Assistant Psychologist, NHS neurorehabilitation service, Oxford

Helen Russell,

BSc Biological Sciences (Psychology), 2012;

MSc Human Cognitive Neuropsychology, 2013

My current career 

After graduation I stayed on to study for an MSc in Human Cognitive Neuropsychology. I then got a job as an Assistant Psychologist for the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust in Glasgow working within a specialised challenging behaviour unit. I worked with people with brain injuries to assess their cognitive abilities as well as developing programs and interventions to help these individuals reduce their challenging behaviours. I now work as an Assistant Psychologist in an NHS neurorehabilitation service in Oxford, working in a large team to provide rehabilitation for patients with a range of neurological conditions. My work includes neuropsychological assessment as well as supporting patients with cognitive and emotional difficulties. I work within a team of Clinical Psychologists and hope to go on to train as a Clinical Psychologist in the future.

Why I studied psychology at University of Edinburgh 

​I primarily chose to study as Edinburgh because I fell in love with the city! I also was attracted to the opportunity to study Psychology alongside Biology in my first 2 years as I have always enjoyed studying science. I developed an interest in Neuropsychology throughout my studies which lead to my choice of Masters.

What I enjoyed most about psychology

​I enjoyed the wide range of psychology I was able to study. I also appreciated the scientific approach to the subject and the number of research projects that made up the course. I found lots of the lecturers to be very dynamic and enthusiastic about teaching.

Skills I developed whilst attending the University of Edinburgh

I was able to develop research skills through my studies and was then able to develop skills in working with a clinical population in the NHS through my masters. I also felt that I was challenged to organise my workload and meet deadlines, which has been very applicable to my work.

How my experience at Edinburgh helped in my career

Studying Neuropsychology specifically allowed me to have the knowledge required to gain a job as an Assistant Psychologist, which can be very competitive. I was also able to volunteer as an Honorary Assistant Psychologist during my studies, this was arranged through meeting a graduate at an alumni event (networking!). This experience definitely helped me get into paid work when I graduated.

My advice to students making career decisions today

Don’t get too fixated on your end goal and try to enjoy the ride!

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