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What Is Studying Psychology Online Really Like? Oliver’s story

Oliver shares why he joined Northumbria, and what life as an online Psychology MSc student has been like so far.

Oliver James, online Psychology Masters student

Having graduated with a degree in Policing (Criminology, Law & Forensics) 12 years ago, Oliver James decided to return to parts of the degree which had most interested him and study Psychology. Opting to stay in his current role while studying, Oliver describes his experiences of distance learning and the support he has received while doing the course. 


Why did you choose to study with Northumbria University and what have you enjoyed most about the course? 

I chose Northumbria because the Psychology department has a good reputation, and I liked the idea of self-learning, self-managing and being able to complete the readings and assessments in my own time.  

So far, it has been a positive experience, even if being a student again after 12 years or so has taken some getting used to! I like the flexibility and being able to work at your own pace – doing a little bit of work, often, has worked well for me. The support I have received during webinars and from my Student Success Advisor really does make a difference too. 

Why did you choose to study via distance learning over studying on campus? 

It was both a practical and financial decision. I wanted to be able to continue working and study in my spare time. This course seemed a great option as it allowed for a balance; I can continue to pay the bills while I’m learning.  


Where and when is your favourite place to study?  

Probably on my sofa (when not at my desk) 


What would you say has been the biggest benefit, so far, to studying this course?  

It’s certainly a confidence boost – I have shown that I can balance my time commitments and submit the assignments.  


When you’re not studying, how do you spend your time?  

When I’m not at work, I am a long distance runner and I have recently started dog walking for a rescue centre.  


What advice would you give someone considering studying a distance-learning course with NU? 

Do your research, have an open mind and, if you want to do it, go for it! 

How would you describe your NU experience so far in three words? 

Quite an experience! 


Find out more about our online Psychology MSc

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