Deborah Doherty- BA (Hons) English & Psychology

Name: Deborah Doherty

From: Donegal

School: Moville Community College, Moville, Donegal.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to choosing your course:

During secondary school, I had a real interest in English. When I came across the English and Psychology course at Sligo, I realized that the English modules were exactly what I liked. Looking at the psychology modules that were offered alongside this contributed towards my decision to go to Sligo as these modules were also extremely interesting. Studying Psychology simultaneously with English made sense considering that in English, we’re always critiquing and observing what’s really going on in texts for example.

The fact that this course is also a Joint Honours degree rather than a degree consisting of studying a major subject over another also really appealed to me. You were getting the full experience of both the English and Psychology modules throughout the three years without having to choose one subject over the other which meant you would graduate with both of these subjects as a joint major degree regardless of which subject you choose for your final year dissertation.

What specifically about the course did you particularly enjoy?

I really enjoyed the fact that we had our own same class throughout this course. I felt this really impacted my experience. This meant that friendships were easily formed, and lecturers were able to check in and address potential questions more easily.

Considering you are studying both English and Psychology, I enjoyed the variety of modules that we covered but also the way both disciplines often complimented each other in terms of critiquing and analysing literature etc. So it was nice to be studying two subjects that were similar in some way. Yet, in final year, students then decide to pursue English or Psychology for their research project. This provided the opportunity to solely focus and delve in deeper to your area of interest which ended up being psychology for me. 

Any favourite modules during your time studying?

My favourite modules were Developmental Psychology, Social Psychology, Children’s and Young Adult’s Literature and Wider World Literature.

What key skills did you learn while studying in ATU Sligo that have influenced your career?

Key skills that I have learned which have helped me both in my previous workplace and in my studies are research and analysis skills, the ability to apply and evaluate theories and knowledge, project management, being an independent worker as well as a team worker, and written and oral skills.

Can you share some detail of your career path or further studies to date

After completing the English and Psychology course, I completed a Higher Diploma Psychology Conversion at University of Galway. I then completed and recently graduated from a Master of Science in Applied Developmental Psychology at Queens University Belfast. During this Masters, I worked part time as a Child Support Worker in Northern Ireland. I also volunteer as a Youth Advocate with Jigsaw Donegal.

What does your current role involve?

I am currently completing a Master’s by Research (MRes) at ATU Sligo. This is a 2-year research masters and is focused on Stream 2 of the N-TUTORR Project which is looking at building staff capabilities across ATU. I am delighted to be back studying here again!

What advice would you share with our current students considering a career in your field?

For students considering pursuing Psychology, I would suggest trying to get some volunteer work. I have loved my time as a volunteer with Jigsaw and there are amazing opportunities that you can get as a result of it. Having work/volunteer experience can definitely help understand what you’re learning in university too.

What did you like best about studying in ATU Sligo?

The friendliness of students was something I liked about ATU Sligo, I made some great friends. The lecturers were always supportive and helpful when needed.

What advice would you give a first-year student starting in ATU Sligo?

Secondary school is quite different from university so I would say allow yourself time for this transition and navigating life as a first year. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and get to know your surroundings, people, and course.

Find out more about AU917 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English and Psychology