Hometown: Harare, Zimbabwe

 

About you

Tell us a little about yourself such as your first degree and any other qualifications, plus if applicable, the most previous job you have held or what you were doing prior to the course.

I moved from Africa to Scotland in 2006 and did my last 2 years of high school here. I have always been fascinated by why people did certain things, how we learn, function and interact.

How did you come to choose this course and why QMU?

In my final year I had the opportunity to take Higher Psychology and it turned out to be the best decision I ever made and spurred my interest to study it further. I chose Queen Margaret University because it has a wonderful community and friendly atmosphere.

The Course

What did you hope the course would give you? Career change/progression? Continuing personal development?

During my undergraduate BSc (Hons) Psychology I was able to see more of what psychology was about and the range of areas and knowledge I could explore. It was through the vast expanse of knowledge that I took an interest in forensic psychology. In my third year on the course I was able to take part in fellow students’ project experiments and in turn learn more about what psychology research is about. One in particular involved watching clips from a TV series and attempting to uncover who was truthful, this only further peaked my already expanding interest in forensic psychology and the justice system which would later be a foundation for my Masters in Research (MRes) thesis.

"Throughout both my degrees at Queen Margaret University it was not just taking in and reproducing information; it is about creating and giving us, the students ‘a toolbox’ of skills to use."
Jessica da Costa

How did you find the work load? Could you comment on the support available to you?

My supervisor was very supportive and always encouraged me and I became more confident in my own abilities. During my Masters I presented at 2 separate academic conferences both of which have been possible due to the skills I gained over the last 6 years. I have been an active research assistant for the psychology department since my third year of my undergraduate. I have also had the opportunity to lecture and teach research methods to undergraduates after I graduated from my Masters.

Life after graduation

What happened immediately after you completed the course in terms of career/volunteer work/ travel?

Studying at QMU has not only opened doors to my own learning but I have had several opportunities to get involved in a variety of other things. I have been a student ambassador, a mentor and I was Chair of Student parliament in my final year of my undergraduate degree. I also worked throughout my studies and volunteered. I run a local Girlguiding unit and through QMU I have been awarded 2 Santander Community Awards. I was a key member of the team maintaining and running the QMConnect online mentoring website Mentornet which was awarded Project of the year in 2013 by the Scottish Mentoring Network. I am so grateful to have been able to have these opportunities.

Where are you now? Do you have any further future plans?

Overall my learning and confidence has greatly expanded and the skills I have gained are priceless. I may further pursue academia but I have discovered an interest for digital marketing through the website redevelopment project at QMU. I am now working with a digital marketing agency in the private sector using the skills gained on the project. I have been very lucky to have a very knowledgeable mentor. I hope to continue with a career in this area.

Master of Research

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Course Information