School of Psychology

Professional Training year

As an undergraduate student in the School of Psychology you have the option of spending your third year undertaking a Professional Training placement year.

Professional placements give you the opportunity to spend part of your degree programme with an outside organisation, gaining invaluable work experience and enhancing employability.

The Professional Training Year aims to

  • enable you to acquire and develop knowledge as it occurs in professional practice
  • apply Psychological theory, knowledge and skills to the study of work activities and processes
  • provide opportunities for you to gain confidence in handling new situations, solving problems and making decisions
  • provide experience of working in a professional environment
  • enable you to mature through personal and professional development and the evaluation of their placement experiences
  • enable you to understand the applicability of Psychology in various professional settings
  • enable you to increase their self-knowledge and facilitate them in becoming adult learners in real world contexts
  • enable you to transfer their placement learning to other situations such as completion of assessments in the final year, communication with peers, colleagues and Tutors and effective, informed and well-targeted search of graduate employment

Nature of Work

There is a range of placements that are suitable for Psychology students including:

  • clinical psychology
  • educational psychology
  • occupational psychology
  • psychological research
  • social work
  • market research
  • personnel
  • marketing
  • teaching
  • training

The exact type of work will depend on the specific placement, however, in general it is intended that the student will:

  • be introduced to a variety of working situations appropriate to the particular placement
  • receive training/instruction in relevant professional skills
  • be exposed to the complexity of human relationships in employment
  • make a positive and responsible contribution to the functioning of the organisation

The particular work undertaken by the student will normally be agreed by prior discussion between the Professional Training Tutors and the employing organisation. It is usual for an outline work programme to be set out.  In the case of unpaid placements we request that an honorary contract be prepared to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the student.
Institutions and companies that have participated in the scheme include:

  • Home Office
  • Institute of Psychiatry
  • BMG Records
  • IBM
  • Metropolitan Police
  • HMP Holloway
  • Royal Marsden Hospital
  • Guildford Pupil Referral Unit
  • More House School
  • National Centre for Young People with Epilepsy
  • Action on Addiction
  • CAMHS – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for Surrey
  • SADAS - Southern Addictions Advisory Service
  • North Carolina State University
  • The Science Museum, London
  • University of Kent