What They Don’t Tell You About Getting Onto A Doctorate

Hello and WELCOME to PsychAssist. As you may already know, one of the PsychAssist team has recently been accepted onto a psychology doctorate. This is such an amazing opportunity however since coming down from the high, there appear to be certain things that were missed when sold the dream of a doctorate. Within this article, we will explore 3 things that they don’t tell you about getting onto a doctorate.

Just Graduated? Check out: 6 Jobs for A Psychology Graduate straight out of university?

Thinking of Doing an MSc? Check out: 3 Things I Learnt from Completing A Masters

What About Becoming a PWP? Check out: So What do PWP’s Actually Do?

Missed the last PsychAssist article? Check out: So What Is Business Psychology?







Lots Of Paperwork

So, this is something that was very unexpected and something that I had no idea about once I was offered the place. Now, I did expect some paperwork to be completed, however not to this level. Since being offered the place, I have filled in so many forms and have had to be very proactive in chasing third parties to also fill in forms. This is something that you don’t hear about from successful applicants however, this can be very stressful and time-consuming, especially if you are trying to wind down from your current role.

PsychAssist Tip: This is the difference between the Doctorate and any other course that you’ve undertaken. You have to be proactive in getting the small things done such as completing forms and bringing in information to be processed. Just make sure that you’re factoring in time to deal with this added stress whilst also juggling other essential things.   

“you will almost certainly still feel completely out of your depth”

                   PsychAssist 2018

Imposter Syndrome

Many Psychology Graduates who dream of getting onto a doctorate have this ideology that once you are on a doctorate, you’re a “complete package”.However, imagine if I told you that you will almost certainly still feel completely out of your depth? This is completely normal and is actually comforting as it is usually those who are overconfident who don’t make it to the end. Overall, there are still times where I feel that they will somehow realise that they’ve made a mistake and have offered the place to the wrong person; however, until that day, I’ll just keep flying under the radar.

PsychAssist Tip: Be open and honest with your cohort as I guarantee they’re going through the same things as you. This is the beauty of being part of a cohort as you’re able to lean on them when needed and so the journey doesn’t feel so lonely. Everyone feels like they are not “worthy” of being in the position that they are in so it really helps to talk to the small group of people who can understand completely how you are feeling.  

“once you’ve made it onto the doctorate, you have done the hard part”

             PsychAssist 2018

Hard Work Begins

Now, this may sound ridiculous but I genuinely had the thought in my head that once you’ve made it onto the doctorate, you had done the hard part. Little did I know that this is when the hard work begins. Just looking at my schedule and how much I will have to complete over the next few years is astonishing and slightly frightening. I will be expected to independently juggle assignments, research, reflective pieces, all whilst on placement. This will require some serious time management skills and to potentially skip some evenings out with friends and family for the greater cause. The level of work is by no means appealing however necessary to evolve into a better clinician.

PsychAssist Tip: There is actually very little you can do to prepare for this other than to start work as early as possible. This could be very difficult as at the doctoral level, you’re expected to work very independently and with very little guidance, so this will take a great deal of self-discipline. Either way, you’ll be fine!

Thanks for reading this week’s article by PsychAssist! Tune in on Thursday for more great content! 


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