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Ece Soysal

Health Psychology (MSc)

MSc Health Psychology Ece SoysalWhere are you from?

Istanbul, Turkey

What undergraduate course did you study and where?

I studied Psychology (BSc) at the University of Manchester.

Why did you decide to study a masters?

A masters really allows you to specialize on what you want to do. I know I want to practice as a health psychologist, and the masters course is the first stage of practitioner training. However if I do change my mind after I complete my studies, the masters will be a big plus on my CV and I believe it will open many doors for me.

Why did you choose Northumbria University? Why did you choose your specific course?

I have a passion for health psychology because it focuses not only on mental health but also how physical conditions and chronic illnesses influence our mind. Northumbria University offers a British Psychological Society accredited course which is the first stage of practitioner training to become a psychologist. Northumbria has excellent facilities that really provide us with hands on experience. One of the biggest reasons why I chose Northumbria is their great sports facilities. I have played against Northumbria for three years during my undergraduate studies and always adored their team spirit, success and facilities. I knew I wanted to be part of Team Northumbria, and now here I am, training five times a week alongside my studies and enjoying every second of it! And of course, the fact that the university is in such a beautiful and friendly city is a plus!

What makes your specific course challenging/inspiring/different? How would you sum up the difference between Undergraduate and Postgraduate study?

Doing an undergraduate course requires taking modules that you are not necessarily interested in as it is more broad. However, postgraduate study is much more specific and focused, thus you get to specialize in your area of interest, which is why I enjoy each and every one of my modules! During a masters course you are expected to be more independent and submit more detailed assignments that really demonstrate an in depth knowledge of the concepts. The classes are smaller so you really get to know each other and it is more interactive. It is more challenging compared to undergraduate study but that also helps you to really engage with the material and boosts your confidence.

What was it like studying at Northumbria? What are the different ways that you learn on your course?

At Northumbria, our lectures are very interactive, since our cohort is small. We occasionally have to make presentations and have journal clubs, in which we are divided into groups and the discussion is lead by a different group of students each week. We have a good balance of internal and external lecturers. We usually get the same lecturer for each module, which enables us to get to know the lecturer, but the lecturer also gets to know us as well; which improves our interaction and discussion. We also get guest lecturers who talk about their own area of expertise and research, and it is nice to learn about their first hand experiences. Every Wednesday we are invited to attend an optional seminar where guest speakers talk about their research and experience.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

The academic staff are all very passionate about the work that they do, which makes our lectures much more interesting and fun. They are also super friendly and funny, and lectures go so fast.

How accessible do you find our staff? Do you feel at ease?

When we need something, our first call for help is our course leader Mark. He is very approachable and friendly, and he always tries his best to help us. Even on the weekend he replies to our emails if we need something. That is the same with most members of staff, you always get a quick reply even it is a minor issue!

As a postgraduate student, what aspects of university life are important to you?

As a postgraduate student, you are really a 'full time' student and spend hours in the library every day, sometimes even on the weekends. The library is like my second home, and there are different floors for the type of study you are doing. I usually go with my course mates and like to discuss our ideas, so we work in the group study area. However, if I am trying to finish an assignment, I work in the quiet study area. There is silent area and even a keyboard-free silent area! Since I play volleyball, I also use the sports facilities every day. Sport Central is right next to the library and the psychology building, which is convenient.

How would you describe yourself in 3 words before coming to Northumbria? What are the 3 key skills and attributes you have gained since being here?

Passionate about learning, ambitious, perfectionist. Since being at Northumbria I have definitely gained time management skills. I have training onTuesday and Friday mornings at 8am, then I go straight to lectures or to the library to do work. I also train after lectures. Northumbria has thought me how to manage my time more effectively. prioritize my work and multi task. During my studies I have also gained critical thinking skills and started to engage in more cooperation with my coursemates.

How would you describe Northumbria in 3 words?

Friendly, fun, professional.

Do you feel that your course has been a worthwhile investment in your future?

Definitely!


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