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James Lau

Career Path: Trainee Sport Psychologist
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

I have had a strong interest in sports ever since I was little. I would watch a wide variety of sport matches on TV and be particularly fascinated by the players reactions and behaviour. This continued as I moved to the UK to study, which provided me the opportunity to observe my favourite players even more closely. Such was my fascination with human behaviour, it became a no brainer for me to study psychology at University.

My next step was to study sport psychology, as my aim was always to pursue a career in the sports field. I applied and received offers from several universities to study an MSc in Sport & Exercise Psychology, and Northumbria University struck me as by far the best option. I went on to graduate from Northumbria University in 2013 and am now training to be a professional Sport Psychologist.

What are you doing now?James Lau

I am currently working with a wide variety of athletes and sports clubs based in the North East of England under the supervision of Dr. Sandy Wolfson, as part of the stage two training required in order for me to become a Sport Psychologist.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

The MSc Sport &Exercise Psychology course syllabus had everything I was looking for. I also thought it would be a very exciting opportunity to study in a city where sports play such a big part in peoples' lives.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

Studying at Northumbria was a great experience. It allowed me to meet a lot of new people and also people who have similar interests to me, who I still keep in touch with. The course contained a mixture of lectures, seminars and team projects, and the feedback was top notch as staff were all very knowledgeable and experienced.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

What impressed me the most about the academic staff was their experience and involvement in the field. They were all involved with professional athletes and sports teams in the country on a regular basis, which gave me great confidence and optimism going forward under their guidance.

How connected was your course with industry?

The course was very connected with the sport psychology field, as I have been able to find placements at lots of exciting places and also with a wide variety of clients. There were some interesting guest lecturers, such as people who have worked with professional clubs and also alumni who have studied the same course at Northumbria in the past.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

The staff at Northumbria are all extremely well connected which along with their enthusiasm and willingness to help, has given my career an unbelievable boost. The MSc Sport &Exercise Psychology course is also a British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited course, which is a massive benefit if you want to become a Sport Psychologist.

What was the best thing about your course?

The wide range of content covered was the best thing about the course. It sets you up nicely for different kinds of situations in the future.

Which skills/ knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

The ability to present to an audience, which is one of the key skills required in sport psychology.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Meeting like-minded people on my course, and the sports!

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Make sure to take some time to pick a course that you are truly interested in. Also join some of the sports clubs, they are really good and allows you to meet a lot of friends. I would strongly recommend studying at Northumbria.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Entertaining, educational and eye-opening.

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