Student Profile: Beverly Pickard-Jones – MSc in Psychological Research
Beverley Pickard-Jones lives near Bangor and worked as a business consultant before studying at Bangor. She's now studying a MSc in Psychological Research.
I am currently studying for an MSc in Psychological Research, which is fantastic because it includes a research rotation component. This means I will get the opportunity to work with two different researchers in Bangor, in addition to my research project supervisor, to gain an insight into their area of research and the methodologies they use.
Why did you choose the course?
In my previous career I was fortunate enough to work some incredible researchers, and I was inspired by the work that they did to improve the lives of people in the UK. I’ve always been fascinated by the sources of variability in human intellect and how cognitive performance can be improved across the lifespan, so I decided that psychological research was the ideal course to facilitate a lifetime of research into this varied and fascinating area!
Life in Bangor...
I live near to Bangor. It’s perfect – excellent transport links and a really friendly atmosphere. You can walk anywhere, so there’s no need for a car if you live in the city. And since students make up such a huge proportion of the residents of Bangor for most of the year, you find that a lot of the local businesses give discounts.
Support for students...
The support network is vast – the lecturers are dedicated to students’ welfare and the modules themselves can be quite flexible. If you unavoidably miss a lecture, they are usually podcast or the slides are available online. It’s not as good as actually attending a lecture, but it’s a great back up. There are also lots of academic workshops and the Study Skills Centre provide free, one-to-one, 50-minute writing and statistics sessions as often as needed. It’s easy to take advantage of these opportunities and can result in real improvements in your work. No student needs to struggle alone: help is always at hand. There are also student representatives who can raise issues on your behalf.
Has studying at Bangor given you any specific opportunities?
I completed an internship last summer, which offered practical research experience. It was fantastic and I believed the experience has helped my in my post graduate applications.
What advice would you give to people applying to Bangor?
You get out what you put in – that old chestnut! You’re probably tired of hearing it, but you really do. If you work and play hard, and you’ll have the time of your life in a city that is almost entirely geared towards showing you a good time!
Highlight at Bangor?
As a mature student, I didn’t do all of the “fun” stuff – the partying and so on. I think the learning experience was the thing I enjoyed most; the lecturers were inspiring and I really felt that I was able to reach my potential here. No-one holds you back; you are not restricted to a strict syllabus. There is usually a way to relate every module and most pieces of work to your own interests, even if they don’t seem to be directly related. The lecturers are incredibly supportive and do everything in their power to help the students to achieve their goals, whether by having a chat about assignments or career options, or by offering practical advice.
Best thing about the course?
One of my favourite modules explored conceptual issues in psychology. We were able to define our own essay title and research an area that interested us. I loved that assignment! It gave me the opportunity to explore in depth an area that had inspired me during the module. It really let me be creative and start to think more independently about psychology and how to research novel questions. That is, in itself, a valuable skill to have acquired.
What will you miss about Bangor when you leave?
I’m not leaving, thankfully! I’ve been offered a PhD studentship, so I’ll be here for some time yet.
I want to work in academia. Research and lecturing.