"I really enjoyed the dynamic academic environment at the campus, the frequent opportunities to attend interesting talks and training sessions, and the atmosphere of working alongside world-class scientists in the various fields of psychiatric research.
I wanted to follow up my Psychology BSc course with postgraduate studies that provided a deeper understanding of the human experience of mental health difficulties. I was also interested in community mental health, issues around barriers to care, health services availability and accessibility; the Mental Health Studies MSc felt like a perfect match for this.
The course offered a broad range of optional modules, so I could tailor its focus to my interests. The lectures were engaging, with speakers often bringing added depth to the teaching by going beyond theory to discuss real-life applications based on their own work, and through examples of ongoing research. I enjoyed the flexibility of the dissertation project too, and how this could be chosen from a list of suggested studies or be set up by the student. The latter option enabled me to combine my dissertation research with the part-time research work I carried out alongside my studies, which made for a smooth integration between work and studies.
My dissertation project has been published: Mental health service use by young people aged 9-18 years: the role of caregiver characteristics. During the final year of my MSc I successfully applied for a competitive fully-funded NIHR BRC PhD studentship, and consequently transitioned to full-time PhD studies once I had completed the course. The PhD project proposal this studentship supported was developed jointly with my MSc dissertation supervisors and myself, with the project intended as a continuation of the research I conducted during the MSc. Thus, without the continued collaborations I established with my supervisors during the MSc, I would not have had the opportunity to pursue this PhD studentship.
Overall, in my experience, the MSc provides a great platform whether wishing to develop skills suitable for clinical work or a more research-orientated career.