As part of our new series of StaffsPsych Graduate Success Stories, we are pleased to introduce Luke who graduated from our BSc (Hons) Psychology course in 2017.
Luke introduces himself and talks about his experiences studying Psychology at Staffordshire University, and tells us how his degree has helped him develop his interest in neuroscience, his aims to pursue a career in research and a PhD in Psychology:
I studied A-levels in Psychology, Business, Physical Education, Applied Science and Biology across three years at college before taking the decision to move into full-time work, taking managerial roles at a hotel and Starbucks for a few years. Eventually, my general interest in the brain through reading and A-levels drew me to wanting to study the brains relation to behaviour at University.
What attracted you to studying Psychology at Staffordshire University?
I visited a few universities, but Staffordshire stood out from my other options. This was mainly because of the staff I came into contact with when visiting were passionate, encouraging and always offered constant contact, even after the visit.
What were the best parts of your experience at Staffs?
I managed to gain a perfect balance between socialising and studying hard. It made both of these easier and more joyful, rather than one being sacrificed for the other. The broad range of opportunities whether it be course related (talks and events) or not (sport) gave me opportunities to try and experience many new things.
What was the biggest challenge(s) that you overcame whilst studying at Staffs?
The third-year project was the biggest challenge for me. Not everything went to plan and a technical error with software put me 3 weeks behind schedule. This was huge challenge but putting in the extra work to overcome this really paid off when seeing the final grades.
What have you done since leaving Staffs?
I have moved on to study an MSc in Neuroscience at King’s College London where I am studying the brain at a much more cellular level. Thanks to modules such as ‘Cognitive and Biological Determinants of Behaviour‘ on the course at Staffs my interest in Neuroscience began. I have specialised in stem cells and currently undertaking my project monitoring neurogenesis (ability of the brain to produce new neurons throughout adulthood) in a mice model of sleep deprivation (gene knockout).
What are your plans for the future?
My next step will hopefully be a PhD. I want to continue to monitor factors that influence the neurogenic niche in both positive and negative ways. Negative factors have been implicated in multiple neurodegenerative disorders and depression. Other options I am also considering would be to move into full-time industry work with a pharmaceutical company or a research assistantship job in a laboratory. I also aspire to a neurosurgeon, as a long-term goal. This is something I would like to study part-time alongside my full-time career.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying to study Psychology at Staffordshire University?
Go ahead and apply. Studying Psychology at Staffordshire University changed my career and lifestyle. The staff were incredibly motivating and gave me a level of confidence that was the foundation to being successful in my Master’s. The course is broad, it covers all areas of the discipline, this is great. It will allow you to find which area is best suited to you. My greatest advice would be to make sure you maintain the balance between studies and socialising. This was key to me being able to find enjoyment and success in both.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your time at Staffs?
The thing I really take away from studying the course was the influence of the staff. The teaching is very good and you will get back what you put in. They always made time and effort to have a positive effect on your studies. This not only helped me develop new skills but also the confidence to execute them well.
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: