I’m American and there were only a few places in the US offering Master’s degrees in this area. Most were them were online or based in universities that I’d never heard of, so I decided to look abroad.
The UK is known to have a good education system and the Tizard Centre caught my eye with its ranking and the University’s gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework. The Centre was small, yet it offered a wide range of interests and specialisms and that made me excited to study here. Reading about staff accomplishments and noticing that their names were prominent in the field, convinced me of how much I could learn and grow.
I’m often inspired by the depth of my field and how much there is to learn. The most useful aspect of the course is listening to the academics who are pioneers in the field. They ask pressing questions and have shaped the way I think: I’m now more critical and analytical. Each lecture raises questions to explore, either by reading articles in the library or talking to other students.
The academics here are really approachable and they truly care about our learning. At Master's level, it’s important to fully understand the subject; they encourage conceptual learning with interactive lessons and assignments that test our knowledge. Help is there whenever it’s needed and the lecturers take a personal interest in our growth and development.
The course has a basic structure but there are many opportunities to ask questions and pursue your own areas of interest. The Tizard Centre has a range of specialisms and someone will always have an answer to your question. The academics here encourage you to make your own discoveries. It’s good to pick their brains and really make the most of your time at Kent.
The facilities are amazing! They are very fresh and modern and there are plenty of study hubs with quiet areas, group work stations and comfortable seating. The Student Learning Advisory Service is also a great resource that can enhance your skills or change your perception on how to tackle a paper or look at a topic.
The course has expanded my view of ABA. I now understand the extent of support networks needed and how many factors affect the quality of life for a person with autism or learning disabilities.
Yes, my lecturers invited former students to come back to share their experiences. It was good to see how their journeys have varied and how successful they've become. It helped us to understand how we can use our knowledge in many different fields. It also allowed us to ask questions relevant to our own career ambitions and it was a great networking opportunity.
I plan to go back to the United States to work in a school for children with learning disabilities. I’m also hoping to become a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst within a year. Eventually I’d like to open up my own school for children with autism, or work with a well-respected non-profit organisation.
My advice is to talk to your lecturers and don't be afraid to ask for help.