Postgraduate profile: Meagan Lynch

Meagan Lynch is studying a Masters in Clinical Neuroscience at NUI Galway


“I had previously completed an undergraduate degree in Forensic Investigation and Analysis at Sligo IT Back before the whole “CSI” explosion.

Needless to say ther aren’t many jobs in that field in Ireland!

After working for a few years and trying to get some of that elusive “life experience” I decided it was time to return to third level education.

In 2013 I began an undergraduate degree in psychology at NUI Galway as a mature student.

When my undergraduate degree was coming to an end, I was very certain that my next step would be a postgraduate course of some kind. I absolutely loved carrying out my own research project as part of final year and I realised that a career in research was what I wanted to work towards. I began to entertain the possibility of applying for a PhD but first I felt that I needed to hone my research skills and find a topic that I could genuinely immerse myself in for four years.

Luckily, during my final year a brand new masters in Clinical Neuroscience was announced. The masters in Clinical Neuroscience sounded just perfect for me. It would help me expand my skills in scientific research, I’d get the chance to take classes I’d never had before and I’d always had an interest in neuropsychology.

The masters in Clinical Neuroscience combines many disciplines – psychology, pharmacology, anatomy, genetics, physiology, neuroimaging, psychiatry and is the first of its kind in Ireland. Studying these different areas provides you with many transferable applied and research skills and a solid foundation in Neuroscience. The NUI Galway neuroscience community is also very well established and an excellent learning environment.

The course is tough but immensely enjoyable. There are some subjects that I have never studied before and so it was difficult at first to adjust. However, over time I found that each of the modules complemented each other quite well and built a very solid base for moving forward in neuroscience. My favourite part of the course was learning about genetics. I would have never thought of pursuing anything remotely in that area but i found the module fascinating!

I think studying a masters is a great idea if you’re academically inclined. It’s a nice progression from your undergraduate studies and allows you to study something you have more of a passion for. On the flip side, it can be very difficult at times to manage your studies with working part time, extracurricular activities (essential for the CV) and trying to make the odd social gathering, but as the old saying goes “nothing worth doing is ever easy”.