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The University of Southampton
PsychologyPostgraduate study

Polly Langdon MSc in Health Psychology, 2013

Currently studying PhD in Health Psychology at Southampton

Polly Langdon's Photo

Hi, I'm Polly Langdon and I studied MSc in Health Psychology within Psychology at the University of Southampton.

The psychology department have regular Centre for Applications of Health Psychology (CAHP) seminars… Researchers from any university come and explain their research…


Q: Why did you choose to undertake your postgraduate studies at the University of Southampton?
I chose to study at the University of Southampton for a number of reasons. Firstly, when applying for the MSc in Health Psychology, I was finishing my undergraduate degree in psychology at Southampton Solent University and had really enjoyed my time living here in Southampton. Also, I volunteered for Southampton sexual health services and so felt that, should I want to continue that, a course here in Southampton would be well suited for me. I then did some research into the university and discovered that not only did it have a good overall reputation, including high student satisfaction and employability rates post degree; but that my course was also one of the best health psychology courses in the country. Once I had looked at the course structure, I had finalised my decision, the University of Southampton would be my first choice!

Q: How long did it take you to settle in at the University of Southampton and what support did you receive?
When I first arrived I was completely overwhelmed, the university was far bigger than my previous one and I felt (at first) that I didn't belong, that I wouldn't be good enough. This all changed however in a matter of days. The lecturers were incredibly supportive, easing us in gradually to their expectations of us and beginning from the very basics of health psychology without making any assumptions of our prior knowledge. This was great because by the end of the first month or so, we were all at the same level and my confidence had grown so much that I felt able to tackle all of the work to come.

Q: How have you found the facilities here, both across the campus and specifically within Psychology?
I have found the facilities here really great. Post graduates in psychology have their own computer room which is incredibly helpful, especially during busy periods (like exam time) when the library is really full! Another helpful tool is the VPN which you can set up on your home computer and then work from home just as effectively and with access to as many journals as at uni. The library is vast and is really easy to use with webcat so you don't have to drawl through rows and rows before finding the books you need! It saves massive amounts of time! The library services in general are brilliant and the librarians are always happy to provide you with any training on any of the data bases or tools you think would be helpful for your work/research.

Q: During your studies did you undertake any interesting work placements/collaborations/work overseas or attend any interesting seminars or conferences?
The psychology department have regular CAHP seminars which are really interesting to attend. Researchers from any university come and explain their research and their findings and I have attended several, even if they were not directly relevant to my course.

Q: Are there any particular aspects about your programme of study you would like to highlight?
I think the main thing for me is the dedication of the lecturers that really makes the course as good as it is. Each member of staff has a huge depth of knowledge that they really want to pass on to us, and as they are all researchers, they are able to share their own experiences with us. Several lecturers had taken the masters years before, and so could give really great advice based on personal experience which I think we all found valuable.

Q: What do you think you have achieved as a result of studying at the University of Southampton?
I have achieved far more than I thought I would. Not only have I gained knowledge in Health Psychology, but I've learnt so much about working within a professional environment, pushing myself to the limit, how to pull myself up when things go wrong and how to work to the best of my ability. Although it was a challenging year, I wouldn't trade this feeling of accomplishment for an easy life, no way.

Q: What advice would you give to current students in order to help them get one step ahead of the competition?
Work as hard as you can now and it will pay off in the future! Also, I've always felt that if you try your best and you can honestly say that, then whatever the outcome- you have achieved something great.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
I've just learnt so much, and enjoyed the whole experience! UoS is a great place with great staff and they really do want to help you achieve your goals.

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