To become a Clinical Psychologist in Malaysia you need to:
- Obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
- Gain some work experience. Some courses in Malaysia are now accepting students without work experience.
- Obtain a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology.
Until recently there were only two clinical psychology training courses based in Malaysia: HELP & UKM. There was a lot of competition to get a place on one of these courses. Several new clinical psychology courses have just started operating across Malaysia. This makes it easier to find a place on a Clinical Psychology course but it could cause an issue for trainees because it there may be too few placements.
Some Clinical Psychologists in Malaysia have trained overseas. If you study overseas you may need to study a doctorate rather than a Masters degree. For more information about studying overseas please read my page on ‘How to become a Clinical Psychologist’. You will also find information about some of the courses available to international students on this website. The biggest challenge with training overseas is paying the high tuition fees. This means most Malaysians train in local universities.
What happens on the Clinical Psychology Training Programme?
The Masters in Clinical Psychology in Malaysia is usually a 2 year full-time course. Most courses start in January. There are three main components to the training:
You will attend lectures and workshops to teach you the knowledge and skills you need to practice as a clinical psychologist. This is is likely to include training on interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and assessment methods such as neuropsychological assessments.
Trainee Clinical Psychologists need to learn by working under the supervision of an experienced clinical psychologist. There are a limited number of clinical psychologists in Malaysia and only a small proportion of them are able to offer placements for trainee clinical psychologists. Some of the newer courses have found it difficult to find psychologists who can offer supervision to trainees. You should check how the placements will be arranged to ensure the university is able to provide suitable practical learning opportunities.
You will be required to complete a research thesis to demonstrate your understanding of the scientific method and approach that is central to the practice of a clinical psychologist.
Do I need to be registered to become a Clinical Psychologist in Malaysia?
A new law, the Allied Health Professions Act, 2016 made it illegal for someone to call themselves a ‘Clinical Psychologist’ unless they are registered. The law has not yet been enforced because the government needs time to decide how to run the register. It’s a difficult task because the register needs to cover many different professions. The list of professions ranges from Speech and Language Therapists to Nutritionists. We don’t know when the register will be ready.
Who accredits psychologists in Malaysia?
Although the register is not ready, employers and clients need to know that you are fully qualified. The Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP) is a professional society that accredits Clinical Psychology courses and Clinical Psychologists. Becoming a full member of the MSCP helps show that you are fully qualified. You can find out more about them on their website www.mscp.my or Facebook page.
Can I train to be a Clinical Psychologist in Malaysia if I am not Malaysian?
You should check with the authorities or potential employers in your home country to find out whether a Malaysian qualification will be recognised.
Which Universities currently offer places for students to study clinical psychology?
Until recently there were only two clinical psychology training courses based in Malaysia: HELP & UKM. Several new clinical psychology courses have just started operating across Malaysia. This makes it easier to find a place on a Clinical Psychology course but it could cause an issue for trainees because it there may be too few placements or too few experienced clinical psychologists to do the teaching.
To view Clinical Psychology Courses in Malaysia click here.
Job opportunities once you qualify
We’re often asked about the job prospects for clinical psychologists once they qualify. I’ve written an article on ‘the Status of Clinical Psychology in Malaysia‘ which I hope gives something of an answer to a complex question!
Dear Dr. Can I ask if the BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONS) IN PSYCHOLOGY from International University Malaya Wales will be recognized if I intend to pursue a master’s in Clinical Psychology?
I think the Malaysian Clinical Psychology courses would probably accept a degree from the International University of Malaya Wales. You could check by contacting the courses and asking them for confirmation. If you were applying to courses in the UK you would need the UK’s Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR). I’m not sure if that course gives you it automatically.
Dear Dr, May I ask you if I had Bachelor of Teaching Guidance and Counseling from Institut Pendidikan Guru (IPG) in Malaysia, do Australian Universities will recognize my degree if I intend to pursue a master’s in Clinical Psychology? And, can I pursue a master’s in Clinical Psychology if I’m not from a pure psychology students?
I’m not entirely sure so it would be best to check with the individual Australian universities. However, I think the universities will most likely require you to have done a Psychology degree or equivalent.
I need your guidance. My intention is to go for PhD in psychology. I have MS degree is clinical paychology but having difficulties in getting admission due to lack of publications. Currently I have been offered a place in research mode master in Universiti Sains Malaysia (lifestyle science) , my question is PhD from Malaysia having equal standard as most of developed countries offering? And being expat what are scopes of psychologist in Malaysia?
Hi, the situation for PhDs is a bit complex. In the USA you can do a PhD programme that allows you to become a practicing Clinical Psychologist. In many other countries, including the UK and Malaysia, a PhD only qualifies you for research. It does not allow you to work with clients as a Clinical Psychologist. If you already have a Masters in Clinical Psychology then you can already work as a Clinical Psychologist. If you further your studies by taking a PhD in Malaysia you would not be expanding your clinical skills. Instead you would be dedicating your time entirely to research. It’s important that you are genuinely interested in doing lots of research because a PhD requires a huge investment of time and effort in research. If you want your career to be focused on research then it probably does matter where you do your PhD. Academic employers will end to look at who your supervisor was and who you got to know during your PhD.
Hello Dr, i would like to ask if I can become a clinical psychologist if i have a bachelor’s degree in Counselling? Can I pursue clinical psychology for my master’s?
Most university courses require a psychology degree in order to study clinical psychology. However, you could always try contacting the course that you were interested in to check if they would accept a counselling degree.
Am looking to do Masters in Psych in Malaysia. Do you have any recommendations on which are good unis and courses?
I probably don’t know each of the courses sufficiently well to give a good recommendation on which are better. It might also depend on personal preference.
Hey Dr Dan, I have an Medical degree, I would like to persue my masters in clinical psychology, would that be possible ?
To become a clinical psychologist you need to do a psychology degree or a conversion course to turn your first degree into a psychology degree. If you are already a medical doctor then it might be better for you to train as a psychiatrist. Once you have become a psychiatrist you could do extra training in talking therapies. It would be great to have more psychiatrists trained in talking therapies!
Hello doctor, I am interested in doing psychology degree and further my master in clinical psychology. For my degree, do I need any specific course in bachelor of psychology?
Can you suggest the university that offer that degree? Thanks.
Hi, no, I don’t think it’s necessary for you to do any specific courses during your psychology degree to get on the masters of clinical psychology courses.
Hi just to get my understanding right after finisn BA in psychology , we can pursue to master clinical psychology then can become a clinical psychologist. Am I right
You can certainly try – but the clinical psychology courses often prefer that you have done some relevant work experience before you apply. That should make it easier to get accepted onto the courses and it’s useful to have had such experience before you start the course.
hello dr, can i know what is your original ambition ? i mean do you have other ambition before being a clinical psychologist
Hi Wani, interesting question. I was always interested by the way people think and what motivates them. However, I explored other professions before I decided psychology was definitely for me. When I was 16 I was interested in working in the creative side of advertising. When I graduated I tried working as a management consultant. Fortunately, clinical psychology is a profession that really benefits from having a range of experience. So if you’re not sure what you want to do I’d encourage trying some other options. You can always come back to psychology (although you will need a psychology degree to be able to do clinical psychology courses).
Hi Dr Dan. I wonder if the Masters of Clinical Psychology and Doctorate of Clinical Psychology offered by USM is recognized by the MSCP?
There are a few new courses starting up in Malaysia. I haven’t written them up on my site because some have started and then shut down a year or two later. You can email the MSCP to ask if the USM course is recognised by them (I’m not sure)
I am keen to make a career in clinical psychology however my undergrad and masters is in law and my PhD is in sociology. I have been in the academic for the past 25 years and have developed a keen interested in people and their behaviours and how they think. I understand that it’s possible route that I could undertake a post grad diploma in psychology. May I confirm this and once I have completed this may I then apply for a Masters to any other university offering an MSC in CP ?
In the UK we have conversion Masters courses which allow you to study psychology for a year. On completion of the course you would have the equivalent of an undergraduate psychology degree that is accredited by the British Psychology Society (e.g https://www.bps.org.uk/public/become-psychologist/accredited-courses?type=CONV). You can then apply to post graduate courses that require you to have a psychology degree. I don’t know if Malaysia has something similar. You could contact some of the clinical psychology courses to see what they would accept. An alternative I would recommend looking into is the Master of Professional Counselling at Monash University (https://www.monash.edu.my/study/postgraduate-and-research/medicine-health-sciences/master-of-professional-counselling). They do not require a psychology undergraduate degree and they have a good quality training programme that would help you become an effective counsellor using some of the evidence based interventions that psychologists also use.
Hi Dr, I did Bach Industrial Psychology and now continuing my Masters in Psychological Medicine (Research), am i capable enough to be a psychologist ?
Research psychologists are still psychologists so if you continue with research then you could still call yourself a (research) psychologist. However, if you’re asking whether you can be a practicing psychologist then you’d need a post graduate qualification such as a Masters in Clinical Psychology. I think you should be eligible to apply for the courses in Malaysia.
Hi doctor! im a malaysian student who plans to study in the uk from undergrad up till doctorate and train to become a clinical psychologist, what advice can you give me? i have heard that its almost impossible for foreign students to get jobs in the uk after graduating.. sshould i come back here to work right after or should i stay in the uk?
It’s really difficult to say what might happen in the UK in the near future. Brexit and the UK’s economic and political issues mean that everything is very unpredictable. It’s extremely difficult to get a working visa in the UK because the current government is strongly against immigration. However, it will take you at least 6 years to graduate as a Clinical Psychologist so things may have changed by then. Sorry I can’t give a more definitive answer -I’m not sure anyone knows what is going to happen in the UK at the moment!
I have completed my Bachelors in Psychology and I am intending to pursue my Masters in Clinical Psychology in India. How do I know if the course offered is “accredited” in Malaysia? For me to come back and work in Malaysia? Is there any board which I can refer to?
I don’t think any of the courses in India will be officially ‘accredited’ in Malaysia. You’d probably need to get the course assessed on an individual basis. You can speak to the Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology (MSCP: http://malaysiaclinicalpsychology.com/) as they are likely to be the regulating body in the future (although this is not yet fully confirmed).
First off, thank you for your work in compiling this and clarifying in this comment section! It’s been really informative 🙂
I’ve been looking at clinical programs in the Netherlands (particularly a clinical and health psych research MSC program) which allows me to take electives from the one year masters in clin psych program there.
There are many practice and role playing sessions and the course mentions that it is a stepping stone to a PhD programme but also good if I’d like to scientist-practitioner – although it’s not entirely clear to me if the PhD is necessary for that :/
It does however mention that it will prepare me for basic/junior entry level jobs – though I’m not sure what those would mean…
Thus, I can’t tell if doing this course would allow me to practice in Malaysia. I’ve checked the MSCP website but it doesn’t seem to cover much beyond UK and while it mentions that there will be a list of international training programmes for Clin Psych on the website, I can’t seem to find it.- If you could direct me to that, it would be really, really great! Thank you 🙂
Any clarification on this would be deeply appreciated and I hope that wasn’t too messy!
Sorry for any inconveniences and thank you in advance!! 🙂
Thanks, I’m glad you like the site! I think the Dutch system works a little differently. Most systems tend to have the theory and practice linked together. So, for example, in the UK you may have two days a week at university learning theory and then you spend the remaining three days of that week working at a clinical placement where your work is supervised by an experienced clinician. In the Netherlands you do all the theory first and receive a Masters in Clinical Psychology. However, this does not allow you to work as a clinician. To apply for registration as a Clinical Psychologist you must find a supervisor to get you enough supervised hours. The challenge is that you could pay for the academic part of the course but it isn’t worth much unless you can find someone to supervise you. This is my understanding of the Dutch system having spoken to people who have been through the course and then got stuck with the supervision element. However, I may be missing some key information – so do double check it in case I’ve missed something!
Thanks so much for your input!! That was really helpful!
Getting stuck with the supervision part sounds awful! I was speaking about that with my friends as well and thought about trying to find supervision back in Malaysia but couldn’t come up with reasons why someone would supervise a graduate from overseas LOL
Thank you anyway!! 🙂
I am a swimming teacher and a piano teacher. I am interested to understand children well to build their future. I would like to study child psychology. I don’t have any knowledge in this field, may I know how do I start? Which college offer child psychology. I know UCSI offers Master in Child Psychology. But I will need to do diploma first, before doing Master.
Hi Kent, it’s good to hear that you are looking to expand your knowledge. I don’t know much about the undergraduate courses in Malaysia so I’ll comment based on courses generally. Psychology undergraduate degrees are generally more theoretical and abstract (unless the university is specifically aiming at making the psychology course more practical). That means it can be harder to get knowledge that you can easily apply when teaching. You might find it better to look at teaching diplomas, degrees or short courses from education departments in universities. Those courses often include psychology but they are more likely to tell you how to put that knowledge into practice.
Sir,i got offer from UMS(UNIVERSITY MALAYSIA SABAH) to study for degree in children and family psychology.after that can i continue doing master in clinical psychology to become a clinical psychologist.By the way i from Sabah and i don”t really know about psychology field in malaysia and i personally feel that to find job regarding psychology is really difficult in malaysia.
The Clinical Psychology training courses require that you do a psychology degree. I don’t know whether the UMS course on Children and Family Psychology has all the modules that the training courses are looking for. You could try contacting the clinical psychology training courses admissions teams and asking them whether the course would meet their requirements.
Hi Dr. Dan.
First of all, thank you for the above information. I’m glad I came across your website as it certainly made me more aware of what is the current status of psychology academically in Malaysia, prior pursuing career in psychology.
Currently, I am working as a Quantity Surveyor so clearly I do not possess a degree in Psychology but with two degrees: one in Quantity Surveying and the latter in Construction Economics & Management.
However, after years of working in the construction industry I realized that I would like to pursue in studying psychology. I have always been curious to find out why people act or react the way they do!
I have taken a big turn by enrolling myself for a masters in psychology (conversion) via distance learning with a UK uni. The course is accredited by BPS but I am not too sure if that is necessary in Malaysia?
But I was wondering if after graduated, what would be the next step for me to pursue my career change to becoming a psychologist?
I would appreciate if you could assist me in finding my way in knowing how it is possible to do so.
Thanks so much and apologies for this very lengthy comment! I just got too carried away to have been finally found a spot where I can direct my uncertainties! ?
Hi Najiha, I’m glad you liked the website. I think it’s a positive thing to have tried a different career before going into psychology or counselling – it gives you life experience and a different perspective that clients often appreciate. Many of the UK courses encourage this. On my clinical psychology training course we had trainees who had previously been police officers, accountants, actors and healthcare administrators (some were well into their forties when they started). The UK courses would definitely require you had a conversion course. The Malaysian clinical psychology training courses require that you have a psychology degree. I don’t know what their policy is towards conversion Masters but I hope they would be open to them. The undergraduate psychology degree doesn’t teach you anything that you can use practically (there’s rarely any teaching on therapy etc) but gives you really important background knowledge that helps you understand the therapeutic approaches that you will use in the future. Clinical Psychology programmes usually want you to have some experience of working with the sort of clients you might work with in the future. So that might be your next step once you’ve done the conversion course. Perhaps you could look into Befrienders or the Malaysian Mental Health Association (I don’t know the work of those organisations personally but I know others have worked there). If Clinical Psychology doesn’t work out for some reason, the other option open to you in Malaysia is to look into a good counselling course. This one at Monash (https://www.monash.edu.my/study/postgraduate-and-research/medicine-health-sciences/master-of-professional-counselling) gives you a counselling accreditation from Australia and should make you eligible to apply for accreditation in Malaysia. I’ve supervised a few of their trainees at the NGO I work at and they seem to be getting good teaching in therapeutic approaches.
Hi Dr. Dan,
Thank you for your reply. Yes, sadly I could not find anywhere on the website about conversion course acceptance in Malaysia.
And I also went through some information online where it stated that in order to practise, or to become a psychologist I have to take a doctorate course then only I will be able to practise in Malaysia.
Does that means after completing conversion course, I need to do some practical trainings then enrol myself on a doctorate program?
Yes, when looking into psychology: I’ve always been interested to pursue into Clinical Psychology. I have always thought that this would be my dream career. But when I was young and finished high school, there was not really options out there to study psychology from Malaysian uni. This was sometimes in 1998 when I finished high school. ?
I am very glad when you pointed out that you had people trained with you who changed courses in their 40s. Because I am 38 this year and wonder if my action to jump into a different path is too late and worthless.
Thanks Dr. Dan. And apologies for the asking too many questions but I really need to know what to do and if there is possibility to really doing it now.
Thanks again and have a great weekend.
Hi Najiha, if you choose to study in the UK the only option is to take a doctorate in clinical psychology (DClinPsych). If you study in Malaysia you can qualify with a Masters in Clinical Psychology (usually a 2year programme). You can gain experience with relevant clients groups whilst you study. Keep in mind that it can be difficult to earn good money as a clinical psychologist – you might be taking quite a paycut from your current career. Good luck!
Hi, i am a medical doctor and i have MBBS. Im interested in becoming a clinical psychologist. Whats the next step? Thanks
HI Adibah, If you wanted to become a clinical psychologist you’d need to get a psychology degree and then get post graduate qualification in clinical psychology. That would be a long procedure so you might want to consider some other options. You could qualify as a psychiatrist and then do some training courses to develop your skills in talking therapies. It would be great to have more psychiatrists in Malaysia who are able to offer medication and talking therapies. You could also choose to do the Masters in Professional Counselling at Monash University in Malaysia. The trainees there study cognitive behavioural therapy to a similar level to clinical psychology trainees in Malaysia.
Hello dr. I have a BSC in psychology with health psychology from the UK (Bangor University). I was just wondering if I could qualify for any of the masters in clinical psychology which are accredited by BPS that you know. I hope to train as a clinical psychologist in Malaysia. Thank you dr:)
Hi Shini, there are no Masters in Clinical Psychology in the UK that qualify you to work clinically. There are some introductory courses that are accredited by the BPS but they are accredited as introductory academic courses. They won’t let you work clinically in the UK or Malaysia. You need to do a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology in the UK in order to be qualified. You can do a Masters of Clinical Psychology and be qualified if you study in Malaysia.
Hi Dr. Dan Seal,
I’m now currently studying A levels. I’m not sure what to do next if I want to become a clinical psychology. If I take masters in UK or in US, does it mean I can work in Malaysia as a clinical psychologist? I’m also actually having a hard time to decide what I really want to study in the future. Please give me some pointers.
It’s good that you’re already planning for your future. At this stage you don’t have to make any firm decisions on where you should do a masters or doctorate. However, if you do want to be a clinical psychologist you will need to take psychology at undergraduate level. Once you have your degree then you will proably need a to get some work experience before deciding on your post-graduate training. If you stay in Malaysia you will need to do a Masters in Clinical Psychology. If you go to the US or UK you will need to get a doctorate in clinical psychology to be qualified to work as a clinical psychologist in Malaysia. If you go to Australia then you can do a Masters qualification that will allow you to work as a clinical psychologist.
I have a undergraduate degree in psychology with clinical and health psychology from the UK. I have also have a masters degree locally from malaysia in educational psychology. If I happen to go to Australia to further my studies on a masters qualification, what masters should i pursue in order to be a clinical psychologist? Can i practice with my present qualification in Australia? Thank you Dr Dan. have a good day.
Hi Shini, if you want to be a clinical psychologist in Australia then you’ll need to study a Masters or Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
You can check whether you’re eligible to work in Australia with your current qualification by going through this process: https://www.psychology.org.au/About-Us/What-we-do/Assessing-overseas-qualifications/APS-assessment-for-Skilled-Migration or this one https://www.psychologyboard.gov.au/Registration/Overseas-Applicants.aspx. Although you might be able to ask informally or find out from others whether they managed to get their qualification recognised in Australia. I suspect that the Malaysian qualification won’t be considered equivalent to the Australian one but you might be able to take additional exams or do additional supervised practice to top up.
Hi, I have Bachelor Degree in Industrial Psychology, and now continuing my Master’s in Psychological Medicine ( Research) , however i wanted to be a Clinical Psychologist. Do i need to do another Master’s in Clinical Psychology or can continue PhD in Clinical Psychology ?
Hi Suga, you’ll need a qualification that trains you to be a clinician. In Malaysia that’s usually a Masters of Clinical Psychology. The research masters is a good thing to have but it doesn’t reduce the time you need to train to be a clinical psychologist.
Greetings Dr Dan,
I am wondering if this is possible. I graduated with a Distinction in my Bachelors of Psychology. Is it possible for me to move into a PsyD straight ? Malaysia allows for one to skip their Masters and move straight to their Phd if the have earned a Distinction. Does this also extend to PsyD?
Hi Joanne, in most countries it is not necessary to do a Masters before doing a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. In Malaysia completing a Masters in Clinical Psychology is all you need to become a qualified Clinical Psychologist. So you could apply with the academic qualifications that you have but you’re likely to need some work experience.
Hello Dr. Dan Seal,
Firstly, thank you for the insightful and practical perspectives you have given in the comments, I truly benefited a lot from that, as before I discovered your articles I did not know what are the questions I want to ask. And furthermore I would like to apologize for the long comment, because I could really use some valuable input of yours.
I’m currently a second year BA (Hons) Psych student, and I’m having a hard time on deciding on my postgraduate path. I’m interested in child psychology as I think that due to changes in parenting trends, technology exposure etcetera, children in this generation would need more attention and care on their emotional development, however, I do not see myself as someone who have the capacity to deal with children in long term thus I explored my interests in other psychology fields, particularly counselling and clinical psychology. I have some experiences in research (the academic journal is not published yet) and interned at a local NGO for a few months last year.
As I wish to work in Malaysia after I obtain my Masters, I am currently going back and forth between a few options: If I wish to pursue Clinical Psych, I could go on with HELP University’s Flinders Joint Degree, then directly apply for Masters or PhD in Clinical Psychology at Australian universities; or continue with my current degree then do my Masters locally. But for counselling path I am not too sure, as there are quite a variety of courses available in Malaysia. I also thought of proceeding with my current degree then work for a few years after I graduate before applying for my postgraduate studies but my parents are not too fond of the idea.
May I know which pathway would you recommend? Other than that, I would also like to ask what are some of the personal qualities that you think a good clinical psychologist/counsellor should have, and if you don’t mind, what are your perspective on the future prospects of both professions in Malaysia.
HI Leia, sorry for the slow reply. I think it got lost in my messages at the beginning of the MCO lockdown period. I’m glad you found my articles helpful. In Malaysia you train as a general Clinical Psychologist which qualifies you to work with both children and adults. You could always choose to specialise in children or adults at a later date if your interests change. The pathways you mention make sense. You could stay in Malaysia all the way through. You could also do your undergraduate here or in Australia and then do post graduate training in clinical psychology in Australia before coming back to Malaysia. The Masters in Professional Counselling at Monash University is quite a good course and gives you a qualification that’s valid in Australia. There’s no rush to train as a clinical psychologist or counsellor. Most people appreciate it when their therapist has some work experience in other areas.
Can a certified clinical psychologist from any foreign country work in Malaysia without obtaining local certification? Also, is it legal for a certified clinical psychologist from foreign country to advice Malaysian patients over online website or App?
Hi Kamaruz, there is a law, the Allied Health Professions Act 2016, that made it illegal for someone to call themselves a ‘Clinical Psychologist’ unless they are registered. However, the law has not yet been enforced because the government needs time to decide how to run the register. We don’t know when the register will be ready or when the law will be enforced. That means there is no law blocking anyone from claiming to be a clinical psychologist in Malaysia. There is also no law blocking foreign psychologists based overseas advising Malaysian clients. At the moment the public needs to check if the psychologist is licensed for themselves. You can go to MSCP.my to check the Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychologists register.
Hi Dr. Dan,
I am planning to start my Bsc Psychology in the UK. I would like to understand about what is the different of BPS and Malaysia Psychological Association (PSIMA) membership?
Do I need to become a full member before I can apply a job.
If I hold BPS membership, do I still need to apply for PSIMA membership if I would like to be a lecturer back in Malaysia as my career?
Hi Jay, PSIMA is a relatively new organisation so I’m not sure what their policies are. However, if you needed PSIMA membership when you returned from the UK it should be easy enough to apply if you already have a BPS accredited Psychology degree. You could always check with them directly if you want to be fully prepared.
I am from India, had my under-graduation in psychology (B.sc Psychology) and Post Graduate diploma in Clinical Social Work and counselling practice. Is it possible for me to work in Malaysia as a counsellor or a social worker? Or any jobs related to mental health ?
Hi Deepthi, Malaysia discourages companies from employing foreigners and it’s hard to get a working visa. I think it would be very difficult to find a job because you’ll be competing against local Malaysians.
Dear Dr Dan,
I have a undergraduate (BSoSC of Psychology) degree and would like to study to become a qualified clinical psychologist.
1. What are your opinions that ones should further their studies in government university or private university is better?
2. And what top or best university do you recommend to study a clinical psychology degree in Malaysia?
3. If let say I would like to work in Singapore, does there recognize Malaysia degree qualifiacation?
4. Also what university do you recommend If I would like to further my studies to Doctorate of Clinical Psychology.
5. What is the difference that ones should study a Master degree or Doctorate degree?
There are lots of new clinical psychology courses starting up in Malaysia. This is likely to cause some problems as there won’t be enough supervisors (experienced clinical psychologists) to train trainees on work placements. Older courses such as HELP or UKM tend to have better connections and placements. Most of the courses in Malaysia are Masters. I think some of the newer courses are offering doctorates but that doesn’t necessarily mean the training is superior to that offered by the masters courses. I’m not sure whether Singapore recognises any or all of the clinical psychology qualifications from Malaysia.
Dear Dr Dan
I am a teacher with a Bachelor degree in Education and Post Grad Cert in Special Needs. Which area of specialization would it be good for me to pursue, Clinical Psychology or Educational Psychology? My main area of interest is helping the many children who are struggling with LDs, ADHD, Autism Spectrum. I have been a teacher for the past 28 years and I really want to be able to screen for challenges and give appropriate recommendations and guidance for children and parents although now I go by my experience working with so many children over the 28 years of teaching.
Hi Pushpa, sorry for replying a little slowly. If we were in the UK and you were an experienced teacher thinking of becoming an accredited psychologist then I would defintely recommend training as an Educational Psychologist. I just searched online for Educational Psychologist training programmes in Malaysia but I couldn’t find any (there may be some that I am now aware of). So it’s probable that you’d need to train as a clinical psychologist and then focus on working with children and young people. Unfortunately, the clinical psychology programmes usually require that you have a psychology degree. Perhaps you could speak with the clinical psychology courses to establish if there are any options for you. In the UK you could do a one year conversion masters and then the training course.
Hi Dr Dan,
I would like to ask what kind of relevant working experience is useful for applying Msc Clinical Psychology? Whether working in the human resource department is relevant or being a research assistant is beneficial?
Hi JY, I’m not sure what criteria the local courses use to decide whether work experience is relevant. In the UK the main focus is on whether you’ve had the opportunity to interact with people who have psychological difficulties. It’s a way of ensuring that people know what they are getting themselves into if they opt for training and a career in clinical psychology. So the courses would probably look on any work experience, such as HR as a good thing. However, they may require you to add some specific experience with people who have psychological difficulties.
Hi Dr. Dan,
I do not have a bachelor degree in psychology. I would like to seek your professional advice as to where can I do a psychology conversion course like postgraduate/graduate diploma in psychology in Malaysia, so that I can do master of clinical psychology?
Hi Lee, when I was a lecturer at the University of Nottingham’s Malaysia campus we ran a psychology conversion Masters. However, it wasn’t very popular and it was discontinued. I don’t know of any other courses. Perhaps you could contact a Clinical Psychology course such as HELP and ask them what they would recommend. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help!
Hi, I am currently studyingBSc psychology at Universty of Reading. May I know if I study master in clinical psychology in HELP, am I eligible to become a clinical psychologist in Singapore?
Hi, I don’t think you’d be immediately eligible to work in Singapore. The Singapore Psychological Society requires that you have 1000 hours of supervised practice in order to be able to apply to be on the Singapore Register of Psychologists (https://singaporepsychologicalsociety.org/srp-registration-form/). I don’t think the HELP course will give you that many hours. So you’d need to be supervised by a psychologist that is already on the Singapore Register of Psychologists for the remaining hours. There’s a list of registered psychologists on the society’s website.
Thanks for replying. I thought 1000hours supervised practice must be done during master? How about UKM or USM, does Singapore accept theirs master in clinical psychology, and can be a registered psychologist?
I think HELP and UKM are able to offer the most supervised hours as they are the most established courses. There aren’t many supervisors in Malaysia so it can be difficult to get sufficient supervised hours. You could check directly with the courses to find out what they are able to offer because I’m not sure what the current situation is. You could also contact the Singapore Psychological Society to ask them if they have recently registered any Malaysian qualified psychologists and what the steps were for them. If you find out do let us know on this message board – I’m sure there are others who have the same question!
Thank you for your information! I would try to check these out. And also I look forward to attending your virtual career talk at University of reading on the upcoming Tuesday.
I am also thinking about study a master in clinical psychology in Australia but does master program in Aus accept a UK degree? As I have known, Australia only needs a master to become a clinical psychologist, isn’t it?
Yes, Australia does have Masters courses that qualify you as a Clinical Psychologist. They also offer doctoral courses that qualify you as a clinical psychologist. I think Australian courses will accept a UK undergraduate degree. There are some differences in the degree systems. UK undergraduate honours courses are 3 years long (except in Scotland where it’s 4 years) whereas Australian honours courses can be 4 years long. You can check with the individual courses whether they need you to demonstrate equivalence with the Australian undergraduate programme or whether they will accept a UK degree outright.
Hi Dr Dan,
I currently interested to pursue a diploma in child psychology and intervention from The School of Positive Psychology Singapore.
Is the diploma recognized in malaysia ? And for a diploma what can I do after graduate ? Can I work as a children therapist ? I do want to pursue a degree in this As I already have a degree in another field.
Thank you in advance for your helpful answer !
HI Vivian, I don’t think that course would give you any formal recognition in Malaysia. However, that’s because there is no regulating body in Malaysia for a children’s therapists or similar. The question is whether that qualification would help you get a job from an employer in Malaysia or whether you’d be able to work as an independent therapist in Malaysia. I don’t really know enough about the employment situation to answer that. A second question is whether that course teaches you enough to work independently. There should at least be a practical element (learning whilst working through supervision) but that only seems to be optional. I couldn’t really determine from their website or brochure whether the course was intended to teach you to be an independent practitioner or if it is for teachers or tutors to expand their knowledge. Perhaps you could contact the course to ask them if any Malaysians have taken the course and how they have used it.
I mean I DO NOT plan to get a degree in this as I already have a degree in another field.
Hi Dr Dan, thanks for sharing and maintaining the website, it’s really helpful.
I’ve learned that the pre-requisite of pursuing https://www.monash.edu.my/study/postgraduate-and-research/medicine-health-sciences/master-of-professional-counselling does not require a degree in psychology. if there is a way to convert or pursue towards becoming clinical psychologist from here?
Background:- I have a master degree in Computer Science, +10 years of working experience in Technology company
Hi Chye, thanks I’m glad that you like the website! Yes, you can do the Monash masters in counselling without a psychology degree. Clinical Psychology and counselling are parallel careers so unfortunately studying the Monash Masters doesn’t open up the path to Clinical Psychology (other than giving you some good work experience). You can check with the individual courses but my understanding is that most courses would still require you to have studied a psychology degree or a psychology conversion masters before you can start clinical psychology training. The Monash course actually teaches a lot of skills, such as CBT, that are similar to Clinical Psychology training. Once you have your counselling qualification you can also do additional training in talking therapy (psychwire.com has some good courses) in the same way that a clinical psychologist can. In Malaysia there are probably more job openings for counsellors than clinical psychologists. As a counsellor one area that you would not be able to pursue is neuropsychological testing (e.g https://resolve.my/learning-assessments/). I hope that helps!
Hi Dr Dan, hope you’re doing well. I was actually a student of yours back in 2016. I took a gap year and just graduated BSc (Hons) Psychology earning a 2:1. I am planning to continue for Master in Clinical Psychology but would like to gain working experience beforehand. I wonder if there are any internship places that is available at Prince Court? If not, is there any internship or work places. I am interested to work in mental health care but specifically I have an interest in addiction rehabilitation,
Hi Marina, getting permission to work in any private or public hospital as an Assistant Psychologist is extremely difficult because it’s usually seen, by the hospital management, as a risk with few potential benefits to the hospital. There are a few rehabilitation centres you could contact to see if they have internship positions available. It may be helpful to know that due to the increase in the number of Clinical Psychology training programmes many courses are accepting trainees who have not had any work experience.
I find your website and comment section really helpful, thank you for doing this!
I have an honours BSc in psychology and MSc in clinical psychology and mental health both completed in the UK.
But I am aware that you’ve told others that doing a DClinPsy in the UK allows you to practice Clinical psychology in the UK and Malaysia, and you can do a Masters in ClinPsych to practise in Malaysia.
However, I am looking to practice clinical psychology in the future so I’m looking at my options now. If I were to do my PhD in Clinical psychology, would I be able to practice Clinical psychology in Malaysia and the UK? Or does it have to be a DClinPsy?
And what if I were to just take another Masters in Clinical psychology in Malaysia (the 2 years program), would I be qualified to practice clin psychology in the UK too or just Malaysia?
Hi Eunice, I’m glad you find our website helpful! In the UK the only qualification you can take to become a Clinical Psychologist is a DClinPsych. The UK DClinPsych qualification is well recognised in other countries. That means most countries will accept the DClinPsych qualification without requiring the holder of the qualification to do extra exams or training. However, the USA is an example of a country where even DClinPsych holders must complete additional exams and training in order to be recognised as a Clinical Psychologist. If you took a Masters in Clinical Psychology in Malaysia you could ask the UKs HCPC (Clinical Psychology’s registering body) if they would accept the Masters as equivalent to our DClinPsych. As far as I know the HCPC does not view the Malaysian Masters as equivalent to the UK DClinPsych so you would not be able to work as a Clinical Psychologist in the UK without further training and assessment.
The UK Phd is a research qualification not a clinical qualification. In other countries you can get a PhD that qualifies you to work as a Clinical Psychologist. If you had a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the USA or Australia and you applied to the HCPC it is much more likely that they would accept your qualification as equivalent and allow you to work in the UK as a Clinical Psychologist.
Thank you so much for clarifying the difference between the DClinPsy and PhD in Clin Psych!
I will look into the Masters of Clinical Psych in Malaysia.
One last question, do you know much about the accreditation in Singapore? Whether the Masters of Clinical Psych completed in Malaysia qualifies for the accreditation of a Clinical Psychologist in Singapore?
Hi Eunice, that’s a complicated question. Some clinical psychologists who have qualified in Malaysia have managed to work in Singapore. It might be best to see if you can contact Malaysian qualified Clinical Psychologist who is working in Singapore to see how they managed. My understanding is that the Malaysian courses do not give a sufficient number of clinical supervision hours for the Singaporean registering body. Consequently, the Malaysian qualified clinical psychologists need to find a clinical psychologist who is registered by Singapore to supervise them for the remaining hours. If you find out any other information please do let us know on this forum so that can others can gain from your knowledge!
Hi there. I’m planning to take a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and Masters after that in UK. The course is accredited by the BPS. My question is, if i complete my Masters in UK and come back to Malaysia, can I practice as a clinical psychologist?
No. There are many Masters courses in the UK with titles such as Masters in Clinical Psychology or Masters in Child Psychology. These courses are introductory courses. You will not be able to practice as a Clinical Psychologist in Malaysia or any other country if you complete one of these courses.
In the UK a PhD, even if it is in a clinical area, will not qualify you as a Clinical Psychologist (however, in other countries you can get a PhD which will allow you to practice as a Clinical Psychologist).
I’ve met quite a few good people who have mistakenly taken one of these courses. It is understandable as the courses often state they are accredited by the BPS and they sound clinical. However, they are accredited for their academic content in the same way as the BPS accredits undergraduate degrees. They are not accredited as clinical training courses.
Hi Dr Seal,
Is a PhD in Organisational Behaviour (from a business school) similar to a PhD in Industrial and Organisational Psychology?
Can one teach in the psychology faculty with a PhD in Organisational Behaviour?
Hi, it really depends on the type of PhDs and what the psychology faculty is looking for. Some PhDs are purely research doctorates whereas others have a taught practical component. The doctorates with a taught practical component will often teach sufficient skills that you can apply to a registering body that would make you an Organisational Psychologist (or whichever term the country uses). If you are applying to courses overseas then you can ask the course whether their training would lead to registration as an Organisational Psychologist. To my knowledge I don’t think Malaysia has training courses or registration for Organisational Psychologists (do let me know if you find any!)
Hi Dr Seal, I am currently studying a Bachelor’s of Psychology in Malaysia and am planning to continue locally with a Master in Clinical Psychology due to financial constraints. However, if I was interested in eventually becoming a private clinical psychologist with the capacity to work anywhere in the world, what pathway would you recommend to achieve that?
Hi June, as you may have guessed the Malaysian Clinical Psychology qualification is not as well recognised as qualifications from OECD countries. However, you may be able to apply to some countries to determine if the Malaysian qualification is regarded as equivalent to that countries local qualification. Some countries may have an ‘upgrade path’ where you can do additional training or supervision hours to become accredited in that country.
Hi Dr Dan, good day to you, i was wondering, now i have a Masters in Clinical Psy from India, and next step ahead i am planning for my PsyD, is there any universities in Malaysia that offers PsyD? and if so will it be recognised internationally or must i sit for extra papers for licencing?
i did come across the UK program and as per your input, it is well recognised in the international market ?, i am just trying to be close to motherland but in other means i am ready to fly as well, even India will do , just wondering if you have an input on this and the possible uni’s that i can approach.
truly appreciate the help Dr Dan.
Hi Rino, I don’t think the Malaysian Clinical Psychology courses are widely recognised internationally. So it might be a bit risky to qualify here if your plan is to work in another country. The UK DClinPsych program is well-recognised in other countries (in some countries, such as the USA, you’d still need to take additional licensing exams). Unfortunately, I don’t yet know enough about courses in India to make any recommendations about courses there.
Hi Dr Dan,Im currently doing diploma in early childhood education and planning to be a child psychologist in the future, can Dr advice me what undergraduate courses that I need to take in Australia, is it just any courses that related to psychology?. Because I do know that they is no such course as just child psychology but they do have a masters in child psychology and in order to get there we need to do undergraduate.
Hi Huan Hui, most countries including Malaysia don’t have a profession called ‘child psychologist’. If you want to be a registered psychologist who works with children then the options are usually ‘Educational Psychologist’ or becoming a ‘Clinical Psychologist’ who later specialises in working with children. THe Australian pathway is explained on the Australian Psychological Society’s website here: https://psychology.org.au/training-and-careers/careers-and-studying-psychology/studying-psychology/study-pathway. It requires you to get a 4 year honours psychology undergraduate degree and then do postgraduate training for between 2 and 4 years. If you search 1-4 years on the following site (https://www.psychologycouncil.org.au/APAC_accredited_psychology_programs_australasia) it lists the approved psychology degree programmes. As an alternative to becoming a psychologist who works with children you could look into becoming a counsellor who works with children.
If I complete my PhD in US will I be able to be a certified Dr when I come back to Malaysia?
If you complete a PhD or PsyD in the USA you would need to ensure that by completing that doctorate you would be eligible to be licensed as a clinical psychologist in the US state in which you studied. If you have proof of your eligibility to be licensed in the USA then you should be able to get recognition from the Malaysian Society of Clinical Psychology or any other regulating body in Malaysia.
Hi Dr Dan, I am a teacher in a Malaysian government secondary school teaching English subject. I was a B. Ed in TESL graduate from the local university (IIUM). I am interested in becoming a therapist. I understand that in order for me to go into this field I need to at least have a bachelors degree in Psychology. My question is, is it possible for me to go into this field based on my existing experience & qualification? If yes, what do I need to do? I’d very much appreciate your insight. Thank you!
Hi Aisya, great to hear that you are interested in becoming a therapist. If you want to become a clinical psychologist then most courses require you to have a degree or a conversion masters in Psychology. However, an alternative route is to become a counsellor as this does not require a psychology degree. This one at Monash gives you a counselling qualification that is recognised in Australia: https://www.monash.edu.my/study/postgraduate-and-research/medicine-health-sciences/master-of-professional-counselling. There are also a number of counselling courses at local universities at more affordable rates – but I don’t know as much about them. Once you have a counselling qualification you can then train in other therapies that interest you (e.g this website offers good online courses: https://psychwire.com/).
Hi Dr Dan, good day to you. After going through all the comment section, I noticed that you recommended the Master of Professional Counselling offered by the Monash University to most of the students who are interested in clinical psychology too. I wish to know that if i completed these course which mean can i able to choose whether i want to become a psychologist or counsellor? or i can only choose to become a counsellor after taking the master of professional counselling courses offered by Monash university?
Hi Grace, the Master of Professional counselling is a good option for those that don’t have a psychology degree as it doesn’t require a psychology degree. However, it qualifies you as a counsellor rather than a clinical psychologist. So if you would like to be a Clinical Psychologist you’ll need to get a psychology degree and then a Masters of Clinical Psychology (if you qualify in Malaysia, other countries require a doctorate).
Hi Dr Dan, firstly thanks for the informative article you have there. I will like to ask that if I graduate with a Master in Clinical Psychology, where could I pursue my first job?
Hi Johnny, most clinical psychologists in Malaysia work in small private practices. Others work in NGOs or move into academia. There are only a few jobs in government hospitals. The downside of clinical psychology in Malaysia is that it often requires some entrepreneurial skills to set yourself up with a good income. The upside is that there are so few clinical psychologists that there should be lots of need for the services that good clinical psychologists can provide.
Hi, Dr Dan Seal. I’m a Medical Officer in Psychiatry. I would like to take Master in Psychology. Is there any way that can help me to achieve that? Do you have any other suggestions? Thank you and have a nice day😊
Hi Farah, it’s great to hear that you’re interested in psychology (we need more psychiatrists who actively support therapy). If you are already on the psychiatry path it would be quite troublesome to try and become a clinical psychologist (it would involve taking a psychology degree or a conversion course and then going on to do a Masters of Clinical Psychology). However, I don’t think you would need to do that. Many psychiatrists in the UK take postgraduate courses or undertake additional training and become experts in a particular therapeutic model. I’d currently recommend Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). There are some great online courses by Russ Harris on PsychWire (https://psychwire.com/harris) if you’re interested. You can send me a message on LinkedIn if you would like more information.
Hi Dr. Dan. Thank you for settting this up, the comments and replies are very informative and helpful. I am a Bachelor of Psychology graduate. Having in mind the goal to become a child psychologist. May I ask which Masters program would be a better choice for me to reach my goal? Would pursuing a Masters in Special Education or Masters in Educational Psychology be more ideal? Thank you.
Hi Lene, if you are a Malaysian, intending to study in Malaysia and you want to focus on becoming a psychologist who works with children, then the best path is to get a Masters of Clinical Psychology. Once you qualify as a Clinical Psychologist you can then specialise in working with children. I recommend this because in Malaysia the field Clinical Psychology seems to be gaining official recognition. However, other specialisations such as Educational Psychology do not yet have that recognition. Official recognition should be beneficial in getting jobs and in demonstrating to potential clients that you are suitably qualified.
If you were in another country or you were intending to study in another country then seeking to qualify as an Educational Psychologist may be a better option as it would allow you to focus only on the area that is of most interest to you.
A Masters in Special Education is usually for teachers who wish to specialise in teaching children with special needs.
If i wanted to become a clinical psy, what minor should i choose for my psy degree? My uni give 3 opt which are counseling, ece and public relations. Which one is the better choice?
Hi Hazzy, you should be able to get onto a Clinical Psychology course with any of those minor options because your major is psychology. It’s possible that some universities prefer certain minors but I don’t know too much about their selection criteria. Personally, I would choose the one that most interests you (it will be easy to study hard for it and that usually means a better grade anyway).
Hi Dr. Dan! I have a degree in pure psychology (Hons) completed in Malaysia and I would like to do master in Australia (an honors degree followed by a master degree). May I know can I transfer directly from Uk course to the Australia one? And is a master in clinical psychology in Australia recognized by Malaysia if I would like to work as clinical psychologist in Malaysia?
Hi Qian, if you do a Clinical Psychology programme in Australia and that programme qualifies you to be a Clinical Psychologist in Australia then your qualifications would be recognised in Malaysia. If you already have an honours degree from the UK (although you studied it in Malaysia) you may be able to go directly into the Masters of Clinical Psychology course. It may depend on which subjects you took and whether the Australian system considers your degreee to be equivalent to an Australian Honours degree. You can apply to the Australian Psychological Society to have your qualifications evaluated here: https://psychology.org.au/about-us/what-we-do/assessing-overseas-qualifications
Hi Dr Dan, first I would like to say I admire your dedication to maintaining this site and still providing advice for those in need in the comment section of an article that is a few years old.
I am currently aiming to become a clinical psychologist and I’m looking for a university to study my bachelor’s degree in. Through my survey I narrowed down to UTAR because of its cheap costs but the only course they offer is Bachelor’s degree in Social Science (Hons) Psychology. I contacted them and I was told that their course isn’t pure psychology and that it isn’t that closely related to clinical psychology. I would like to ask if it is possible for me to take Masters in clinical psychology with a degree in social science from universities like UTAR or UKM?
Hi Phan, thanks! Most clinical psychology courses require applicants to have a psychology degree. So it would be better to study for a psychology degree. I don’t know what the comparative costs are in Malaysia. In the UK one way of managing costs was to do the course part-time so you could work (I’m not sure if that’s a viable option in Malaysia). If you have really good grades you could also look into a scholarship (when I worked at Nottingham University’s Malaysian Campus we had a scholarship for Psychology students via the STAR newspaper).
Hi Dr Dan. I am going to complete my degree in psychology. I am interested to be a clinical psychologist. I was wondering if I can do my masters part time / remotely and not full time in a campus. Are there any university/colleges that offer part time program? Thank you.
Hi Brian, it’s not possible to do a clinical psychology qualification remotely because an important element of the course is doing placements where a clinical psychologist observes your work. I don’t know whether it is possible to study part-time. If you find out this information from the university courses please do post a reply in this forum so others can gain from your knowledge!
Hello sir. I’m 32 years old and I’ve always wanted to be a clinical psychologist. I haven’t even started my degree in psychology. Do you think it’s too late for me to start now? Thank you
Hi Tamara, personally I don’t see why it would be too late to become a clinical psychologist at 32. I think clinical psychologists benefit from life experience. In the UK many of the Clinical Psychology courses welcome people with different types of life experience. Just on my cohort we had an ex-police officer, an ex-actor and a number of us had worked in corporate jobs first. A few were in the late thirties or early forties when they began training (if you qualify at 40 you could easily work for another 30 years or more). Other courses have welcomed people who have been looking after their own children or were working through their own issues (one high profile example is Rufus May who became a clinical psychologist after having spent time in psychiatric hospitals due to a diagnosis of schizophrenia).
However, there may be some challenges. I don’t know how the admissions tutors in Malaysia view life experience but I hope they’d be open and welcoming. You’ll also likely be studying and learning with people who are much younger which some find invigorating and others find isolating. It may also be difficult to fund the an undergraduate degree or conversion masters followed by a Masters in Clinical Psychology. If those are a problem an alternative would be to look into a counselling qualification which usually doesn’t require a degree in psychology.
Good luck with it !
hi dr dan!
im planning to take a psych + edu (BA) hons degree in the UK but the course isnt accredited by the BPS even though its in a prestigious school ranked 2nd for psychology. i am still unsure with what i want to pursue after undergrad so i would really appreciate it if you could answer these questions:
1. would an unaccredited course affect my potential career if i decided to work in the UK immediately after undergrad? and would i be able to find work in psychology/education with an undergrad degree only?
2. would an unaccredited course allow me to pursue a masters/other post grad qualifications in the UK or Malaysia?
3. would an unaccredited course allow me to pursue a masters of clinical psychology if i decided to work in Malaysia to become a clinical psychologist?
4. would an unaccredited course allow me to pursue a doctorate in clinical psychology if i decided to work in the UK to become a clinical psychologist?
hope the questions arent too confusing! thank you 🙂
Hi Cait, if the combined degree you’re looking at is from a good university but is not accredited via the British Psychological Society (BPS) then it’s probably because the degree does not have enough of the core psychological courses that the BPS requires. You can check with the university but it may be they’ve focussed more on educational courses in the combined degree.
I’ll answer your questions in reverse order:
4. To be able to apply for the doctorate in Clinical Psychology you would need the BPS’s Graduate Basis for Registration (https://www.bps.org.uk/join-us/membership/graduate-membership). If your undergraduate degree does not give you the GBR you’d need to do a Masters Conversion course before applying to the DClinPsych courses.
3. I don’t know whether the Masters of Clinical Psychology courses in Malaysia would accept the combined degree. They do accept psychology degrees from the UK with GBR status. They would need to make a judgement on whether the combined degree you are considering has enough psychology content. It’s difficult to know how they would view your combined degree a few years from now.
2. Some post-graduate courses, particularly applied psychology courses, require GBR but other post-graduate courses (e.g education based ones) might appreciate your combined course. It would depend what sort of post-graduate course you were looking at.
1. There are jobs related to psychology that you could do which do not require a psychology degree (e.g healthcare assistant). They are important jobs but they are low paid and you generally need a post-graduate qualification to progress further in your career at which point the lack of GBR becomes a problem again.
Hi Dr Dan,
Great website and dedication for reading each of the questions comments and replying so earnestly!
I am 40 year old, pharmacist. who has worked in the community setting for about 18 years in Malaysia. Similarly to the website’s motto “We aim to help people lead more fulfilling lives”, I am seeking out to fulfill a part of my passion in Psychology, particularly in Mental health. Ultimately, I do hope I can couple my knowledge in Pharmacy with psychology in helping more people in their lives, general, medical & mental health.
There are some concerns hoovering my head and would appreciate if you can share some light.
1) Masters of Psychology course under Monash University: Holders of this can’t be term as Psychologist right? So as therapists/counselors? What will be the job prospects locally in Malaysia and internationally?
2) Bachelor of Psychology, then Clinical / Masters of Psychology in order to practice as a Clinical Psychologist: Would my age set as an disadvantage to this path of Clinical Psychologist?
3) There is an online programme under University of London Bsc of Psychology. Would you advice this over Masters of Psychology under MOnash ?
4) What do you think of Pharmacist-Psychologist vs Pharmacist-Counsellor in future job prospects and challenges?
Apologies for the lengthy questions.
And thank you so much !
Hi, thanks for the kind words! The field of Health Psychology might be of interest to you given your career as a pharmacist. Here’s a document from the British Psychological Society explaining more about it. Unfortunately, it’s not really a recognised profession in Malaysia and it requires taking a conversion Masters or undergraduate psychology degree before doing a postgraduate qualification overseas. I mention it because it may give you some ideas on how to combine your knowledge in the future.
I think you’re interested in offering psychological interventions, such as talking therapy, to people in psychological distress. If that’s the case you’ll need a course that teaches you clinical skills. These aren’t usually taught online because to learn clinical skills you need to practice and be supervised by experienced clinicians. In Malaysia your two main options are Clinical Psychology or Counselling.
If you want to become a Clinical Psychologist you’d need to do an undergraduate degree in psychology or Masters conversion course (these could be done online). Then you’d need to take a Masters in Clinical Psychology. Personally, I see life experience as an advantage to a psychologist so I don’t think your age and previous experience will be a disadvantage. However, it will take a lot of time to go down this path and you’ll be studying alongside people much younger than yourself.
Another alternative is to get a counselling qualification. The Masters of Professional Counselling at Monash is a bit more invovled than other counselling courses in Malaysia. I think it teaches CBT amongst other interventions and also registers you to practice in Australia. It does not require you to have a psychology degree and can be taken part time so you can still work as you study. I think the cohort often has people who have worked for some time and are looking for a career change.
Once you have a counselling or clinical psychology qualification you can extend your knowledge with online courses such as those offered by psychwire.
There are actually more job opportunities for counsellors than psychologists in Malaysia. However, I’m not sure how well paid most of those counselling positions are. It’s more likely that you’ll need to be a bit entrepreneurial if you qualify as either a clinical psychologist or counsellor. Most clinical psychologists work in private practice. The advantage of being a pharmacist may be that you can keep working as a pharmacist whilst you build up your counselling practice.
Hi Dr Dan, may I know if there is any online psychology or mental health course just for our learning and benefits?. It would be great if the certificate can used it in the future for my working career.
Hi Huan Hui, if you’ve already qualified as a clinical psychologist then this website has a range of good courses you can take: https://psychwire.com/courses. They provided certificates of completion to demonstrate Continuing Professional Development (which all psychologists should be doing in one form of another). If you aren’t yet qualified it’s more difficult to get useful certification. However, I think this course (https://thehappinesstrap.com/) which is based on Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) is really good. It’s often run at a big discount (I think it’s currently 50% off until the end of June). You could also look into learning and practicing Active Listening courses, such as the one at Befrienders Malaysia. I don’t know much about Malaysian Befrienders but the way they are structured is similar to the UK services I do know of which are one very well.
Thank you for your reply Dr Dan😊 I actually will be studying BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies in UK this year September actually. May I know if I were to be a child psychologist in the UK will it requires maths? Because in Malaysia they need a maths requirement. I actually fail my maths during SPM level.
Hi Huan Hui, in the UK there is no such profession as a ‘Child Psychologist’. Instead we have ‘Educational Psychologists’ or ‘Clinical Psychologists’ who who specialise in working with children and adolescents. To become an Educational Psychologist or Clinical Psychologist you first have to do a Psychology degree. All psychology degrees have a maths requirements because psychologists need to understand how to run, or at least, interpret scientific studies. However, there are lots of ways that you can help children without becoming a psychologist (or needing to do maths). Being a really good early years teacher is one method, you could also look into counselling or play therapy if you were interested in helping children’s psychological well being. You should be introduced to these and other options during your degree!
Hi Dr. Dan,
I am currently a final-year psychology student who studies at a local university. I intend to pursue my master’s studies in New Zealand. Does Dr Dan know more about further study in New Zealand? What is the difference between a postgraduate diploma in clinical psychology and a master’s in clinical psychology in New Zealand? If I finish my clinical psychology studies with a postgraduate diploma, can I be registered as a clinical psychologist in Malaysia?
Please accept my apologies for bombarding you with questions. You might have received a few comments with the same questions from me because I don’t know whether the comment has been posted or not. I apologise for that.
I’m looking forward to hearing your reply.
Hi Sheena, I’ve just written a page on this site about training in New Zealand as a international applicant. You can find the page here: https://resolve.my/new-zealand-clinical-psychology/. I hope it should answer most of your questions (if not feel free to ask some on the comments page on the New Zealand). To prevent lots of spam and odd adverts turning up on our webpages the posts won’t show up until I ‘approve’ them. It can take a little while for me to approve and reply to a message depending on how busy I am.
Hi Dr Dan, good day to you. I am currently a final-year psychology student who intends to pursue a postgraduate program in Clinical Psychology / clinical neuropsychology. Would you recommend I gain some work experience before I apply for a postgrad?
Hi Mei Hui, some of the newer clinical psychology masters do seem to accept applicants who do not have any work experience. However, I think it’s a good idea to gain some work experience. It will also make it more likely that you will get offered a place on the more competitive masters of clinical psychology courses.
Hi, may I know if I already have a Doctor of Medicine degree and have a valid medical practicing certificate, do I still need to go through a Bachelor’s in Psychology?
Hi, I know that all the Clinical Psychology training courses in the UK require applicants to have an undergraduate degree in Psychology or to have done a ‘Conversion Masters’ in Psychology. I think the training programmes in Malaysia have the same rule (although I’m not sure if there is such a thing as a conversion masters in Malaysia). I would advise checking directly with the Universities that run the Clinical Psychology Training Programmes to see if any of them would be open to you attending their training programme. If you do check, could you let us know what you find out by posting on this forum?
As I’m sure you are aware, the option that you would have available to you as a medical doctor is to explore becoming a psychiatrist. I don’t think the psychiatry programmes in Malaysia provide much training in talking therapies but once you become a psychiatrist you would be eligible to attend in-person or online training in talking therapies (for example there are some good training courses on Psychwire.com/ .
Hello Dr. Dan, do you have any recommendations or advice for an aspiring clinical psychologist who is working on a psychology degree (graduating on May 2023) could do to gain working experience?
I’ve been working as a digital marketer for the past few years, and I still am, but because of my change in career direction, I lack experience in the psychology field. I’m wondering what my options are because I need to keep working to pay for my current degree.
I am concerned that my experience in marketing alone will make it impossible for me to stand a chance in the highly competitive masters in clinical psychology programs that I hope to enroll in at government universities. I’ve given up a lot to pursue this career shift, so I really want to make sure that I did everything I could to increase my chances.
Thanks in advance, your blog and responses to these comments have helped me so much in my pursuit of this field!!
Hi Shin, I’m glad that you’ve found the website helpful! Your digital marketing skills may come in useful once you become a clinical psychologist as most clinical psychologists in private practice have to find a way to market themselves and their services. In regards to your question, I’ve just sent out a survey to all the Clinical Psychologists, who I could find via LinkedIn and various associations, who are working in Malaysia. It specifically asks about work experience and where they managed to gain work experience. I hope to collect the results, interpret them and publish them on this website in a month or so.