Prize Winner: Eithne Macdonald - Outstanding MRes Thesis

Prize Winner: Eithne Macdonald - Outstanding MRes Thesis

I have always wanted to pursue a career in Clinical Psychology. Although clinical experience is needed to apply for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate, research skills and experience are also essential for this role. I therefore decided to complete the MRes in Psychology to strengthen my skills and knowledge as a researcher. It has been a wonderful experience, albeit tough at times. However, the supportive and positive environment created by both my peers and staff at the School of Psychology made for an engaging and enjoyable year.

A major component of the MRes is the completion of an individual research project under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Due to the restrictions on primary data collection caused by the COVID-19 crisis, I was unable to proceed with my research project as I had originally planned. The disruption of routines, changing environments, remote working and isolation made for an interesting few months while working on this project. However, thanks to the ongoing support and supervision of Dr Katharina Schnitzspahn and the School of Psychology, I managed to produce what I expected to be a passable thesis.

Therefore, to say that I am shocked at being awarded the Anderson Prize for my MRes thesis would be an understatement. I am extremely grateful and honoured to receive this prize. Regardless of the difficulties and challenges, I consider this a rewarding experience as I have shown myself what I am capable of under difficult and stressful circumstances. I am very grateful for the recognition my work has received from the school.

I must extend my outmost gratitude to Dr Francesco Pupillo, Prof Louise Phillips, and my supervisor, Dr Katharina Schnitzspahn, for providing me with an alternative data set and allowing me to use it for my project, thank you. 

Finally, I wish to congratulate my peers for completing their projects under such challenging and uncertain circumstances. I would also like to wish everyone good luck with their future endeavours. In terms of my own future, my ambition is to continue on my clinical psychologist journey by gaining relevant clinical experience with the NHS and progressing eventually to a Clinical Psychology Doctorate.

Eithne Macdonald was an MRes student during the 2019/20 academic year.

Published by The School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen


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