Case study

Helping George follow his true calling

When George Papakyritsis found his true calling was becoming a practising therapist, he realised studying our accredited online Psychology BSc (Hons) was his best first step to achieving his goal.

Taking the first step

George’s journey to becoming a therapist began when he was working for a university and noticed there was a need for increased support for staff and student wellbeing. He knew studying psychology would be the first step.

He explains: “Applying for a psychology course was the first, big step for me in the process of receiving all the relevant training and corresponding qualifications needed to become a practising therapist myself. An aspiration I’ve had since 2009.”

Why Derby?

When researching which online Psychology BSc course to study, George was not aware initially of how important it is for any psychology course to be accredited from a relevant professional body, such as the British Psychological Society (BPS).

He explains: “The fact that the Psychology BSc offered by the University of Derby Online Learning did have BPS accreditation was one of the determining factors that made me investigate the course in more detail.

“Also, the knowledge that I would be assessed throughout the course via projects, essays and reports as opposed to exams was a major factor in choosing to apply for it. It just instantly took away 50% of the stress. Working extensively on those assignments over a long period of time helped me to retain the knowledge I gained, and build on it even further as I progressed in the degree.”

Online student George Papakyritsis in his graduation robes at the UDOL graduation reception
Online student George Papakyritsis at photobooth with friends on his graduation day

The journey

George wanted to start off with small steps as he didn’t know what to expect. He wanted to expand his knowledge and says: “Studying on this course gave me an insight into the breadth of subject areas that comprise psychology as a scientific field, from social and developmental to biological and neurological.”

Not only has the course expanded his knowledge of psychology but, George says: “I have learned transferable skills from the time on my course that I can now use in my everyday job.

“If I could use one word to describe the course, that word would be ‘journey’. Maybe it’s because I spent seven years on the course as a part-time student. However, I enjoyed every minute of it – even the challenges that sometimes came with it.

“I am now in a place where I can credit all the challenges and the effort I put into overcoming them with a new-found ability to conduct scientific research. I can appreciate the challenges and background work involved in it, critically interpret its findings in a constructive way and assess the potential implications of their practical application in any psychotherapeutic approach, which is what I now plan to move on to.”

Video: George at Graduation

George Papakyritsis on the support he received.

View Online Psychology BSc (Hons) George Papakyritsis video transcript

Video embed-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM_8W1QFR7I

Putting theory into practice

As part of the Psychology BSc course, you must attend a one-week residential at the University of Derby to gain eligibility for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership with the BPS.

George explains: “I think the best opportunity was already built into the course itself. Joining the rest of my co-students for a residential week in Derby during my second year gave me a real insight into the world of psychological research, something that I could not have gained in any other way.

“From using hi-tech equipment in great facilities to learning about the complexity and ethical considerations involved in conducting research, it was a valuable as much as a bonding experience for all of us who were attending.”

Continuous improvement

As well as developing himself as a psychologist, George has also had the chance to see our course develop. He explains: “Having spent seven years on the course, I can say that the systems and the delivery of the course were continuously improving, and my feedback was always taken seriously. The teaching and support staff were always very helpful and seemed to always know the right thing to say in any situation.”

And, after visiting the campus twice over his seven years of study, George knew he was going to miss it after completing the course. He explains: “At the end of my Graduation Day, as I was getting ready to leave the Kedleston campus, I felt a bit nostalgic. And that is how I know that my experience was great.”

model brain being shown on mobile phone

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