Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I've noticed a lot of psych undergrads on here who've not enjoyed the course. For instance, I was just looking on the wiki at collections of accounts by people who've either dropped out or wanted to and there seems to be a disproportionately high number of psych students.

    The way I see it, there could be many reasons for this. Firstly, it could just be me only paying attention to the people not enjoying psych and not noticing those from other subjects. Assuming I'm not imagining it though, perhaps it's because a lot of people choose it having just a vague interest, don't really know what's involved, are surprised by how different the course is to A level, find the course frustrating due to lack of solid answers, weren't expecting all the biology/maths etc... I'd imagine these issues, or some of them, are more prevalent in psychology than other subjects.

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else applying for 2010 has noticed this and is also starting to question whether they'll actually like the course?

    For me, knowing that I'm not really enjoying the A2 course isn't helping, although at least some of my reasons won't apply at uni. (I'm finding it very slow and dumbed down, which I can't see happening at Oxford if I don't miss the grades.) The A level was never really among my reasons for choosing psychology anyway (the reverse actually), but I'm still doubting whether I've picked the right course.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I know loads of psychology students, my brother, his gf and a few of his friends do it and my 4 new housemates for next year, plus a few other friends too. They all seem pretty happy with their course. One thing I will say though, is that they seem to have underestimated the amount of maths required for it. Lots of statistics work. People who aren't good at maths, who barely got a C at GCSE level, will likely not do well.

    They say that most people who drop out dont want to, they just cant do the maths, or they have some other problem. they all seem to agree that the main psychology part is very interesting and fun and quite easy... but idk, maybe just my experience is with the smarter ones haha.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    I am a second year Psychology undergraduate and I don't know of anyone who has dropped out or changed course. I think as long as you know about the amount of biology, statistics and research methods involved, and understand that the course is very different from A level (which it seems you do) there are no big surprises. I didn't enjoy my A2 course that much, but the A level is, as you say, dumbed down and very narrow.

    Are there any other courses you would prefer to do?
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Meliae)
    I've noticed a lot of psych undergrads on here who've not enjoyed the course. For instance, I was just looking on the wiki at collections of accounts by people who've either dropped out or wanted to and there seems to be a disproportionately high number of psych students.

    The way I see it, there could be many reasons for this. Firstly, it could just be me only paying attention to the people not enjoying psych and not noticing those from other subjects. Assuming I'm not imagining it though, perhaps it's because a lot of people choose it having just a vague interest, don't really know what's involved, are surprised by how different the course is to A level, find the course frustrating due to lack of solid answers, weren't expecting all the biology/maths etc... I'd imagine these issues, or some of them, are more prevalent in psychology than other subjects.

    Anyway, I was wondering if anyone else applying for 2010 has noticed this and is also starting to question whether they'll actually like the course?

    For me, knowing that I'm not really enjoying the A2 course isn't helping, although at least some of my reasons won't apply at uni. (I'm finding it very slow and dumbed down, which I can't see happening at Oxford if I don't miss the grades.) The A level was never really among my reasons for choosing psychology anyway (the reverse actually), but I'm still doubting whether I've picked the right course.
    I'm exactly the same! I loooved Psychology at AS despite it always being really dumbed down, probably loved it because it was an easy ride. Anyway, I didn't realise how much science and maths was involved in a Psychology degree until I went to the Birmingham open day and it was then that I started to doubt whether Psychology is really for me. They don't tell you at open days just how much the degree involves science and maths! So I looked at alll the courses offered by alll the Universities I applied to and found the perfect course for me so I emailed them and swapped courses! Woo! Now all I've got to do is email the place I want as my insurance to swap courses and I can firm and insurance them on UCAS! So yeah, that's the reason why I'm not risking the chance of dropping out but if you're having doubts maybe look at all the other courses and see if there's anything that interests you as much or more than Psychology!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I did psychology at access and have now been accepted to do Psychology (criminal behaviour) at Southampton Solent and still waiting on Forensic Psych at Portsmouth. I think it can come as a shock to people who haven't studied it before, like you said you never really get any solid answers. I think to do it and stick at it you have to enjoy that kind of subject and be able to come up with your own ideas (with past studies to support it of course, lol). Good Luck!!!
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    From the people ive talked to it seems like its just because of the maths, but really how hard could the maths be. Im assuming it will just be mainly statistics they do.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    I'm actually really relieved that a higher proportion of the psychology degree course involves biology and maths than the A-level. I haven't heard of anyone actually regretting taking the degree, but then again I don't exactly know dozens of psych students. Anyone who thinks that the A-level will naturally follow onto a similar degree hasn't really researched it properly, and I hate the idea of not having researched a course that I'm going to be spending three years and a lot of money to do, so I made sure that I knew what it was about before applying.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Reading your post is like reading my own thought processes written out logically. :p: Don't worry, you're certainly not the only one who's noticed the negative feelings surrounding the degree generally. I agree that many people go into psychology not knowing what they're looking for, exactly. People like you and me (I hope) have researched what the study of psychology really involves, including looking at the job prospects realistically, and have reached some sort of conclusion in our heads regarding whether this is the right choice or not for us.

    I also understand your frustration with the A-level course, a lot of it is very simplified and it seems very repetitive. I always feel as though I would like to be pushed/challenged much further. There are also the er, philosophical questions regarding the whole idea surrounding the benefit of studying psychology, the lack of solid answers etc. that haven't exactly helped my motivation. The one thing that's kept me positive is going to the interview day at the university I will hopefully be attending come September, and meeting a lot of other people with the same sort of mindset as me.

    I guess the reason I have decided to go through with it is that I know I will regret it if I don't give psychology a try. For me that seems not as bad as regretting studying psychology, because I've foreseen/anticipated the regret? It's hard to describe, hope you've made at least a little sense out of this!

    The main thing I wanted to say is, no, you're not alone.



    edit: I wanted to add how surprised I am at the amount of people who go into studying psychology not merely not comprehending the biology and maths involved, but also the importance of the scientific process in psychology. For me, it pretty much defines it. It's just shocking that there are people that choose a degree this way...
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by yoyo462001)
    From the people ive talked to it seems like its just because of the maths, but really how hard could the maths be. Im assuming it will just be mainly statistics they do.
    It's difficult for people that haven't done Maths/Statistics since GCSE.
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    PS Helper
    (Original post by Lindsey123)
    It's difficult for people that haven't done Maths/Statistics since GCSE.
    Yeah definitely but with most statistics its just simple maths, im not sure whether its just the endless formula or notation that scare people but i dont think any unis require A level maths for uni psychology hence it must be doable for those at a GCSE level with hard work of course.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    I agree that there do seem to be quite a high proportion of people who choose psychology and then regret it, but in all honesty it tends to be those who chose it simply because they didn't know what to do in the first place.

    I'm in my first year at the moment (well, dropping out and reapplying for the same course elsewhere - but that's another story) and it's pretty much how I expected it to be. There is a lot of biology and maths but as you/others have pointed out - anyone really wanting to study psychology will already know this and expect it! I'm awful at maths myself and so have struggled slightly, but that's probably more to do with me not applying myself as much as I should have done rather than it being really difficult.

    On the whole, I don't regret choosing psychology and I can't see myself regretting it in the future. Sometimes, it does worry me that it's so popular now because of job prospects etc. but it's a pretty well-rounded degree and so is still probably more beneficial than studying something like English. Personally, I'd like a related career after my degree (though obviously the success rate isn't particularly high) but even if I don't manage this or change my mind, I still have other options. That's what appeals to me the most, I think.

    Overall, I think those who end up regretting their degree choice will ultimately be those who weren't sure in the first place. The amount of people I'm surrounded by who seem to think it was all going to be about Freud (and indeed the widespread perception that it is..) does get a bit hard-going sometimes, but if it's what you really want to do then you learn to ignore it. That's partly why i'm reapplying - I want to go to a really decent university where the people doing psych there actually want to do it and are motivated.

    Also - just as a warning - first year is rather dry. It tends to be just a recap of (mostly the dullest parts) of A level, with a bit of extra biology and stats thrown in. It's actually fairly easy and you can doss your way through it really, but I've heard that the step-up from year one to two is a *****. So basically, as long as you're motivated and it's what you really want to do then you won't regret it.

    God, this was (a rather useless) essay. Sorry!
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by yoyo462001)
    Yeah definitely but with most statistics its just simple maths, im not sure whether its just the endless formula or notation that scare people but i dont think any unis require A level maths for uni psychology hence it must be doable for those at a GCSE level with hard work of course.
    Of course it's doable, students just like to moan!

    I think people who are surprised by the statistics just haven't done their research about the degree properly.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    The reasons I'm not happy studying Psychology:

    1. Too many undergraduates. It's a great subject, but its the open access that is letting it down big time. Instead of the swelling departments that we have now, universities need to bump up their entry requirements and accept only the leading students.

    Why? Not enough demand of Psych graduates to justify the supply. When everyone and their dog has a Psych degree, it looks bad. Even worse, when a large proportion of those representing the field are ditsy "i-wan-be-developmontol-clinukol-psychologost" types, it's even worse. I now cringe when I hear that someone is studying Psychology, and I hate telling people what I study. I'm actually embarrased by the choice I've made.

    2. Not enough Biology. I'm a firm Materialist, and I strongly believe that one day the cartesian gap will be bridged by neuroscience and there will be zero need for Psychologists or the concept of "the mind". This is probably my own fault for choosing Psychology over Neuroscience and is something I can get over once I select my third year modules. However, this means I fundamentally disagree with the prevailing opinion within most undergraduates in my field whom appear to still be selecting higher-level explanations over more fundamental lower-level theories.

    3. Not enough stats. I love stats.

    4. Most of Psychology is not useful. I dread the day when someone asks me "So what has Psychology done for mankind?" if I am unable to refer to cognitive neuroscience instead.

    5. The students are annoying 9 times out of 10. They all seem to think they're going to waltz into the D.Clin.Psych the September after graduation.

    6. A-Level Psychology is a joke in its current state. It needs to either be reformed or scrapped completely. It makes the field look bad.

    Good thread. I needed that rant. Now back to my essay/watching Evan Almighty.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by raisin.)
    Also - just as a warning - first year is rather dry. It tends to be just a recap of (mostly the dullest parts) of A level, with a bit of extra biology and stats thrown in. It's actually fairly easy and you can doss your way through it really, but I've heard that the step-up from year one to two is a *****. So basically, as long as you're motivated and it's what you really want to do then you won't regret it.
    Totally agree. But I think the first year of a lot of degrees is like that.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    There's a lot more biological and maths content than people who didn't research the course / course structres at the unis' the applied to.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Retrospect)
    Reading your post is like reading my own thought processes written out logically. :p: Don't worry, you're certainly not the only one who's noticed the negative feelings surrounding the degree generally. I agree that many people go into psychology not knowing what they're looking for, exactly. People like you and me (I hope) have researched what the study of psychology really involves, including looking at the job prospects realistically, and have reached some sort of conclusion in our heads regarding whether this is the right choice or not for us.

    I also understand your frustration with the A-level course, a lot of it is very simplified and it seems very repetitive. I always feel as though I would like to be pushed/challenged much further. There are also the er, philosophical questions regarding the whole idea surrounding the benefit of studying psychology, the lack of solid answers etc. that haven't exactly helped my motivation. The one thing that's kept me positive is going to the interview day at the university I will hopefully be attending come September, and meeting a lot of other people with the same sort of mindset as me.

    I guess the reason I have decided to go through with it is that I know I will regret it if I don't give psychology a try. For me that seems not as bad as regretting studying psychology, because I've foreseen/anticipated the regret? It's hard to describe, hope you've made at least a little sense out of this!

    The main thing I wanted to say is, no, you're not alone.

    edit: I wanted to add how surprised I am at the amount of people who go into studying psychology not merely not comprehending the biology and maths involved, but also the importance of the scientific process in psychology. For me, it pretty much defines it. It's just shocking that there are people that choose a degree this way...
    I completely agree and the bit in bold is the same decision I came to as well, having had these thoughts before even applying. I know at Oxford, it's supposed to be easy to switch between EP and PPP (psychology, philosophy and physiology - but only two) so if I end up not enjoying it, I intend to take up more philosophy or physiology modules. I'm considering going into research after, but if I want to switch fields, I'd probably go for law despite certain ethical reservations.

    As I said in the first post, there are a lot of reasons people give for regretting choosing psychology, but I'm bothered by those who find it frustrating because of the methodology, lack of answers etc. Lots of biology is good imo and I'm actually thinking of doing a neuroscience PhD and research in that field. The people who did research the degree properly before going, had read around the subject and thought they loved it but then came to find the subject frustrating and disillusioning are the ones whose position I can see myself in. (The posts in this thread show my concerns - http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...=725608&page=4) On the other hand, the lack of answers and debate also draw me towards the subject and towards research. I don't think I have any way of knowing until I actually start the degree what will happen.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Meliae)
    I completely agree and the bit in bold is the same decision I came to as well, having had these thoughts before even applying. I know at Oxford, it's supposed to be easy to switch between EP and PPP (psychology, philosophy and physiology - but only two) so if I end up not enjoying it, I intend to take up more philosophy or physiology modules. I'm considering going into research after, but if I want to switch fields, I'd probably go for law despite certain ethical reservations.

    As I said in the first post, there are a lot of reasons people give for regretting choosing psychology, but I'm bothered by those who find it frustrating because of the methodology, lack of answers etc. Lots of biology is good imo and I'm actually thinking of doing a neuroscience PhD and research in that field. The people who did research the degree properly before going, had read around the subject and thought they loved it but then came to find the subject frustrating and disillusioning are the ones whose position I can see myself in. (The posts in this thread show my concerns - http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show...=725608&page=4) On the other hand, the lack of answers and debate also draw me towards the subject and towards research. I don't think I have any way of knowing until I actually start the degree what will happen.
    This is a bit OT, but can you go on to study neuroscience at post-grad after a psych undergrad degree?

    I know some people don't like the fact that psychology doesn't have straightforward answers, but in my opinion that's why I'll enjoy it perhaps more than I would have done with a biology or chemistry degree.

    Plus a lot of people on that other thread seemed to be questioning what exactly they could do with a psych degree, and felt as if it didn't have much relevance in the real world- something I find rather ironic considering how a lot of other degrees, such as history or English, don't directly relate to a particular job whilse psychology can. Plus, psychology is the study of human behaviour (especially when considering the biological aspects). What else could be more relevant?
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by llacerta)
    This is a bit OT, but can you go on to study neuroscience at post-grad after a psych undergrad degree?
    Yep.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    From what I can gather from the A-level psych and psych at degree there's loads more science involved at degree isn't there?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by GodspeedGehenna)
    Yep.
    *sigh of relief* Good to know.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: June 1, 2012
Poll
A-level students - how do you feel about your results?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.