UWTSD Psychology graduate plans to further her career by studying for a Master’s in Health Psychology


Mature student Sarah Griffiths has graduated with a first-class honours BSc Psychology degree from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and plans to further her career by studying for a BPS stage one accredited master’s degree in Health Psychology.    

Mature student Sarah Griffiths has graduated with a first-class honour in BSc Psychology from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) and plans to further her career by studying for BPS stage one accredited master’s degree in Health Psychology.   

Sarah, lives in the Swansea Valley and as a part of her course undertook a work placement at a West Wales Life Science company involved in the pharmaceutical, MedTech and biotech industries research and development.  

“During my placement, I was a research associate, employing research methods and design, analysing psychological data (utilising SPSS), and preparing and delivering detailed reports to higher management,” she said. 

“Following on from the work placement, graduating and my subsequent application to study an MSc in health psychology, I have had a further employment opportunity at the Life Science company as a project manager (part-time to fit in with my master’s studies). My role involves consulting with industry and NHS-based clinical experts and patient groups to investigate and report on patient-reported outcomes (PROS/PROMS) and patient quality of life (QoL) to assess how new pharmaceuticals, MedTech or biotech interventions impact illness, daily living, and quality of life.  

“The ‘patient voice’ is a vital phenomenon and an area of health psychology within which I am keen to expand my knowledge. I am now looking forward to furthering my understanding of biopsychosocial issues and their effects on health choices, preventative measures, interventions, and health outcomes. I am particularly interested in furthering my knowledge of long-term health conditions and psychological interventions that can be applied in practice to aid the recovery and the management of chronic conditions. I am also keen to learn more about the psychology of changing health behaviours in practice.”  

After studying psychology, sociology, and biology at A Level, Sarah went straight into the workplace. 

“I have experience in the banking sector, charitable sector, and music production industry. However, I felt ready for a change of direction, so I decided to pursue a BSc psychology degree,” she added. 

“I have always been fascinated by the human mind and how psychological research and knowledge can be applied in practice to address individual, societal, and global challenges.”  

Sarah said she decided to apply to UWTSD as the BSc psychology degree programme was British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited. 

“The programme has a strong emphasis on developing individual psychological research skills and was focused on real-world issues and the application of psychological knowledge,” she said. 

“The module topics listed on the prospectus demonstrated a comprehensive coverage of the field of psychology, with the opportunity to focus on elected specialised areas during the final year and for the individual empirical research project (the dissertation).  

“On visiting during an open day, I met several of the faculty members who were incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about their areas of expertise. I was also able to view the brand-new, purpose-built psychological laboratory facilities situated within the new SA1 development, which are outstanding. The new SA1 campus is an excellent environment in which to learn.” 

 Sarah said she thoroughly enjoyed her university experience and every aspect of the taught modules, especially the final year health psychology, prejudice and discrimination, clinical psychology and mental health in children and young people modules, and the empirical project.  

“In addition, I enjoyed the research methods modules and learning how to conduct phenomenological analysis for qualitative research and statistical analysis for quantitative research (employing the computer programme SPSS),” she said. 

“A year two research in action module allowed students to conduct a small-scale research project; all modules prepared me well for the final third-year empirical project.” 

During COVID-19, Sarah’s undergraduate dissertation examined the role of disease threat, negative affect (worry), perceived vulnerability to disease, disease avoidance and pathogen threat (specific to COVID-19), and correlations with prejudicial attitudes to Chinese immigrants. 

  “My dissertation project involved critically engaging with current, relevant literature, synthesising empirically focused hypotheses, and executing an analysis investigating knowledge of COVID-19 pathogen threat, risk perceptions and correlations to prejudicial attitudes,” she said. 

“My empirical project also examined levels of pathogen threat-related stress and COVID—19 related xenophobia to examine prejudice towards Chinese immigrants. I have developed analytical, practical, and problem-solving skills utilising evidence-based psychological knowledge.” 

  “As a mature student, I have embraced my return to learning at UWTSD, and I am very grateful for the support, professional encouragement and opportunities that the psychology department and faculty at UWTSD have afforded me.”    

Dr Ceri Phelps, Academic Director: Psychology and Counselling said: “Sarah has been a dedicated and conscientious student since day one of her BPS accredited Psychology degree at UWTSD Swansea, and it has been rewarding to see how the development of her research skills and confidence over the last two years has created wonderful opportunities for Sarah as she moves forward with her career.   As a registered health psychologist, myself, I am delighted to see Sarah follow my passion for applying psychology to the field of health and medicine, and we wish her all the best for her future.” 

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Mobile: 07384 467071

Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk