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Working in the UK with a Psychology Degree from Abroad

By: Roger Cook - Updated: 20 May 2024 | comments*Discuss
Psychology Degree Abroad Uk

Basic Considerations

As with looking to work abroad if you have a UK psychology degree, in theory it should be reasonably simple to work in the UK with a degree from another country. However, psychology is what is known as a "regulated profession" and in the UK the British Psychological Society (BPS) regulates entry into the profession.

The core difficulty is that the structure and content of the UK undergraduate psychology degree is different to usual practice elsewhere in Europe. In particular, UK training and education tends to put an emphasis on "breadth" rather than early specialisation that is then followed through into work and training.

If you wish to come to the UK to study for an undergraduate degree in psychology then the procedure is relatively simple. You apply for a University course in the same way as any UK domiciled student. If you live in an EU country you will be eligible to pay the same fees as English or Scottish students (different procedures exist in England and Scotland). The rest of this article considers what your options are if you already have some psychology qualifications from abroad or have completed your education and training and are now looking to move to the UK.

Completing Your Psychology Education In The UK

If you already possess an undergraduate degree then you need to contact the BPS. They have procedures to assess your degree and if successful, you will be eligible for Graduate Membership of the Society and thus eligible for further postgraduate education and training.

Roughly the BPS has set three main criteria and you must satisfy them all:

  • Your degree must be the equivalent of a UK honours degree and the syllabus must have been made up of more than 50% psychology. You may be asked to provide details of the complete syllabus. It is also important that the subjects studied meet the BPS' emphasis on "breadth";
  • The degree must be from a university or institution recognised by the International Association of Universities;
  • You will need to supply translated and authenticated copies of all relevant documents.

If your degree means you do not meet the conditions for Graduate Membership, then you can either opt to take the BPS' own "Qualifying Examination" or undertake one of a number of BPS approved conversion courses.

Once you have satisfied the BPS requirements for Graduate Membership you are entitled to apply for one of a number of professional postgraduate programmes relevant to your chosen field.

Moving To The UK If You Have Already Completed Your Psychology Education

If you have already completed both your undergraduate and postgraduate education and training abroad then you will still need to satisfy the BPS that your qualifications allow you to work as a Chartered Psychologist. In this case you will need to meet two requirements:

  • As above, your degrees must meet the BPS expectations so that you would have be eligible for what is technically called the "Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR)";
  • You must satisfy one of the nine professional divisions that operate within the BPS. This will assess whether your postgraduate training and experience meet their requirements. If you wish to work as a Clinical Psychologist there is an additional criteria - you will need to acquire what the BPS calls a "Statement of Equivalence".

In most cases, you will meet the requirements for GBR but will need to undertake further practical training and possibly do some additional study. In addition if you come from outside the EU you will need to acquire a work permit in order to work as a psychologist.


If your existing qualifications are from another EU country, you will need to satisfy various requirements in order to meet the BPS expectations either for Graduate Membership or to acquire the title of Chartered Psychologist. In practice most people who have trained abroad do find a need to undertake further training or study to meet the BPS' requirements. If you come from outside the EU, you will, in addition, need to acquire a work permit.

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[Add a Comment]
Hi, l completed my degree in masters in clinical psychology and worked as a clinical psychologist and psychology lecturer for 3 years in Pakistan now l am in UK.l came to UK in 2023 as a dependent now l want to start job in counselling or clinical field but l don't know where to start will you please guide me in this. Regards, Omaima
Ok - 20-May-24 @ 7:52 PM
l have a degree in Psychology from a University in Zimbabwe. l am currently working in UK under skilled work visa as a care assistant. How can l change from being a carer to become an assistant Psychologist in UK
Mai2 - 7-Apr-24 @ 3:57 PM
Hi I have completed my post graduation from Pakistan and now i moved in uk I’m looking for job I need guidance related BOS registration how can I get graduate base membership or which job can I apply as I already check my degree comparability through uk naric and it’s equivalent to master in uk now what steps should I take to get register in BPS or get job as psychology practitioner in uk. I also want know about teaching side job related to my degree can I apply for college teaching jobs in uk as I have 2 year experience of teaching psychology as well
Anam - 24-Jan-24 @ 4:21 PM
Hi! I have a master's degree in clinical psychology from Portugal and work here in private practice with psychotherapy. I am not an EU citizen, though. I am looking up for jobs as a CAP or a PWP and even HI Therapis trainee, but I am not sure if I am even elegible for trainings funded by UK government since I don´t live there yet. Could you clarify that for me? Should I apply for a CAP trainee program maybe? I applied for BPS (GMB) membership, waiting for their response. Thanks.
Luana - 9-Dec-23 @ 8:38 PM
Hi, I have a degree (BA) in psychology, from india University . I'm currently in swindon UK and work as supply in schools. I want to start my career in psychology but don’t know how and where to approach.I need proper guidance I am interested in hospital based jobs.please guide me.
Coco - 24-Apr-23 @ 9:29 AM
Australian qualified fully registered psychologist with 12+ years practice under registration.Request advice about undertaking process for registration as assistant psychologist in UK (have dual citizenship with UK).
Ailsa - 19-Feb-23 @ 8:57 AM
Hi, I have level 6 in psychology from Portugal. I do not have any experience. Could I work in Uk to obtain experience with this level? I have settled status in Uk.
Grace - 16-Jan-23 @ 11:15 AM
Hi I have completed my under graduation in clinical psychology from Pakistan.I want to start my career in Uk but don’t know how and where to approach.I need proper guidance I am interested in hospital based jobs.please guide me where to send my 4 years Bs hons degree wether it’s approved here or not .
Asfandyar - 5-Nov-22 @ 7:19 PM
Hi I have completed my post graduation in clinical psychology from Pakistan.I want to start my career in Uk but don’t know how and where to approach.I need proper guidance I am interested in hospital based jobs.please guide me where to send my master degree wether it’s approved here or not .
Honey - 5-Oct-22 @ 10:21 PM
I have degree in psychology from a Russian university. I have experince in both lecturing and counselling. Taking into consideration growing number of Russian speaking refugees and immigrants I could do counselling in Russian language only. What I need to do to start working in this capacity?
Ella - 23-Apr-22 @ 5:30 AM
I have worked as a ‘Generalist’ psychologist in private practice for 30 years in Australia.Can you tell me what level psychology positions I could apply for in the UK?Thanks
Neat - 15-Mar-22 @ 5:43 AM
I am a fully registered psychilogist in Australia. I have worked in full time capacityfor past 15 years.I want to come back to live in Scotland.I have Graduate Basis for Registration how do i become formally registered to practice as a psychologistin UK.
Lhmuir - 1-Oct-21 @ 11:46 PM
I have a BA in psychology from Brazil and a MA in counseling from USA. But during my MA I did not have a change to undertake my training. Is it possible to apply only for a training here in UK? thx
Tati - 17-May-21 @ 9:59 AM
I have done post graduation in Psychology from India and have 10 years experience as counselling Psychologist. I want to work in UK. Can I get registration in BPCA.
REEM - 19-Feb-21 @ 7:46 AM
I'm graduating with a bachelor's in psychology and a minor in Criminal investigation. Could I obtain employment and continue my education in the UK with these credentials?
Noemi - 18-Feb-21 @ 5:44 AM
I have dual UK/USA citizenship and I hope to be a Counselling Psychologist in the UK in a few years time. I have a US undergraduate degree, but not in psychology. I've applied to a US school to do a psychology masters degree (3 years), but I'm wondering if it would be better to do all study in UK from here on? Any help in deciding would be much appreciated.
Daisy - 2-Feb-21 @ 6:06 PM
Hi, If I have a diploma from a course which is accredited by BACP, can I find jobs in the UK?
Zviad Beraia - 23-Jan-21 @ 10:52 PM
I have completed my postgraduation in Psychology from India. I want to work in uk as a psychologist. What should I do for that.
Naina - 5-Jan-21 @ 3:15 PM
Hi, if you are a general registered psychologist in australia, are you able to work as a psychologist in the UK?
JenB - 22-Dec-20 @ 12:07 PM
Hello there. I am almost finished my Australian internship and will be registered as a general psychologist in Australia. I graduated with a Bachelor of psychology. Oncw i am fully registerex as a general psychologist in australia can i be considered a psychologisf and work in the uk as a paychologist?
Jsav - 22-Dec-20 @ 12:04 PM
Hi I have a bachelors degree in sociology and I am about to start my masters in Clinical psychology in India. However I plan to move to the UK after 2 years. Will my masters from India be recognized by the BPS?
Ayesha - 26-Nov-20 @ 9:46 PM
Hi I have 13 years of experience from India with a Postgraduate degree (M. Phil) in Clinical Psychology. I have had my private practice for 8 years dealing various types of clients ranging from children to adults. I have my registration with the BPS. How do I proceed next. I have been applying for jobs and looking for work experience, but in vain. Looking for a mentor to lead me in the right direction.
Lakshmi - 25-Nov-20 @ 5:30 PM
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an approved supervisor in thein the United States.I have been practicing for 30 years.6 years in psychiatric hospitals with children, adolescents, and as the Familly Therapist.Also as a liaisonfor the hospital flying across the country to multiple Military Bases.I have been in private practice since that time serving the general public along with an extensive connection with the military doing training and presentations there as well as all over the U.S. along with local universities. I would like information about how to licensed as a psychotherapist with a Masters Degree from a distinguished univsersity for practicing psychotherapy in the U.K. Thankyou for your time.
Renee' - 23-Nov-20 @ 6:26 PM
I am a qualified Psychometrician in South Africa and would like to know if my qualification would be recognized in the UK. Would I be able to trade as a Psychometrist? Thank you
Chevan - 23-Nov-20 @ 6:58 AM
I am a psychology freshman student from the Philippines. I plan to work in the UK. I'd like to ask for advice, after finishing my Bachelor's degree in psychology, should I acquire a Master's degree? Would there be better job opportunities if I applied with a Master's degree? or is it okay to apply with a Bachelor's degree only? Thank you so much!
Ris - 16-Nov-20 @ 3:35 PM
Hi. I have a Masters in Educational Psychology from South Africa and have been practicing since 2004. Does anyone know who to contact to get your qualifications registered and recognised in the United Kingdom?
Karen - 26-Oct-20 @ 3:31 PM
Hi! I did my post graduate from India in a premier uiversity in Clinical Psychology and I am moving to UK on spouse visa. I have undergraduate degree in Social Work which was a four years course from Nepal. I wish to take up doctorate degree but my grades are just average which lessens the chances of me getting enrolled in a good universityand also the fees are too high. Due to my grades and lack of work experience, I am not sure if I will be offered a job in my field. So I am considering taking up a one year course in child psychology from any one university. However the intake is apparantly from september 2021. I plan to take up a job for till that time in the field of psychology if possible. Can you suggest any job that will help me with my career as well? Also since I have an undergraduate degree in Social Work, what should I do to become a registered psychologist? Thank you
B - 21-Oct-20 @ 12:25 PM
This is Karen again! Perhaps I should add that I have a Bachelors in Psychology and a Masters in Mental Health Counseling with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy. Thanks!
Karen - 29-Aug-20 @ 11:39 PM
I am a license Marriage and Family Therapist in the USA. I have dual citizenship. I've practiced in California and Nevada. I'm wondering if I can move back to the UK where I was born (left at age 30), and begin practice there? What would I need to do?
Karen - 29-Aug-20 @ 11:33 PM
Hello! I graduated form Beykent University in Turkey. i am moving to UK in November. I studied 4 years in psychology department. The courses I completed in turkey were the same as those at UK universities. But I don't know how I should start. Thanks
Sanemm - 18-Aug-20 @ 2:04 AM
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