More about Kerry
"The DPsych was perfect for me. As I’m already busy in full time work as a Forensic Psychologist, I needed a course that fit in with my busy life and existing commitments. I couldn’t just down tools to embark on a lengthy PhD, but still wanted to build my skills in research to enhance my work as a practitioner. The DPsych gives practitioners credit for the skills and experience they’ve already established, so I’ve been able to top up my existing expertise and really build my confidence as a researching practitioner.
"I graduated with a Master’s degree in forensic psychology back in 1999 and I’ve been working since. I needed to evidence my competence in research methods in order to access the DPsych, but there is an option of undertaking an additional module if your skills are a little rusty. A few of my cohort had recently qualified via Stage 2 of the BPS route, which provided sufficient evidence of their capacity to undertake research at doctoral level. I’d undertaken some research a few years previously, which was taken into account, so I was able to get stuck into the course straight away.
"As a mature student, I have lots of responsibilities – both within my work and personal life – so the flexibility offered by the DPsych was really important to me. A lot of the workshops are scheduled for weekends, which means I can balance study with my day job. Along with the rest of my cohort, we see our weekends at NTU as a kind of middle aged mini break! It’s always good to get together with other practitioners who share your passion for evidence-based practice, but we also provide each other with plenty of support and friendship. After all, we’re all on the same journey with similar ‘grown up’ challenges to face along the way.
"The facilities and support offered by Boots Library have been outstanding throughout my time at NTU. I’ve always been able to access journal articles and books at the touch of a button and whenever I need assistance, my problems have been addressed immediately by an email or a quick phone call. The staff are simply fantastic. The workshops they run have been really helpful too. I’ve learned so much about academic writing skills, referencing and literature searching – skills I couldn’t have done without when it came to writing up my thesis.
"I’m self-employed and manage a company, so I’m lucky in that I can balance my study and work commitments without too much stress. However, some of my cohort are in full-time employment as employees and they get lots of support and encouragement from their employers. I guess decent employers will always support the professional development of their staff.
"I think the biggest achievement for me has been my growth in confidence. Before I started the DPsych, I was very busy in my practice but stayed very much behind the scenes when it came to public speaking and public engagement. Over the past couple of years, I’ve presented at several academic and professional conferences and more recently I’ve been benefitting from the undergraduate and masters teaching / lecturing opportunities offered by the University. It feels so rewarding to now have the confidence to share my expertise with others – and to have the self-belief that I have something unique and valuable to share. I wouldn’t be doing that without the support and encouragement of my supervisors at NTU.
"Although I’ll continue to work in private practice as I have for many years, I’m now established as a researching practitioner. It feels great to be contributing directly to forensic psychology practice and to wider policy as a result of the skills and knowledge I’ve developed through the DPsych. I fully intend to keep contributing to the literature base of my specialist field through post-doctoral research after I’ve graduated, so for me, it’s not just about wearing the silly hat. I’m extremely grateful to NTU for igniting my passion for academia and research and feel that I’ve become a better practitioner and a better person as a result of my DPsych journey."