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Angela Wearn

BSC Psychology Angela AlumniWhy you wanted to go into this career and the path you took to achieve it:

I always had an interest in human behaviour from a psychological perspective but found the idea of university terrifying! After one particularly 'brave' afternoon I enrolled on a counselling course and was well and truly hooked - I returned to college as a mature student to get my HEFC's (which would enable me to apply for university) and following this began my Bsc (hons) in Psychology. I enjoyed every second of my degree, particularly those aspects relating to research and Health Psychology and graduated with first class honours. This gave me the confidence to continue into further study and work towards a career in teaching and research.

What are you doing now?

I decided to continue onto an Msc in Health Psychology.  Following on from my own experience and due to the fact I had heard such great things about Northumbria's Health Psychology Msc, returning felt like the best choice. I also work part time as a Demonstrator at Northumbria, facilitating first year Psychology undergraduates to develop their research skills.

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

It was important to me to study close to home however, I really liked the friendly, inclusive atmosphere of Northumbria. Also the course that I wanted to do had been accredited by the British Psychological Society - something that was very important to me as I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Psychology.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

We had lectures, seminars/workshops and laboratory skills sessions which focused on giving students experience of carrying out and writing up their own research. There was also a huge variety of topics to suit everyone - I particularly liked that we were able to choose some of our modules so the degree felt more tailored to my own interests. I loved studying at Northumbria and found that staff always provided helpful feedback which encouraged me to challenge and push myself further.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

How open they were to arranging tutorials/meetings to discuss just about anything related to the course. I initially felt wary of contacting them as I knew how busy they must be but they actively encouraged us to contact them about any concerns throughout the entirety of the degree.

How connected was your course with industry?

We did have guest lecturers but by far one of the most useful things in my degree was my (optional) placement module. I chose to work as a research assistant but many chose to work as support workers etc. in more practitioner based roles. The placements didn't just give us experience of working within psychology it also developed our interview and CV writing skills and encouraged us to think about reflective practice...I don't know anyone who chose the placement option and regretted it!

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

Studying at Northumbria helped me to push myself more than I thought possible and also to focus on what I wanted - the option modules etc. made me think more deeply about my interests and what I wanted from my degree and future career.

What was the best thing about your course?

The skills and knowledge you acquire doing a psychology degree can be applied in so many different contexts - because there are so many transferable skills I felt I gained much more than a psychology degree alone.

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

Within my new course and job role I feel I am highly dependent on the research based skills I learnt during my degree - in particular literature searching, scientific writing, presentation skills and data analysis.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words before coming to Northumbria?

Apprehensive, Shy, Indecisive

How would you describe yourself in 3 words after completing your first year at Northumbria?

Inquistive, Positive, Encouraged

How would you describe yourself in 3 words after you graduated at Northumbria?

Professional, Focused, Enthusiastic

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

I really enjoyed discovering different ways in which I could expand my skills outside of the lecture theatre - there are plenty of opportunities if you look for them and staff are always happy to support you. I was on the organizing committee for the department's undergraduate conference and worked as a student representative for the British Psychological Society during my degree and got a lot out of both roles.

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

Do it! Also, remember that you get out what you put in...the more you put into your degree the more you will get out of it.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in 3 words?

Engaging, Challenging, Life-changing

For more information about me see:

Twitter - @Ang_A

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