How MCHP is inspiring students at The University of Manchester to think about a future in Health Psychology

by | 14 Mar 2024 | Life at MCHP | 0 comments

This time last year I was watching my friends begin their preparations for final year. Conversations constantly revolving round dissertation topics, choosing final year modules, and the dreaded question: “so, what do you want to do after you graduate?”

Of course, this is a pretty daunting question in any circumstance. Having to think about your next steps. Although university is not all smooth sailing, with the seemingly endless assignments, quizzes and all-nighters pulled at the Ali G, before this stage, I had never fully appreciated the security it offered me. When I started my course back in 2021, what I wanted to do was the furthest idea from my mind. So, as you can imagine, the second semester of second year was stressful to say the least.

I felt my friends were more prepared for final year than I was, and that I would be lagging behind if I went straight into final year. So, when I got the email saying I had been offered a placement at MCHP, I was relieved. Excited of course because I would have the chance to work within health psychology for a full year, a field which I loved learning about in second year but felt I had only scratched the surface of. But looking back on the day I found out I had a placement; I was mainly just happy to just not have to think about final year for a little bit longer.

Jumping back to now, working at MCHP has benefited me in so many ways, it’s almost frightening to think about what I would’ve done had I not worked here. I was always intrigued by health psychology, but I was put off by the idea of working in research. I suppose it was because at the time I thought research was purely stats and numbers – unnamed data. For someone whose area of expertise is 100% not maths, this was quite off putting. However, seeing researchers at work within MCHP has really opened my eyes to the range of research there is, and how it can really connect you to the people you are trying to help.

My experiences of assisting with the organisation, delivery and dissemination of research has played a significant role in reigniting my passion for psychology, which I first had years ago now when choosing my A-Levels. But it is not only my experiences that have done this. The connectivity and cohesion between staff has always been so welcoming, and it really makes MCHP a fantastic place to work. Even though you might not see people around Coupland 1 all the time, the building still has such an inviting a friendly nature. To me, this is what makes MCHP the success that it is. The incredible work that is happening here combined with the team of researchers, educators and practitioners would make it difficult for anyone to not be drawn to the field of health psychology after working here.

So, it’s safe to say I’m in a much better position than I was a year ago. And I really have the staff at MCHP to thank for that. I am now looking to go into the field of health psychology once I graduate. And even though I still don’t know what I exactly want to do, the question of “so, what do you want to do after you graduate?”, now brings me a feeling of excitement and anticipation at the endless opportunities which health psychology can offer me.

About the Author:

Abigail Fletcher is a 3rd Psychology student at the University of Manchester. She is currently undertaking a year long placement at the Manchester Centre for Health Psychology.