I graduated as an occupational therapist in 1993 and worked in a number of clinical and management roles. The majority of my career has been spent working with older people, including those with physical and mental health problems. In 2009, I began to work as a Clinical Researcher in the field of dementia research, focusing on the management of crisis. I wanted to develop my research skills in addition to my theoretical knowledge of ageing.
I chose to do the degree at King’s College London because of its reputation as a first class university. There were a number of different degree options within the Institute of Gerontology, and the Gerontology MSc course was recommended to me by a colleague. I chose to do the part-time programme over two years as I still needed to work full time.
I am already implementing many of the things I have learned on the course in my workplace, including research methods, critical thinking, appraisal techniques and evidence-based practice. I feel the qualification will improve my knowledge and practice, which in turn will benefit the client groups I work with.
My advice for prospective students would be to definitely consider doing the Gerontology MSc, although it is hard work; you need to be disciplined and self-motivated, which can be challenging when you work full time.
The staff at King’s are incredibly supportive and understanding; they really get to know you and are eager to support your learning. There was a great selection of compulsory and optional modules, all of which I found fascinating which in turn made learning more enjoyable. The standard of teaching is excellent; the assessment processes include exams and assignments – some of which are more practically focused, which was a great way to learn. I made some good friendships on the course, which supported an exchange of ideas. I would highly recommend the Gerontology MSc.