Prior to enrolling on the Master of Arts in Psychology, I completed my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and French at the University of Limerick. In my final year, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in psychology but needed to acquire eligibility for Graduate Membership of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) as my next step. While visiting a graduate fair, I discovered the Master of Arts in Psychology. It fitted all my criteria, in terms of acquiring PSI accreditation to enter postgraduate professional programmes, enhancing job prospects, completing a broad range and depth of modules developing my research and academic skills, and continuing my studies at a university that always provided me with an incredibly positive learning environment.
Whilst on the course, my passion for psychology continued to flourish. The aspect of the course that stands out to me first and foremost are the support networks that are fostered through team work with class mates. The opportunities for group assignments with other students also allowed for active rather than passive learning, which prepared us for the realities of the workplace. The teaching staff always valued individual skills and interests, and this was nurtured by supervisors during our research projects. The emphasis that the course placed on understanding the practical application of psychology aided me to transfer the skills taught to various social settings. One module in Community Psychology allowed me to develop an interest in how children come to make sense of their social worlds and how environmental factors shape early social understanding. This consequently influenced my professional, academic, and research interests going forward.
The psychological based competencies acquired on the course enabled me to stand out at interviews and I secured a position on the Focus Ireland Graduate Programme upon completion of the Master of Arts in Psychology. Following on, I worked with voluntary agencies and the Health Service Executive as an Assistant Psychologist supporting individuals with disabilities.
The grounding that I developed in my theoretical knowledge, research abilities, and psychological concepts was a major stepping stone in entering the academic and professional world of psychology, and ultimately the foundation towards gaining my place on the Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology at University College Dublin. Upon completion of the professional doctorate, I hope to practice as an Educational Psychologist with the National Educational Psychological Service to support the emotional, educational, behavioural and psychological development of children.