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Clinical psychologists aim to reduce psychological distress and enhance and promote psychological well-being.
They work with people who suffer from a variety of psychological illnesses, including depression, anxiety, addiction, serious mental disorders, neurological disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, childhood behaviour disorders, learning difficulties, or family problems.
The clinical psychologist will make an initial assessment using many different methods including psychometric tests, interviews and direct observation of behaviour. They frequently work along side other professionals in multi-disciplinary teams, tackling complex patient problems.
Following an assessment, in collaboration with colleagues, the clinical psychologist will devise appropriate programmes of treatment, including one-to-one or group therapy, counselling or advice.
The work can frequently be very challenging, therefore it's important clinical psychologists can tolerate distressing and difficult emotions.
Entry requirements for accredited psychology degree courses will often vary from one institution to another. Applicants will normally need to demonstrate good numeracy and literacy skills, as well as the ability to handle scientific concepts. Psychology, biology, mathematics, English, history, economics and similar arts and social science subjects are all useful preparation for an accredited psychology degree course.
Some universities will require at least one science A Level. We recommend that you contact individual institutions or check their prospectuses to find out about specific entry requirements.
In general, to gain entry to a degree course you will normally need at least two A Levels and four GCSE grades A-C (including maths and English), while for a DipHE you will need two A Levels and four GCSEs, and for a BTEC National Diploma you normally require one A Level and four GCSEs.
Salaries start at around £30,000 a year, and the most senior clinical psychologists can earn around £80,000 a year.