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PALS BSc Alumni

Chloe Bracegirdle, Year of Graduation: 2015, from Southampton, UK

Chloe Bracegirdle

Why did you decide to study Psychology and Language Sciences: When deciding on my university course I first considered studying just psychology - at the time I fancied becoming a clinical psychologist. However, I was not certain, and wanted to keep my options open. Thus, a course that combined three subjects - psychology, speech sciences and linguistics - seemed perfect for me. I would have the BPS accreditation to continue in clinical psychology if I desired, and I would also gain a wider range of knowledge that would broaden my options after university.


What are you doing now: I really enjoyed the research components of the BSc Psychology and Language Sciences, and consequently decided I wanted to stay in academia. To that end, after completing my BSc I moved to Oxford University where I first did an MSc in Psychological Research and am now completing a DPhil in Experimental Psychology. My DPhil research examines how contact between members of different ethnic groups reduces prejudice.


How has your degree helped in your further career: I would not be where I am now without the research experience and knowledge I gained during my BSc. In fact, even now I often look back at my notes from my UCL statistics classes to help me with data analysis!


Work profile: https://www.psy.ox.ac.uk/team/chloe-bracegirdle

Brendan Dunlop, Year of Graduation: 2015, from York, UK

Brendan Dunlop

Why did you decide to study Psychology and Language Sciences: I always knew that I wanted to study psychology, and that I wanted to go to UCL. Having the opportunity to learn about language sciences alongside psychology felt like an added bonus, especially given the link between psychology and language, so the PaLS programme was ideal!


What are you doing now: I’ve just started a new role as a Trainee Clinical Psychologist, studying a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) at the University of Manchester.


How has your degree helped in your further career: My degree has given me the foundational knowledge of psychological theory, which has been invaluable throughout my different clinical roles prior to training as a Clinical Psychologist. Learning about social psychology, individual differences and cognitive testing has helped me think broadly about issues and world events, even outside of the psychology world. Training in research methods and statistics has given me the skills to write articles for publication; two articles I am author on are currently in press and due to be published later this year, and I have been author on two poster presentations at international conferences.
Learning about language development and language disorder helped me greatly in my first clinical role working in brain injury, as many clients presented with aphasia. Having knowledge of this meant that I could meaningfully contribute to clinical discussions with other professionals. Finally, the friendly and supportive nature of the PaLS programme enabled me to be curious in discussions, debate with my peers and teachers, and use these discussions as a basis for presentations to my seminar group; something that my colleagues today did not have the opportunity to do.


Work profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendan-dunlop-1ab450103/ 

Jonas Ivinskis, Year of Graduation: 2017, from Berlin, Germany

Jonas Ivinskis
Why did you decide to study Psychology and Language Sciences: When applying for courses, I already knew that I wanted to study and learn more about psychology. It has been a topic that always interested me but I also knew that understanding more about the process of language learning appealed to me greatly. For this reason, I thought the Psychology and Language Sciences degree was ideal as it allowed me to delve more into the topic of psychology but also provide a thorough understanding of linguistics and speech science. 

What are you doing now: At the end of my three enjoyable years at UCL, I decided to jump into a commercial job at AlphaSights, a knowledge research partner for consultants and investors. In this job, I help clients understand different industries by researching these markets and speaking to the relevant experts. The topics I cover are very diverse and can range from healthcare in the Middle East to the satellite industry in California.

How has your degree helped in your further career: The Psychology and Language Sciences degree involves learning about a lot of diverse topics. After a while, it became easier to learn about new ones. This is a skill which is very valuable in my current workplace where I need to understand topics quickly to be effective.

Work profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonas-ivinskis-3202aa105/

Dasha Barsky, Year of Graduation: 2016, from Surrey, UK

Dasha Barsky
Why did you decide to study Psychology and Language Sciences: I did some introductory Psychology classes previously and loved them, and being bilingual myself I'm fascinated by many aspects of language.

What are you doing now: I’m a Senior Analytics Solutions Consultant at Periscopix, a digital marketing and web analytics agency.

How has your degree helped in your further career: I learned how to manage my time, how to self-motivate to move projects forward, and most importantly in my opinion, how to think about data critically.

Work profile: https://www.periscopix.co.uk/about/the-team/dasha-barsky/ 

Leya George, Year of Graduation: 2018, from Birmingham, UK

Leya George
Why did you decide to study Psychology and Language Sciences: This degree combined a lot of interests I initially had like child language development and mental health, and the early years placement was especially attractive. The diversity offered a lot of options for potential career paths too, which was good considering I changed my mind constantly! I went from wanting to do clinical psychology, to educational psychology, to working in a behavioural insights agency, to working in the gaming industry… all of which could have been viable options.


What are you doing now: I have just started a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction at UCL, so it looks like I will remain here for the foreseeable future! My research focuses on adolescent digital wellbeing, and particularly how technologies such as social media and gaming can support identity development and promote mental health.

Linkedin Profile:https://www.linkedin.com/in/leya-george-a73222155/

Work Profile: https://uclic.ucl.ac.uk/people/leya-george

How has your degree helped in your further career: I was able to experience research in many different contexts, which helped refine what I was actually interested in academically (and helped me realise I was actually interested in academia). I enjoyed my 3rd and 4th year dissertations and had opportunities for other placements including at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Combined with taking a variety of different modules (the ones I took were incredibly tailored towards different applied settings, including clinical, educational and political) I was able to explore different topics that interested me, to inform my general research interests. Having a broad understanding of different areas is incredibly useful for my PhD as it involves a LOT of reading from different areas. 

Charlotte Lee, Year of Graduation 2015, from London, UK

Photo of Charlotte Lee
Why did you decide to study Psychology and Language Sciences: In lieu of a more traditional programme, I decided to study PaLS because it combined two disciplines I enjoyed studying at A Level: Psychology and English Language. The broad range of mandatory modules - I reasoned - would afford me the opportunity to begin specialising my interest. Furthermore, the second year added value placement offered the unique chance to translate and transpose my learnings.

What are you doing now: I am a Researcher at the University of Oxford. Previously, I worked as a Researcher at the UCL Institute of Child Health. Key achievements so far include (1) being as a named co-investigator on an MRC funded randomised controlled trial, (2) leading a small grant proposal to develop a behavioural intervention for optimal child development, and (3) serving as Programme Lead for a new MSc in frugal health technology. That said, I have built life-long connections at Chandler House. So you may find me somewhere nearby having a coffee over a chat!

How has your degree helped in your further career:  Whilst UCL’s name has opened doors for me, the personalised support I received on the programme has equipped me with the knowledge and confidence to walk through those doors. Throughout PaLS I developed high quality analytical and communicative skills, which provide a strong platform to pursue either clinical, teaching or research careers. Lastly, the extra-curricular opportunities available - such as the Faculty of Brain Sciences Annual Conference - provide a truly unique and unmissable chance to exercise those skills.  

Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlotte-lee-025030114/