I commute from York for my course, studied my undergraduate Psychology degree at Newcastle, and took a year out between my BSc and MSc – I lived and worked in Newcastle as a Graduate Ambassador for Newcastle University.
Forensic Psychology MSc (2015-16)
Choosing postgraduate study
For the career that I hope to go into (as a Forensic Psychologist), the first step of chartership is by studying an accredited MSc in Forensic Psychology, and the second step is completing a traineeship. The Newcastle course is an accredited course which is a huge reason why I chose to study here again.
I really liked the layout of the course at Newcastle. The modules cover areas I am really interested in. Also, everyone on the course does a placement, which few Forensic Psychology courses offer.
Studying at Newcastle
What I really like about studying at postgraduate level is the cohort size, there’re only 14 of us on my course. When I was studying at undergraduate level I was in a cohort of 75 people, so sometimes it felt impersonal. At postgraduate level we know the lecturers well and I’m friends with everyone on my course, which means group work is always a lot of fun.
The most noticeable difference for me between postgrad and undergrad is the way it is taught. As there are only 14 of us on my course, the lectures allow for lots of questions, group discussions and debates and group work, which I really like. It feels a lot less like someone just lecturing to us and is much more a group effort.
My course has given me a placement for the duration of my degree. This will hopefully provide me with the experience and skills required to gain a position as a trainee forensic psychologist at a prison. My placement is in Franklin Prison working in the Psychology department, helping them with research and other tasks. This is an amazing opportunity as it can be really hard to gain clearance to allow someone to work in a prison. It has given me the chance to gain first-hand experience of working as a psychologist in a prison which I wouldn’t have otherwise.
I decided to move back to my home town for my postgraduate study, which is actually York! It seems a lot further away than it actually is, it’s only an hour on the train (which gives me either time to have a quick nap or read over my lecture notes). As Uni is only a 15 minute walk away from the train station it’s not so bad. I’m in University two days a week, 9-5, so it’s only early mornings twice a week! I decided to live at home to save money on rent and food – moving back in with my parents was nowhere near as painful as I thought it would be!
Living in Newcastle
I absolutely love the city of Newcastle, it has everything going for it! I’m a huge foodie and Newcastle is an amazing place for anyone who likes to try somewhere different for food. It has all the usual food chains, but it has so much more too – pretty much every cuisine you could ever think of!
I love the fact that there are so many things going on in the city, whether it’s live music, the Quayside, Ouseburn or (a personal favourite of mine) the monthly boiler shop steamer. You’re never short of anything going on in Newcastle!
Don’t worry about not studying a postgraduate course straight after an undergraduate course. At first I was worried about whether I would struggle to get back into the swing of lectures, extra reading, essays and so on. But in fact, when it’s something you find interesting, you don’t mind doing the reading and writing for it.
Beki's Blog Posts
A beginners guide to moving from Undergraduate to Master’sPosted by Beki - Forensic Psychology MSc (2015-16)
1 June, 2016