As part of our new series of StaffsPsych Graduate Success Stories, we are pleased to introduce Sian who graduated from our BSc Psychology & Child Development course in 2015 after also successfully completing a Foundation Year.
Sian introduces herself and talks about her experiences studying Psychology and Child Development at Staffordshire University, and tells us how her degree has helped her pursue a PhD in Psychology:
Please tell us a little about your background before coming to study at Staffordshire University:
When I left school at 16 years old, I trained to be a hairdresser and worked full time for several years. I decided to have a career change in my mid-twenties, so I completed an Open University course to help me get back into education.
What attracted you to studying Psychology at Staffordshire University?
I was interested in child psychology and Staffordshire University was one of the only universities to offer this type of course.
Furthermore, Staffordshire University gave me the option to complete a Foundation Year as I had taken extended time out of education. I think this was beneficial as this year gave me the tools to succeed at University.
What were the best parts of your experience at Staffs?
The staff in the Psychology Department were very approachable which made my time at Staffordshire University more enjoyable. In addition, I gained training in all the latest equipment and software related to psychology research. The Science Centre, where the Psychology department is based, has state-of-the-art equipment that is available to all students.
What was the biggest challenge(s) that you overcame whilst studying at Staffs?
I think the biggest challenge that I faced at university was time management. I had a young child and trying to juggle all my commitments was difficult sometimes. However, I found planning my timetable in advance really helped.
What have you done since leaving Staffs (e.g. volunteering, working, travelling…)? How did your course help you with this?
After graduating, I spent a short time working as a research assistant investigating the effects of watching television on children’s creative thinking. Subsequently to that, I worked for Leeds University, on a longitudinal smoking prevention project investigating adolescents’ views on smoking. Currently, I am undertaking a PhD looking at improving eating behaviours in high school students using the social norms approach.
What are your plans for the future?
My plans for the future include conducting more research in to children’s eating behaviours and potentially teaching in Psychology.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying to study Psychology at Staffordshire University?
Staffordshire University offers a supportive learning environment which will give you transferrable skills that can be used in any job setting. The advice I would give to someone applying to Staffordshire University is embrace every opportunity offered to you. The Psychology Department at Staffordshire University offer a fantastic curriculum with additional opportunities outside of the course for learning.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your time at Staffs?
My time at Staffordshire University has given me so many skills that are transferable to an array of different jobs and I am really grateful for being given the opportunity to study at Staffs.
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For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages: