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A mother of three is celebrating after winning a top award at the university. Student Nisha Sykes has received the British Psychology Society Undergraduate Award (BPA) after achieving the highest overall score in her degree programme.
Nisha graduated in July after studying a degree in Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counselling. Her final year dissertation examined the impact on adults of different age ranges, of having fathers that were absent during childhood due to ‘family discord’. She said: “I am so proud to win this award. It has been challenging with all the exams, assignments and keeping up with family life, but overall I have loved it.”
Nisha has worked in well-being support at primary school level and at Essa Academy in Bolton. Realising that she needed to get relevant qualifications to further her career, she attended a University of Bolton open day. With the full support of her husband James, Nisha enrolled at the university.
Speaking about the course, Nisha said: “All the tutors have been amazing and in particular, the support of Dr Jacqui Harrison, my final year personal tutor, has been tremendous. Without her unfaltering support and encouragement, I would not have achieved what I have. The tutors’ depth of knowledge makes such a tremendous difference.”
The BPA is awarded to around 100 people each year to those studying at institutions that deliver accredited undergraduate programmes.
Nisha has decided to continue studying at the university on the Cognitive and Behavioural Psychotherapy programme, a postgraduate degree for two years and a master’s in the final year.
Discussing her future ambitions, Nisha said: “My ultimate dream is to eventually have my own practice. I want to work with people and help them make positive changes to their lives.”
Professor Jerome Carson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Bolton, said: “Nisha thoroughly deserves this top award. In addition to studying, she has involved herself in a wide variety of voluntary activities. We are delighted for her.”