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This is a student blog from Christina, a graduate in MSc Health Psychology. Here she talks about what it’s like to study at Bournemouth University and what brought her to study Health Psychology, as well as what she plans to do in the future.

My name is Christina Davis and I graduated with an MSc in Health Psychology from Bournemouth University in November 2021. I came to Psychology later in life after working in the NHS since 2004, and in hospitals since 2002. I began by completing a degree in Psychology with the Open University. My interest in Health Psychology was born from my years in an acute hospital trust and seeing how many patients struggled with coming to terms with long term health conditions and managing those conditions.

The MSc Health Psychology at Bournemouth University appealed to me as it is accredited with the British Psychological Society and the course content was applicable and interesting to me.

Health Psychology is a great route to go down if you are interested in how to help people with their physical and mental health using Psychology. I have also completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Global Public Health Leadership and the two courses complement each other very well. Health Psychologists can work in a variety of different areas- from hospitals to public health and in community settings.

Since completing my MSc, I decided to complete my Stage 2 with a Professional Doctorate with the University of the West of England. There are a few different options after the MSc but this one suited me.

Bournemouth University was a great place to study, and I am glad I chose it. I always felt supported and encouraged and my confidence and knowledge grew remarkably through my time there. I am now hoping to continue the research that I began with Bournemouth, while using the skills I gained in improving psychological services within my work. I will always be grateful for my time there and the incredible opportunities I gained from that experience.

It is hard to know what the future will hold; Health Psychology is a relatively new field of Psychology that is becoming more acknowledged. It is an exciting time to be a Health Psychologist as people are becoming more aware of how the skills of the Health Psychologist can be used to contribute to the wider health of society. For now, I am focussed on completing my Doctorate.

My advice to anyone thinking of going down the Health Psychology route is to volunteer in a particular sector that interests you to gain some knowledge and competence. If you want to work clinically with the NHS, it may be worth learning more about the medical side of the area that interests you. This helps with understanding the needs of the patients or service users that you may encounter. Volunteering also helps in making professional contacts in an organisation and to see whether this is the route you want to go down.

My advice to anyone considering Health Psychology at Bournemouth University is to use the wisdom and expertise of the course teachers – they really are at the forefront of their field and hold a wealth of knowledge and experience. Additionally, be alert to opportunities when they arise and understand that sometimes you can’t predict what direction your life and career will go. Enjoy the journey!

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