Trude Juliane Roos

Master of Psychology (Clinical)
Trude studied a Master of Psychology (Clinical) at Bond University

Who are you? What is your background? What have you been doing before this degree?
I’m Trude Juliane Roos, and I’ve been studying a Master of Psychology (Clinical) at Bond University. I began in May 2015 and will be graduating in June 2017!

I grew up in a small town called Moss, located about 70km south of Oslo in Norway. I did all my schooling in Moss, before moving to Bergen (on the West coast of Norway) where I studied 2 years of undergraduate Psychology.

I took some time out to travel after studying in Bergen, and then decided to move to Australia to continue my psychology studies. I enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, majoring in psychology and linguistics. The pathway to becoming a clinical psychologist in Australia requires students to complete an undergraduate degree in either Arts or Science, majoring in psychology; then a fourth year of study, which includes conducting research (honours); before completing either a 2 year clinical masters program or 3 year PhD program. After completing this postgrad degree, I will commence a registrar program for clinical endorsement, which means I will work as a general psychologist for two years under supervision before becoming a clinical psychologist. It's a long road, but I can see the end of it now!

 

What made you decide to study a postgrad degree?
For psychology students, a postgraduate degree isn’t really a choice, but a prerequisite. There are other pathways to becoming a general practicing psychologist (which involve supervised work placements), but the most common route is taking a clinical psychology masters. I wanted to learn the theory properly, and then be supported in my work placements, so I chose this option. Some people take a break between undergrad and postgrad, but I went straight through - no time to waste!

I chose to study at Bond University because I had taken my honours year there and was really impressed with the quality of teaching they offered, as well as the small class sizes. Getting into a clinical master's program is also highly competitive, so most people will be lucky to get even one offer!

 

Tell us about your experiences studying your degree at your institution?
During my degree, I have really enjoyed the psychopathology subjects, which basically means the study of mental disorders and includes learning about their genetic, biological, psychological, and social causes. The practical placements were also great; I got exposure to working in different environments (a public psychology clinic, a primary school, and a secondary school) and with different types of clients (children, adolescents, and adults). I really did not enjoy writing my thesis (but who does?), and the ethics subject was also a little dry.

The Bond program is designed with students in mind - it allows you to finish all your coursework subject prior to starting your thesis and doing practical placements, which is much better than other programs that overlay all these components. The downside is that the teaching year at Bond consists of three semesters - called trimesters - starting January, finishing in December. This means that there are two extra study periods of the clinical psych master's degree compared to master's degrees at other unis (6 trimesters vs 4 semesters), which can become quite draining and stressful and doesn’t leave room for a real summer or any other holiday. Still, that was a sacrifice I made in order to finish coursework prior to thesis and placement.

I would certainly recommend the Master of Psychology (Clinical) program and Bond University in general to future students.

 

Has your degree improved your career prospects?
Yes, absolutely. I’m now qualified to work as a general psychologist and enrol in the registrar program to become a clinical psychologist, whereas without this degree I wouldn't be able to work as a psychologist without extra training.

 

What advice would you give to your younger self?
It will be tough, but you can overcome the challenges. Just breathe. Don't be so hard on yourself. As my lecturer said on the first day of master's; ‘Welcome! You've made it. This is not the hunger games anymore!’