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Anya Cotterill


United Kingdom
The reason I chose NTU was because it feels like home.

More about Anya

Why NTU?

Why did you choose to study a postgraduate degree in Forensic Mental Health?

"After graduating from my BA Criminology at Nottingham Trent University, I wasn’t super sure what I wanted to do. I applied to study MA Criminology but deferred a year, and then the pandemic began so I ended up writing it off entirely.

I was relatively happy in my hospitality era, but after the pandemic and a long four-year break away from studying, I wanted to focus on kickstarting this part of my life again and go down a more specialised path in a career more suited to myself and my dreams.

I worked in my own time during the pandemic to research and deepen my understanding of my own mental health issues and trauma, and what was out there to support me in times of need. I accessed this and was able to understand myself more, and through this, I wanted to rejoin this field and get back into university life in order to enhance my learning, skills, and qualifications. This is so one day I can be the support for someone in their time of need like someone was for me."

Why did you choose your course at NTU?  

"Whilst browsing the list of mental health-related postgraduate courses on the NTU website, I came across two that stood out to me. There was the Psychological Well-being and Mental Health course, and then this one: Forensic Mental Health. Something about ‘Forensic Mental Health’ just made me get butterflies. I wasn’t sure if it was the nerves because I’d begun making this massive decision for my future and that can be terrifying. But I’m pretty certain that it was my brain telling me that this was the right thing for me, and it’s like I knew that things would start to fall into place as a result.

The reason I chose NTU was because it feels like home. I could even say that it didn’t really feel like a choice for me, I just knew I wanted it to be here! I spent three years of my life here for my undergraduate degree, and I met some of the best friends I’ve ever had through all of its opportunities. I wanted to relive this, and it just so happens that I found a postgraduate course I love to stay right here and get those feelings all over again."

What’s your experience been like of your course so far?

"My expectations of my course so far have been exceeded, for a number of reasons. I went in not really sure what it would entail, but there have been many a time I’ve been surprised by some of the course content (in a good way of course), and it’s really helped me change my perspective outside of university in my personal life too.

The course itself has been very interactive; we’ve worked alongside other courses to enhance our learning in certain topics and my understanding of what it means to work in interdisciplinary teams, we’ve done presentations in class *gulp*, and explored the world of enquiry-based learning which has actually turned out to be something I prefer in comparison to a taught content lecture!

I think something I have taken the most out of this course is how helpful the tutors and course leaders have been with every aspect, whether that be in session related to the module, providing feedback after assignments or just life questions in general it seems.

Forensic Mental Health also has incredibly supportive and understanding course leaders, who are always on hand to help with anything, and this honestly has been my best experience of the course so far. Everything just feels so smooth because of that.

I have also made friends for life through this course and for that, I couldn't be more grateful."

What does Social Sciences mean to you?

"Working with other people is a massive one, it just feels like that’s what I’m supposed to do. Helping and providing support for others especially, gives me a purpose more than anything else does, and I think with the empathy and communication skills I have it would be a waste to not put this into practice!"


What do you think of the support available from tutors and staff at NTU?

"I have one word … Incredible. I have gone through some pretty challenging things throughout my life, and even though I’m not necessarily in these situations anymore I am still getting the help I need through NTU, whether that be through student support, meetings, or speaking to specialised liaison officers.

I have never once felt like after a support session that I have fallen short of being listened to, or understood, and to me that feels like the most important thing when it comes to getting the right help. Trent does this perfectly in my opinion, and it is very easy to access, especially if you have a mental diagnosis or undertaken therapy in the past so this is on record for the team to see."

Outside of the Lecture Theatre

Did you find it easy to make friends and settle in at NTU?

"Massively! Going back to my undergraduate degree, I knew on the open day that Nottingham would be my new home, and after moving around so much as a child I just slotted right into it. Because I’d been living in Nottingham since then, and exploring living in most of its towns, I really didn’t feel that much of a shift either when starting my postgrad.

To be more specific to NTU, and especially the Psychology department, I feel like it's super easy to make friends. We’re all in it for the same reason because we’re empaths. Everyone is just so lovely and understanding, and putting my own nerves and anxieties aside, I didn’t struggle much at all with putting myself out there, making new friends and jumping right into the course material." 

The Next Steps

How is NTU helping you to achieve your career goals?

"First and foremost, I believe the biggest thing that NTU is doing in order to help me reach my career goals (aside from giving me the opportunity to get the needed qualifications) is confidence in what I do. Most importantly, as I struggle with confidence issues, NTU and especially this course has done wonders for this and has really allowed me to put myself more out there and trust in what I do.

Alongside the confidence, it is also giving me the right support; I know my tutors and course leaders are just an email away if anything pops up. In addition to this, I am aware of all the programs, societies, and other great CV builders, and being elected to be the Course Representative will definitely play a great part for me later down the line."

Has the employability team helped you plan for life beyond NTU as a postgraduate student?

"Has the employability team helped you plan for life beyond NTU as a postgraduate student?
Definitely! We had a scheduled talk in tutorial with the employability team, regarding who to contact and what the next steps are for ourselves. As I am the course representative also, we’ve mentioned this in our committee meetings, so I am fully aware of where to look on the NTU websites to get the right support for this and will definitely be doing so in the coming months."

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418
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