Applied psychology in the UK

As Dr Karen Douglas explains, studying Applied Psychology in the UK could be the exciting start to a new career.

Are you interested in applying cutting-edge research in psychology to areas such as clinical, health and forensic science? If so, a degree in applied psychology could be for you. The UK has a strong focus on applied psychology, with many institutions offering undergraduate, postgraduate taught, research and doctoral degrees. Studying applied psychology provides students with a wealth of skills and experiences that are applicable to a wide variety of work settings.

For example, clinical psychologists use scientific knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing and relieving psychological distress. Health psychologists work alongside other medical professionals to help people stay healthy and cope with illness. Applied social psychologists work in educational, organisational and medical settings to improve the quality of everyday life. Forensic psychologists apply psychological methods to address criminal behaviour and help treat offenders.

To qualify as an Applied Psychologist, you will first need a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Typically, you would then complete a master’s degree in Applied Psychology, many of which specialise in particular areas (such as clinical, health, forensic and applied social psychology), and which are offered by a wide variety of UK universities. Most programmes in Applied Psychology offer placements in hospitals, schools, prisons and other relevant settings to provide students with ‘on-the-job’ training as Applied Psychologists.

Applied psychology in the UK

“Studying in the UK also provides a unique experience to live in a beautiful country steeped in history”

Qualifications in psychology from the UK are accredited by the British Psychological Society to ensure that they are high-quality, relevant and consistent. Degree programmes are constantly being assessed and upgraded to make sure they are academically rigorous and practically relevant. For more information see -

Psychology courses across the UK collaborate with the healthcare sector and industry partners, both within the UK and internationally. UK Schools of Psychology are known and respected worldwide for their dynamic, cutting-edge teaching and research.

International students are valued members of UK universities. The University of Kent, for example, has a strong focus on international students at the undergraduate level, in the master’s degrees (Forensic, Applied Social and Research Methods) and for the doctoral degrees. International students are well supported with the challenges of living and studying in a different country.

Studying in the UK also provides a unique experience to live in a beautiful country steeped in history. Living in the southeast of England in particular means that you are also on the doorstep of continental Europe.

Dr Karen Douglas
Reader in Psychology
University of Kent (UK)