James Paterson

BA in Psychology 2006 

Teacher in Psychology


James is a British Memory Champion so how well does he remember his time at GCU studying Psychology? We caught up with him to find out. 

How was time at GCU?

The University's facilities are fantastic, as was the willingness of the staff to help in big and small ways outside lectures. There was a real push for access to digital resources for students during my time at GCU and this was incredibly beneficial to all aspects of my studies. I played for the University's American Football team for two years and this was a thoroughly enjoyable (if often painful) experience that I will always remember fondly. Finally, the city centre location was brilliant!

How has your career progressed since GCU?

Since leaving GCU I have become a teacher and I am now the Head of Psychology at an Independent School in Berkshire. I am also the current British Memory Champion.

GCU has played an obvious part in both my career path and in my progression in the world of competitive memorising. The Psychology teaching staff at the university were inspirational and showed a passion for the subject that left a deep impression on me. Having had many students go on to study Psychology after their A-Level in the subject has been particularly pleasing for me as a teacher. 

It was during a lecture at GCU that I first discovered the existence of memorisation techniques which promptly became something of an obsession! It was during my final year that I won the best beginner prize of £1000 at a memory event and went on to compete at the World Memory Championships in that same year. I finished in 12th place and a whisker ahead of Joshua Foer, the author who went on to write about his experiences in the best-selling ‘Moonwalking with Einstein’. 

All these years later I am the current British Memory Champion and as well as showing these techniques to my students in class, I am trying to instil the same passion for Psychology in them that I experienced at GCU.

What are your words of wisdom?

Treat your studies like a profession and make the most of every single opportunity that comes your way, you never know when they may open unexpected and exciting doors. 


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