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, learning disabilities and schizophrenia.
As a doctor specialising in this area, you really could make a
difference to someone’s life, and help them regain their
self-respect and happiness.
Psychiatry is an excellent career choice for anyone interested
in how the mind works, and someone who enjoys working as part of a
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
How do I become a
All psychiatrists are qualified doctors, so first you need to
get a place at medical school.
Academically, you will need good passes in 3 A Levels, at least
one of which must be a science subject (Chemistry is compulsory at
some medical schools). Here is 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
As well as studying hard so you can get the best possible
qualifications, there are a few other things you can do:
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
Increases self-understanding, maturity, independence and
self-confidence, especially in the workplace.
Improves your understanding of the work environment and
There are many hospitals throughout the UK which offer work
experience to Year 10/11 students, sixth formers and medical
Contact your local hospital or
mental health trust directly for further information.
If you would like any further information regarding a career in
psychiatry please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org