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Becoming a Neuropsychologist
What do neuropsychologists do?
What they do
The clinical side of neuropsychology overlaps with academic neuropsychology, which provides a scientific understanding of the relationship between brain and neuropsychological function. This in turn helps form the basis for assessment and rehabilitation of people with brain injury or other neurological disease.
Where they work
Neuropsychologists work with people of all ages with neurological problems, which might include traumatic brain injury, stroke, toxic and metabolic disorders, tumours and neurodegenerative diseases.
Neuropsychologists require not only general clinical skills and knowledge of the broad range of mental health problems, but also a substantial degree of specialist knowledge in the neurosciences. Specialist skills are required in the assessment of neurological patients and rehabilitation encompasses a broad range of specialist behavioural and cognitive interventions, not only for the client but also for the client's family and carers.
Neuropsychologists are also commonly found in the management of rehabilitation facilities and in individual case management. Leadership of multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams is frequently part of their clinical role.
Neuropsychologists most commonly work in:
- Acute settings: working alongside neurosurgeons and neurologists and the allied disciplines, usually in a regional neurosciences centre. They are concerned with the early effects of trauma, neurosurgery and neurological disease
- Rehabilitation centres: providing post-acute assessment, training and support for people who have sustained brain injury or who have other neurological problems. The neuropsychologist will play a central role in the multidisciplinary team as it aims to maximise recovery, minimise disability and prepare the client for return to the community or the move to a residential placement.
- Community services: using methods and skills to support those who have returned to community living.
Experienced neuropsychologists also commonly act as expert witnesses for the courts, and research is an important aspect of neuropsychological practice.
How do I become one?
To become a Practitioner Full Member of the Division of Neuropsychology you will need:
- Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) via a Society accredited degree or an accredited conversion course
- Accredited postgraduate training programme that gives eligibility for membership as a Chartered Psychologist through the Clinical or Educational training route
- The Society's Practitioner Full Membership Qualification in Neuropsychology. Those that have completed accredited postgraduate training in Clinical Neuropsychology will be eligible for exemption from part of the Society's Practitioner Full Membership Qualification.
How much will I get paid?
Neuropsychologists may be employed within the NHS, and also in the independent sector within both private and not-for-profit charitable organisations. Pay is on the same scales as clinical psychologists. However, many senior neuropsychologists substantially supplement their income by undertaking private medico-legal consultancy as expert witnesses in personal injury cases.
Where are jobs advertised?
- In Psychologist Appointments, which is part of The Psychologist, the Society's monthly magazine.
- In national newspapers (e.g. The Times, The Guardian, The Independent)
- In specialist sources (e.g. the Department of Health website)
What if I'm a mature student?
Mature students often ask us if their age will prevent them from succeeding in a psychology career. You can find out more information under the Change of Career section.
Where do I find out more?
- The British Psychological Society's Division of Neuropsychology gives access to publications, conferences, and special interest groups and chat rooms with membership.
- Careers resources: published work covering neuropsychology and other areas of psychology.
- BPS Shop: Find an array of neuropsychology publications through our online shop.
- Contact us: request a form for further specific information.