More about Abby
“I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at Sheffield University and obtained a first class degree. After this, I travelled to the USA to study counselling at a seminary for a semester. I then returned to the UK and spent a while job hunting before obtaining a full-time admin role in mental health. After six months in this role, I enrolled onto the MSc Psychology in Clinical Practice at NTU as I thought it would provide a stronger stepping-stone towards my career goals than remaining in my job.
“The specific nature of the course was extremely attractive. It appeared to be a perfectly shaped springboard onto the next step of being a clinical psychologist. The content of the course was well designed and all seemed extremely interesting.
“I was concerned about coming back to university and feeling older and standing out, as I had taken a year out before completing my undergraduate degree, and then another year before starting my Masters. The new community with the lecturers, which I found highly encouraging, balanced this concern. We were treated as peers to an extent, though with a clear culture of student-teacher underlying. I felt comfortable with my lecturers, and we were encouraged to seek support and advice on both intellectual and personal matters regularly.
“I wouldn’t have been able to afford the course without the Postgraduate Masters Scholarship. Perhaps I would have, but it would have made life very difficult the other end. With my husband and I living off his salary alone, every penny counts and the scholarship gave me the opportunity to undertake what I believed to be a necessary part of my career development, without having to make an unfeasible financial sacrifice.
“I found the scholarship application very straight-forward. I completed an online form and received a response only a few weeks later. I wasn’t expecting to obtain a scholarship so I was joyously surprised when the email came through! The scholarship halved the fees of the course for me, which enabled me to pay for the course in one payment. Psychologically this was a great help, as I didn’t have to worry about the course fees for the rest of the year. The money saved from the course fees also enabled me to buy the necessary textbooks, and travel to the university and placement when needed.
“I have remained employed on a bank rota for the admin role I had before enrolling on the course. My employer is very understanding in allowing me to take on less shifts during busier course periods, and is happy to help me in connecting with individuals in the workplace who may be helpful in my thinking about the course, such as therapists and clinical leads.
“My current role often requires making decisions about risk and managing a patient’s journey through the mental health system. Knowledge about the different aspects of mental health, and a greater appreciation for the politics of waiting lists and service pressures, is greatly beneficial when corresponding with patients and therapists about aspects of the care provided.
“I came to NTU with a clear plan for my career, which was then challenged and questioned in my time on the course. I found this unsettling, but the course leaders were more than willing to talk it through with me and help me in my thinking about the future. This was a great help, and I am back on track for the original goal, but with a greater sense of understanding about what the role entails and my own determination.
“In the immediate future, I will be looking for entry level roles in healthcare for a few months before applying to the Clinical Psychology Doctorate. In the long term, I hope to be a clinical neuropsychologist.”