Course switch leads to success for Psychology students
Two postgraduate students whose decision to switch their study area to psychology has seen one start a new job and the other develop a love of research, all before graduating.
Claire Flanagan (pictured above on the left) and Aimee Davies became friends after graduating in 2019 from their respective, original degrees in English Literature and Creative Writing (at Northampton) and Health and Social Care (at University of Nottingham).
They switched to the MSc Psychology (Conversion) degree, a decision that is already paying dividends as Aimee has landed a new job directly because of the course and months ahead of graduation.
The programme is aimed at giving graduates of other disciplines or those with a psychology degree not accredited by the British Psychological Society, the chance to gain a BPS accredited qualification.
Although initially daunted by the thought of more statistics than they were used to, the duo settled in relatively quickly with the right mix of expert lectures, professional support and the chance to spread their psychological wings when they were ready to take flight.
Aimee explains: “I decided to pursue a master’s as I am passionate about supporting individuals who are neurodiverse – those who have different types of sociability, learning, attention, mood and other mental functions – and people with mental health difficulties. The University have been so supportive and I received an alumni discount, so I decided to stay on at UON and the new campus was a big attraction as it is accessible and comfortable to work in.
“At first, the thought of number crunching the stats was daunting, but the support from the lecturers and the Learning and Development team here was great. We also had experience days where professionals from outside UON came in to talk to us and it was here that I found out about my new job as a trainee psychological wellbeing practitioner. I start soon and am very grateful that my extra time at the University got me to a place that last year I never thought I’d be.”
Claire herself has found an entirely different professional interest, with a surprising love of research. She adds: “I really enjoyed my undergraduate experience, however I felt I hadn’t finished my academic journey and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in terms of a career.
“I began researching different master’s courses and came across the psychology conversion course; looking at the modules on offer, I really wanted to learn more about them! I think what swayed me the most was the prospect of conducting my own research; I love to produce work which can complete some of the gaps out there and I felt psychology would provide me the freedom to study pretty much anything relating to human behaviour!
“The MSc has really opened up my horizon, but I have become really interested critical social psychology. I love studying how society shapes social identities, such as gender and ethnicity. After completing my dissertation, I hope to try out different sectors to see what I like the best, but I would also love to continue my studies so I’m going to see what opportunities are available.”
The two enjoyed the course so much, they created their own video explaining to other MSc Psychology (Conversion) students how to get the most out of their time with the UON team.