing to other people type careers. There are many branches of psychology and if possible get a taste for some of them before you decide where to specialise. Psychology is a great mix of science and social sciences. It can take you many different places. The MSc in Educational Psychology is highly competitive, so if you are really sure that is the path you want to take, get lots of work experience.

Other jobs in psychology: Criminal, occupational, sport, clinical