Psychology graduates should aim to have a doctorate in psychology by 2020, according to the UK’s new graduate scheme.
The scheme aims to attract the best young people to become psychologists, who will then be eligible for job vacancies and higher education.
It has been launched in an attempt to attract people who would otherwise be turned away from the career market by the high cost of study.
The Graduate Prospectus and Awards Commission (GPAC) said there are now about 100 psychology PhDs available for students from outside the UK.
The GPAC said the new scheme is a big step forward for the profession.
“Our aim is to attract graduates from outside of the UK, who are willing to pay more and take a longer-term career,” GPAC chief executive Dr Helen O’Connor said.
“We have also set the benchmark for the UK to lead the world in the field.”
The GPac said a number of factors, including the growing number of psychology graduates in the UK has increased the demand for psychology.
“In recent years, the UK population has grown by about 8 per cent and the number of graduates entering the field has more than doubled from the previous year,” Dr O’Connors said.
The new scheme was launched in September, with about 1,000 applicants.
The Government’s new undergraduate psychology PhD programme aims to reach 100 applicants by the end of 2021, according a spokeswoman for the GPAC.
Dr O’Connell said the GPac would be looking for more people to apply for the scheme.
“There are a lot of very talented people out there,” she said.
Dr Dermot Murphy, of the British Psychological Society, said psychology graduates were well placed to take up jobs in the health service and in academia.
“A PhD is a fantastic opportunity for someone who wants to advance in their career, to get involved in an area of science or technology where they can contribute to the wider world,” he said.