Case study

A new challenge
from the other
side of the world

Ann-Marie Edwards was about as far away from Derby as it is possible to be when she found her passion. She was working in a mental health unit in New Zealand and, having discovered an interest in psychology, she wanted to explore the topic further. Now, after completing our online Psychology BSc (Hons), she plans to continue her studies and do a masters and a PhD with us.

Finding her passion

Ann-Marie first found her passion for mental health while living in New Zealand. She started working at an adult mental health unit in a temporary role and ended up working there for seven months. She says: “It was then that my interest for mental health started, and I knew I wanted to explore it more.”

After this Ann-Marie decided to study our online Psychology BSc (Hons). She explains: “I’ve always been fascinated by the brain and behaviour but had never thought of pursuing this interest any further. I didn’t really think about career aspirations at the time of enrolment onto the course, I just wanted to study psychology for my own personal interest. What I have learned from the course has been invaluable.

“I hit 50 last year and my plan is to continue studying with the University of Derby Online Learning. I want to do a masters and potentially a PhD, so I’ll be studying until I’m 60.”

Returning to study

Although Ann-Marie admits that going back to studying was strange at first, she loved that there was a mix of different people on her course and felt inspired that there were other mature students studying with her too.

She says: “I didn’t go to university when I left school. I went to college and worked for many years in various administrative roles. It was only when I hit my mid-40s that I decided I needed a fresh challenge. Being 40-something and going to university was a daunting prospect, after so many years away from education, but I’m so glad I took the plunge. Because of my personal interest in the topic, psychology seemed like the perfect degree to study.

“I think what really helped, as well as support from my friends and family, was knowing that the tutors were there whenever I needed them. The teaching and learning experience has been excellent. The tutors had in-depth knowledge of the subject, were responsive to questions and offered their feedback and support.”

Online student Ann-Marie Edwards sat at her desk smiling
Ann-Marie Edwards has completed our online Psychology BSc (Hons)

The only option

Ann-Marie says: “Giving up work to study full time wasn’t an option for me so this part-time online degree was perfect. I loved the flexibility of being able to study during the evening and at weekends, which allowed me to continue working full time.

“I currently work as a project executive for a healthcare consultancy. I’m a trained mental health first aider and I do volunteer work in my spare time. I needed something that would provide me with flexibility around my work, financial and personal commitments.”

Publishing her own research

During the course, Ann-Marie had a few obstacles in the way, but she persevered and achieved. She says: “I’m so please that I accomplished it. It is such an achievement and all the hard work was worth it.”

For her dissertation, Ann-Marie looked at mental health in the workplace, initially looking at mental health in high pressure roles within the emergency services. She then decided to look at mental health within the police force and was able to publish the work in an academic journal. She says: “I even got to a point with my dissertation that it was good enough to be published. Yasuhiro Kotera was my supervisor for my dissertation and he was amazing.”

model brain being shown on mobile phone

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