Q&A with Tizard MSc student Yuki Ban

Yuki recently completed her MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis

What attracted you to the programme?

I believed that studying an MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) at the University of Kent would strongly support me in developing a deeper understanding of concepts and principles of ABA, as well as in opening the way to become a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA). The Tizard Centre is widely known for its research contribution to improving the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The research focus at the centre was the greatest attraction for me.

Which areas of study did you find particularly inspiring?

I was always excited to learn from the academics who were experts in different fields of study within ABA. Their extensive knowledge and clinical experiences helped me to deepen my understanding and to improve analytical skills. I was inspired by the notion of the capable environment in preventing challenging behaviour.

What sort of support is there for postgraduate students?

Lecturers encourage students to explore the subjects and to develop their understanding. They were always available and supportive for any questions we had in class. The support from the Student Learning Advisory Service (SLAS) also helped me to improve my academic writing and to critically evaluate academic research.

Does the course allow you to pursue your own interests?

Students choose a research topic based on their interests. I was passionate about the concept of motivating operations, and I have improved my understanding through conducting research. With continuous guidance and support from my supervisor, my systematic review was published in the European Journal of Behaviour Analysis https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15021149.2023.2191078

What do you think about the facilities at Kent?

The facilities are amazing, I was particularly impressed by the modern library located in the centre of the campus. There are different types of accommodation, and you can easily access cafés and restaurants, the theatre, and the sports centre. What I liked the most was biodiversity on campus. The university has lots of green spaces and I encountered bunnies, squirrels, foxes, and once a hedgehog!

How has this course changed you?

Through the course, I learnt that ABA can be used in a wide variety of fields such as education, healthcare, welfare, and organisational settings. It was also a great opportunity for me to know how other students on the course were applying ABA to their fields of interest, which has expanded my interest and applications of ABA.

What are your plans for the future?

With my BCBA and psychologist qualifications, I am currently working as a School Counsellor at an International Baccalaureate school in Japan. My roles are to support children with social-emotional challenges and to prevent possible mental health challenges. In the future, I would like to conduct research on the role of system-wide positive behaviour support in students’ wellbeing.

Any advice for prospective students?

The university provides you with an optimal learning environment where you can learn from academics who are experts in the field and students who are passionate about ABA. Your experience at the Tizard Centre will surely expand your future opportunities!

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