Staffs Student Stories: Meet Lisa Kyte BSc (hons) Psychology with a Foundation Year

About Me:

I’m a full-time mature student with two boys who are older now so not quite so demanding! I was widowed three years ago and realised that life is too short not to follow dreams, so here I am and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done! I’ve now completed my Foundation year and am about to embark on my three years with the University. 

Why did you choose to study BSc (Hons) Psychology with a Foundation Year at Staffordshire University?

Initially I returned to college, qualified as a level 2 teaching assistant and completed my maths GCSE, who knew you could love maths! Then, with an interest in the human mind and working with / supporting children with educational needs, I chose BSc (Hons) Psychology with a foundation year. Choosing Staff’s was always going to be the obvious choice as it’s closest to home and I still need to be home for commitments. However, I have friends who attended and their reviews as well as others speak for themselves. I now know how accurate they are as I’ve had a fantastic first year. Lots of support and made a great group of new friends!

What has been the best part of the course so far? 

It’s got to be all the ‘stuff’ you didn’t know! I’ve learnt so much! So much so that, it’s opened up so many different career options for me to consider and lots of possibilities. I think people have a fear of returning to education when they are older, worried you won’t remember everything, trust me, yes it’s a little scary to start with but that soon disappears and you are more capable than you think, an advantage of being a mature student is that you really want this! 

What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome and how have you overcome them, while studying with us? 

It’s got to be understanding and embracing the roller coaster. I won’t lie, there are times when you feel overwhelmed, especially if you have been out of education for a while. But! The answer is simple, turn to your friends and tutors, realise it’s normal and you are not alone. It passes quickly and your sense of achievement will push you to carry on. When you look back you’ll recognise the dip and know how to deal with them in the future. Just have your eye on that Graduation Day! 

What are your plans for the Future? 

Originally I wanted to continue with being a Teaching assistant in primary education, but now I’m also considering teaching Psychology and even the possibility of going on to working within the NHS. I think the main thing to remember is I still don’t need to make that decision yet and I have so much more to learn, so who knows! 

Would you recommend our course to others? 

Yes, absolutely I would recommend this course. It’s full of interesting topics, you’ll learn so much with so many avenues to consider following it. There is such variety and areas for discussion. The foundation year is also a great way of getting back into education and it gives you a great start to your course with the University. 


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent. The department is home to the Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research, a large and active group of psychologists, PhD students and researchers conducting work into a variety of psychological disciplines and topic areas.

Staffs Student Stories – Meet Phil Bowman, BSc (Hons) Psychology with a Foundation Year

About me

Foundation Year Psychology Student at Staffs Uni
Phil Bowman

Before coming to Staffs Uni I worked as a substance misuse practitioner, a very rewarding job that I loved doing. The job itself was manageable although most of our clients had very complex needs such as mental health issues, the inability to cope with emotion and those that still lived a chaotic lifestyle.

Although I built a great rapport with my clients, I was also aware that I lacked the ability to help them on a deeper level and I felt out of my depth when they disclosed some deep rooted issues such as childhood trauma, drug induced psychosis, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome to name but a few. This left me feeling inadequate as a professional and I began to ponder on the idea that I had the ability to learn how to best support them on a much more holistic level. 

Why did you apply and how did you get a place on the course? 

Whenever I toyed with the idea of going to uni, I would be filled with self-doubt. I thought that I was too old to learn and that I should just continue as a low level practitioner because it was within my “comfort zone”. To be honest I managed to talk myself out of applying more times than I care to remember. I thought that if I left work I would lose my compassion for the clients, I would lose the ability to empathise and I would lose sight of the reasons why I wanted to support people in the first place. 

For as long as I remember I have always been a very stubborn individual, and I have always feared becoming stagnant, I think these qualities helped me to make the decision to apply to Staffs Uni. I applied for the Psychology degree with foundation year in 2019 with the attitude that this would be my “last roll of the career dice” at the age of 48 I believed that alot of companies like to employ younger people, this is not always the case, but it does not stop me from worrying about it.

My interview with Dr Claire Barlow went really well, she had the ability to dilute my self-doubt and managed to reassure me that if I worked hard enough I could achieve great things. I came away from that interview feeling as though I could achieve anything as long as I applied myself

What has been your experience of the course? 

My first day was very daunting and I felt like a fish out of water, I found myself looking around the room and soon noticed that I was the oldest student, I felt like a grandad that had been invited on an 18-30 cruise! This feeling was short lived because my classmates and tutors were brilliant, within about a week I found my place in the class and was soon voted in as our course rep along with a dear friend of mine called Lisa.

Doing a foundation year was a no brainer for me as I did not have a clue about academic writing or independent learning. I struggled/still struggle with I.T and had not stepped foot in a learning environment for 32 years. I have now completed my foundation year and it has given me the ability to centre myself and slip comfortably into learner mode. I can step up to a computer and apply myself to the task in hand, without thinking that the task is too big to complete. I pride myself on having submitted all my assignments on time and achieving above average grades.

This would not have been possible without the support from an amazing team of tutors but also the support from my fellow students. We all have our strengths within the class, mine was mainly lived experience, we had the younger post 6th form students that were “whiz kids” on computers and we had mental health practitioners that wanted to take their careers further. We, as a team, pulled together, we set up a WhatsApp group so we were always in contact to support each other through the assignments and through the revision weeks leading up to exam days, we, as a team, have had an amazing experience!

What are your next steps and plans for the future? 

I am now moving into my second year of study (level 4 at the University). I am going into this year full of confidence and excitement, comfortable in the knowledge that I will be guided and supported throughout my degree. Staffs uni has given me a new sense of self-belief and I am very excited to see where this wonderful journey will take me.


Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

inpsych blog

Students expand their horizons by attending the national Graduate Recruitment Exhibition!

By Dr Heather Semper, Employability Lead for Psychology.

I was really pleased and proud to take our Psychology level 6 students along to the annual Graduate Recruitment Exhibition on Saturday 4th November 2017. This is a national event that happens every autumn at the NEC in Birmingham. The exhibition is organised by GradJobs and provides an opportunity for graduates to network with potential employers and find out about potential graduate training programmes, and employment opportunities. It is attended by some of the biggest employers of graduates such as DSTL, BAE systems, Lidl, the Armed Forces, Farmfoods, Adidas, Bet365, Network Rail, Amazon, amongst others.

Students attending the graduate recruitment exhibition #NGR17

Stalls were set out with information about careers, jobs, placements, and graduate training programmes with representatives from the organisations available to discuss their career options with the exhibitors, and collect some information and freebies at the same time.

The event also holds talks and clinics on employability topics such as how to network, CV clinics, careers advice talks, and one to one advice and guidance for graduates. There were talks given by employment experts on skills such as networking, completing application forms, and attending assessment centres. There were also opportunities for the students to discuss their CV, have a go at psychometric testing, and discuss their careers in one to ones with industry experts.

Our students listening to a really informative talk on networking by Dwain Reed (@dwainreed)

Students welcomed the chance to speak with potential employers to get a real feel for what the opportunities available to them from a variety of industry and organisations. Students reported that this was a really useful opportunity to speak with employers and helped them realise that there are many employment options available to them when they have finished their degree. For example Adelaide Neumann reported that

“The graduate recruitment exhibition was very helpful and very interesting. I would say it is definitely worth going (especially if you do not want to go into postgraduate studies in psychology) as there are so many job opportunities and you could literally apply anytime now to get a job for next year straight after you graduate.”

 


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages:

Psychology Careers Fair 2017: Improving Students’ Employability!

The Department of Psychology is pleased to announce that the Annual Psychology Careers Fair will take place on Wednesday 15th November 2017, 10am-3pm, in the LRV as part of Staffordshire University’s Future Fest week.

Attending this event will be a number of graduate employers and organisations including Stoke City Community Trust, The British Red Cross, Foundation Trust, St Giles Hospice, SYTECH – Digital Forensics, amongst others. Each of these exhibitors will be able to discuss volunteering opportunities, potential job vacancies and information on careers with their organisations.

In addition to these external organisations, the Staffordshire University Careers team will be available to talk to students about the services offered by the University’s Careers Network including the use of E-Coach, CV writing, and job hunting. There will also be a stall with information on postgraduate opportunities in Psychology at Staffordshire University. In addition, there will be an opportunity to meet current postgraduate students, who are willing to chat to attendees to provide insight from the student’s perspective on studying at postgraduate level at Staffordshire University.

Dr Heather Semper, Employability Lead for Psychology.


The Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Psychology at the University’s £30 million Science Centre in Stoke-on-Trent.

Interested in a Psychology degree? Come to an Open Day – for further details and to book your place at an open day please click here.

For more information about the Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit the below pages:

Psychology Careers Fair 2016: Improving Students’ Employability!

The Psychology department are pleased to announce that the Annual Psychology Careers Fair will take place on Wednesday 9th March 2016, 12-4pm, in the Science Centre Foyer.Psychology Careers Fair 2016

Careers Fair (March 15)

Students and exhibitors at last year’s Careers Fair

Attending this event will be a number of graduate employers and organisations including Saltbox, In Mind, Douglas Macmillan, and Think Ahead, amongst others. Each of these exhibitors will be able to discuss volunteering opportunities, potential job vacancies and information on careers with their organisations.

In addition to these external organisations, the Staffordshire University Careers team will be available to talk to students about the services offered by the University’s Careers Network including the use of E-Coach, CV writing, and job hunting. There will be also be stalls with information on postgraduate opportunities in Psychology at Staffordshire University with current postgraduate students willing to chat to attendees to provide insight from the students perspective on studying at postgraduate level at Staffordshire University.

Dr Heather Semper, Employability lead for Psychology.


The School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise at Staffordshire University is a leading School in the UK for Psychology degrees and is situated in the heart of England.  We produce internationally recognized research which is driving knowledge in this area forward and we work with a variety of healthcare providers, charities, international sports teams and private sector organisations.

For more information or details of the wide range of Psychology degrees on offer at Staffordshire University please visit our website and our courses page.

Psychology Careers Fair 2015 – Improving students’ employability!

Heather Semper, Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology & Employability and Careers Tutor for Psychology, reports on a successful Psychology Careers Fair:

Careers Fair (March 15)

A very busy fair!

The Psychology Department hosted a very successful annual careers fair on Monday 16th March 2015 in the Science Centre. A number of organisations attended the fair, including the British Psychological Society, the Samaritans, Think Ahead, Saltbox, In Mind, Challenge UK, and the Staffordshire University Careers team. Stalls were set out with information about careers, jobs and volunteering opportunities and postgraduate courses available at Staffordshire University.

Students had the opportunity to discuss their career options with the exhibitors, and collect some freebies at the same time. There were talks given by current postgraduate students studying Psychology related postgraduate courses at Staffordshire about their experiences in postgraduate study.

Careers Fair 2 (March 15)

Stalls at the Careers Fair

Students welcomed the chance to speak with current postgraduate students to get a real feel for what it is like to study at postgraduate level and enjoyed speaking with organisations about opportunities available to them.

The event had some really positive feedback from exhibitors who said that they were very impressed by our range of students and their enthusiasm for psychology related careers. The event was also well received by students who tweeted: “Found the careers fair really useful & informative today! Thank u team staffs!!!”.

Keep updated with the latest news and events from the Psychology department via the @StaffsPsych twitter feed!