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    I have been looking at the psychology course and i know you can do it either through the arts faculty or the science department.

    What is the difference between the modules/subjects taken?
    Is there any difference or do you just come out with either a Bsc or MA at the end of it but do the same content over the 4 years?
    If anyone knows then that would be great,

    Thank you!
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    I'm not totally sure, but I think the two psychology courses are exactly the same. The only difference is the modules you take along with psychology from different subject areas. If you do psych as an art, you can take English/History etc and if you do it as a science you can take Biology/Chemistry etc.
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    I spoke to a lecturer at an open day yesterday and he said that there is no difference, but it just depends which other options/modules you have chosen e.g Arts - History, Philosophy etc Science - biology/maths. Its the factulty you are entering, like arts, divinity, medicine, science - thats what you apply to and your course is within that. If that makes any sense, im pretty confused myself! Both courses are very science based - which scared me off a bit! He told me to forget all the humanistic stuff (my fave part :p:)
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    Thank you! I can see the light!

    Is the psychology course itself quite sciency then? I agree with you, the 'humanistic' side of it appeals much more to me as well.
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    I'm here studying Psychology alongside Linguistics and my degree subject, International Relations. Certain parts of the course are particularly scientific, especially cognitive psychology. We're currently studying developmental psychology (i.e. the development of thought from infancy into adulthood) which takes a rather more humanistic approach. However, the St Andrews department as a whole is known for being more scientific than others.

    The lab classes deal mainly with statistics, so a good working knowledge of maths is essential. Coming from a very scientific background (my last year at school was spent entirely in sciences, and I actually got accepted here for both IR and Physics), I've found the labs to be fairly easy-going in comparison to what I was doing last year. In fact, I'm enjoying the way that psychology caters to those of both artistic and scientific persuasion.

    I found it very difficult to choose which direction I was going to go in when it came to choosing my university course, and psychology gives me a good combination of arts and science.
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    I'm taking Modern History and IR as a joint honours next year, but I was told that I need to choose a third subject/module/somethingorother on top of those two... can I get a brief explanation on how that works, and if by choosing Psych, I'll be entrenched in labs? (I absolutely DESPISE labs, and am horrible with math, but am fascinated with the humanistic, somewhat abstract and theoretical aspect to psychology)
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    Right, to deal with this a step at a time...
    (Original post by birkstopher40)
    I was told that I need to choose a third subject/module/somethingorother on top of those two... can I get a brief explanation on how that works
    You'll have a brief meeting with your adviser of studies during pre-sessional week in order to make your module choices for first year. In my case, I told him I would be taking IR1005 in the first semester and IR1006 in the second, as IR is the subject for which I was accepted.

    Then I chose to take SA1001 and SA1002 (Social Anthropology), and LI1001 and LI1002 (Linguistics). For the adviser, it's just a matter of entering the module choices into the computer and checking the course catalogue to make sure there aren't any timetable clashes. He/she will also make sure you're taking the correct number of credits per semester (60) as some modules, like Philosophy, are only worth 10 credits.

    So, your adviser will enter you for your IR and Modern History modules, as you don't have a choice over these, then enter you for PS1001 and PS1002 for Psychology, if that's what you end up going for.

    Bear in mind here that you can change the module choices for your non-degree subjects at any time during the first two weeks of teaching in either semester. I stated above that I entered for SA1002, but after doing the first Anthropology module and 2 weeks of the second, I decided it was the worst subject I'd ever studied and that Psychology seemed far more interesting (I was right, by the way ).

    This was changed by meeting my adviser for about 5 minutes in his office. He even offered me a change of degree, if I'd been interested in something that incorporated Psychology. Of course, module prerequisites mean that missing the first semester of a course has repercussions for taking the subject to second year, but many departments will let you take that first semester module in your second year.

    Here's my example: next year I'm taking IR2003 (20 credits), PS2001 (30) and PS1001 (20) in the first semester. That's 70 credits. Then in the second semester I'll be taking IR2004 (20) and PS2002 (30). That's 50 credits, adding up to the requisite total of 120 credits for the year. Sure, I'll have a slightly heavier workload in the first semester by taking the first year and second year courses simultaneously, but that doesn't bother me. I'll only be taking two subjects in second year, rather than the usual three, but that just lets me narrow my focus on the subjects that interest me and drop Linguistics, which is a plus. Note that not all your modules need to be at 2000-level in second year - this allows for a lot of flexibility.

    Probably a longer answer than you were expecting, but I think it's good to have an overview of the way the credits system works so you know the breadth of options available to you from the outset.

    ...and if by choosing Psych, I'll be entrenched in labs? (I absolutely DESPISE labs...)
    I'm not quite sure what your experience is of labs. I have one lab per week from 4-6pm and it usually finishes early, so I would hardly say I'm entrenched. A lab is, for the most part, a statistics lecture. I quite enjoy labs, actually - the tutor is a funny bloke and for me, at least, the maths is simple. Which brings me onto the next point:

    I am horrible with math, but am fascinated with the humanistic, somewhat abstract and theoretical aspect to psychology
    "How many of you found Psychology to be completely different from what you expected?" - Paul Gardner

    This question was asked on Monday in a lecture. About a third of the class raised their hand. I, however, went into the course expecting a science, and that's exactly what Psychology is. If you're expecting another social science, forget it. The merit of the use of quantitative data is much disputed in IR, but it's the norm in Psychology. The old fashioned Psychology you're thinking of was very philosophical and inward-looking, and as a result there was very little evidence for the claims that were made. If your hypothesis was profound enough, people would take it as fact (of course, this is not to say that early Psychologists were not coming up with interesting or relevant ideas).

    Modern Psychology focuses instead upon externally measurable phenomena. Of course, the hypothesis behind any study is internally originated - that is, you might expect the data to show that the brain processes language in a certain way, based on your own experiences - but no piece of work is taken entirely seriously without hard evidence to back up one's claims. Scientific rigour and testing is of very high importance, and it is for this reason that statistical analysis is key.

    If you already have a good working knowledge of maths, you'll find it a breeze. For instance, we're currently looking at statistical regression, something I had to do for my Physics investigation over a year ago.

    If not, don't panic. Many of my lab classmates are pure arts students, so we tend to take things at a slower pace than I personally would prefer. If you need help then you can easily have a one-to-one chat with your lab demonstrator at the end of a lab, but if you really cannot handle numbers at all then perhaps you should steer clear. The important thing is that you distinguish this from the maths you might have done at school - view this as a tool to learn more about the things you're interested in, as a means to an end - rather than just a pointless, torturous mess of numbers, and you'll soon find the motivation to stick at it.

    All in all, Psychology is a fantastic subject but it's probably not what you're expecting. There is a subtle difference between non-experimental Psychology and the Philosophy of the Mind - I recommend you also check out some of the courses on offer in the Philosophy department. To add one last thing, you will be expected to produce proper scientific reports for labs, maybe a couple of times per semester.

    Holy moley, that was a beast of a post. I hoped it helped a few of you if you were confused about module choices/changing subjects/psychology/philosophy!
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    ...Right! And the decision I made by less than halfway through that post was that I'm NOT taking Psych next year
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    I'm taking Modern history and IR too . My third module is probably going to be English. I didn't want to take any math or science, and I've heard that alot of the beginners languages at St. Andrews are really hard. (I did think about psychology, though, but it just looks a little too intense).
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    It's really not any more intense that IR is (and IR is not intense by any stretch of the imagination, at least not in first year). I gave it a try, as an extra module to replace the god-awfullness of anthropology, and now I'm considering making it at least a part of my degree.
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    I'm doing pretty badly in AP Biology right now though- I'd like to stay as far away from science as possible next year... So IR wasn't that bad? Was it interesting? I've never taken an IR class before (though I have taken global economics) so I really hope I like it. Is it challenging or really easy?
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    Is it possible to take medieval history if I'm taking Modern History-IR in a joint honours?
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    yes...as long as they are not offered at the same time (I don't think they are)
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    (Original post by birkstopher40)
    Is it possible to take medieval history if I'm taking Modern History-IR in a joint honours?
    You can't take Mediaeval History if you are reading IR as there's a timetable conflict.

    Go to timetable semester 1:
    http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/publicat...07/index.shtml

    PDF doc:
    http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/publicat...-07%20sem1.pdf
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    I wonder what I'll take then... I've narrowed it down to either English, Philosophy or Management, but have yet to check if any of those options conflict with IR/ModHist.

    Thanks for the timetable tips, mate.
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    (Original post by birkstopher40)


    I wonder what I'll take then... I've narrowed it down to either English, Philosophy or Management, but have yet to check if any of those options conflict with IR/ModHist.

    Thanks for the timetable tips, mate.
    Economics?
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    Though economics would be a very useful thing to learn, I'm terrible with maths.
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    (Original post by birkstopher40)
    Though economics would be a very useful thing to learn, I'm terrible with maths.
    I don't believe economics is a terribly maths-extensive course. I highly doubt calculus will be involved, just simply linear equations, simultaneous equations...etc

    Anyone here who is currently at St. Andrews and has taken/ is taking economics?
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    On the open day they said it depends on the modules that you take in Economics, although I might be mistaken in that. The ones that do involve maths do require some understanding of maths, but i'm not sure what level of calculus if any that it involves.
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    I haven't studied it myself, but I know that the modules you choose in 3rd and 4th year determine whether you get a BSc or an MA. Everyone still does the same modules in 1st and 2nd year though I think.
 
 
 
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