Celebrating
a centenary
of Learning

  • 88
  • by Catherine Kimaro
  • graduated 2011
  • studied MEd in Psychology of Education
  • from Uganda, Sweden

I especially enjoyed the first part of the MEd that allowed me as a current practitioner to reflect on and extend the understanding of my work in terms of current theories in psychology.

I studied agriculture with a bias in extension and management at Makerere University in Uganda. My second degree was in social work specialising in social pedagogy. My studies were mainly centred on the theory and practice of holistic education and care, emphasising that upbringing is not only the responsibility of parents but a shared responsibility of society. Also I reflected on how a given society at a given time thinks about education and upbringing, about the relationship between the individual and society, and about social welfare for its marginalised members.

When I graduated I worked in a diversity of settings, from early years through adulthood to working with disadvantaged adult groups as well as elderly. Often to achieve a holistic perspective within each of these settings, as social pedagogy draws together theories and concepts from related disciplines such as sociology, psychology, education, philosophy, medical sciences. This is why I chose to study to study the MEd Psychology in Education at the University of Bristol.

I moved from Sweden to be near my brother in Bristol and, at the time, I had been employed on temporary basis in a project for teenage asylum seekers and needed to find a job with more secure prospects. Britain seemed to promise such opportunities and so I relocated in the hope of killing two birds with one stone.

During my Master’s degree I engaged fully in the research community of the Graduate School and was trained in research methods both qualitative and quantitative, attended seminars and completed an empirical dissertation in social psychology. All my teachers were very influential both to my studies and views of how to try and work hard to improve policies that affect social pedagogy.

I especially enjoyed the first part of the MEd that allowed me as a current practitioner to reflect on and extend the understanding of my work in terms of current theories in psychology. I also enjoyed the second part; this provided a ‘grounding’ in psychology that prepared me for my professional training in psychology.

During my studies I was able to use different subjects covered on the course such as psychosocial and biological research approaches and the use of a diverse range of research strategies such as neuroendocrine studies, investigation of mental states and functional imaging of cognitive processing. These are still very useful in my further studies and work.

I currently work in conjunction with both  FoU-Västernorrland  and Migrationsverket  in Sweden by  contributing  to interventions and policies for social welfare. FoU-Västernorrland mission is to collect ideas, support research and develop monitoring processes in social services; making these available for social service personnel. They in turn, use these in policy formulation especially for refugees. I am also working at a Salvation Army Rehabilitation Centre while studying for a PhD in Social Psychology.