Having worked as an Assistant Psychologist for four years prior to the course, I chose the Institute of Psychiatry because it is highly reputed for research. The program gave me the opportunity to find out about psychiatric epidemiology and clinical research methodologies, providing a useful starting point to embark on robust translational research at professional level. I particularly enjoyed the qualitative methods and economic evaluation modules, which were taught by very friendly academic staff who provided a comprehensive overview.
My health psychology research project was a systematic review of studies investigating the psychological correlates of Multiple Sclerosis pain. The project aimed to support the development of a psychological invention to alleviate distress. My supervisors at Guy’s Campus were instrumental in helping me construct a successful PhD protocol to take this work further.
More generally, I was enthused by the number of opportunities at King’s when I actively sought them out, and links with the clinical world were never far away (ie South London and the Maudsley NHS Trust and King’s Health Partners). I also felt the sports and library facilities were great and the learning support staff were especially attentive. Remarkable, my inbox was regularly filled with weekly seminars and journal club invitations, which were a great opportunity to learn more about other areas of research. My taste for academic variety was also satisfied through the Associateship of King’s College: a well-organised traditional course dedicated to theology and philosophy – available at no extra cost.
One major draw for me was the competition for student bursaries for my course, as I was unemployed at the time. I was fortunate to receive a reduction in fees and two further scholarships for Summer School modules. I am very excited to start my PhD in October and am pleased to extend what has been an engaging and interesting year of study. My advice to MSc postgraduate applicants is to use your time effectively to meet a number of clinicians or researchers, and to mutually negotiate your project in accordance with your interests and occupational goals. This may involve doing extra work on top of the course, but remember in most cases it is certainly worth the effort.