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Teachers spend all day moulding young minds, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to brush up on their own skills. There are so many courses out there to pick from – and studying and teaching at the same time can be a challenge. We speak to David Paterson, a Biology and Science high school teacher, who also teaches Health and Wellbeing, as well as Pupil Support and Development, about studying for a MSc Mental Health and Education at the University of the West of Scotland

Why did you decide to do a Master’s degree?

I have been teaching for five years now, and each year without fail more and more pupils need support with issues surrounding mental health. I feel this is a combination of both an increase in the prevalence of mental health conditions, but also an increase in awareness and early recognition of mental health conditions. It has always been an area that fascinated me and I have some experience in studying psychology.

Why did you choose MSc Mental Health and Education at the University of the West of Scotland?

The programme offered at UWS looked extremely well constructed and tailored to the needs of the professionals studying it. Along with the extremely positive experience I had studying my PDGE at UWS and the fact that the university has the highest ranked department for Education in the country made it an easy and clear choice.

What has been the most useful thing you’ve learnt so far?

I think the most useful thing I’ve learned so far is considering the impact of communication on mental health. It was something I possible hadn’t thought of as a mental health issue previously.

What’s it like studying at UWS?

The University have been incredible in supporting me in my studies. Aside from offering me academic support they have also offered me additional opportunities out with the confines of academics. The University have ensured that at each step so far instructions, expectations and outlines have been extremely clear to me making it possible for me to manage and organise my own time effectively around a busy schedule.

What is your career plan? 

My end goal is to continue my studies and hopefully have the opportunity to lecture and work at a higher education institute. I feel it is extremely important in Scotland that we continue to lead by example with progressive and inclusive policy in education and society as a whole.

The University of the West of Scotland is an innovative university boasting career-focused teaching and world-leading research. UWS is the number one university in Scotland for Education as of 2018, and the fourth in the UK. 99.1% of Education graduates are in work or further study 6 months after graduating. Visit www.uws.ac.uk for more info.

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