Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Student Profiles

  • Nicola Brooks student profile 800x800

    Nicola Brooks

    Operating Department Practice

    It is the most rewarding career and so varied, it will keep you guessing every day!

    As a teen my family life got in the way of me being able to complete my A-levels and so I wasn’t able to go straight into healthcare; instead, I had to do an Access course a few years later. I happened to stumble across Operating Department Practice, which sounded like it was exactly what I wanted to do!

    At Brookes, If you need help there is always someone who is able and willing to help you. I have contacted Upgrade once or twice in order to complete my assignments and their replies were very prompt. The library and online facilities are fantastic and easy to use. I also have to say my own cohort have been a fantastic help.

    Being on placement has taught me a lot about myself and I have enjoyed the entire experience immensely. I have found the challenges and varied days very enjoyable.

    After completing my course I would like to work for my local Trust to give back to them for helping me through my course. I want to eventually get my mentorship and help future students, as I really enjoy helping others in any way I can.

    Oliver Pearson student profile 800x800

    Oliver Pearson

    Operating Department Practice

    I have been given great career opportunities following the completion of this course.

    This was a great course to have completed. I was provided with skills and an education that enabled me to work throughout the hospital environment, not just the operating department.

    The different placements throughout the course expose students to each speciality and equipped me with the ability to work flexibly. This is important as no two departments, hospitals or Trusts are the same. In particular, I enjoyed working at the John Radcliffe, where a wide variety of surgical procedures took place each day, giving me a great opportunity to learn.

    I completed the course in 2001 and immediately took a post working in anaesthesia and recovery in the main operating theatres at the John Radcliffe Hospital. I progressed through to become a Senior ODP, specialising in cardiac surgery. I then joined a small team working on blood conservation during surgery where I worked until 2007. I left to work in industry and have been working in various industry roles related to healthcare ever since.

    Sarah McKenna student profile 800x800

    Sarah McKenna

    Operating Department Practice

    I have had so much support from the tutors.

    My favourite part of the course by far has been my placements, as I am a visual learner and I have found that this environment enables me to pick up new skills fast. It also really helps me retain knowledge, as I can relate it to things that I have seen.

    I have had so much support from the tutors and without it I would not have gotten this far. I found out I was expecting my second child the same week I was due to start the course and initially thought that it would be impossible; that I would have to leave before I had even started. However, after speaking to the tutors we figured out a realistic pathway for me to take and it has worked out so well.

    After completing the course, I hope to get a job in my preferred speciality. After I have settled into the role, I would like to do a teaching and assessing course to become a mentor to future students.

  • Dale Renno 400x400

    Dale Renno

    Paramedic Science

    The range of placements (from on the road, in hospital and mental health) and the accompanying simulation training sessions have been truly fantastic.

    The co-location of Oxford Brookes and the Oxford University Hospitals was a key attraction for me when choosing this course, especially when combined with the historic University city location which meant that I would be surrounded by students.

    Having worked as a Healthcare Assistant (HCA) for a couple of years, I was sure that working in healthcare was the right choice for me. During my HCA work I was increasingly interested in the biology behind the patient’s illness and also enjoyed seeing emergency presentations. These interests combine really well in the paramedic job.

    I really enjoy learning about the biology behind the diseases in our lectures and seminars. Being able to make a diagnosis is very satisfying. In addition, the range of placements (from on the road, in hospital and mental health) and the accompanying simulation training sessions have been truly fantastic. Within the course the small group size lends to a sense of community, which has been a great support network.

    The on the road placements allow me a high degree of autonomy, which is perfect for training. The range of placements has allowed me to see further parts of the care pathway, and this will inform my practice. At a personal level I have brilliant colleagues and mentors who are a pleasure to work with and learn from.

    The facilities at Oxford Brookes have been great. The simulation equipment is very high fidelity and this is really helpful for learning. The main library is well-stocked and open 24/7 which allows for personal study. I have also been able to use the world-renowned Oxford Bodleian Libraries.

    Oxford Brookes is well known for its vibrant social scene, and I can personally attest to this. I have become a member of the Pole Society. This has allowed me to gain physical training as well as having fun. The social swaps with other societies have been great eye openers!

    I had the benefit in living in a paramedic student house last year. The rent was reasonable and the location also. Furthermore living with other paramedics in the first year meant we could bond and also appreciated the shift work nature of our course. This year I have moved out to the private sector, which can be a little more expensive.

    I plan to practice as a paramedic for at least the first year following my course. After this I intend to undertake higher training (i.e a MSc), which would allow me to progress into more specialist roles.

    Whilst I have not had a formal careers interview, my course is vocational and placement based. As such, I receive on the job advice. In addition I am aware that a paramedic careers fair has been organised and this will be very useful I am sure I would recommend this course without a shadow of a doubt.

  • Kim Bowyer student profile 800x800

    Kim Bowyer


    Since starting my course at Brookes I’ve become a lot more independent and responsible.

    The support given by Brookes, from the teaching team, library services and student union, made moving away from home and the step up from A-levels less daunting.

    On the course I’ve developed my understanding in areas such as cognitive, social and developmental psychology. I have also appreciated having the opportunity to study less standard topics, such as abnormal psychology.

    The modules are varied in their content, format and assessment, allowing you to develop and improve a range of skills, such as statistical analysis, interviewing, public speaking and working in groups. These are all essential in the workforce, so I feel that the course has prepared me for my future in employment.

    My plan following graduation is to gain some further work experience. The areas that I have already gained work experience in, and am interested in, are marketing and human resources. These are both areas where I can use the knowledge and skills that I have gained on the course.

    Clare Kilham student profile 800x800

    Clare Kilham


    I love studying Psychology here and everyone I’ve talked to says the same.

    The teaching team are very supportive. They’re always willing to talk to you after lectures and there’s plenty of opportunities to clarify any unclear points, catch up on missed work, or get feedback on essay plans.

    Academic advisors will do their best to help you with academic matters and career planning. My academic advisor even offered to put me in touch with a personal contact in the field I plan to get a job in.

    The library is great and the staff are very helpful with locating resources, using software and lending a hand if you’re stuck trying to find or access journal articles. Brookes Virtual is also very useful. It compiles almost all of the information you could ever need into an easily accessible format and makes it clear where to find anything else you might need to know.

    After completing my course I plan to seek employment, before hopefully returning to Brookes to undertake a master’s degree.

    Rebecca W


    It’s a wonderful course run by really friendly and enthusiastic lecturers.

    I chose to study Psychology as I really enjoyed doing it as an A-Level. Also, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do after university and this degree left my choices quite open.

    One of the benefits of a slightly smaller university is that the Union feels more personal, so it’s easy to get in touch with people and get things sorted. I’ve also done a lot of casual work for Brookes as a student caller, guider and now a community warden. It’s been great fun and really good for my CV, as well as earning me a bit of money alongside my degree.

    I’ve always found the lecturers at Brookes to be really friendly, especially in comparison to the university I spent my first year with. I’m never scared to approach them and ask questions, even if I feel like they might be silly.

    Overall it’s a wonderful course run by really friendly and enthusiastic lecturers. It has a really good breadth of different aspects of psychology and the lecturers always try to make it fun and relatable.