I am really torn about which University to Firm and Insure for Psychology out of Bangor and Uclan. So I thought to help me to decide I would ask some current Psychology students at these universities what their experiences have been like so far to help me make up my mind. Your help would be graetly appreciated.
What topics have or are you studying? they list them on the universities website but I would like to know what types of topics you cover e.g Attachment, Eating Disorders, Depression, Memory e.t.c
How are you finding the course?
What is interesting and what is not?
How much Statistics and research method topics do you have to do in a week?
What is the workload like? Thanks
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- Thread Starter
- 16-03-2011 20:17
- 17-03-2011 02:26
Hey i'm in my first year of Psychology at UCLan at the moment so i'll answer as much as I can
The topics are really varied in what is covered.
There's a social and developmental module which looks at things like group behaviour, agression, psychological development through the lifespan, theories of development etc.
Psychological Enquiry, which covers the skills you need as a psychologist (stats/report writing/methods)
Psychobiology and Cognition, which is the sciency bit covering the brain (functions and structure of) so memory is included in this one and other things like vision, emotion, mental processes etc.
Theres also a topics in psych module which looks at the different branches of psychology (health/technology etc) and a practice module which is the skills building one (IT/report writing)
I personally like the course and find it interesting, although motivation is a big thing as you're left more on your own to do things as theres more lectures than classroom sessions.
Personal choice as to what you find interesting cause I prefer the health and child stuff, whereas others don't like this as much. The biology stuff is interesting, but can be quite dry (specially for me, cause I switch off when it gets too complex)
Unlike most uni's, you don't have stats every week and you have 6 SPSS sessions a year which is split into 5 learning sessions looking at the different tests and how you do them and one test at the end of the year. However you do have quite a few lectures on this, but some are interactive and there's a stats surgery every week if you don't understand something or want to ask some questions. Research methods are split up into the lectures too.
The workload isn't too bad but there is a lot of reading. If you leave essays last minute you find you have about 2/3 to do, but there's 6 lab reports a year (my last was 3k words) and you get a week to do them...theres a few essays (can't remember exactly how many, but about 3/4), 4 assessments in the practice module (but these are easy really) and 3 group presentations as well as whatever your module has)
4 exams at the end of the year too.
Anything else you want to ask me, feel free to PM me
Hope this helps!
- 24-03-2011 23:34
Aha Vicky we always seem to work in a team in answering these psychology questions :P As Vicky has answered about first year well I'll answer from a second year perspective (: The only thing I'd add is if you're interested in the child area uclan have a brilliant child observation lab that you use in your first year as one of your last labs
In second year we get a bit more choice. We have to take social, developmental, cognitive, physiological psychology and methods then we get an elective which can be anything (if you're on the Bsc (hons) Psychology route, but if you're on a named route such as forensic/applied/health, then you do an introduction to that topic as your elective)
Social is built on a lot of things from first year such as prosocial behaviour, schemas, social inference, aggression, attitude change and behaviour,
leadership. It's assessed as 2 exam essays, one multiple choice and a lab
Developmental is theories of attachment, temperament, language, cognitive, vision and motor. I personally found this topic really interesting, especially the lab. It's assessed by 3 exam essays and a lab.
Methods were based around workshops where you were practically taught how to use the statistics program SPSS which you then use in your labs. There are also methods lectures which to be honest are dry but the workshops are much more useful for your understanding. The people who take them are often post grad students at uclan so they know what it's like to be in your position. Also they hand out these brilliant flow charts on how to do all the statistical tests which you'll need for your labs, seriously helps soooo much. For something which could be a complicated subject they make it as easy as possible. It's assessed by one coursework then a practical exam using SPSS on the computers to conduct tests but you can take in your books/notes so you don't have to memorize how to do tests.
Social/developmental/methods were semester 1 modules (so before christmas) and cognitive, physiological psychology and the elective are semester 2 modules.
Cognitive is things like decision making, visual word recognition, psycholinguists, mental imagery, attention and skills. Assessed by 2 exam essay questions, 1 multiple choice then a lab.
Physiological psychology I actually find really interesting. First year I didn't like it but this year it just seemed to click and I find the subjects more interesting. This year we've done about sleep, hunger, eating disorders, depression, schizophrenia and the split brain. It's assessed by a lab and 3 exam essay questions.
I can't comment about all the electives but generally they're assessed by a coursework and an exam (either 3 essay exams, or 2 and a multiple choice).
Lectures in second year are two hours long and you normally have one per a week per a module. So in semester 1 there were 3 modules and 6 hours of lectures, which does not sound a lot but there are other things to be doing such as your lab. They key difference in second year is that you conduct your own labs which you get to choose from a choice of about 8 per module. You then have a month to design and conduct your lab in a small group then write it up individually, you are guided by your lab tutor for this but it does really help doing topics which you actually pick to improve your lab writing skills.
Uclan constantly change their assessment methods and structure of the course as the lecturers teach their specialist areas and as a response to feedback form students, so don't take anything here as definite but it is a good guide. For instance I heard they're trying to move away from exams in semester 1 and move more to coursework in 3rd year but don't know if this will actually happen. As it's BPS accredited there will be some biology, cognition, social and developmental modules that you have to take though.
In terms of psychology as you can see I really like the course and couldn't recommend uclan more. But obviously everyone is different, have you visited both universities? What are the students to staff ratios? If you do a lot of practicals is there enough equipment for all of the students? Have you looked at the societies they offer or facilities apart from course related things?
If you have any questions feel free to message me, sorry for the essay of a reply I just wanted to be indepth!
EDIT: Just thought uclan has a 24 hour library which is seriously invaluable when you just need to pop to print/scan/research/do an essay you've left to last minute. I can't believe some unis don't have this as it's a life saver to loads of studentsLast edited by Boo_x; 24-03-2011 at 23:37.
(Original post by Boo_x)
- 25-03-2011 23:53
[Social is built on a lot of things from first year such as prosocial behaviour, schemas, social inference, aggression, attitude change and behaviour, leadership. It's assessed as 2 exam essays, one multiple choice and a lab
- 26-03-2011 00:35
In second year you pick a topic within the module to design your own lab in a small group (4-6 people).
For example for the cognitive lab I've just designed and ran an experiment based on facial recognition and facial composite programs. I picked this lab out of about 8 from a variety of areas of cognitive psychology then got together in a group with people who also picked this lab. We had to go away and read around the area then went to our lab tutor with a proposed design (which factors to manipulate, the actual method, ethics of this method etc). The lab tutor helped us make slight changes of things we hadn't considered then we conducted the lab, came back to our tutor with the results and he helped us input and interpret them statistically.
The basic design of my lab was different facial composites of celebrities were given to people in the library and they had to name them from a list we gave them. It didn't take long and was fairly simple but it builds the skills you need to be able to do your dissertation in third year which is basically a massive lab deigned and run on your own with the guidance of a tutor.
We all had to write up our lab separately, but don't worry you get loads of practice with this in first year as you get given set labs (that may seem boring but the important thing is skill development) and lectures about how to write a good lab report. Hope that answers your questionLast edited by Boo_x; 26-03-2011 at 00:40.
- 27-03-2011 13:47
Thanks for the reply.