Hayley Airey (Gitsham), MSc Applied Psychology

Hayley Airey (Gitsham), MSc Applied Psychology
Online learning allowed Hayley Airey (Gitsham) from Muir of Ord to graduate with a Master’s degree from Robert Gordon University (RGU) and advance her career aspirations toward clinical psychology, all while helping children and young people in her hometown throughout her studies.

Hayley (30) collected her MSc in Applied Psychology, with merit, on stage in front of family and friends at the Music Hall, Aberdeen, on Wednesday 11 December.

“This course has fundamentally enhanced my level of academic confidence, and has been instrumental in helping me realise that I want to pursue a higher level study,” said Hayley. “In getting to know the various fields and approaches to psychology, through the course and through my own research, I have decided to specialise in the field of clinical psychology.”

After achieving a first-class undergraduate degree, which had a focus on child and adolescent development, Hayley took break from higher education to work in the third sector as a Programme Manager for a children and youth charity, DAY1. Based in Inverness, DAY1 mentoring projects help young people to cope with complex pressures during the difficult transition phases of children’s development.

Hayley’s undergraduate degree blended sociology and psychology, but she later decided to pursue a career purely in psychology. RGU offers British Psychological Society accredited graduate status through its Master’s conversion course, which was a key factor in Hayley’s decision to study with the university.

Hayley said: “RGU’s consistently high graduate-employment rate, flexibility to study part-time and online were fundamental in my decision to study there. Thanks to this flexible learning, I could continue working and supporting children and young people in my hometown while gaining a qualification via online learning.

“I have a keen interest in research and a real passion to see how research findings work in practice. This course was the perfect fit for my interests. Being able to maintain a management role meant I was able to directly see psychological theory and research being put into practice. I have also developed my own working practice over the past two years as a direct result of completing this course.”

With Hayley’s combined passion for practice and research, she now aspires to further specialise in the field of psychology and become a clinical psychologist.

“This scientific masters has allowed me to develop a solid foundation of scientific writing and gain real in-depth psychological knowledge, which will prove essential in my next Master’s programme specialising in clinical psychology,” said Hayley. “The course has also positively developed my working practice, particularly in writing reports and grant funding bids.

“This is a highly competitive path I am on so, ultimately, I am working towards my clinical doctorate. The encouragement and careful feedback I have received from my personal academic tutor, dissertation supervisor and the course tutors over the past two years has certainly shown me that I have what it takes.”

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