Why did you pursue a postgraduate course?
My Bachelor’s degree was in Pre-School Education and during my studies the modules that fascinated me the most were in psychology. What I found really appealing in Psychology is that it can be applied to everyday life and helps people to understand not only other people’s behaviour but also their own.
The main reason I decided to pursue a Master’s was to build on my knowledge in psychology and focus on developmental psychology, which relates to my initial area of professional specialisation. Also I believe that studying at Master’s level helps you develop transferable skills such as time management, critical thinking and analytical ability. Furthermore, postgraduate study enables you to explore different career paths and opens up a wide range of options after graduation.
Why did you choose this postgraduate course and institution?
Having completed my BSc in my hometown of Athens, Greece, I was looking forward to gaining some international experience. The University of Kent caught my attention for a number of reasons. Firstly it has an outstanding reputation in various areas of psychology which excited me, plus the School of Psychology had a supportive environment for creative research and learning. This as well as the desire for a campus experience in a small city not too far from London led me to choose Kent, the decision of a lifetime.
Nonetheless, the main reason for choosing University of Kent was the calibre of the MSc in Developmental Psychology. I chose this course over others because of the balance between research and practice. Gaining research experience is a fundamental requirement in the field of psychology, but being able to learn how theory becomes practice is equally essential.
What is the course teaching you that your first degree did not?
In my previous degree I was taught very little about research. In contrast, my Master’s degree has already taught me a lot about methodology, ethics and given me the opportunity to work on my very first research project as part of my Dissertation. Ιt helped me realise what an effort is needed in order to conduct a study and some of the challenges that researchers must deal with.
In addition, during my postgraduate course I learned to work independently and develop critical thinking whereas my first degree was very theory based and did not have opportunities for us to pursue our personal interests. Last but not least, through studying at Kent, I had the opportunity to meet so many students from around the world. I really enjoyed being able to work and cooperate with them whilst discovering the similarities and differences between all our cultures.
Tell us about the course…
The MSc in Developmental Psychology helped me understand what processes contribute to the typical and atypical cognitive, social and emotional development of children. We learned how psychologists and teachers can support children with developmental disorders such as ASD, ADHD, language impairments and the ways in which they can boost healthy development in neurotypical individuals.
The highlight of this course for me was the opportunity to meet with different professionals such as child therapists, clinical psychologists, and educational psychologists. They shared with us the way in which ways developmental psychology can enrich professional settings and also the challenges that they face. Furthermore, each of the guest speakers presented a case study and we discussed how we would approach it, what theory could be applied in the specific scenario and what interventions we would propose.
What areas of work could you go into as a result of your further study?
With the skills I have gained I could work as a Research Assistant if I chose to gain more research experience. My motivation to work as an Educational Psychologist also led me to choose this course. I love the idea of being able to offer intervention and still be in an educational setting. In any case, no matter what will be my future employment, as long as I be able to work with children and support them I will be more than happy.