Lucy Phillips

Subject area

I chose to study Psychology at Loughborough University because of the lecturer’s involvement in current research, and Loughborough’s high ranking for Psychology in the league tables.

I have always wanted to do Psychology, but other non-subject-related factors also influenced my decision to choose Loughborough, such as being a campus university and the sport opportunities on offer.

The lecturers I have had throughout my time at university have made studying interesting. My favourite modules have been when guest speakers are invited to provide lecturers and give insight into their jobs.

During the course I completed a placement as a Research Assistant at the Richards Lab of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, at the University of Birmingham. This enabled me to gain relevant experience to add to my CV and enhance my future job prospects, as well as helping me to decide if this area of work is definitely something I would like to pursue.

Lucy Phillips

The highlight of my placement has been gaining relevant experience that has enhanced my skill development. This includes being added as a co-author on a journal publication, engaging in meetings, carrying out statistical analyses, and conducting interviews with participants.

My placement has also broadened my network and taught me valuable time-management and communication skills.

I have always been particularly shy in group-settings, but placement encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and add valuable input into group discussions. It’s also given me a clearer insight of what a job as a research assistant is actually like, which is a lot different than I expected.

I found all statistic-related teaching from first and second year particularly helpful in my placement. Although they gave us training at the start of placement, my existing knowledge of statistics and participant-ethics gave me a slight step ahead.

Ever since studying Psychology in secondary school, I have always wanted to be a Psychologist, working with people surrounding mental health problems. I am particularly interested in working within eating disorders, trauma or forensics.

Following my placement and talking to other members of staff, Clinical Psychology is still something I would love to pursue. After graduation, I aim to gain experience in a variety of jobs, such as a health care worker to enhance my CV, and eventually get onto a Clinical Psychology Doctorate. However, I would also like to spend some time travelling, whilst I have the opportunity.

The advice I would you give to someone considering studying Psychology is to engage in any activity that allows you to build your skills and knowledge, such as taking on the role as course representative, volunteering, fundraising and helping at the campus nursery.  When applying for placements or future jobs, these things that may have seemed small at the time, are seen as valuable to employers and speak volumes about you as a person.

Additionally, I would strongly advise getting a placement (if possible). After learning how difficult it is to gain a place on a doctorate, I’m so glad I took on a placement when I had the opportunity, because I know this will enhance my chance of getting a place.

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