Graduate Angela Glasgow embraced all the opportunities available to her on the BSc (Hons) Psychology course at Queen Margaret University (QMU), paving the way for her to study a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and employment in the NHS as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist.
Here Angela talks about her experience on the undergraduate course at QMU, the highlights and challenges of student life, and the most valuable lesson she learned at university.
Why did you choose to study at QMU and what attracted you to the course?
I attended an open day and found the University to seem small, friendly and modern. These were key factors in my decision to study at QMU. I felt I was able get to know the lecturers well. The wide variety of modules on offer, as well as varied interests of the course team also allowed me to develop my own research interests in a supported environment. I felt I was able to pursue my own areas of interests with good support from the lecturers.
Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh?
I grew up in Edinburgh and think it is such a wonderful place to live. It has an interesting history, is such a beautiful city and is right on the coast so has a lovely beach. It was a great place to live as a student.
What was the most enjoyable part of your course? What were the highlights?
I enjoyed the chance to conduct small scale research which gave us experience developing a research idea, designing a study, recruiting participants and analyzing data. It was our first chance to test psychological theories which really brought the teaching we had to life. It also felt like we got the chance to see what it might be like after we graduated which was great.
What were some of your challenges with the course and university life? How did you overcome them?
I suppose it can be difficult to manage competing demands, such as essays, exams and working (if you have to) as well as socialising and making sure you look after yourself. I think there is something in accepting that there will be periods of time during your studies when things might feel slightly more difficult to manage, and maybe even overwhelming, but it will balance out again.
Any advice for students who might be interested in this course?
Go for it! QMU is a fantastic university to study psychology. The course can be challenging but it is so interesting, and if you capitalise on the support and knowledge from the lecturers, you’ll do great.
Did you join any schemes/initiatives to enhance your learning and development such as a mentoring scheme, volunteering scheme, etc.?
I joined the mentoring scheme and was able to meet with a qualified psychologist. This was great as I was able to ask questions and learn more about what it means to be a psychologist.
Life as a Student at QMU
What’s your ‘top tip’ for making the most of being a student?
Take time to enjoy the process of completing your degree! Speak to your lecturers about the things you are interested in – there is a lot of support for you. If you are interested in pursuing further study or a career in psychology, think about work and voluntary opportunities that might help increase your knowledge and give you good experience (it is never too early for this!).
What was the most valuable lesson that you learned at university?
Be a critical thinker – stay curious, questions things, and remain open minded. And embrace being challenged!
What have you done since graduating?
I am currently studying the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, which means I am also employed in the NHS as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist. The things I learned during my time at QMU, like psychological theory and critical thinking, have been directly relevant for my current job and study.
Prior to applying for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, I completed the MSc Psychological Therapy in Primary Care. This MSc also involved working in the NHS as a Trainee Clinical Associate in Applied Psychology. The encouragement I received from my dissertation supervisor to pursue postgraduate study enhanced my confidence and knowledge of how to do so.
"QMU is a fantastic university to study psychology. The course can be challenging but it is so interesting, and if you capitalise on the support and knowledge from the lecturers, you’ll do great."
[Story published in 2019]