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Ralph Appleby

Career Path: PhD Student & Sport Psychologist Trainee
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Throughout my sporting experience I have always been passionate about performance enhancement and how we can better understand ourselves in order to cope in difficult situations. For this reason I wanted to become a Sports Psychologist and to carry on with my studies.

What are you doing now?

Presently I am in the first year of a PhD investigating burnout contagion within sports teams and working towards my stage two BPS Sport & Exercise Psychology accreditation.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

I benefited from a clear career path, I was able to see progression in the course that allows me to get to my desired end point. The lectures and supervisors were always willing to give advice in order for you to better yourself.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

Northumbria is a great place to learn many of the lecturers having experience of working in the field. This hands-on experience allows them to go into greater detail and provide insight which is hard to find in journal articles alone. The assignments are a good mixture of practicals and essay, meaning you get actual hands on experiences with clients allowing you to see whether it is actually a possible career you would be interested in doing.

How connected was your course with industry?

During the course there were a number of guest lectures put on, these included people progressing on the career path and were able to highlight the advantages and disadvantage of carrying on and the hurdles we may come across.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

The course is accredited by the BPS, which is the first stage of becoming a Chartered Sports Psychologist, however, I think the set up at Northumbria goes beyond this. The practical assignments set give you the opportunity to work with clients, giving you a real taste for what it is like to be a Sport and Exercise Psychologist.

What was the best thing about your course?

Being able to get hands on experience working with clients and the fact that all the staff had experience working in the field really impressed me. They were able to teach from past experience which aided sessions and allowed for good group discussion and the sharing of ideas about your own practice.

Which skills/ knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

The importance of building rapport with clients is something that stands out and how essential trust is to working with people.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

One of the best things was being able to develop relationships with like-minded people, who were passionate about the same sort of things.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

It's a fantastic place to come and learn. Try to be open-minded in lectures and to get actively involved.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Positive, enjoyable and challenging.

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