internships in psychology uk

internships in psychology uk

Psychology-related internships

  • What is an internship?

An internship, or work placement, is a fixed-term contract lasting between 3 months and 2 years. These are offered by universities and some companies. You may be assigned specific tasks such as conducting research, observing animal behaviour and learning laboratory techniques in your field of study. You may also be delegated administrative tasks to help you understand the inner workings of a company.

  • What are the benefits of an internship?

Gaining practical experience in your chosen subject will help you stand out from other graduates when applying for jobs in the future. It can also provide valuable insights into what employers expect from their employees which can help you to achieve this goal.

Educational psychology

If you’d like to join the ranks of educational psychologists, you’ll need at least an undergraduate degree in psychology. If your undergraduate isn’t in psychology, you should have a postgraduate qualification (a PGCE) or a doctorate and work experience.

It could be for you if… You’re good with people and enjoy working with children and young adults – whether that’s teaching them or helping them through emotional issues.

Typical hours range from 32 to 40 per week, depending on employer and role.

Salary can range from £25,000 to £40,000 per year for those just starting out, to up to £57,000 for more experienced professionals. Educational psychologists in senior roles can earn upwards of £71,000 per year.*

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Child and adolescent clinical psychology

Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional or mental health. They can also work with parents, carers and other professionals to support them in the best way possible.

CAMHS teams include staff such as:

  • Consultant psychiatrists
  • Clinical psychologists
  • Therapists, including nurses or occupational therapists
  • Psychologists, social workers or family therapists

CAMHS clinical psychology

If you’re interested in clinical psychology, an internship in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is something that is worth considering. It involves working in a CAMHS team for one year, usually as an assistant psychologist, involving direct work with children, adolescents and their families. This blog will outline the process of applying for such an internship, what this involves and what benefits or pitfalls there may be.

What does being an assistant psychologist involve?

The role of being an assistant psychologist involves directly working with clients. You might do this through therapy sessions or via consultations with other professionals (such as doctors or teachers). You might also be involved in running group therapies and delivering training to staff who work with children and young people.

Cognitive analytic therapy

Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT) is a short-term form of psychotherapy, developed in the 1980s by Anthony Ryle. It usually involves a series of 16 to 24 sessions to treat issues such as depression, personality disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome and drug dependency. CAT is recommended by NICE for people with borderline personality disorder.

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How does cognitive analytic therapy work?

CAT is a collaborative therapy that focuses on the present and the future rather than the past. In your first session, you’ll be asked about your relationships and your life story, so you should allow around an hour for the appointment. It’s important to be open and honest with your therapist if you’re going to get the most out of cognitive analytic therapy.

You can expect each session to last up to 50 minutes and you’ll normally have therapy once a week or every fortnight. Your therapist will also give you tasks to complete between sessions, such as keeping a diary or reading relevant books.

Forensic psychology

Forensic psychologists may have a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree in psychology, with specialized training in the field of forensics. Forensic psychologists can work for police departments, correctional facilities, prosecutors’ offices and law firms. They usually work full time and are required to keep up with new developments in the field by attending seminars and conferences. Forensic psychology is a competitive field with an increasing number of applicants competing for each position.


Neuropsychology is a branch of clinical psychology, which focuses on the connection between brain and behaviour. Neuropsychologists are concerned with the study of how damage to an individual’s brain can affect their behaviour. In order to do this, neuropsychologists tend to specialise in either assessing or rehabilitating individuals with brain related issues such as neurological disorders or traumatic brain injury.

Chartered Psychologist internships

A Chartered Psychologist internship offers a variety of learning and personal development experiences. For example, an intern in this role might:

  • Have the opportunity to build a rapport with clients who have been referred via healthcare professionals or through self-referral.
  • Design and deliver psychological interventions under supervision to people experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, psychotic disorders, relationship difficulties, and addiction.
  • Participate in the supervision of trainee psychologists and other staff. This can be an area of specialism for some Chartered Psychologists.
  • Contribute to the continuous quality improvement of psychological services by undertaking research projects that gather evidence on client outcomes or service delivery.
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It is possible to have an internship in the UK in a psychology-related field.

If you are looking for internship opportunities in the UK, but don’t want to go into medicine or dentistry, then a career in Psychology might be your dream job. This section of the site will help you find internships in psychology-related fields. You can also look for internships in clinical psychology, educational psychology, forensic or neuropsychology.

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