Kieran Cronesberry

Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) MSc

View the course
  • Year of graduation: 2021
  • Current job title: Assistant Psychologist – Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service
  • Organisation: Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
  • Industry Sector: Healthcare – NHS

Your University Experience

Why did you choose your course at UON?

I chose the CAMH MSc at Northampton as it was a unique offering, not found at many other universities. It offered a comprehensive syllabus looking at child and adolescent mental health from all aspects, such as developmental, school, CAMHS services, and the social care sector. The new Waterside Campus and ease of access to transport links also helped with my decision.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most and why?

I really enjoyed it being a small classroom experience – we all got to know each other quite well and it led to a supportive and nurturing environment, where the cohort looked out for each other and helped each other. The modules were all really insightful and the course team were always on hand when you needed extra support and they factored study skills/assessment help into the curriculum to ensure that everyone could achieve their potential. But I particularly enjoyed the Working with Schools and Communities module as it was a real insight into how current policy can influence the way we work with children and adolescents and how targeted interventions can be effective.

Your university to career journey

How do you think your studies have helped your career or personal development?

Before the course, I was struggling to break through into the psychological professions. There was too much competition for roles and I was trapped in a ‘need experience to get experience’ cycle. Since graduating, I’ve managed to break that cycle and applications always note the unique MSc I’ve done.

Describe your career progression so far, and any plans you have for the future. Are there any particular hurdles you may face?

Since the course, I went on to be an Academic Support Worker for an organisation in the North East, helping university students with physical disabilities and mental health conditions succeed in university. I then moved to working for TEWV as an Assistant Psychologist for Adult Acute Inpatient Services, across two mental health wards.

I’ve recently accepted a job offer to work for the Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service as an Assistant Psychologist. My MSc dissertation was on young persons’ gender identity development in online LGBTQIA+ communities, which helped me secure the role. In a year or so, I hope to be successful in obtaining a place on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology – the experience I’ve gained since the course, and the knowledge whilst on the course, has made me a better practitioner. Following the doctorate, I aim to practice as a Clinical Psychologist within CAMHS, or the 0-17 Years Gender Identity Development Service.

Which, if any, skills and knowledge/understanding gained on your degree are most useful in your current role?

The knowledge around structural issues and looking at mental health from a societal perspective I use day-to-day. Further learning on safeguarding procedures, policies, legal frameworks, and multi-agency working have also been very useful across the lifespan and I still use this learning with adults. Specific modules on the types of therapies that CAMHS services may use has boosted my confidence in the delivery of low level CBT-informed sessions in my current work.

Extra-curricular activities

Did you do any extra-curricular activities while at UON?

Yes, I was a member of the Archery Society. I was also the student advocate for the course and attended multiple Student-Staff Liaison Committee’s, gathering feedback from the students to add to discussions around what the needs of the cohort were, and to resolve any issues that arose.

How did these extra-curricular activities enhance your career prospects?

The Student-Staff Liaison Committee enhanced my career prospects by giving me an added level of responsibility alongside the course – it helped with my interpersonal, conflict mediation and team working skills. It also improved my confidence in meetings and gave an insight to structured management at a university level, which has helped when working alongside universities in a previous role.

Your advice

In one sentence, what advice would you give to undergraduates interested in this career path or anything you wish you had known earlier?

Take any and all opportunities that present themselves on the course – it’s a wonderful course with so much scope for personal and professional development.

In ten words, or less how would you summarise your UON experience?

I had an amazing time at UON.