Graduate profile

Hannah Oldham

"I've just embarked on my fourth year of primary school teaching in an outstanding junior school in Hampshire. Every day is so varied and often utterly hilarious."

Graduation year
2012

Why I chose Surrey

I really wanted to come to Surrey because of the chance to spend a year in industry. Once I visited the campus, it was a dead cert; the grounds are beautiful, everything you need is on the main campus, which is ideal.

My course

The BSc (Hons) Psychology course was absolutely spot on - so much variation yet a decent degree of richness. I loved being able to indulge in so much curiosity. I wanted to go down an education route yet I also loved neuroscience. Often you would have to choose between these, but I had the opportunity to study both. The lecturers were clearly very knowledgeable in their fields and did their utmost to keep lectures engaging and interesting.

My placement

I took part in a tutoring and mentoring scheme, working a morning a week in a local infant school. This sparked intrigue into the education system, coupled with the cognitive and developmental facets of psychology.

After this, I decided to do a Professional Training placement at educational psychology service. The experience helped me to realise that I wanted to be in the classroom rather that popping in and out, consulting.

"As a teacher, things surprise me every day. For example, last week, the year 5s helped me to rescue a young and undersized hedgehog which we then took to a rescue centre!"

My memorable moments

My final year was without a doubt the best year of my time at Surrey. Working for my placement really changed me. I was more focused and more grown up. I enjoyed throwing myself into the study and being so much more independent. My stand-out memory is the heavy snowfalls blanketing the campus, followed by the visit to the cathedral by the Queen!

My career and development

I have just embarked on my fourth year of primary school teaching in an outstanding junior school in Hampshire. I have taught year 6 and, more recently, year 3. Every day is so varied, often utterly hilarious, plus it is surprising in a way just how much a psychology degree was a perfect degree to undertake before postgraduate teacher training. Things surprise me every day, for example last week, the year 5s helped me to rescue a young and undersized hedgehog which we then took to a rescue centre. We are sharing updates on its progress!

My advice

  • Experience helps loads.
  • Do a placement as it's an invaluable opportunity.
  • Get yourself out there, volunteer, try as many different things as possible.

Find out more about our psychology course

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