Sophie Haggis

To anyone who is interested in human behaviour, mental health and just people in general, this course is amazing! I strongly believe that we should all be learning constantly throughout our life. No one is too old, too busy, or too inexperienced to learn new things.

During the midst of the 2020 pandemic Sophie had time to reflect on her career and start the process of her dream career.

During lockdown in 2020, I had time to reflect on my career and decided that I didn’t want to continue in the Property Industry. Instead, I wanted to get a job working in mental health. I came across ARU and learnt that they offered part time degrees in psychology and that the qualification awarded is accredited by the British Psychological Association.

"My awareness of the recent research around workplace culture has helped me convince the management team to invest in mental health and wellbeing in the office."

Acknowledging strengths to progress your career

I’m a mental health first aider for my current workplace. Studying this course has made me better at this role. Having even a basic awareness of a variety of mental health conditions has enabled me to speak to many people about how they are feeling with more confidence. It makes signposting them to professional support easier as I am more aware of what resources are out there.

My awareness of the recent research around workplace culture and its effects on mental health, has helped me convince the management team to invest in mental health and wellbeing in the office. As a result, we now have staff who are trained mental health first aiders. Management receive training regarding creating a healthy workplace culture and money has been set aside each quarter to fund coffee mornings to encourage conversations around mental health.

Building confidence through encouraging support

The support from ARU has been amazing. Since day one, I have felt so supported and reassured. Being a distance learner, you do not feel like you are on your own. There is always someone who will get back to you on a query in a timely manner and the tutors always get back to you quickly and in such a friendly and helpful way. I cannot fault them!

Designed with personal and career progression in mind

Professionally this qualification will give me the opportunity to further my study and achieve a doctorate. My aim is to be a Clinical Psychologist.

On a personal level, this course has already enlightened me to understanding myself and those I care about on a deeper level. The very nature of the subject and its teaching has made me a better person already, and I look forward to learning more each year.

Rewarding experiences

The amount I have learnt during the last two years is the most rewarding aspect of this course. Being a distancer learner, I feel like I am getting the absolute most out of the time I put in.

Top tips for students

Be certain about the subject you want to take. Read through the module titles, if they do not excite you and make you want to start ASAP then reconsider if this is the course for you. You need to be passionate and interested! Studying can be stressful, so you need to find the fun in the topics you are learning.

Have a support network of people who you can call on for help with all the commitments around your study. Be super organised and try and get ahead of the game where you can. As soon as you are made aware of an assignment, set a schedule of when you are going to be able to invest time to complete it. Do not wait until the day before to start the essay or task.

I am currently married, working full time and pregnant with our first child. Navigating study around your busy life is a discipline that you must learn. However, the tutors and lecturers are extremely supportive at ARU. They all want you to succeed, and there is always someone who you can ask for guidance. Also having a good support network around you (family/ friends) who you can call upon for help when you need it. My husband is a tremendous support to me and without his continuous encouragement I don’t know if I would be able to get through it.

Why ARU?

The online facilities and resources are excellent.  The lecturers give essential tasks but also provide an extensive list of extra reading materials and content. This means that you can really pack every spare minute with extensive learning on the topics and subjects that interest you the most. You get out what you put in, but they really make it as easy as possible to find the best resources for further reading.

I can’t fault ARU and I am so grateful to have been able to study this course. It is changing my life and will give me opportunities that a few years ago I didn’t think were possible.

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All ARU staff from my experience and perspective were amazing. My course leader and my final project coordinator were both very motivational, supportive and inspiring.

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Achieve your goals

Anglia Ruskin is a friendly university, the staff are really helpful and the experience will develop you both personally and professionally.


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