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    I've answered a lot of questions about UoB and Psychology...so thought it'd be a good idea to start a thread so that you can all see the answers to each others' questions!

    Primarily for 2013 UoB Psychology freshers, but of course others are welcome to ask questions about the uni/Psychology courses in general!

    Ask away!
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    Useful links:

    Birmingham freshers FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/642163945811279/
    Birmingham psychology FB groups: https://www.facebook.com/groups/153340078092806/ and https://www.facebook.com/groups/120430958056069/

    Psychology module outlines with recommended reading lists: http://cis67.bham.ac.uk:7782/webhand...ext=%20%20%%3E

    Guild of students: http://www.guildofstudents.com/
    Welcome week events: http://www.guildofstudents.com/welcome2013events
    More welcome week events (lots of non-drinking events for those asking about that) : http://www.guildofstudents.com/main-...come-week-2013

    Good site for on-campus casual work: https://www.worklink.bham.ac.uk/WorkLink/index.asp
    Good site for student jobs and careers advice: www.grb.uk.com/sbm/4136

    If you can think of anymore, you're welcome to add them or ask!
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    (Original post by AdoreMoi)
    whats it like?
    contact hours?
    Teachers?
    Work load?
    Does anyone have any course work question examples?
    whats the first year like for students without a science, maths and psychology background- does it create a good foundation?
    First year contact hours probably average about 8-10 hours a week: you have a lecture for each module (5) plus a stats class (1) every week, and then other stuff that changes every week, e.g. study skills lectures, research methods classes, small group tutorials, and workshops associated with 3 of the modules (cognitive, psychobiology and intro to learning)

    Tutors and lecturers in general are great. I really liked my second year tutor and my new final project tutor is amazing. In general lecturers are great, but most of them will never remember you because there's so many students in their lectures!

    If you're anything like me, you'll start to really value traits like 'responds to emails within a couple of days', 'is incredibly sarcastic to students who are prats', 'doesnt have a weird accent' (or 'has a brilliant accent'), and 'compares self to mountain goat'.

    The work load, to some extent, is what you make it. Lecturers will point out things to read each week, and it's up to you to make sure you do that.

    In first semester, coursework starts off pretty light. I think there are a couple of computer-skills tasks in the first few weeks, but the first written coursework isn't due until after halfway through the semester. You'll have an essay (probably psychobiology in first term), two research methods papers and 2 workshop/lab reports, and then a couple of multiple choice (MCQ) exams in December!

    Can't say from personal experience exactly - as I did biology, maths and psychology A-levels...but people who didn't don't seem to be at much of a disadvantage. I think I had moments where I was already familiar with concepts in stats and biology, that many people weren't - all it means is that you'll be learning it rather than revising it in first year. But don't worry about not having done something before, because lecturers DO explain things, and if you're still stuck they don't tend to mind if you ask again afterwards (as long as they can tell that you're making an effort to understand) or there'll be other students that you can ask.

    (Original post by AdoreMoi)
    Thank you for responding
    THE BOOK list is very long and costly, i checked out a couple of them on amazon and they were like 30 pounds each :O i CANT afford that tbh....I mean do you really need all of them ? are there any copies in the library?
    Whats a research method paper? I've heard people talk about it on a few occasions but never really understood, is it possible for you to send me an example?
    Hows the feedback like from your tutors? I mean to they advise you on how you can improve?
    When your set a piece of coursework how do you know what angle to take on it? are you given guidelines/ a mark scheme?
    It is easy to spend a lot on books - you can get most of them second hand though, either from amazon or from second- and third-years (you'll be swamped with emails and adverts and facebook posts advertising second hand books, especially in the first few weeks!) Definitely get the Cognitive Psychology book, and the Physiology of Behaviour - they're probably the ones that are most useful across several modules in year 1 and 2. There are several copies of everything in the library but most are short loan (i.e. you can only borrow until 11am the next day) and it can be hard to get hold of one in exam season!

    For research methods papers, you'll do a short experiment where you'll have to collect data and look for 'real' research on the topic. The report is an introduction, summary of previous research, summary of your experiment's method, results, and discussion of what your findings were. I think the first one is only 800 words, so it's not too bad (at least not compared to the 4000 word one I have this year!)

    Examples of marking sheets are given for most assignments, so you can see which areas you'll be graded on, and a description of what you need to do to achieve an A grade for each part. Sometimes it's hard to know what 'angle' to take, you can ask the lecturer for more info sometimes, but sometimes there isn't a 'right' way to tell you, so you have to pick how you think best to do it.

    In my first year, feedback wasn't particularly brilliant, but I think they've introduced academic tutors to first years as well now - they mark essays from their tutor group and give you feedback as written comments (good points and weak points), a grade, and a discussion session either by yourself or with your tutor group (usually 6-7 students).

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    How easy is it to progress to a Msci course from BA psychology? For example Psychology and Psychological practice?
    What are you planing on doing after uni?
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    (Original post by AdoreMoi)
    How easy is it to progress to a Msci course from BA psychology? For example Psychology and Psychological practice?
    I believe that you'll be able to apply for this, or the psychological research MSci towards the end of second year. The number of places is pretty limited though, and I think there's an interview process as well as taking into account your grades from first and second year.


    (Original post by AdoreMoi)
    What are you planing on doing after uni?
    That's a scary question! Ideally I'm planning to go for a PhD (or MRes) but as yet have not laid down anything solid.
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    how do I get the reading list? I don't think i've been emailed one!
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    Did it help doing biology at A-level?
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    (Original post by mamesburgs)
    how do I get the reading list? I don't think i've been emailed one!
    Hi I'm not sure if/when you will be emailed a list, but assuming that you have your bham log in details, you can access the module outlines, which each have a section mentioning the booklist here: http://cis67.bham.ac.uk:7782/webhand...ext=%20%20%%3E

    Let me know whether you can access that yet

    For the Research Methods modules, I definitely recommend buying Elmes's Research Methods book and the Statistics without maths for psychology book - but the others aren't as useful
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    (Original post by Magdatrix >_<)
    Hi I'm not sure if/when you will be emailed a list, but assuming that you have your bham log in details, you can access the module outlines, which each have a section mentioning the booklist here: http://cis67.bham.ac.uk:7782/webhand...ext=%20%20%%3E

    Let me know whether you can access that yet

    For the Research Methods modules, I definitely recommend buying Elmes's Research Methods book and the Statistics without maths for psychology book - but the others aren't as useful

    thank you, thats very useful!
    did you buy every single book mentioned? or should I just get a few and judge which others I'll need when i'm on the course?
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    (Original post by LivLolly)
    Did it help doing biology at A-level?
    I think it helps in places, to the extent that sometimes you're just revising a concept rather than learning it from scratch.

    Tip for those who HAVE done Biology before: don't get too complacent in psychobiology - just because something's familiar, doesn't mean you fully understand it and can remember it! (I learnt this one the hard way!)

    Tip for those who HAVE NOT done Biology before: don't fret about it - things will be explained, and you can ask questions if you get stuck. It may mean a little more study from time to time, but don't think that you can't do psychobiology without having done Biology! (Partly because you CAN, and partly because continuously hearing people say this is annoying - same goes for statistics haha)

    I don't think that A-level Biology gives any advantage, really. Any increased psychobiology scores for those who have done Biology before are probably due to their interest in Biology as opposed to their previous study!

    What subjects did you do/did you take Biology?
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    (Original post by mamesburgs)
    thank you, thats very useful!
    did you buy every single book mentioned? or should I just get a few and judge which others I'll need when i'm on the course?
    I did buy A LOT off amazon before I moved to uni - perhaps not the best decision ever, because a plastic box of books is incredibly heavy to carry from the car and up sets of stairs to the flat!!

    Best advice is probably to look mainly at the ones for Semester 1 and buy the ones that you think will be most interesting if you want to do a bit of early-reading. Research Methods is very handy, as is Intro to Learning (coincidentally both of them are smaller and lighter!) but ones like Cognitive Psychology and Physiology of Behaviour and the Statistics book will come in useful across several modules.

    As for the semester 2 books, if you're going to order them, it might be easier to wait and then have them delivered to your uni residence once you're there...also you can buy books from students in year 2 and 3 - I'm sure you'll all get a tonne of annoying FB/email adverts from us lot selling stuff at the start of term!
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    (Original post by Magdatrix >_<)
    I think it helps in places, to the extent that sometimes you're just revising a concept rather than learning it from scratch.

    Tip for those who HAVE done Biology before: don't get too complacent in psychobiology - just because something's familiar, doesn't mean you fully understand it and can remember it! (I learnt this one the hard way!)

    Tip for those who HAVE NOT done Biology before: don't fret about it - things will be explained, and you can ask questions if you get stuck. It may mean a little more study from time to time, but don't think that you can't do psychobiology without having done Biology! (Partly because you CAN, and partly because continuously hearing people say this is annoying - same goes for statistics haha)

    I don't think that A-level Biology gives any advantage, really. Any increased psychobiology scores for those who have done Biology before are probably due to their interest in Biology as opposed to their previous study!

    What subjects did you do/did you take Biology?
    I did AQA biology, so i did Genetics and DNA technology, ecology, Synaptic transfer and lots of other topics
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    (Original post by LivLolly)
    I did AQA biology, so i did Genetics and DNA technology, ecology, Synaptic transfer and lots of other topics
    I did AQA Biology too

    Stuff about synapses, neurons/nervous system will be most useful.. also diffusion and osmosis, links between genes and behaviour etc, and some stuff about muscles and negative feedback in year 2.
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    (Original post by Magdatrix >_<)
    I did buy A LOT off amazon before I moved to uni - perhaps not the best decision ever, because a plastic box of books is incredibly heavy to carry from the car and up sets of stairs to the flat!!

    Best advice is probably to look mainly at the ones for Semester 1 and buy the ones that you think will be most interesting if you want to do a bit of early-reading. Research Methods is very handy, as is Intro to Learning (coincidentally both of them are smaller and lighter!) but ones like Cognitive Psychology and Physiology of Behaviour and the Statistics book will come in useful across several modules.

    As for the semester 2 books, if you're going to order them, it might be easier to wait and then have them delivered to your uni residence once you're there...also you can buy books from students in year 2 and 3 - I'm sure you'll all get a tonne of annoying FB/email adverts from us lot selling stuff at the start of term!

    I didn't even think of the heavy lifting! haha, yeah that seems like a good idea, there aren't that many for semester one either so It probably won't cost me as much, thanks again!
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    (Original post by mamesburgs)
    I didn't even think of the heavy lifting! haha, yeah that seems like a good idea, there aren't that many for semester one either so It probably won't cost me as much, thanks again!
    No problem

    To be honest, I didn't think of the heavy lifting either...until I was attempting to run from the car park with my stuff on move-in day...and it started to rain!! :P
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    In your opinion, how hard/easy is it to get a 1st?
    Do grades from the first year count towards the whole degree at the end of the 3 year course? If yes, what part of your whole degree is based on your performance during the first year?
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    (Original post by OliOliOliOli)
    In your opinion, how hard/easy is it to get a 1st?
    Do grades from the first year count towards the whole degree at the end of the 3 year course? If yes, what part of your whole degree is based on your performance during the first year?
    First year marks don't count towards your final classification, but you do have to pass (40%) at least, and it's best to still work hard as you'll gain more knowledge, and because later module-choice allocations are given according to the rank that they give you based on first year grades.

    Second year marks count 25% and third year counts for 75% of the final classification.

    I think how hard/easy it is to get a first is very subjective - depends where your strengths are and which topics you find most interesting. For me, especially in second year, my summer exam marks were mostly lower than my grades for essays/reports/december exams, but my overall average managed to stay in the range where I wanted it! :P I think that if you give everything your best shot, you get rewarded with generally good marks...and pay attention to what each assessment requires and how the different modules work

    p.s. I really like your avatar!
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    (Original post by Magdatrix >_<)
    First year marks don't count towards your final classification, but you do have to pass (40%) at least, and it's best to still work hard as you'll gain more knowledge, and because later module-choice allocations are given according to the rank that they give you based on first year grades.

    Second year marks count 25% and third year counts for 75% of the final classification.

    I think how hard/easy it is to get a first is very subjective - depends where your strengths are and which topics you find most interesting. For me, especially in second year, my summer exam marks were mostly lower than my grades for essays/reports/december exams, but my overall average managed to stay in the range where I wanted it! :P I think that if you give everything your best shot, you get rewarded with generally good marks...and pay attention to what each assessment requires and how the different modules work

    p.s. I really like your avatar!

    Thank you for your quick reply, that's very helpful!
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    Do you have any idea what books I should definitely buy for the first semester? Thinking of buying those first then maybe the rest from 2nd/3rd year students


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    (Original post by ceotel3)
    Do you have any idea what books I should definitely buy for the first semester? Thinking of buying those first then maybe the rest from 2nd/3rd year students


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    Sounds like a good plan, see my comments above about book-buying, also this link: http://cis67.bham.ac.uk:7782/webhand...ext=%20%20%%3E specifies books you will need for modules in each semester
 
 
 
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