Nadine Edwards spent a lot of time thinking about what her career path might look like in psychology, as there are many different routes available once you complete your undergraduate degree.
“One thing that attracted me to MSc Theory and Practice in Clinical Psychology was the option for a placement in either clinical or research settings. I really wanted to gain hands-on experience and considered the benefits of learning new skills (particularly in research). I initially signed up to the clinical placement as I knew that the University had an on-site clinic and great links with local NHS trusts across Oxford and Berkshire. However, during the course I found that I had a real interest in challenging myself in research – I have realised the value of studying evidence-based treatments and how the research conducted by scientist practitioners informs clinical practise. So, after discussing options with my conversations with my tutor Paul Jenkins, I decided to change to a research placement.”
After studying with the Open University to gain her BSc in Psychology, Nadine knew she wanted to further pursue Psychology routes.
“It was important to me to find a course that would be clinically focussed to complement the theoretical knowledge that an undergraduate degree in psychology provides. Reading was one of the only courses that offered a part-time version of the MSc as well as a placement which allowed me to have flexibility without compromising on experience”.
Nadine currently works in adult mental health, supporting health and social care workers with assessment and triage. Modules within our Masters courses give students skills and experiences that will prepare them for real life situations.
“I had two favourite modules in this course – the first being the CBT module. This module had a practical element within the seminars, where our ideas could be shared, and we took part in role plays. My second favourite module was the evidence-based treatments across a lifespan – the content was diverse and relevant – our lecturers were all clinicians working in the field of study, we studied developmental disorders such as autism, mental health disorders such as BPD in adolescents as well as pain management – in fact the work I did for BPD and the course content later informed my assessment of a patient who accessed the service I work for.”
“One of my favourite things about the University of Reading’s campus is the newly renovated library, and the beautiful grounds. It was lovely walking through the grounds and over to the little river on campus.”
“My advice for new students is to make the most of the knowledge and experience around you, from your tutors, your course leaders and other students. Access to Clinical Psychologists and Research Psychologists is not easy, so having the time to chat and share ideas or get advice is so important in this field. Even if you do not have a clear idea of what career you may choose, studying on this course gives you a really good idea of the competencies that are required. A final piece of advice is to think about the skills you are learning and how you can apply them into your work. The research skills we get in psychology degrees is really useful in the workplace – often in assistant psychologist work you will be asked to conduct mini projects and link theories to your findings.”
Once graduated Nadine hopes to train as a clinical psychologist.
“I hope to continue studying next year if not as a clinical psychologist, then as a mental health social worker before training as a CBT therapist. Psychology is an ever-expanding area and there are many different training routes that allow me to practise in the field”.