The term ‘research and academic psychology’ refers to a broad range of professionals working in very diverse areas.
Psychologists who specialise in research carry out investigations on a wide range of topics. They also design experiments, surveys, field observations etc. They statistically analyse the collected data, usually by computer, and interpret the results in the light of previous research on the topic. They convey their findings to the national and international scientific community by publishing them in academic journals and at conferences.
Lecturers in psychology teach students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, through formal lectures, informal seminars and interactive tutorials. They prepare lecture courses, design practical course work and assess students’ attainment through coursework and examinations. Lecturers are usually also active as researchers or as psychologists in one or other of the professional psychology areas.
In order to become a research or academic psychologist, an accredited honours undergraduate degree with psychology as the major subject is required. Following this, additional research experience or qualifications will be necessary, for example a Masters Degree or Ph.D. You can enhance your chances of achieving a place on such a programme by getting experience teaching psychology, perhaps as a tutor during the course of postgraduate study. Many lecturers have their early teaching experience during the course of their postgraduate study. Attendance at conferences and publications in peer-reviewed journals always add to a CV
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