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Top UC grad stepping into fulfilling clinical career

21 August 2023

After seven years’ study, McLeod Robertson is graduating from UC with distinction, thrilled his clinical psychology education will be helping others


From his high school years, McLeod Robertson knew he wanted to be a clinical psychologist and followed his passion to Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury (UC).

“I have always had a fascination for psychology and the science behind it,” he explains. “The clinical programme at UC has a great reputation. Enrolling at UC [in 2016] allowed me to combine science with helping people and I get a lot out of that.”

<img src="" alt="" style="    " class="img-responsive additional-image"> Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 - Quality Education

Now a fully qualified and registered clinical psychologist, working with Hillmorton Hospital’s anxiety disorders service in Ōtautahi Christchurch, McLeod is proud to be joining a whānau of over 144,000 engaged and empowered UC alumni around the world.

To become professionally qualified in Clinical Psychology at UC requires a seven-year commitment, involving an undergraduate degree followed by specialist postgraduate study. McLeod completed his Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology in February 2023 and is the only student in his year to receive this award with distinction.

He completed his Master of Science in Psychology in 2022 and is looking forward to having both qualifications conferred at UC’s graduation celebrations this month.

McLeod’s postgraduate research, which focused on the nutritional intake of women who binge eat, delivered useful findings in helping to understand and reduce the physical and mental burden for people with eating disorders.

The UC Clinical Psychology Training Programme also saw him gain a breadth of clinical experience through two six-month internship placements with Ara Poutama Aotearoa and Te Whatu Ora Waitaha.

“McLeod was a highly valued team member during his internship at Te Whatu Ora Waitaha,” says Associate Professor Eileen Britt, of UC’s Te Kura Mahi ā-Hirikapo | School of Psychology, Speech and Hearing.

“He rose to the challenge of working in a difficult area and delivering psychological assessment and treatment to a wide range of complex clients. McLeod quickly demonstrated a real strength in connecting with people, building strong rapport with his clients that facilitated positive therapeutic outcomes. Te Whatu Ora were eager to employ him after he completed his qualification, and he continues to be an asset to the service and to the clients he works with.”

Now celebrating its 150th anniversary, UC is committed to producing graduates who both lead and support our communities. McLeod says his studies at the University, including clinical placements, have prepared him well for continued learning, and making a difference in people’s lives.

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