Case study

MSc Group Processes and Intergroup Relations — Celeste Jade Dass

Celeste used her postgraduate degree at the University of Kent to get a job as a policy researcher

Why did you pursue a postgraduate course?

In Trinidad and Tobago, psychology undergraduates are always encouraged to pursue a postgraduate course to make us more marketable. We believe that psychology is a sensitive subject which requires extra training and certification before we can actively practise in the field.

Why did you choose this postgraduate course and institution?

I chose an MSc in Group Processes and Intergroup Relations because it was an area that had not been extensively researched in the Caribbean, and I was always interested in the psychology of group dynamics. I chose the University of Kent because I was referred by a friend and former student of the university who gave a glowing account. After further research, I realised that this was exactly what I wanted from a university: a campus environment; warm and welcoming staff; and a lovely international feel so I wouldn't feel too out of place.

What is the course teaching you that your first degree did not?

It taught me so much more than my previous degree - as it was a more 'hands-on' approach as opposed to being purely theoretical. It vastly developed my critical thinking skills. I was also introduced to an advanced statistical course which is helping me in my current job as a policy researcher. The course itself taught me about interacting with different groups of people - something that my previous degree didn't address. Issues affect people of different cultures in different ways, therefore, perspectives and solutions should be as diverse and as dynamic as possible.

Tell us about the course…

The MSc in Group Processes and Intergroup Relations is a wide area of study that encompasses issues such as intergroup contact, collective protest, social influence, power and leadership and conflict resolution. My thesis was based on the ideas of objectification of women in two extremely different cultural contexts: British and Caribbean women. I investigated how each group of women responded and were affected by street harassment, catcalling, personal physical safety issues and rape myth endorsement.

What areas of work could you go into as a result of your further study?

There are areas in academia and research; there is also work in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and Community-based Organisations (CBOs) such as the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV). I could also become a psychologist, counsellor, therapist, child development specialist, Childrens Services Associate; or any job related to the Children's Authority of Trinidad and Tobago or mental health services.

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