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Suzanne Snowden

Suzanne Snowden
Course studied:
Health Psychology

“Understanding peoples’ thought process and the resulting impact on their behaviour fascinated me,” says Suzanne.

Spurred on by her study of Sport’s Psychology during her A Levels, Suzanne enrolled at the university to take her interest further.

Suzanne Snowden’s curiosity at the way people think and behave has led her to explore the use of Assistive Technology for people living with dementia.

Reputation

Suzanne explains: “Staffordshire University had a reputation for an excellent Psychology department and could accommodate a joint degree with Sport and Exercise.”

“I found Psychology to be absolutely enthralling. The topics I enjoyed include: groups and individuals (Social Psychology), the brain organ (biological bases of behaviour), the functioning of the mind (Cognitive Psychology) and interpreting children’s drawings (Developmental Psychology).”

Emphasis on high-quality research projects

Most importantly, it was the University’s Psychology department high-quality Research Methods modules which enables students to design research projects and analyse the data collected to a high level.

“The module I enjoyed most concerned health behaviours; so much so that I returned to Staffordshire University, after a gap year travelling, to study MSc Health Psychology.”

However, Suzanne says if had not been for her Bachelor’s Degree dissertation supervisor, Dr Jamie Barker, it could have been different.

Inspired to take the next step

She said: “He advised me to think about doing a Masters. So thank you, Dr  Barker, for helping me to realise that being a researcher was my calling!”

During her Master’s Degree, Suzanne’s exploration of exercise motivations of older adults in her dissertation led her to her first research publication.

“The MSc was challenging but enjoyable, exercised my critical thinking and provided quality training in sophisticated research techniques.”

“It was from there that I decided to continue with research in gerontology (study of ageing). Without these degrees I would not have achieved my two-year position as a Research Assistant in the Centre for Ageing and Mental Health and the Centre for Practice and Service Improvement at Staffordshire University.

Staffordshire Influence

Suzanne is now an ESRC-funded PhD candidate at King’s College London studying Assistive Technology for people with dementia, which she says is thanks to her strong educational and professional background.

“I still have personal and professional links to Staffordshire University, and was a guest lecturer on the MSc Health Psychology in 2013.”

“To someone considering studying Psychology at Staffordshire University: their programmes provide a comprehensive, first-class knowledge of the field. The campus-within-a-town aspect of Shelton in Stoke-on-Trent feels collegiate without being oppressive. The beer’s cheap at the Student’s Union too!”