Lydia Tidmarsh (BSc Psychology, MSc Health Psychology)

As a mature student, the offer of a two-year degree was the most compelling reason for my decision to study at Buckingham for my BSc in Psychology in 2019/2020. In addition to this, the small cohorts enabling extremely valuable contact time with lecturers was also attractive. What I didn’t expect to receive, however, is the genuine care for individual students and passion for teaching which is so prevalent among the lecturers at Buckingham. It was this incomparable support, together with the unique opportunity to conduct a placement within the MSc programme that consolidated my decision to stay at Buckingham for the Health Psychology MSc in 2021.

My experience at Buckingham has only been positive. While the intensity of both a  2-year undergraduate degree and a BPS Accredited Stage 1 MSc Health Psychology degree each provoked challenges, the support I received at Buckingham made it all possible. The culture at Buckingham is one of care and encouragement while fostering resilience and determination in students. It is this culture embodied within the lecturers’ leadership that enabled me to flourish personally and succeed academically achieving two First-Class Honours degrees. My confidence to engage in discussion and work collaboratively was developed within the small tutorial and seminar groups. These are skills that will serve me in various academic and clinical roles.

Buckingham has prepared me for the intensity of the working world today. My academic and applied knowledge, research skills and resilience to cope with competing demands has increased exponentially. Furthermore, Buckingham has taught me how to reflect on my personal and professional development, which is essential in order to be an effective Psychologist in both academic and clinical settings. Moreover, through the care and support from the lecturers at Buckingham, my confidence and self-efficacy have improved immensely. These are two of the most beneficial factors of studying at Buckingham that will serve my future career.

I feel truly grateful to have been guided by inspiring lecturers with vast clinical experience and current active researchers at the beginning of my Psychologist training. The nurturing environment at Buckingham has enabled me to build strong rapport with my lecturers which will continue into the next stages of my career. As a result of the professional placement during the Health Psychology MSc, I am now completing my PhD in chronic pain and working as a Research Assistant at The University of Reading. I hope to one day lecture at Buckingham, to come “full circle” in such a positive environment that launched my career.