Stuart Morgan Ayrs, NHS Scotland, NES Researcher
Already working as a psychotherapist, Stuart decided to study for an MSc in Psychology after seeing the positive experience his wife had in her OU studies. Later, while studying, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, but he found the OU to be highly proactive and understanding in supporting him through his studies, a factor he thinks contributed to his OU success.
Key employability skills
A broader perspective
Although Stuart initially began studying with the OU to meet his own professional development needs, his studies have taken him far beyond his original expectations.
I expected to gain a deeper knowledge of the technical areas of clinical psychology and certain biologically related mental health conditions and addictions. But professionally, I found other ways to look at things which allowed me to broaden my approach to my work and offer new services I couldn’t before.
Stuart’s studies led him was to develop an interest in different research methods. Following completion of his MSc, Stuart followed his interest in ethnography by applying as a volunteer to NES Research (NHS Education for Scotland) and is now part of a small multidisciplinary research team working with NHS Scotland.
Without having done the studies in research, I wouldn’t understand what NES Research is doing never mind considering applying as a volunteer. It’s nice to be able to hold my own in terms of knowledge and competency in terms of different forms of research and multidisciplinary research topics. I know what people are talking about, can make constructive comments and contribute to discussion.
OU study has also taught Stuart about good practice in terms of multidisciplinary work. Demonstrating understanding and respect for different backgrounds and standpoints will be vital for working with groups outside NHS Scotland.
There was one postgraduate module I studied with the OU where one activity was to look at the same topic from three different standpoints using different language and construction. I have found that invaluable in this role. The social studies module I took taught you to respect different standpoints and to look at different sociological, psychological and language perspectives. This was very different from other study I did where the focus was predominantly on the topic.
Stuart believes that without OU study he would not be in the position he is today or making the contribution he has towards achieving better links between patient desired outcomes and the research performed by NHS Scotland.