Dr Jade Russell
"Prior to my undergraduate degree, I had a keen interest in human thinking and behaviour. I knew that I wanted to build a career that would help people in some way but wasn’t sure exactly what that would look like. I chose to take the BSC Hons in Counselling Psychology at University of Worcester as I could learn more about psychology broadly, with an enhanced emphasis on therapeutic relationships and reflective practice. This course also provided me with Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society, which is a requirement for all practitioner psychologists and a strong quality indicator.
"Throughout my studies, the opportunity to select various modules allowed me to pursue and refine my interests within the broad field of psychology. During my second and third year, there were ample opportunities offered from the wider university and psychology department to explore career options. It was around this time that I learnt about the role of an Educational Psychologist. This path would allow me to work in a preventative way to enhance children’s wellbeing and learning through the application of psychology, promoting positive outcomes and social justice for all. I was encouraged to gain work experience by volunteering in a school alongside my degree. The timetable was structured in a way that made this possible.
"In my third year, my personal tutor supported me to think about my next steps. University of Worcester was offering an MSC in Applied Psychology at this time, with an option for an Educational and Child Development pathway. I was unsure about taking on further study but completing this MSc alongside paid employment within a primary school was one of the richest learning experiences I have had. I was supported to develop my professional practice by applying psychology and reflecting on the situations and challenges I was experiencing as a pastoral teaching assistant.
The relationship I was fortunate enough to build with my personal tutor at this time, Dr. Gabriela Misca was a huge supportive factor for my development. I was closely supported when struggling with the demands of study and work, and able to switch to part time study. I was able to work alongside Dr. Misca on her ongoing research endeavours, which provided me with practical skills and knowledge of real-world research. Our relationship has lasted well past the MSc: Dr Misca remained interested in my professional development and supported me in applying for the Doctorate in Educational Psychology, which is the pathway to becoming an Educational Psychologist.
"11 years on from beginning my undergraduate degree at Worcester, I am now graduating from my Doctorate in Applied Educational Psychology this autumn and practicing as a HCPC registered Educational Psychologist. My BSc (Hons) and MSc at the University of Worcester equipped me with invaluable knowledge and skills that were fundamental to me successfully gaining a place and navigating doctoral study. I now draw upon my learning daily in my work with children, families, professionals, communities and organisations."
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