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Stephanie Pratt - MSc Applied Psychology

Stephanie Pratt
A dedicated graduate from Inverurie with a future in forensic or clinical psychology was the first in her family to attend university; she leaves with two degrees and a cross-cultural wealth of international experience.

Stephanie Pratt (23) graduated from Robert Gordon University (RGU) on Friday 4 December in front of a virtual, global audience of staff, alumni, friends, and family.

“I am really proud of myself,” said Stephanie. “Not just for being the first in my family to attend university and achieve a bachelor’s degree in Applied Social Sciences, but for working as a care and support worker during the pandemic and still completing my master’s in Psychology with merit.”

As well as psychology, Stephanie was drawn to RGU’s broad learning opportunities which touched on criminology, law, politics, history and sociology, but ultimately chose her course based on the Erasmus opportunity. 

Erasmus supports students to develop personally, professionally, and academically while gaining valuable experiences in a different social and cultural context.

“I’ve always wanted to study abroad,” said Stephanie. “I spent seven months in Malta as part of my studies. I met hundreds of people from all over the world, explored different cultures, and experienced foreign teaching. I’ve brought many of the techniques back home with me to Scotland.

“I still keep in contact with many of the people I met there—who are now my friends for life. I can’t wait to reunite once we’re allowed. Hands down, it was the best part of university and wish I could have stayed longer.”

Undertaking her second degree through online learning, Stephanie found her lecturers were able to share valuable experiences and assist her with career planning.

Stephanie said: “Online learning taught me to be disciplined with my workload and demonstrated my ability to work from home—something desired and even demanded during the pandemic. These skills and experiences will definitely help in future.

“My lecturers were all very helpful in regards to future directions, possible pathways, and how to achieve those. They offered insightful support specific to the fields I want specialise in, such as forensic or educational psychology, while sharing career advice and often providing job references.”

The next steps for Stephanie on her chosen career path are to gain more experience in the field and then applying for a second master’s or a doctorate degree.

Stephanie adds: “I want to become a clinical or forensic psychologist and, to do so, an undergraduate, master’s and doctorate are required.

Update (Thursday 17 December): Stephanie has successfully applied for a position with the NHS as a Mental Wellbeing Worker. The role entails working alongside the Aberdeenshire Primary Care Psychological Therapies Service, delivering one-to-one therapeutic interventions, co-facilitating psycho-educational groups to support those with mild-to-moderate anxiety and depression, and developing self-help materials for coping strategies.

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