MSc Health Psychology – Inspired to understand pain


Tess Rugg explains how her placement in pain research has given her skills and confidence to consider a PhD in Psychology.

During her placement on the MSc Health Psychology course, Tess Rugg helps manage a research into complex regional pain syndrome.

A personal investment

‘I suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome when I was younger, and it gave health psychology real personal importance to me. When I was considering which university to apply for, I came across Bath’s introductory webinar on MSc Health Psychology and decided to apply. I was impressed by the level of attention that the admissions team give to individual applicants, and how interested they were in my personal motivation to study the course. That’s how I was sure this place would be absolutely right for me.’

A world of its own

‘There’s a wonderful community feel at Bath. The teaching team is outstanding, hugely knowledgeable and engaging as well as being incredibly supportive throughout. The staff were inspirational, and I feel far more confident in my knowledge of health psychology than before I started the course. The course itself has been really varied and has given me the skills necessary for a researcher. I now feel sure enough of my own capabilities to apply for research assistant roles.

‘We’re so lucky to have a beautiful campus that is its own little world; from relaxing by the lakeside to taking advantage of research seminars and even a research methods festival.’

Taking control of your own employability

‘These days everyone is asking for experience, and the course ensures that I have it. As one of the only master’s of this kind, it offers a 16-week integral placement; this way you’re able to take what you learn and put it into practice, and to see that what you’ve learnt is useful. It really keeps you on your toes too.

‘For my placement, I work as a research assistant in the Department of Psychology itself. I help manage a fantastic research project run in collaboration with the University of Stirling, looking at complex regional pain syndrome.

‘Undertaking a placement at Bath suits me perfectly, but other students on my course have found placements at external organisations as well.’

A future in research

‘I feel like I have so many options open to me now because of this course. The work that I’ve done has helped me to realise that I really enjoy research in health psychology, and that I have skills and experience that will help me enormously.

‘Sessions from the Careers Service on CV writing and interview skills have helped a lot too, and I feel ready to begin a research career. Many of my classmates have already successfully applied for a PhD, and that is definitely appealing. I now see my future in research.’

Find out more about the MSc Health Psychology here

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