I am a local student who is passionate about Psychology. I have been a volunteer with the Alzheimer’s Society for three years and I really enjoy it.
MSc Foundations in Clinical Psychology
Choosing postgraduate study
As I want to pursue a career in Psychology, which is a very competitive field, I felt doing a postgraduate qualification would help me to stand out from the rest in future job applications. I also really wanted to learn more about Clinical Psychology in particular. It was the area I was most interested in at undergraduate level, and I knew I wanted a job in the future in this area too.
I chose to study at Newcastle University as it has a brilliant Psychology department that is world-leading in its research and education, which is very impressive to me. The course I applied for sounded really interesting with lots of different modules encompassing a wide range of topics. I knew that gaining a postgraduate degree from Newcastle would greatly prepare me for my future, and that I would be well supported throughout my Master’s.
Studying at Newcastle
I enjoy the variety of lectures, seminars and workshops that we do as part of the course, so it never gets repetitive. With regard to my course in particular, teaching is normally delivered over two full days a week. I have found this to be very helpful as we have the rest of the week free to work on our assignments and catch up on lecture notes. For those with part-time jobs, this is also beneficial as it allows greater flexibility with shifts. The teaching staff are all really friendly and helpful. I would recommend this course to my friends and anyone else who is considering a career in Clinical Psychology.
Since starting my course I have definitely felt a difference between undergraduate and postgraduate level. The workload is more or less the same volume as I experienced at undergraduate level, however now it is a bit more challenging! I soon got my head around this however and now I feel more confident in my work than I did at the start of the year. In terms of class size, my course is so much smaller than my undergraduate course, which is nice as it means the lecturers have time to get to know everyone and teaching time feels more personal.
Having a much smaller class size in comparison to undergraduate level definitely makes the learning environment feel more like a close-knit community. For outside the classroom, I like to go to the Ridley Atrium, which is a lovely little spot to relax and meet fellow postgraduate students. Located in the medical building, it is a quiet space for postgraduate students and staff to meet up, socialise, or network. When you’re there surrounded by lecturers chatting to students, or see fellow students working on assignments together, it definitely feels like you’re part of a community.
Living in Newcastle
I love Newcastle! It is a very friendly city, full of wonderful cafés, restaurants, and bars. There are lots of shops within easy walking distance of the University, which is very helpful. There are lots of buses and the Metro for easy access in and out. It’s also a beautiful city with a lot of culture; take a walk down Grey Street for some beautiful architecture and to see the Theatre Royal, or stroll along the quayside and visit the market at the weekend. I would always recommend Newcastle to a friend or anyone who is curious about it!
Funding my studies
I funded my study through applying for the government postgraduate loan. The application process was very easy and straightforward, and was done through the Student Finance website in a similar way to the undergraduate loan process. I applied for the full loan amount offered to me as part of the scheme, which is non means-tested and was £10,280. I receive my loan in installments over the year. As this is for postgraduate study, I am responsible for paying my tuition fees out of this loan. It is very easy to pay – I have a direct debit set up with Newcastle that allows me to pay a portion of my tuition fees a couple of days after I receive my loan. It may sound complicated, but it’s a very easy process.
When I was applying for my MSc course, there was a section on the course profile titled ‘Fees and Funding’ that gave me lots of information about how I could fund my tuition. This is where I found out about the government postgraduate loan scheme. Newcastle has lots of information about this loan on its website, including detail about eligibility, payments, and how to apply.
After I graduate my aim is to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology, which I will most likely continue to do through Newcastle University. One module on my Master’s course that I completed in Semester One involved meeting lots of different psychologists from a variety of backgrounds, and learning about their roles and responsibilities. We also learnt about how to write the perfect CV, as delivered to us by the Careers Service. This module has helped me to understand and decide what I want to do as part of my career, as well as what I need to do to stand out in job interviews. I am thankful to the Psychology department at Newcastle for creating this module, as it has been extremely helpful for me.
A personal highlight of my course has been the opportunity to meet a variety of Clinical Psychologists in a seminar-based setting. In doing so, I have been able to chat to them and ask questions about what I need to do in order to stand a good chance at getting a job in clinical psychology. I was also able to discuss with them the experience I’ve already gained through placements and hear their feedback, which was positive. This has given me the confidence to know I am on the right track!