"My role has given me the opportunities to work with a diverse range of people in various NHS settings"
Gaining employment in psychology is competitive, but the qualifications from MMU plus my experiences from working in local Manchester charities really kick-started my career. My role has given me the opportunities to work with a diverse range of people in various NHS settings e.g. primary care, secondary care and specialist services. I am now undergoing advanced clinical training to become a cognitive behavioural therapist, working in a busy London psychology service delivering evidence-based psychological therapy for mood and anxiety disorders.
The BSc (Hons) Psychology course at MMU gives you the knowledge and understanding of psychological theories, which opens up doors to a variety of careers in healthcare, teaching, marketing and business. Importantly, the degree is recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS), which is important when accessing future jobs or training in psychology e.g. if you want to pursue clinical psychology training.
After graduating from the undergraduate course, I went straight into a master’s, as I wanted to continue my interest in experimental cognitive psychology and my research from my third year dissertation looking at the effects of bilateral eye movement and memory processing. The MSc was heavily research based, which I knew would give me the skills to develop as a scientist-practitioner.
A big selling point for me was that the MSc in Psychology at MMU was flexible in terms of how I organised my time, therefore I was able to build up clinical experience by volunteering at local Manchester mental health charities e.g. Anxiety UK and Self Help Services, alongside learning essential research skills. This helped me secure my first paid position working in psychology straight after completing the course. I find that I am frequently drawing from the knowledge gained from my study at MMU, and applying this to my clinical work when conducting audit and service evaluations in older adult secondary care mental health services, or identifying types of referrals in relation to the provision of psychological resources. I also apply the knowledge from my degree in specific situations too, such as when presenting my research findings on the effects of eating profiles on quality of life after weight loss surgery at a national conference, or by being able to critique the effectiveness of psychological therapies for particular disorders.
Build relationships with your cohort and staff. Particularly in the last year, I developed good working relationships with my lecturers and supervisors by having conversations with them and by being grateful for their time: these skills are important in the work place.
Particular lecturers; Andrew Parker, Neil Dagnall, and Geoff Bunn: they all had time for their students to give support and advice. They prepared their lectures well and helped students prepare for exams and coursework.
The course suited my needs but also I really enjoyed studying in Manchester with all that it has to offer; places to do sport, nice places to eat, nightlife and Manchester United.