I graduated from my undergraduate degree in Psychology in June 2015. For the past 7 years, I have with a range of clinical groups, primarily children on the autism spectrum. I am very passionate about improving psychological welfare among children. I was particularly interested in this programme due to the emphasis it places on critical thinking about the research literature regarding mental health and psychological practice and the opportunity to explore evidence based research in-depth regarding early interventions and psychological therapies in children and young people.
The course lecturers were very motivated to make our lectures and tutorials as engaging as possible and encouraged me to think about how we can apply the content to practice with children and young people. They also offered good networking and volunteering opportunities for students such as working with children with developmental disabilities. Throughout the variety of courses offered, I have gained invaluable skills, not limited to practice conducting literature reviews, data analysis and report writing and public speaking and engagement.
In October 2017, I presented my MSc project Experiences of Autistic Individuals at School: Understanding by Peers and Teachers at the BPS Psychology of Education conference, which I credit largely to the excellent support I received from my supervisors and the skills set I gained from this programme.
Since completing the programme, I have worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Edinburgh examining the effectiveness of crisis resolution home treatment teams in reducing inpatient admissions. I am now part of the ‘The Me in Memory’ project at Abertay University in Dundee, exploring self-referential processing biases in typically-developing children and those with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
I am keen to pursue a career in research and conduct a PhD in relation to the mental health of children on the autism spectrum. The programme has allowed me to increase my knowledge of the field and enhance my skills which will greatly benefit me in my future career. I could not recommend it highly enough!
Kirsty is now a PhD candidate, researching online safety in autistic children at Heriot Watt University.