Psychology Employability Programme

Gain psychology-relevant work experience alongside your studies.

The Psychology Employability Programme offers you the chance to gain relevant work experience that is necessary to progress along training pathways in professional psychology, such as clinical, forensic, educational or research.

You can choose between working part time in the community with charities and organisations that support vulnerable people, or working alongside research staff in the Psychology Department on their projects. Crucially, every placement will provide you with experience and/or skills that are valuable to careers in psychology, thus strengthening your CV and enhancing your employability.

How the scheme works

Work for placements will be conducted in your free time while you are studying at Lancaster. Placements are not restricted by year of study and all roles are unpaid (meaning no economic inequality). All placements will be based in Lancaster or surrounding towns, so no-one will be disadvantaged by geographic location. This makes the Psychology Employability Programme fully inclusive – every Psychology undergraduate at Lancaster University can apply for placements each year (although the number of placements will be limite). Importantly, the number of required working hours for each placement will be advertised so you can make an informed decision about how the extracurricular responsibilities would fit into your schedule before applying.

Benefits of Voluntary Placements

  • Gain experience that will help you along a pathway in professional psychology
  • Enhance your employability
  • Put yourself in a strong position for prestigious post-graduate training courses whose selection committees value voluntary work
  • Become better informed about the suitability of different career paths in psychology
  • The scheme can contribute to the Lancaster Award 

Want to know more?

To find out more about the Psychology Employability Programme and how to apply, contact Psychology’s dedicated Careers Advisor, Dr Calum Hartley.

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

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'."