Alumni Profile - Michelle Murray & Bridgeen Quinn
|Michelle Murray||Bridgeen Quinn|
I decided to pursue a degree in Psychology at Queens because after many years of working as a hairdresser I had a keen interest in human behaviour. Initially, I wanted to learn about the many contributing factors that influenced how and why individuals behaved the way they did in certain situations. In particular, I was keen to learn about and increase my understanding of the contributing factors that were involved in addiction and mental ill health and the impact this had on behaviour. However, I probably underestimated how complex human beings are and hadn’t anticipated the vast amount of knowledge a degree in Psychology would provide.
Initially, I was overwhelmed with the fast pace of learning and I found myself doubting my decision to go to university as I lacked confidence in my academic ability and suffered from imposter syndrome. However, once I got settled in and began to make friends everything changed. Having friends to discuss topics with, meant I was able to offer and receive support about topics/modules I found difficult. That in turn helped my confidence grow and as my confidence grew, my self-belief and self-esteem also grew, and I learned many things about myself.
I thoroughly enjoyed my degree in Psychology and looking back, I particularly enjoyed learning about the developmental stages from conception to childhood, adolescence, young adulthood through to old age and how biological, environmental and physical changes impacted an individual’s behaviour at these different stages of development.
I also enjoyed learning about diseases such as Dementia and Parkinson’s and was particularly interested in the different areas of the brain that were affected by the diseases which in-turn impacted the individual’s behaviour.
My Psychology degree has been very beneficial to me and has given me great insight into human behaviour which I incorporate into my life on a daily basis. I would highly recommend a degree in Psychology at Queens, it is one of the best things I ever did, and I am very proud to say I had the privilege of studying Psychology at Queens.
Although I had never studied psychology as a subject, human behaviour always interested me. What makes us react differently or similar in certain situation? How do we develop different types of personality? These are questions that I often thought about. Having studied science on an access course I was keen to learn about the connections between the physical body, brain and behaviour. Studying a psychology degree at Queens University was the pathway I chose to answer my questions.
The degree did not disappoint, it covered the entire spectrum of the human lifespan and gave great insight into typical and atypical behaviour from conception to old age. Throughout the degree I discovered how both physiology and personal experiences shaped behaviour. How the brain adapted and changed to each individuals’ particular circumstances. This knowledge fuelled my thirst for knowledge and motivated me to attend every lecture.
I particularly enjoyed the aging module. The content of this module, which delivered evidence on the plasticity of the brain and insights into the connections between the biological and behavioural changes in the older adult was fascinating.
Having the opportunity to conduct research in both level 2 and level 3 under the supervision of experts in their field of study was invaluable. The research supervisors provided great support and advice, enabling and encouraging me to find solutions to any difficulties that arose. I believe the research experience gained on the psychology degree program enhances the employability prospects of its graduates.
At present we are co-ordinating the 21 Plus team in Queens University. This is a pilot project within the Wider Participation Unit which provides support, advice and signposting to other services within the university. Their services can enhance and assist mature undergraduate students. Our psychology degrees has given us a strong base for this position. Being able to understand the pressures and stresses that may be experienced by students and how they may affect their ability to perform helps us to signpost them to the best support service for their particular concerns.