Nelli Aihio, MSc Investigative Forensic Psychology graduate
After completing an undergraduate degree in Human Psychology, Nelli Aihio was looking for a postgraduate qualification that would help her to pursue a career in the Criminal Justice System. "The MSc Investigative Forensic Psychology at LSBU was one of only two degrees in the country that offered the mix of modules that I wanted to study, so the location became the deciding factor between the two," she says.
I wanted somewhere I could commute to easily that would enable me to increase my understanding of victim psychology, offender psychology and psychology related to court – all of which made LSBU the ideal choice.
A committed student, Nelli excelled during her Masters degree at LSBU, and successfully combined her studies with work thanks to her determination to succeed. "When I started my degree, I was already volunteering for the Witness Service in the Crown Court," she says. "It operates in courts and offers practical help and emotional support for victims and witnesses – sitting with them in court while they give evidence, for example, or having a debrief afterwards about what happened."
Nelli found the experience gave her an extra insight into her studies, and believes that relevant experience gained away from the course can help give added insight to a student's degree. "The service is offered to all, prosecution and defence witnesses, and it enabled me to learn a lot about the Criminal Justice System procedures and the psychological processes that victims and witnesses go through," she says.
Quality of work
Nelli left her voluntary role after she was offered a full-time role with the police, working in a civilian role as a Witness Care Officer. Working and studying was a challenge, but one that she rose to impressively, consistently winning awards for the quality of her work.
In 2009, Nelli won the Course Director's Prize for Outstanding Performance and followed that achievement with the Course Director's Prize for Outstanding Performance in Taught modules in 2010. In 2011, she completed a hat-trick of achievements when she was awarded the Course Director's Prize for Outstanding Performance in Dissertation, bringing an end to her hugely successful Masters degree.
Outstanding academic record
Unsurprisingly for such a high achiever, Nelli was keen to continue her education so she applied for a fully-funded PhD studentship in our Psychology Division. With such an outstanding academic record and a proven work ethic, Nelli was accepted onto a PhD and she is currently studying full time with us, helping her to get her career off to the best possible start.