Sixth formers and school students

This section is for sixth formers and school students who are interested in a career in psychiatry.

What do psychiatrists do?

Psychiatrists are doctors who look after patients with mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, personality disorders and schizophrenia.

As a doctor specialising in this area, you really could make a difference to someone’s life.

Psychiatry is an excellent career choice for anyone interested in how the mind works, and someone who enjoys working as part of a team.

There is real variety in psychiatry. Every day can be different and every person you see will be unique. Psychiatrists work across a person’s lifespan, from childhood to old age.

For more information, see What is psychiatry?

How do I become a psychiatrist?

All psychiatrists are qualified doctors, so first you need to get a place at medical school.

Academically, you will need good passes in three A Levels, at least one of which must be a science subject (Chemistry is compulsory at some medical schools). View a list of UK Medical Schools and their entry requirements.

You will find general information and advice on becoming a doctor, on the British Medical Association website.

Further information is available on How to become a psychiatrist.

I’m interested! What should I do next?

As well as studying hard so you can get the best possible qualifications, there are a few other things you can do:

Work experience

Work experience is a great way to improve your knowledge and understanding of psychiatry and also:

  • It helps you understand if you really want to be a doctor
  • Gives you the opportunity to develop skills and qualities which are needed to become a psychiatrist e.g. communication, teamwork and problem solving.
  • Provides solid experience to offer on UCAS forms and application forms and helps improve prospects for entry to higher education.
  • Increases self-understanding, maturity, independence and self-confidence, especially in the workplace.
  • Improves your understanding of the work environment and employees’ expectations.

There are many hospitals throughout the UK which offer work experience to Year 10/11 students, sixth formers and medical students.

Contact your local hospital or mental health trust directly for further information.

Contact us

If you would like any further information regarding a career in psychiatry please email us.

Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry