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Student Profiles: MSc Rehabilitation Psychology

How to apply and more information about this course

Ellie Williams
Ellie graduated in 2015 and is currently an Assistant Psychologist at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham. 

"It was during the first semester of my third year at university that the famous “final year panic” kicked in. I realised I had been quite naïve about my career prospects, and learnt just how hard it is to become a Clinical PsychologistI did some research and discovered that becoming an Assistant Psychologist was often considered as the golden stepping stone to gaining a place on the clinical doctorate, but these jobs were highly competitive. With this in mind, I knew I needed to make myself stand out. I did a lot of voluntary work in the area of neuropsychology, but I felt that it wasn’t quite enough. That’s when I came across the MSc in Rehabilitation Psychology. I felt as though the course, which has a particular emphasis on neuropsychology, would complement my work experience and give me the knowledge, skills and confidence to come across well in Assistant Psychologist interviews. In all honesty, it did just that.

On the day I handed in my final assignment, I discovered I had been successful in getting an interview for an Assistant Psychologist job within the area of Neuropsychology at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. Before the interview, I was asked to prepare a presentation. I filled the slides with the specific psychological and clinical knowledge I had learned from the masters. During the interview, I was surprised that I answered on the spot questions with confidence. I had spent hours on the same topics in my lectures. I spoke about my research project, which was fortunately particularly relevant to the role. I got the job, and that’s where I am today. 

The benefits from the MSc continue to shine. As part of my role I administer neuropsychological assessments to adults with subjective cognitive complaints. During the masters I not only learned the basic principles of neuropsychological testing, but I also got the rare opportunity to have a look at the tests I use today. I feel much more confident in my ability to carry out these tests because of that extra knowledge.

Another part of my role is to carry out literature searches; something I feel is second nature to me after completing the masters! I am also collaborating with a clinical psychologist in my team to try and get my research published.I must admit I worked incredibly hard during the masters, but the rewards of completing the course most definitely outweigh the long days and late nights in the library, both professionally and socially. The lecturers were all friendly and I felt it was much more interactional and personal than the particularly large lectures I went to for my undergrad. We always got great feedback on our assignments and I felt very supported; I am dyslexic and the University and lecturers were extremely good in supporting me with that. I would definitely recommend this course to anybody who is interested in Clinical Psychology, especially if neuropsychology is an area you think you might enjoy. It was a challenge, but it’s got me one huge step closer to achieving my end goal." 

Ruth Plackett
Ruth graduated in 2014 and is currently a PhD student in the Department of Applied Health Research at University College London.

"My current research is about trying to improve GP’s decision-making skills using an online training tool, to ensure that patients receive a timely diagnosis. I chose to do this PhD in part because of what I learned on the MSc course about how healthcare can be improved and having this MSc really helped me to get my PhD offer.

I wanted to do this MSc because of its clinical focus, which fitted in with my research interests and I knew that I wanted to do a PhD in this area in the future. I was really glad that I did the MSc, as I felt it helped me to prepare for my PhD by teaching me essential research skills, such as statistical analysis, critically reviewing literature and academic writing. It also helped me to become a more independent and confident researcher.

One of the best parts of this course was the opportunity to do an applied research project, which gave me the chance to conduct my own research, with support from my supervisors. For my project, I conducted a survey with health professionals on their attitudes towards using smartphones to support children and adolescents with memory impairment due to acquired brain injury. This was a great experience that allowed me to work with a range of professionals and I even had my work on this project published in a peer-reviewed journal."

  Ruth Seed

Ruth Seed

Ruth completed her Masters course with distinction in 2009 and went on to work as an assistant psychologist.

"I graduated in 2009 and am now working as an assistant psychologist in a residential unit in Liverpool for adults with acquired brain injuries, run by the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust. I work with service users to write behavioural guidelines, six-monthly reviews, and meet with them weekly to discuss their mood, behaviour and goals. I’m currently learning how to conduct neuropsychological testing, something I learnt about from a research perspective in my masters. 

I completed a number of neuropsychology modules as part of my degree and became very interested in brain injuries and their impact on cognitive functioning and everyday life. I had decided to apply for a masters as I know that they can be valuable when applying for the clinical psychology doctorate. The MSc in Rehabilitation Psychology offered by Nottingham University sounded perfect in terms of meeting my interests, it was an area I would like to specialise in later following the clinical psychology doctorate, and I thought it would be helpful in improving my CV and giving me an edge over other competitors for jobs.

The course provided a strong basis in brain injury and the many impairments that can present, how these can be rehabilitated, and the importance of solid research methods. It made me read journal articles in a more critical way, it provided an opportunity to conduct meaningful research with clinical populations, and I met people with similar interests at heart.

Having a masters was a significant contributing factor to me getting a job as an assistant psychologist in a brain injury unit. It gave me confidence in the interview from my solid knowledge base and provided me with critical analysis skills, as well as showing that I had a level of specialism above others without a masters.

Another reason for applying for this masters was that I love living in Nottingham. I completed my degree at Nottingham University too and it is a fantastic city to live in. It has a great night life and music scene, good shopping and restaurants, and a great student-feel. The lecturers are friendly and approachable and the small size of the Rehab Psychology course creates a friendly atmosphere and an easy environment in which to make friends."


(Updated: 8 February 2016)

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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