Bachelor in Psychology and a PhD in Genetics?


Hi everyone,
I'm starting the last year of my Psychology Degree in a couple of days. I recently discovered that I am much more drawn to Genetics than to Psychology. I was wondering if any of you would know whether I have any chances of getting a PhD in Genetics. As a Psychology student, i've done a bit of neurobiology and I have the basics in Genetics. I'll also take a module from the School of Biology this year. Should I apply for Masters in Genetics instead? Would that increase my chances of getting a PhD in Genetics afterwards? Has anybody of you done this transition - from Psychology to Genetics?

Thank you. I look forward to you sharing your thoughts/opinions/experience.



I've gone the other way, from genetics to psychology. My PhD is a combination of both and I did a masters in between - but that was in anthropology! You might be able to get a PhD place for a topic on psychological genetics - but not otherwise. If you want to leave psychology completely you will need a masters (unless you can self fund maybe).


Hi! I am in Psyc but previously did 18 months of a biology degree before changing to Psyc. In my first 18 months of biology we did quite a lot of genetics- more so than I have covered in Psyc and of a different sort of nature. Whilst we have done the basic stuff in Psyc and stuff about nature/nuture, twin studies and the inheritance of certain psychological disorders etc, we haven't gone into the more biological stuff like the actual structure of DNA and so on that I did on the biol course. I would imagine that you would need at least a masters in genetics if you want a PhD in genetics, although I guess it depends to some degree exactly what the PhD is in and how biological it is. I suppose you need to think about the competition...I would imagine that most people applying for these PhDs will have a background in biology and possibly also an MSc which would leave you out of the running I would think. In my field the topic of the MSc is vital in securing a PhD, so I imagine if you do an appropriate MSc and do well at it then you might be in with a chance. Good luck, KB


I would definitely do a Masters if I were you. Firstly, you would probably need more knowledge than your current course has given you. Secondly, it would give you a better insight into the field which would help you decide if this is what you really want to pursue. Finally, it is really important to have some practical lab experience before starting a bioscience PhD, and the Masters would be a good way of acquiring that. It might also be worth trying to get some additional vacation experience in a lab.

Good luck!