Postgraduate student Fern explains why she chose to take her studies further at the School of Social Sciences.
Whilst I was in my third year of studying undergraduate Psychology BSc, I started to think about what the next steps would be after I graduated. At this point, most of my friends had started to apply for different grad schemes and jobs for when we completed our studies. This is something I briefly considered, but I knew that working a 9-5 office job was not what I wanted to do. I loved studying Psychology and was passionate about the subject, leading me to consider career paths within this field. Research into the areas I was interested in told me that an undergraduate degree was not enough to pursue a career within psychology; a Masters degree and specialist training was needed.
I enjoyed studying and was already running my own Psychology research project, so I knew that continuing my education after graduating was the right step for me. There were three different courses I considered at Masters level; Psychology, Educational Psychology, and Forensic Psychology. I thought about the modules I had studied throughout my course, and what I wanted to learn and research about in the future. In my first year of undergraduate I completed a module that had a forensic element to it, and in my third year one of my elected modules was about the psychology of crime and deviance. I thoroughly enjoyed and excelled in these parts of the course. Therefore, I decided that I wanted to study a Forensic Psychology course.
There were a few pros and cons I had to weigh up before committing to studying a Masters. The main, and most obvious, thing to consider was the cost. Having already studied three years at university, I already had a substantial amount of student debt. Deciding to further my education would be costly as I would have to take out a postgraduate student loan. However, the debt did not put me off further study as it is paid back in a manageable way. I also personally feel that it is worth it as I love my course and a masters degree is an essential step to a career within psychology!
When deciding where I wanted to study my course there were some important criteria. As I wanted to pursue a career within Forensic Psychology, I needed a masters degree that was accredited by the British Psychological Society. This accreditation means that after completing studies and specialist training, it is possible to register as an official forensic psychologist. This was the most important criteria, and BCU fulfilled this. Other things I considered were course fees, the modules on the course, and the methods in which modules were taught and assessed. I was happy with everything BCU offered regarding the course, so I worked on my personal statement and application before sending it to the admissions team.