Postgraduate study

Gael - Taught Masters

Gael talks about her experience of studying at Edinburgh and why she chose to study counselling with us.


Gael Bateman

Gael moved from Brisbane, Australia, to study a masters in Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue) in the School of Health in Social Science.

"When I stumbled across the course, I was enthralled and excited by such a unique programme.

I wanted a course that would be practical, where I would learn by doing, rather than just reading. This course has multiple layers of experiential learning, which I really enjoy."

Choosing Edinburgh

I intuitively knew that Edinburgh was the place, and the course for me. Even though it was (and still is) difficult to explain exactly why, I trusted in that gut instinct.

In my first semester on this course, I learnt about phronesis: which helped to explain that intuitive sense we all experience from time to time.

Choosing a Master of Counselling

I had known for some time that I wanted to train to be a counsellor, but I researched many different programmes to find the qualification that felt right to me.

This programme at Edinburgh stood out to me for three reasons: the experiential approach, the dialogue between two approaches, and the multi-layered support.

The course combines theory from the person-centred and psychodynamic approaches to counselling. What’s particularly special about it is the middle ground between the two; talking into and experiencing an idea from both perspectives.

The course also provides a multi-layered and extensive support network, from group supervision, to individual relationships including mentorship and tutorship.

Moving to Edinburgh

My main concern in applying to Edinburgh was how I would manage with the cold!

Brisbane has blue skies, sunshine and average temperatures in the twenties each day. I knew Edinburgh would be much greyer and colder and I worried how much that would impact me.

While Edinburgh can be grey and cold, it is a beautiful city to live in; from the surrounding mountainscapes to the Georgian chimney tops to the ever-changing colour of the skies.

Each day I have a ‘wow that’s pretty’ moment with this city and my fears of the weather have dissipated.

GaelMCouns Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue) student, the University of Edinburgh

That being said, I do miss the sunshine, and the days when it peeks out from the clouds here – you’ll find me following its rays around the house like a cat!

Settling into the city

Everyone I spoke to who had lived or visited Edinburgh raved about it.

A city and a village: this was something everyone told me about Edinburgh before I arrived, and it’s definitely something I really enjoy about living here.

There’s always something going on, and there are plenty of locals and tourists to give a buzz to the place.

It’s small enough to walk everywhere, and there’s a sense of community spirit that make Edinburgh feel like a caring and connected village.

Carlton Hill is my favourite place in the city. It offers beautiful views of the city and is on my walking route home from University so it is a good spot to process the events of the day!

GaelMCouns Counselling (Interpersonal Dialogue) student, the University of Edinburgh

Settling into the programme

Dr Jonathan Wyatt's course Between Counselling and Research feels like a revolution. One that recognises and celebrates the importance of research techniques that are relevant to the social sciences.

As a professor, Dr Wyatt is inspirational, engaging, and supportive.

Building a support network

I have established an extensive support network here in Edinburgh that I’m grateful for. I’ve learnt how to ask for help and to recognise when I need it.

My advice is - don’t give up on finding your tribe. It can take time to find the people you really click with when you first start at university.

Don’t feel that you have to settle for a group you don’t feel comfortable with, your group is waiting for you, and you’ll find them.


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