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Abdul Wahid

BSc Psychology

After sixth form Abdul Wahid enrolled in medical school, but two years in he decided that it wasn't right for him. On a whim he telephoned Birkbeck's Department of Psychological Sciences and after speaking to one of the tutors he decided to apply for the three-year BSc Psychology.

Abdul explained: 'After leaving medical school I knew that I didn't want to go back to studying full-time during the day. I wanted a course that would enable me to get some work experience at the same time, and Birkbeck not only offered that opportunity, it also had great facilities and a great reputation. Enrolling at Birkbeck wasn't a difficult decision to make.'

'During my first year I was able to carry on with a retail job that I'd had since sixth form, but by my second year I applied for, and was offered, a job as an academic tutor at my old sixth form. Thanks to that experience I've been able to go on to a teacher training programme where I now teach in schools four days a week and go to university for one day. When you're applying for jobs it is definitely a very good thing to have a Birkbeck qualification on your CV. The College's research reputation is excellent, plus you can show that you have good organisation and prioritising skills and are able to deal with a heavy workload. Those are all skills that you will need in your professional life.'

'Coping with work and study was tough at the beginning, and I found things like finding time for dinner would get forgotten! However, after a while you find a routine and it's not a problem. The environment at Birkbeck was really nice. There is a study room for psychology students and I used to come in at the weekends when I didn't have class to use the facilities. The tutors were also really helpful and their door was always open if you needed help with anything.'

'Some of the other students I met at Birkbeck will be my friends for life. I was 23 when I started and in the first seminar it felt quite strange as there were students who'd come straight from sixth form, and others who were old enough to be my parents, but by the second or third seminar we all just saw each other as students, regardless of age or background. The group of friends I made is really varied and I met people who were totally different to the people I went to school with in East London, where we all had similar backgrounds. The mixture of people in class meant that class discussions were much richer, with a wide variety of perspectives and personalities. I feel like it really opened my mind up to new ideas.'

'I've always enjoyed learning but I had imagined that once I got a degree my formal education would be completed. In fact, Birkbeck has fuelled my passion for learning and I'm now applying for a Master's degree at the College. I want to pursue my education for as far as I can.'

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'When you're applying for jobs it is definitely a very good thing to have a Birkbeck qualification on your CV.'