Studied the Psychology University Certificate online

Why did you choose this course?

Image: Online University Certificate of Psychology masters student Sarah ShortI started teaching in 2004 when I graduated with an MA in Literature. I only spent two years teaching in the UK and then went on to teach in the U.A.E., Egypt, Indonesia and China. Sadly, at the end of 2013 my husband passed away, so I returned to the UK to be with family as my two children were only 4 and 2 years old. I took three years out of work to look after both of them until they were of school age, and realized that most of my work teaching was spent dealing not just with children in the classroom but with behaviours outside as well. This led me to consider becoming an educational psychologist.

What attracted you to online learning?

My eldest son was diagnosed with Autism and Dyslexia which pushed me towards psychology for personal reasons as well. I wasn't too sure about going back to full time study or devoting the next few years to a career I wasn't absolutely sure of yet, which then helped my decision to start the online course with UDOL, as a beginning into this career, which I am now dedicated to. I wanted to learn more about Psychology in order to better perform in my career, and develop my leadership and independent study skills.

I am a single mum with two children who are below the age of 9, so this was the perfect opportunity to balance my personal and professional life, without compromising one or the other.

Why did you choose the University of Derby Online Learning?

I chose UDOL as I had noticed that the university received the most accreditation for their online courses and the university had really good reviews on Google, as well as great ratings from other students that I found on several chat based forums.

What were your goals and aspirations when starting your course? Have they changed during study?

I wanted to learn more about psychology, and continue into this subject as a career. While I studied at UDOL, it was the perfect amount of work load to balance personal life and professional commitments. During my studies, I realised that this was definitely the route I wanted to take and have continued to pursue a career in psychology.

How did you balance your study around professional/personal commitments?

Considering that the course is online, it doesn't put time constraints that taught courses would have. The ability to be flexible with study time and material was a big aid, as well as the commitment of staff and support from other online students. It made juggling personal and professional life quite simple and relaxing! As a single mother of two boys aged 7 and 9, they are still at a delicate age where they need full time attention as well as nurture. It all boils down to time-management and keeping everything in focus. I believe that once you are determined to succeed not only in life but personally as well, you find the courage and strength to continue. I am very passionate about my children and my work, and making life better not just for myself but for them as well is an important driving factor.

How would you describe your online learning experience at Derby? What did you find particularly beneficial?

I would have to say the most beneficial experience that I have taken away with me from UDOL is the enormous support from staff, who are always available to help regardless of how trivial or important the query was. I was also quite happy with the community of online students that I was a part of as they were extremely considerate and friendly.

What was your most memorable moment during your time at Derby?

The panic just before handing in assessments, although it was personally daunting to have finished so quickly! It was extremely rewarding to know that I not only succeeded, but was fully prepared to continue further studies. It was all worth it in the end!

How has your qualification helped your career? Has the knowledge you have acquired, complimented previous work experience in any way?

This course has helped my career, in many ways. Firstly it gave me the background I needed to figure out if this was the correct career path for me, and secondly it prepared me to further my studies in Psychology. I started my MSc this September, full-time so that hopefully once completed I will carry on to Doctorate level. Once fully-qualified with my Doctorate I would like to practice Counselling, as that is where I feel I would be useful not only to my family, and friends. I guess you could say it is my way of giving back to society.

Can you describe your experience with just one word?

Enlightening

What would you say to anyone considering an online course at Derby?

At first you may think it is daunting as it is a new experience to study online, however I found it is as supportive as any taught course. I would definitely recommend it to everyone who has a busy lifestyle and yet wants to access more professional skills.