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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education School

Abigail Townsend BSc Education and Psychology

2nd year student

Abigail Townsend's Photo

My next Volunteer Research Assistant placement is working with the Autism Diagnostic Research Centre. My main area of interest is autism so this was a perfect placement for me.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton? What attracted you to the University of Southampton?

I chose to study at the University of Southampton because the course was far superior to any of the others like it at different universities. An example of this is that it offers British Psychological Society accreditation, which is advantageous employability wise and would have taken another year to achieve with a different course somewhere other than Southampton.

Additionally, I chose to study here was because of its high status as a Russell Group university. It is a reputable university which assured me that I would be receiving an academically rigorous education from lecturers at the forefront of their fields.

How do the group sizes in which you study here work for you?

The group sizes we study in for Education lectures are really conducive to in depth learning. The tutors often encourage discussion and group work which allows us to debate and develop our own opinions and ideas.

What are the tutors like on your course?

The tutors are always very engaging and make the modules really interesting. Also, if we ever need help they are always highly supportive and encourage us to ask questions for clarification as well as to further our knowledge.

What's it like to study here?

I really enjoy studying in Southampton because the campus has a very positive atmosphere, as does the general area, which is a great mix between leafy suburb and city. Southampton common is lovely in the summer and the city makes for a great day out and, of course, the nightlife is also fun.  Also, the free bus pass that comes with halls in the first year made it easy to get to know the area when we first moved here.

What opportunities has studying here provided you with?

Studying at Southampton has provided me with the opportunity to become Course Representative for my year group. I very much enjoy this role as I am an active liaison between the students and the staff. This has meant I am able to see how responsive the faculty is to our feedback. I have also had the opportunity to be a Volunteer Research Assistant (VRA) which I have very much enjoyed. In my first VRA placement I was helping to develop an instructional website for a University of Southampton software that is used by health professionals. This has been really rewarding. My next VRA placement is a summer working with the Autism Diagnostic Research Centre which I am really looking forward to. My main area of interest is autism so this was a perfect placement for me, particularly as I plan to do the Doctorate in Educational Psychology. So, there have plenty of opportunities for personal and academic development.

What have been your Southampton highlights so far?

My Southampton highlight so far has been joining Southampton University Riding Club. I have been able to get back into horse riding, which I now do every Wednesday. I have made some great friends and have now been elected to be on the 2017-18 committee. It really has become a huge part of university life for me, and a part that I absolutely love.

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