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PhD Student at Leeds Beckett University

I got more than just a 2:1 Degree from LTU; the additional experiences helped make me the individual I am today.

Why I chose to attend Leeds Trinity

Leeds Trinity was the first institution I attended an open day for and what appealed to me straight away was the slogan "You're a name not a number". I loved the community feel and was captivated by the Sport Science staff I met. What I was looking for in a University was a personalised experience which would help me grow and equip me with the tools I needed to advance in my career – Leeds Trinity was the perfect place for me to do so.

Richard Simpson outside gym.

My most memorable experiences from my studies

My most memorable experiences come through my involvement in Badminton. I remember winning my first match of the season vs Sunderland (7-1) and forming a doubles partnership with long-time friend Nick Deaton. I also volunteered as Higher Education Officer/Activator, which gave me the opportunity to visit the National Badminton HQ and to build the sport at University. I helped form a Men’s Second Team and re-form a Women’s Badminton Team – coming together to form Leeds Trinity University Badminton Club. I subsequently went on to captain the 1st Team, win two awards for services to the sport and play throughout my three years. 

However, my biggest achievement would be meeting my partner through the sport, Georgia Wood (who was Students’ Union Vice President 2017-18). I never saw this coming… as I used to coach her, and I was convinced she hated me! Five Years later and I can not count my stars enough. 

I also managed to secure a fantastic placement with the Team GB Badminton Team and I was fortunate to contribute towards the preparations for Rio 2016 – where Chris Langridge and Marcus Ellis won a famous Bronze Medal! I will never forget this experience and I learned so much, especially through shadowing a Sport Psychologist. Beyond Badminton, I played cricket for the Leeds Trinity Lions and took on multiple roles at the University. 

I got more than just a 2:1 Degree from LTU; the additional experiences helped make me the individual I am today.

Life after graduating 

After finishing my undergraduate, I completed a MSc (with Distinction) at Leeds Beckett University. I was fully prepared for the MSc thanks to my previous teachings from Dr Chris Rowley and Dr Jon Radcliffe. In one of my MSc Modules, I scored an 88% much to my shock, simply through applying what I had learned from my third year Undergraduate Applied Sport Psychology Module. So, I owe a lot to Chris and Jon! 

Richard Simpson graduating with Vice Chancellor Professor Margaret House.

After completing my MSc I became a Research Assistant in the Carnegie School of Sport at Leeds Beckett. My role as a research assistant allowed me to publish in a journal (and work on further publications); present at two national/regional conferences; produce a report on Coach Well-being for the Football Association; volunteer for DSEP (Division of Sport & Exercise at the BPS); and help create a ‘Talking Psych’ Podcast​'​ - Live on iTunes and Spotify. 

I then secured a place for a PhD in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Leeds Beckett.

My future goals are to become an accredited Sport & Exercise Psychologist/Sport Scientist, to pass on my knowledge as a lecturer, and to research into Well-Being, High Performance Environments and Anti-Doping Education. I set high goals for myself; My Grandfather was a Professor in his chosen field, so I would like to emulate him, so that one day I could be: Professor Richard Simpson CPsychol, SFHEA, HCPC.

My advice would for a current student

My best advice based on my own experience is to be ambitious and let your enthusiasm shine. We are often told from a young age that to get somewhere in your chosen specialism you must go to a Loughborough, Cambridge or Oxford type institution. I was told this and it couldn’t be more wrong. 

I would strongly advice to make the most of your whole experience. You will also benefit from getting involved with extra-curricular activities. Whether you play sport competitively or recreationally or join a society to expand your knowledge about the world it is great to be part of a group with similar interests. Work hard on your degree and choose placements that are relevant to you and never settle for less. 

Most importantly of all, if you are ever in need of support or assistance; ask for it. Throughout my time, I could always seek a tutorial with my progress tutor; use the counselling service; or even speak to a Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer. There was always help at Trinity when you needed it, so never shy away from it.