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Lincoln Sport & Exercise Science Student Becomes Powerlifting Medallist!

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Congratulations to Alex Jackson who took third place in a very competitive 72-kg class at the recent British University Powerlifting Championships. Alex achieved personal bests in all three lifts (Squat, Bench and Deadlift) including a British junior record of 178 kg in the Deadlift!

Alex, who is in her first year of the BSc (Hons) Strength & Conditioning in Sport programme, is also a Sports Scholar at the University and is coached by Senior Lecturer Tom Gee:
“My experience at the British University Championships was a positive one: I was able to compete against athletes of varying abilities and ages and did so successfully with the help of Tom Gee. To be able to compete through the University with a high-level coach at my side enabled me to produce a competitive performance that placed me third overall.”

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Lincoln Professor talking Sustainable Development in South Africa

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Professor Duncan French, Head of Lincoln Law School and Professor of International Law, has recently attended the third meeting of the Rule of Law and Sustainable Development seminar organised by the Regional African Law and Human Security Programme (RALHUS).

Professor French presented a paper on contemporary case-law on sustainable development, including both international jurisprudence and domestic decisions. He reflected on the significant developments in the case-law, in the field of domestic courts holding States to account on the issue of climate change and, internationally, in developments on the legal principle of due diligence.

Nevertheless, Professor French cautioned against a wholesale endorsement of recent case-law, noting the recent decision of the International Court in the joined cases of Costa Rica v Nicaragua / Nicaragua v Costa Rica (2015) and creeping legal formalism. Thus he left the workshop with a question; are we seeing a maturity in the environmental jurisprudence or is there risk of sterility in the guise of meeting specified procedural steps?

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Couples on the rocks find happiness by ‘sticking it out’

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Report findings show that over two thirds of parents who were unhappy following the arrival of their first born were content together 10 years on, going against the notion that people put up with unhappy relationships for the sake of their offspring.

Harry Benson of the Marriage Foundation and Steve McKay of the University of Lincoln looked at data from 10,000 parents who participated in the Millennium Cohort Study, and focused on parents who reported being unhappy not long after the birth of their first child during the period around the year 2000. The couples were asked about how they feel again 11 years later, with seven out of 10 still together and only one in 10 of the couples who were still together continuing to feel sadness. Furthermore, over a quarter of the parents who previously felt their relationship was in trouble at the beginning but stayed together later described themselves as “extremely happy”.

From the results, Benson and McKay noted that those pairs who cohabited and were on the brink of splitting up were over twice as likely as married couples to actually break-up. However, they stressed the rewards to come if parents stayed together through the difficult times.

“Contrary to popular belief, staying in an unhappy marriage could be the best thing you ever do,” Benson explained. “Most marriages have their unhappy moments, but apart from the fortunately extremely rare cases where the relationship involves abuse, most couples can work through the difficulties to be happy later on.”

Backing these findings was Marriage Foundation head Sir Paul Coleridge, who describes the results as “myth-busting” as it proves a couple going through a rocky time as they adjust to parenthood doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t make it through to the other end.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Check out the college’s Facebook page!

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The College of Social Science now has a Facebook page! Please follow us to keep up to date with all of the college news and events.

You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

New year, time for a body MOT?

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In partnership with Human Resources, School of Sport and Exercise Science 3rd year undergraduate student Jess Slater is running a small clinic for any member of University staff to receive health screening assessments including height, weight, blood pressure, grip strength and peak flow. Furthermore, recommendations on how to improve your health and lifestyle are also suggested. Jess has received specific training from the academic team in the School prior to running this project and is directly supervised by Geoff Middleton.

We would be delighted if you could support a student project, so if you think you might be able to drop-by please note that the clinic will between the 3rd Feb to the 10th March (for 6 weeks) between the hours of from 11:30am – 1:30pm on Fridays (Wednesday 15th of February is also available between 12 – 2pm).

To organise a personal appointment please email Jess directly in advance

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Professor Matthew Hall Addresses at Victims of Crime Symposium

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Last week, Professor Matthew Hall of Lincoln Law School delivered a closing plenary address at Northumbria University to the annual Symposium of the British Society of Criminology’s Specialist Victims Network. In his talk, Prof. Hall discussed the future directions of victimology and how those working within this field might inform policy making in the context of recent political upheavals around the world: including Brexit and a general shift towards more nationalistic thinking. In particular, Prof. Hall challenged the audience – made up of leading thinkers in the study of victimisation as well as representatives of the victim support community and a number of police and crime commissioners – to think more broadly about the group we label as ‘victims’, reflecting more culturally-informed (rather than a legally informed) notions of ‘victimisation’, ‘suffering’ and ‘trauma’. Drawing on examples including the 96 victims who died as a result of the Hillsborough Football Stadium Disaster of 1989, the Ched Evans rape trials and the recent attention paid to historical child sexual abuse, Matthew argued that previous cultural and legal narratives about who ‘counts’ as a victim of crime is changing and that official pronouncements to this end are not as readily accepted. This has significant implications for those tasked with supporting victims both now and in the future. Prof. Hall also emphasised the importance of speaking to victims directly in order to learn more about their needs and to tailor support mechanisms appropriately.

Professor Hall said “This has been a wonderful day of debate and discussion, emphasising how far we have come in supporting victims whilst also exposing the work that is still needed to truly do right by victims of all kinds of crime, and indeed of wider social harms”.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

St Barnabas Christmas Donation

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University of Lincoln staff and students who chose to donate money to charity instead of sending Christmas cards this year raised a total of £63.50 for St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice!

The charity works hard to ensure that individuals facing the end of their life in Lincolnshire receive dignified, compassionate care when they require it and where they ask for it.

Congratulations and a big thank you to everyone who donated.

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Student Blog: A Quick Guide to Finding Work Experience in Psychology: Part 2 – by Madeleine Pownall

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1. Use the right language

Most psychology services will be used to emails and letters from students hoping to gain work experience. So much so, that the very words ‘work experience’ may be enough for a prospective employer to stop reading. From speaking to a few psychologists, there is the mindset that offering ‘work experience’ is often costly – in both time and energy. Therefore, by proposing a working relationship which is mutually beneficial, this original hesitation can be changed. For example, offering to be “an assistant” sounds a lot more encouraging that “I am seeking work experience”. A short summary of your specific strengths and ways in which you believe you can make a valued contribution to a service is also a great way to get noticed and be memorable. Which brings us on to the next point…

2. Research each service

There is little point offering to help with admin if the psychologist you are contacting works independently.  Research everywhere that you contact (before you contact them) and make a few bullet-pointed notes on every service. It sounds a lot better to say “I am really interested in working with you because you specialise in X” than something more generic. This is particularly important with research positions; explain why that specific project/researcher is of interest to you and try to draw from your university course for evidence: “In second year I had a module called X which got me really interested in etc…” Knowledge and interest in your course is a really strong quality to be able to offer a potential employer (particularly if, like me, your work experience is limited).

3. Manage expectations.

As psychology (and other social science) students will be used to hearing – confidentiality is key. Although shadowing therapy sessions may sound like a brilliant way to get experience (and I’m sure it is), this will rarely be possible. Psychologists are bound by ethics in every part of their work and particularly in the most sensitive environments; this means that work experience is even more difficult to obtain. Having an understanding of these ethical considerations can really work in your favour when first approaching prospective employers. It will show that you understand the field you’re hoping to go into, and you have full awareness of the extent of your role in the service. This is important in terms of maintaining professional boundaries and protecting the confidentiality of the clients. Also, as mentioned in part 1 of this series, contacting psychologists early can allow plenty of time for DBS clearance (which can take up to 6 weeks).

4. Keep track of your contacts

I found that due to the large number of contacts that I eventually made, it could have been quite difficult to remember which conversations were with every service. I made a simple spreadsheet that allowed me to keep on top of who I had contacted, who had replied and so on (see below for an example. Be persistent, but respectful – if somewhere declines your offer firmly, then take their word for it.

Name of service Emailed? Telephoned? Posted letter? Reply: Y/N? Reason/feedback given Date.
MP Psychology Yes. mppsychology@uol.com N N
  1. Reply from Joe Bloggs on 05/01/2017
They don’t offer work experience. Given details of another service which might.

01/01/2017.

 

 

Madeleine Pownall is a second year psychology student at University of Lincoln. She runs a blog www.thoughtbubblesblog.co.uk which discusses current issues in a psychological context. Find her on twitter: @1thoughtbubbles

If you missed part 1 of this blog series, catch up here:

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk

Merry Christmas!

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The College of Social Science would like to thank everyone for all of their hard work over the past year and we wish you all a safe and happy Christmas break.

The office will be closed from Friday 23rd December and will be open again from Wednesday 4th January. During this time, all social media posts will be automated but if you would like to leave us a message we will get back to you as soon as possible once the office reopens.

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Student Blog: A Quick Guide to Finding Work Experience in Psychology: Part 1 – by Madeleine Pownall

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Psychology – and other social sciences – are notoriously difficult fields to find work experience in. The need for relevant, clinical experience is ingrained into students from the moment they walk into their first lecture, and yet it is a feat which is easier said than done in many respects. Last summer I worked for two independent psychotherapy services and an NHS specialist service. All these experiences taught me a massive amount, and here is some advice to secure these placements and (more importantly) get the most out of them.

1. Contact Contact Contact

Research your field – where do you want to work? Why? What kind of services are near you? Find them, look at their websites and gather as much information as you can, and then contact them. I found that short-term placements (suitable for 3-4 months over the summer) were almost never advertised on recruitment websites. The larger, most popular companies are usually inundated with student requests for work experiences, so I targeted smaller independent firms by telephone. Phone calls are the easiest way to communicate personality, enthusiasm and are less likely to be ignored (unlike emails). I wrote letters to 48 practices and the ones that accepted me for work experience were the ones I telephoned directly.

2. Be creative and realistic

If – like me – you’re a psychology student, the most typical work experience that you will hope to get is a clinical placement. These opportunities are often few and far between, which means that it is time to get creative. Have a long think about where you want your degree to take you and explore the opportunities which are likely more ‘off the beaten track’. I worked with a lovely psychotherapist who specialises in mindfulness and holistic therapies – the experience was hugely relevant to my course and due to the small nature of the business gave me a real insight into alternative psychology practices. Despite the obvious appeal of large clinical practices, smaller more niche companies can offer a rather unique and personable experience. If you’ve approached all the NHS/private sectors near you and haven’t had any luck, do not despair. Expand your search criteria and keep your options as open as possible. For example, although typing “psychology services” into google may seem a fail-safe plan, using slightly more creative language can give you more hits.

3. Join a staff bank

NHS and independent sectors advertise for bank staff throughout the year. This is perfect for students, because there are no contracted hours (you work as and when available/required). Health care support worker posts are the most frequently advertised and are often available in secure units, psychiatric wards and private hospitals. Additionally, there are temporary recruitment agencies (I worked for TaskMaster Resources) who employ cover staff for the NHS. These are well worth pursuing, particularly for short-term opportunities.

4. Look early

It is likely that psychology practices receive many requests from students, particularly just before the summer or other holidays. Start your search early and build up a bank of contacts which you can later approach when you know your university holidays (with exam dates etc.) For example, I started looking for placements starting for May in January time, and was able to relax during exam time knowing that relevant work experience had been secured.

5. Be prepared to volunteer

Two of my work experience placements were voluntarily. Expenses were paid (train tickets etc.) but other than that, the work I did was entirely free. When the offers first came in I was suitably sceptical and had to secure full time paid work to fund myself, working around the volunteer positions. However, these opportunities gave me genuinely invaluable experience and contacts. Show enthusiasm, invest in your long-term career and be prepared for placements which don’t pay (especially the most competitive sectors).

Madeleine Pownall is a second year psychology student at University of Lincoln. She runs a blog www.thoughtbubblesblog.co.uk which discusses current issues in a psychological context. Find her on twitter: @1thoughtbubbles

If you have something you would like us to post here, please email: collegesocialscience@lincoln.ac.uk