Skip to main content

"I felt so supported studying a PhD at Birkbeck"

Tin Su Liang came to Birkbeck from Taiwan to study PhD in Psychology, specifically focusing on the psychology of people’s relationships with guide dogs.

Tin Su Liang
Tin Su Liang

I’ve loved dogs since I was a child 

I grew up with dogs and find them easier to interact with than people. I was fascinated by my first encounter with a guide dog and wanted to explore more about the psychology behind their relationship with their owners 

I wanted to study at Birkbeck because of the reputation of my supervisor 

My supervisor is an expert in his field and he was really interested in my research area. The first part of my PhD research involved interviewing dog and mobility specialists, and the second part focused on first time owners of guide dogs. 

I’ve studied all around the world 

I was born in Taiwan but left the country when I was 15 to go to Canada where I finished high school and studied my undergraduate degree. I then moved to the UK to pursue my Master’s degree at the University of Edinburgh and then to London to do my PhD at Birkbeck.  

I hadn’t been to London before coming to Birkbeck, and I like it a lot 

There are loads of places to visit in London and the buildings and scenery are quite different to North America. Everything in London gives you a more historical outlook and the diversity of buildings is fascinating. Plus, it’s such a multicultural city that anyone would feel comfortable living and studying here. 

Meeting other research students from around the world 

It was easy to meet other research students at Birkbeck because of a student research group we were all part of. We shared the same office and I really appreciated the support and resources I had with my peers and with the Psychology academics. There’s lots of international students at Birkbeck that come from a wide range of backgrounds, so it’s a great place for people to come abroad and study. 

I hope my PhD research will make a difference in society  

We need to foster a culture and environment that is more accommodating and inclusive for people with disabilities. In the future, I want to continue to do more research on the life and experience of people with visual impairments and how their partnership with their guide dogs evolves. 

Further Information