Read the transcript
Duration: 6.08 mins
S1 Divya - Mres Clinical Psychology graduate
S2 Jonathon - Mres Clinical Psychology student
S1: So I did the MRes in Clinical Psychology which is the masters of research. The main attraction to the programme really was the fact that you had client placements. I had two opportunities to do clinical placements which were outside the University. So for my first placement I worked within the Oncology Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It was really good because I was able to pick up things from there and learn new skills that I hadn't learnt before. I did my second placement jointly alongside my project where I worked with looking at the family therapy service within the Mental Health Trust in Birmingham. Actually going along and working with clients was a very positive experience and I took away and made me actually focus my career path as well. So I think that was a very good part of the programme.
What's also good about the placements is that you have a clinical supervisor based at the centre you are attending and also having the support of an academic supervisor. The supervisors here are slightly different to what I have experienced at my undergrad level. There's a much more friendly working relationship. It's a holistic supervision that I get rather than a more work-based supervision. The other people on the course are extremely supportive. I've still got very good links with other people and I do other bits of work even though I've completed the masters and gone away. So for example I now help input teaching onto the course and that's only come about because I had a good working relationship with my supervisors.
S2: It's good to have an opportunity to meet your supervisor quite early and to let them know what kind of level of supervision you would like over your course. Because that gives you an opportunity to regularly give them an update about how things are going. It gives them a chance to give you support and feedback which can be very valuable particularly early on when you're still trying to find your feet. I've taken all sorts of positive things away from the programme and I think the main thing for me is that it's helped me to get back into psychology because I graduated in psychology here 30 years ago. So it's been a brilliant course for getting me back into the subject and opening up all sorts of possibilities about what to do next.
I've done two placements this year. The autumn placement involved studying a little bit about psychoanalysis. I was working with a mental health service locally and that was really interesting, getting an insight into the day-to-day life at that service, and I was looking at the way psychoanalysts measure wellbeing. My second placement has involved understanding more about wellbeing in general; what that is, trying to measure it. So I'm working with somebody who's built a measure for wellbeing and I'm using it to measure the wellbeing of people who've been attending group therapy for self-esteem.
I had a career in IT before I came here, doing all sorts of areas of IT from software engineering to project management. I think that the time came with the girls, my daughters, growing up when there was an opportunity to do something different and maybe go back to something that I really wanted to do. So I chose to come back to psychology.
There's so many things that I could do with the psychology that I've got with the MRes but what I'd like to do is go on to do a PhD and look at excessive consumption and its relation to wellbeing in society in general. Alternatively, there's also applying for a PsychD which is a clinical Psychology Doctorate which would take three years. So those two options are very much open as a result of having done the MRes. But there are other options as well around being involved in the clinical community in general. The other thing, of course, is because I've got IT I want to find things that combine clinical and computing.
S1: There were various factors that actually led me to choose Birmingham for my postgraduate degree. One of the key factors actually was that I got some support from the International Office when I moved. They were able to help towards paying my tuition fees. It was an Indian scholarship that I was able to get on to. So that was quite a good factor to lead me to Birmingham but I think also because I lived in London before this, Birmingham I think is quite different, it's a bit of a melting pot really, different cultures. You know that it's got a nice ethnic mix over here and coming from India I had moved straight to a place where there probably wasn't that mix and I would quite enjoy that.
I finished my placement in July and I'd already got a job offer in July. I think that was completely down to the fact that I'd had these opportunities at placements, got to know people and because I’d worked with patients in my placements it had given me a flavour of the kind of things that I wanted to do, to go down the clinical pathway. So the MRes opened up that set of opportunities for me to be able to do a PhD with a supervisor that I enjoy working with and an area that I enjoy working on alongside having a full time job doing clinical work and things that I enjoy doing.
One of the lovely things about being at university is that you get to see all sorts of things that you wouldn't come across normally. So, one evening I attended a lecture on Irish Sea architecture in the Mesolithic, which was really fascinating and it started me thinking about the structure of society two or three thousand, four thousand years ago.
I chose Birmingham because it has a very high quality academic record across the country. It's second only to Oxford and Cambridge. But another reason is that I have a sentimental link with Birmingham because I graduated here 30 years ago and it's really nice to come back to the same university after all these years.
END OF RECORDING