“The University of Kent and especially the Tizard centre is the place to be!”
What attracted you to the programme?
I always had a strong interest in observing what people do, how they do it and most importantly, why they do it. During my undergraduate studies I had the opportunity to be introduced to the science of Behaviour Analysis and that was when I started being curious and motivated to learn more about it. After having gained a better understanding of Special Education and the importance of providing evidence-based and effective treatment, I looked for universities in the UK and I found three providing the course. The University of Kent caught my attention due to the high level of teaching, the well-known teaching staff, and the well-maintained facilities.
Which areas of study did you find particularly inspiring?
I enjoyed every single aspect of the course as all areas of my study were of paramount importance and became an integral part of shaping me into a well-round and competent professional. Particularly, the demonstration of acknowledgement with regard to the concepts and skills of basic ABA principles; ethical considerations; generalisation; maintenance strategies and applications to special populations and settings. In addition, the enhancement of competency skills already achieved, enabling the assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation of ABA programmes.
What sort of support is there for postgraduate students?
Support was always available and that made an actual difference to me and my classmates. Teaching and office staff were always there and more than willing to provide assistance and help students in any way they could to have an enjoyable, motivating, and full of positive experiences academic year. The Tizard Centre invited previous postgraduate students to talk about their working experience, the options we would have as professionals once we graduated, employers’ expectations as well as the reality of the profession which were very helpful at that final stage of our studies. Finally, all teaching staff were very keen on providing 1:1 meeting for further discussion and clarification, when needed.
Does the course allow you to pursue your own interests?
The course introduced, welcomed and advanced me into the world of Behaviour Analysis and equipped me with all the knowledge needed to understand that all we do is behaviour and that behaviour principles can be generalised across different settings and sectors and can also be applied to everyone no matter whether they hold a diagnosis or they belong to the neurotypical population.
My own interests lie in supporting people regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, economic status, and other diverse backgrounds to reach their full potential and improve their quality of life.
Applied Behaviour Analysis sees no boundaries to its applications and that belief empowers me to strongly expect that this world will become a better place for people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
What do you think about the facilities at Kent?
One of the main reasons I made my decision to become a student at the University of Kent was its facilities. The university is full of modern facilities and well-equipped classrooms that make for a lovely student experience by creating a vibrant, stimulating, and positive teaching environment.
How has this course changed you?
Having fulfilled my studies, I came to agree with the ABA principles and realised that behaviour has a meaning and always serves a purpose. That all behaviours despite being socially appropriate or not, are closely related with the environmental conditions.
That our behaviour is the result of the consequences we receive. The Science of Behaviour has taught me that times change, people change, but the laws of behaviour remain constant. Being able to see things from a different perspective after having gained a deep understanding of the behavioural principles and why people do what they do at times enabled me to not only be a more skilled professional but a better person across all aspects of my life.
What are your plans for the future?
I see myself as a successful, up-to -date Behaviour Analyst, disseminating the science of Behaviour and applying it to different populations across different industries by planning evidence-based, socially valid and effective Behaviour Intervention Programmes and/or training other professionals to do so by bringing the best out in their clients and improving the overall quality of life.
Any advice for prospective students?
The University of Kent and especially the Tizard centre is the place to be!
I am more than grateful for the choice I made, it was one of my best if not the best, life-changing experiences. My postgraduate studies were full of unforgettable moments and life-lessons – I have been exposed to so many different stimuli that shaped me into who I am today.
There will be highly motivating and less motivating moments during your academic year, this is a part of the game and that is more than OK, you will always find the way. See everything as learning experiences that help you evolve, set high personal and academic standards for yourself, and live up to them. Always listen to your inner voice that says, “I can do this” and above all, settle for nothing less than your very best.