After completing his Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) in 2019 and his Master of Professional Psychology in 2020, James is taking on a PhD (Clinical Psychology), through the Vice Chancellor’s Training Scheme Scholarship.

Choosing a career path in psychology was easy for James, who cited the open-ended opportunities as a real draw card.

“I didn’t want to choose a vocational role where I was trained in one area.

“A psychology degree opens up a lot of interesting fields and although you often need a masters on top, it’s a great base degree. I think I was also drawn to it because I enjoy being around other people ­­– and the degree has allowed me to begin a career working with people,” said James.

James says the University of Newcastle’s Psychology program felt like the perfect balance between big city and small town.

“I chose the University of Newcastle because I wanted to live in a city that had lots to do but was small enough to feel comfortable.

“I grew up in near Taree so also wanted to be close to my family. I really didn’t see another choice,” he said.

The quality of learning has made James feel very comfortable in the field.

“Graduates from the program are sought after because they graduate ready to work, and in the PhD program, I already feel like a professional more than a student,” he said.

As part of his Masters Degree, James also had the opportunity to complete a placement via distance at a private psychology practice in Victoria.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to be face to face due to Covid, but that first experience of practicing as a provisional psychologist confirmed that I was on the right study path,” he said.

James has really enjoyed the opportunity to pursue both the practical and research sides of psychology.

“In terms of practical experience, completing a Masters and continuing that same practical education in the clinical PhD has been a highlight.

“But at the same time, my honours thesis gave me a taste of research, so now being able to continue both practical training and research is the perfect mix,” he said.

When asked about his future, James says he’s keen to continue balancing the different facets of psychology.

“Ideally, I would like to work as both a practicing psychologist and researcher because it would provide a good balance.

“But I’m not thinking too far ahead. After finishing nine straight years of study, I think I’ll take a holiday first,” he said.

Study Psychology at the University of Newcastle

James Knox winning an award

James Knox

After completing his Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) in 2019 and his Master of Professional Psychology in 2020, James is taking on a PhD (Clinical Psychology), through the Vice Chancellor’s Training Scheme Scholarship.

Graduates from the program are sought after because they graduate ready to work. And in the PhD program, I already feel like a professional more than a student.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.