From the age of 14, Callum Cooper knew he wanted a career in parapsychology and now, not only is he halfway through his PhD in Psychology and Parapsychology at the University of Northampton, but he is also lecturing in the subject he is passionate about.
“I enjoy sharing my passion for the subjects I teach, which many would consider quite specialist within the psychology sector, and yet topics of death, sexual behaviour and paranormal experiences are aspects of life that people are involved with on a daily basis. Therefore, they demand attention and valuable research to be carried out on such areas, to increase our understanding of our behaviour and how we interact and make sense of the world we live in.
“Dedication and passion are the two traits I find to be the key to any success. Ever since I was 14 and had aspirations of a career in psychology, I have read, conducted projects and sought advice from people in the field. I’ve also had to fight in my mind against people advising that parapsychology was perhaps not the best career to pursue due to limited job opportunities – but here I am!
“During my time as an undergraduate, I engaged in student mentoring work, assisted in teaching A-Level students through the Aim Higher programme and I was a research assistant for various psychology projects. These all put me in good stead for experiencing what teaching at Higher Education level is like and what it is like to work on large scale funded research projects – both of which have now become my career.
“My advice to potential students is to be passionate and dedicated to what you want to do. If you wish to do a PhD in the same topic as your undergraduate degree, first go and do a Masters in something completely different and then come back. It’s good to add more strings to your bow.
“My career has sent me around the world and I have had the opportunity to meet and work with a variety of people. It has also allowed me to study a wide breadth of research and critically think through every research and teaching situation I have faced.
I have found the University of Northampton to be a home from home with a world of knowledge and my experience studying here has surpassed my expectations. I am also honoured to be teaching what I enjoy.”