Job Description:

Neuropsychologists assess and treat people who experience difficulties with memory, concentration, language, reasoning, and other aspects of learning and understanding.

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

Neuropsychologists address neurobehavioural disorders that are considered developmental disorders of the nervous system (e.g. Alzheimer’s and ADHD). They focus specifically on cognitive deficiencies and brain damage (unlike clinical psychologists, who tend to focus on emotional and behavioural disorders).

As a neuropsychologist, your day-to-day will include tasks such as:

  • Conduct research on neuropsychological disorders.
  • Diagnose and treat pediatric populations for conditions such as learning disabilities with developmental or organic bases.
  • Diagnose and treat neural and psychological conditions in medical and surgical populations, such as patients with early dementing illness or chronic pain with a neurological basis.
  • Interview patients to obtain comprehensive medical histories.
  • Consult with other professionals about patients’ neurological conditions.
  • Diagnose and treat conditions such as chemical dependency, alcohol dependency, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) dementia, and environmental toxin exposure.
  • Educate and supervise practicum students, psychology interns, or hospital staff.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, and participate in professional organisations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in neuropsychology.
  • Write or prepare detailed clinical neuropsychological reports, using data from psychological or neuropsychological tests, self-report measures, rating scales, direct observations, or interviews.
  • Diagnose and treat psychiatric populations for conditions such as somatoform disorder, dementias, and psychoses.


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of psychology
  • excellent knowledge of the brain, but also a keenness to keep learning by attending talks and reading research
  • an understanding of statistical methods and data analysis
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • to enjoy working with other people (teamwork)
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • active listening skills
  • strong attention to detail as you could be looking closely at symptoms and data, or making diagnoses, that could have a big impact on people’s lives
  • excellent communication skills, as you’ll have regular conversations with both patients and colleagues from lots of different teams in person, over the phone, and via email
  • sensitivity and understanding – a caring and empathetic nature, as you’ll be working to support patients who may have experienced trauma or injury
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be a good critical thinker, so you consider all the facts when making a diagnosis or conducting research
  • organisational skills for conducting research


Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a neuropsychologist, you will typically need to pursue a higher education degree in psychology and then specialize in neuropsychology through graduate studies. While GCSE subjects in the UK won’t directly qualify you as a neuropsychologist, they play a crucial role in preparing you for the required A-levels and undergraduate studies. Here’s a general pathway:

1.GCSEs: You should aim for strong grades in the following subjects at GCSE level:

  • English Language: Strong communication skills are essential in psychology.
  • Mathematics: This is often required for psychology A-level and is a valuable skill for data analysis.
  • Science (particularly Biology and Chemistry): Understanding basic biological and chemical concepts can be helpful for future studies in psychology and neuroscience.
  • Psychology (if available): Some schools offer GCSE-level psychology, which can provide a basic introduction to the subject

2. A-levels or Equivalent: After completing your GCSEs, you will typically need to take A-levels (or equivalent qualifications) to gain entry into a university program in psychology or a related field. Relevant A-level subjects may include:

  • Psychology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

3. Undergraduate Degree: You’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related field. It’s advisable to maintain a strong academic record during your undergraduate studies.

4. Graduate Studies: After completing your undergraduate degree, you will need to pursue further studies at the postgraduate level to become a neuropsychologist. This typically involves a master’s degree and a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in clinical psychology with a specialization in neuropsychology.

5. Professional Training: In many countries, including the UK, becoming a licensed psychologist is essential. This involves gaining practical experience through internships or supervised clinical work.

6. Licensing and Certification: Neuropsychologists often need to be licensed and certified by a relevant professional organization. In the UK, this would typically involve registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a clinical psychologist.

Throughout your academic journey, it’s important to gain research experience and engage in relevant extracurricular activities to strengthen your application for graduate programs. Additionally, maintain a strong academic record, as admission to graduate programs in psychology can be highly competitive.

Remember that specific requirements may vary by country and institution, so it’s essential to research the specific educational and licensing requirements in your region and consult with academic advisors to ensure you’re on the right path to becoming a neuropsychologist.

Working Hours and Environment:

You could work in a hospital, a neuroscience centre or rehabilitation centre, an education setting, or a research institute.

You’ll have lots of conversations and meetings as you’ll likely work alongside medical teams, research teams, and therapists to support your patients.

Sometimes, you’ll work alone at a desk typing up reports, or a in a lab conducting research.

Career Path & Progression:

Neuropsychology is a highly specialist field, but it may be possible for you to move into other areas of clinical psychology.

You could also move into teaching or research as a career.