Katie’s interest in research led to graduate studies

Student sits at a computer smiling while writing something down

Katie used million-dollar research facilities for her psychology diploma at Murdoch.

Katie Clark’s path to a Graduate Diploma in Psychology may seem unconventional. She leveraged a Diploma of Music Performance at TAFE to enter undergraduate studies at UWA in English and Literary Studies, with a minor in Psychology in Society. A newfound interest in pain research, neuroscience, and applications of psychology research to community settings eventually led her to Murdoch University.

“During my first year, I discovered an interest in research and decided to change to a Double Major in Psychology with the intent of doing further research,” Katie says.

“Murdoch is the only in-person university to offer the Graduate Diploma in Psychology, so the decision was somewhat made for me.

“I originally applied to Murdoch right out of high school, and didn’t end up going down that road, so it kind of felt right to give it a go.”

Katie’s learning style is to trust her instincts and let experience be her guide. She follows whatever piques her curiosity and enjoys activities based in the arts.

“I got into philosophy and linguistics during my undergraduate degree, and still pursue them just for fun,” Katie says.

“I started playing music as soon as I was big enough to hold a full-sized guitar!”

Outstanding support from Murdoch staff

The things Katie enjoys most about her postgraduate psychology course are the practical skills she’s gained throughout her course and the accompanying support from Murdoch staff. She speaks highly of her whole support system at Murdoch, saying having a group of peers supporting you while writing your thesis is a unique experience. 

“I was very fortunate to get a thesis topic that I absolutely love, and a very patient and supportive supervisor,” Katie says.

“The unit coordinators, lecturers, and tutors have all been accessible, caring, and supportive.”

As part of her Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Murdoch, Katie had the opportunity to present at the Australian Conference for Undergrad Research (ACUR) online conference at the Australian National University. It was an experience she says was amazing but daunting.

“My supervisor helped me write an abstract to submit, and I was accepted,” Katie says.

“I presented the preliminary findings of my thesis to other students and reviewers and got some very valuable feedback.

“It was an incredible learning experience; the whole process of having to condense my thesis into a 10-minute presentation while finding a way to explain the concepts to people who weren’t experts in the area was a massive challenge.”

Million-dollar research facilities at Murdoch University

With a strong interest in research, Katie says one of her favourite units of the Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Murdoch included a series of seminars where guest speakers from other universities presented their research. She has also had hands-on research opportunities and access to equipment for electrophysiological and psychophysiological testing.

“Being able to use the MindBody lab, and the equipment in there, was just incredible,” Katie says.

The MindBody lab is a $1.1 million research and laboratory facility designed to further cognitive neuroscience and integrate it with psychology, psychophysiology, exercise science, health and rehabilitation research.

Katie has become a strong advocate for Murdoch and recommends the university to anyone, especially those who find the concept of starting university overwhelming. She says Murdoch has incredible student support and a welcoming student experience and offers a lively campus atmosphere which wasn’t as present in other locations where she’s studied in the past. 

Study a Graduate Diploma in Psychology in Perth

As she contemplates her future, Katie is keeping an open mind about where her interest in research could take her. She’s proud of what she’s achieved and how she’s met the many challenges her graduate studies have presented. Murdoch’s Graduate Diploma in Psychology offers the pathway to either gain a provisional registration to work as a psychologist or further your studies with an application into a relevant master’s course.

Are you on your way to becoming a registered psychologist and ready for the next step like Katie? Explore your future with a Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Murdoch University. 
Posted on:

14 Sep 2023

Share this article: