Inspired by her experiences raising two sons with very different learning needs, Paula Barnes believes she has a unique perspective on cognitive development, which she is now pursuing through her studies on the MSc in Psychology programme at the University of Roehampton, London Online.

Paula finds human beings and the behaviour of human beings fascinating. If she had had the opportunity to study psychology at school, she would certainly have done so. She adds, “Perhaps, having two sons – one with autism – has given me a specific insight into the way language develops and the different ways we make sense of the world around us. Daniel understood things that Josh needed to be taught.”

Paula has since benefited from the research and expertise of Roehampton University’s Department of Psychology, developing her research skills and investigating psychological issues relevant to her own life. She has especially enjoyed the group discussions on a range of issues, including the ethics of the Stanford Prison Experiment (a study on the effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard), stating the value of discussions influenced by the different cultural backgrounds of her peers.

Other assignments she will undertake include scientific experiments and interactive activities ranging from simulations of NASA moon tasks to psychometric testing.

Roehampton Online offers a range of comprehensive and flexible masters degree programmes, and as a student you are also part of a community of learners who will help enrich the learning experience.

Dr Diane Bray, Head of the Psychology Department, maintains, “The strength of the Psychology department at Roehampton is its academic community and the emphasis there is on the sense of ‘community’ – whereby a group of academics and students work together in partnership to understand the basis of psychology and therapeutic education.”

Having originally trained as a nurse and also worked as a senior lecturer at an FE college, she is currently about to start her fifth module, Understanding Mental Health, as part of her masters in Psychology with Roehampton Online whilst teaching full-time. Hoping to complete her studies and so attend the graduation ceremony in 2017, Paula reflects , “Life has a funny way of leading us in different directions when we least expect it.”

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