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Case Study

Phoebe Usher

BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology

After completing her BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology degree, Phoebe Usher is excited to return to Sunderland to complete her PhD in Forensic Psychology.

The University of Sunderland came to me actually, as it was the most accessible for the grades I achieved at A-level. But I am so glad that it did as my experience being here has been life changing in the best way. The facilities were full of opportunities, such as the library for example. There have been countless times that I have been in the library till the early hours of the morning and I’m so happy that the staff could accommodate me. 

Before I came to University, I was studying at Durham Sixth Form Centre for my A-levels. When studying psychology in sixth form, one module really grasped me which was Forensic Psychology. At that point I was hooked, I loved learning about how eyewitnesses are hindered or helped by elements such as anxiety or tunnel vision. Since this was only a small part of the course, I was then excited by the idea that I could go to University and study specifically BSc (Hons) Forensic Psychology!

My favourite part of the course was hands down the lecturers. I had never met educators that were so supportive and passionate about what they are teaching. It’s the whole reason why I’m coming back to study further. These are the people who watched me cry and stress over a bad grade or trying to analyse results to watching me walk over that stage to collect my degree in the end, but they cheered me on all the way through the ups and downs. Honestly, I couldn’t have done it without them!

My advice for prospective students is don’t hold back! This is your time to learn about what you have chosen to do. Put your hand up in a lecture to answer a question, speak out in a seminar and add to the discussion, try out that new club that you’re interested in, sit in your courses community area, make a new friend, become a course rep! Put yourself out there because there is nothing holding you back, this is your time to explore what you are truly interested in!

Since graduating from the University of Sunderland, I have already decided to come back and complete a PhD in Forensic Psychology to further my knowledge and really get into the nitty-gritty of what I’m passionate about. My research results are currently being expanded upon to be published (OMG) so stay tuned for that! After I have completed my PhD, I am hoping to become a lecturer and continue my research with further relevant studies.

Studying BSc Forensic Psychology at Sunderland has taught me many transferable skills I use in my current job, as an editor for a Magazine based in Sunderland. For example, something I have thoroughly learnt is how to write academically with structure and flow. This considerably helps me when writing articles for the magazine and keeping a certain tone and aesthetic when writing posts on social media. 

Being at the University of Sunderland is an experience that is hard to find anywhere else. The connections that I have made for my career have set me up for life. The friendships that I have formed are forever. The memories are priceless, and it has made me a better person as I never would have thought I was capable of doing a PhD until I came here and the only people, I must thank for that are my lecturers as they were the ones who put that fire in my belly and gave me the confidence and motivation to think I CAN do this!"

Published 25 October 2022

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