My experience of postgraduate study

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by Abbie, MSc Health Psychology

Deciding on what to do and whether to do postgraduate study can be difficult for anyone. It’s a big step. To provide some perspective on postgraduate courses, I am writing my experience of this and hopefully will give you some help and ideas about what you could do for your postgraduate study.

Before studying at postgraduate level, I studied and received an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I started studying fresh out of college and decided academia was the way forward for me. I wished to take psychology study further and my main area of interest was health and wellbeing.

Why I chose a master’s at UWE Bristol

My master’s course at UWE Bristol is MSc Health Psychology, which I felt was the perfect add-on to my undergraduate degree. I chose to study at UWE Bristol to complete my master’s degree, because they had this specific course that I wanted to do. I also wished to do my MSc here, because I was already living in Bristol and find it a brilliant place to be.

It’s important to me to gain a master’s degree and continue further study. I think it will allow me to show that I have developed my skills and knowledge of psychology further than the basic undergraduate level. Having knowledge specifically about health psychology will allow me to consider different career paths.

Having a master’s in general will support any application I do that requires that further knowledge and expertise. My degree has helped me to further these research skills that I think will aid me in a potential job in research, or a doctorate level degree that I am thinking of doing at a later date.

Funding your postgraduate degree

With financing the postgraduate degree, the UK government’s Student Finance scheme has been helpful at covering the cost of my course fees and some of my accommodation. Saving up money, or getting a small part-time job alongside postgraduate study is important.

The master’s loan only covers course fees, with potentially a bit extra left over. This is unlike undergraduate student finance, which covers course fees and gives you a maintenance loan. I personally have saved up money from part-time jobs throughout the year, and also from work during the summer holidays before I started my postgraduate degree. 

Support for postgraduate students

I have felt very supported during my studies so far at UWE Bristol. My course leaders, my dissertation supervisor, and the disability services have been excellent at supporting me during difficult times by allowing coursework extensions and answering any additional questions I may have.

The Wellbeing Service was also a good option for help with ensuring mental health and wellbeing was supported. I have always found studying at university difficult because of my ongoing health issues, but I think despite this, I am glad that I took up the postgraduate degree.  

“If you’re experiencing health issues at undergraduate level and are unsure whether to carry on to Master’s level because of this, I would say it’s definitely doable with good support from university health services.”

I hope that this blog has helped you to gain some understanding of the experience at postgraduate level. 

Find out more about postgraduate study at UWE Bristol.

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