Psychology Placements for Course Credit
Studying but wanting to get hands-on experience. Getting hands-on experience but not having time to gain academic qualifications. Needing 5 years’ work experience under your belt to get onto a grad scheme. I get it, it’s difficult, and opportunities to gain hands-on work experience as a student, especially in Psychology, can be tough to come by, intimidating and time consuming. However, sometimes you can get the best of both worlds and get your hands on valuable work experience whilst studying as part of your course. Whaaat?
Read on for the lo-down.
This silver lining, which comes in the form of course credit, can be found at numerous Universities who understand the importance of gaining transferable, practical skills in the field while learning the theory in the lecture halls. Requirements will be different for each University, some might require a couple of hours, some a couple of weeks, and some also provide sandwich years, which allow you to take a whole academic year out to work in the field.
While I was at University, doing my Psychology degree, I had a work experience module, which required me to gain 50 hours of work experience in Psychology before the end of my final year. When I found this out, I went straight to my good friend Google to look for opportunities. “Psychology Work Experience Opportunities in London”? Nothing. “Psychology Internships for undergraduates”? Even less. I then was casually introduced to an organisation called SLV.Global, one of whose representatives did a lecture shout out in my second year, and who do psychology placements for undergraduates, and I knew I had to check them out.
I decided to sign up for the placement in Sri Lanka and, not only did SLV.Global provide exactly what I was after experience-wise, but they were also so helpful when it came to filling out forms and providing my University with more information pre- and post-placement about what kind of work would be involved. By using my placement as course credit, I was also able to help spread the word about SLV.Global’s placements in the hopes that my professors would then recommend it to other students looking for similar work experience opportunities.
I was so happy that firstly, my University was encouraging us to gain experience in the field, but that they also facilitated this by inviting representatives to speak during lectures; not to mention that my work would count toward my final grade and University outcome. Through doing my psychology placement as an undergraduate I have gained valuable experience, confidence in my skills, and the validation from an academic institution that the type of work I had done was appropriate and, most of all, beneficial to the service users.
I was very proud to have taken the extra step to work in the mental health field abroad. I would recommend this opportunity to anyone looking for hands-on experience, but I also urge anyone to contact their University professors to ask whether employability modules and sandwich years are available at their University. Gaining hands-on experience is becoming gradually more crucial to fully dive into the global workforce, and being able to do it easily and alongside your studies makes the whole experience all the more fulfilling.
If your University provides course credit, or you just have questions on how this would work, get in touch with our University Partnerships team.