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Sophie Warden

MSc Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health

Sport, Physical Activity and Mental Health student, Sophie Warden. Sophie is wearing a blue Edge Hill polo, with 'Sports Coaching & Development' embroidery and an embroidered Edge Hill logo.

I can see how all of the topics covered will be transferable into my professional life. All my assessments have been flexible, allowing me to be assessed on a topic of my choice, which means I’ve been able to tailor my learning to my own experience and interests.

My tutors were very supportive throughout my undergraduate degree, so I knew I wanted to stay at Edge Hill to study more. I knew having a Masters degree would open a lot of doors for me professionally and this MSc offered a well-rounded approach to how mental health, sport and physical activity are intertwined, which is something that really piqued my interest.

The application process through the University website was pretty simple on the whole. I also applied for student finance through the government website to fund my MSc. If I’m honest I did get a little confused with it but I contacted Edge Hill support team and they talked me through the process.

I can see how all of the topics covered will be transferable into my professional life. It’s been fascinating to see just how much influence social processes have within sporting organisations. The main focus of my MSc course is learning the basics of mental health, mental illness, and how sport and physical activity can have both positive and negative impacts on both. I’ve also been learning about inequalities within society and sport, and I’ve found this really interesting and a new perspective for me to consider.

I’ve been able to tailor my learning to my own experience and interests. This has really helped put me at ease when it comes to research, and has set me up well to take on my dissertation project – and it’s a lot easier to write with passion when you can choose a topic that excites you. I’ve also had access to additional qualifications on the course including mental health first aid, dementia awareness training, and suicide prevention training.

I trust my own instincts a lot more. I was nervous about transitioning from undergraduate to postgraduate. The staff have been phenomenal at guiding me and reassuring me that I’m more than capable. I’ve definitely transitioned from a solo student to a more collaborative learner.

I know I’m in safe hands with the tutors and lecturers. I know they’ll support me and push me to be the best I can be. My plan is to continue at Edge Hill to undertake a PhD with Rugby League Cares. I hope to become a university lecturer or mental health and wellbeing lead within elite sport in the future.

If you’re interested and excited about the topic, that makes a world of difference. My biggest tip would be to pick something you’re genuinely excited about. Find out early on who your tutors could be and make sure you get a good vibe off them, because they’ll be your biggest source of support. If you’re still nervous, try to chat with people currently doing the course you’re interested in and ask them about their experience. They’ll give you honest answers, and reassure you that postgraduate life isn’t as scary as it’s made out to be.