Employability Programme

You have the opportunity to gain psychology-relevant work experience alongside your studies.

Some placements involve working in the community with charities and organisations that support individuals with mental health difficulties, and others involve working with research staff in the Psychology Department on their projects.

Every placement provides students with experience and/or skills that are valuable to both psychological careers and more general graduate level occupations, thus strengthening their CV and enhancing employability. Students apply for placements by uploading a CV and personal statement to the FST Internship website. Applicants are then interviewed by a representative from the host organisation (if community-based) or the host individual (if a research role), plus a member of the scheme’s administrative team.

This recruitment process provides a valuable opportunity for students to practise applying and interviewing before students enter the job market. During their placements, students are encouraged to write a diary documenting their experiences and achievements each week, and to attend a reflective interview at the end of the academic year.

Some of the organisations we've offered placements with, and example roles:

Shelter
volunteer mentor
National Autistic Society
research field worker/interviewer
Lancaster University: Psychology Department
research assistant: infant and adult language acquisition
Parkinson's UK
support group helper
Advocacy Focus
mental health volunteers
Alzheimer's Society
community support volunteer
Making Space Supported Housing
activity co-ordinator
Prison Advice and Care Trust
group facilitator
Lancaster University: Psychology Department
research assistant: neuroimaging/programming

Charlotte Rothwell

Charlotte volunteered as a research assistant as part of the Psychology Employability Programme where her role was to help set up and run a study and collect and input the data. During the placement, she gained many new psychology-relevant skills and also developed her communication skills. She feels that the experience will help her when she comes to do her own research project in her third year and when she goes on to further study, following her dream of having a career in clinical psychology.

"I chose to volunteer in the BabyLab as I thought it was a fantastic opportunity to get some hands-on research experience, in a setting with a great reputation and facilities. It was a good way to have experience doing research in the developmental field to see if it is something I would like to do in the future.

"The study was about categorisation, so 14-month-olds are read a book containing pictures of toys that are unfamiliar to them. Some of these toys are given a made-up name. Using an eye tracker we aim to see whether the baby had learnt the label for the object or not."

Georgia Jameson

Georgia volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Singing for the Brain’ groups where her role was to greet the clients and to help to make them feel comfortable by supporting them with singing and using instruments. She aspires to become a clinical psychologist or psychology teacher.

"I would definitely say that volunteering with the society has solidified my passion for changing the perception of mental health and seeing how much of an impact the disease has on people’s lives has shown me how important it is to carry on with research and raising awareness for Alzheimer's disease, which I would hopefully be able to be a part of if I was to pursue a career in clinical psychology in the future.

"I feel as though I have developed my communication skills quite a lot since volunteering with the Alzheimer's Society, as communicating with vulnerable adults was something that I had very little experience with.

"One thing which really stuck out for me was a comment I received from a client in the session who said that I had 'brightened up the room'."