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Help me to choose a place to study for a Psychology degree in London watch

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    Hi, I'm hoping to start a psychology degree in Sept 2007. I think that I have a good chance of getting in through clearing as I hold high grade A levels (English Lit A, History A, Economics C all taken in 2002, and this summer I sat for A level Human bio and AS Chem)

    I am thinking of either applying to Goldsmiths' College London, or Westminster University - but I'm not sure whether to take a course in straight psychology or in psychology with neuroscience.

    Goldsmiths' College only offer straight psychology (i.e. without neuroscience), but Westminster offer psychology with neuroscience.

    I believe that with a science component to the course, I'll have greater scope to choose what area of psychology I'd like to study further or find a job in, but to be quite honest I feel that Goldsmiths' College may be a better university than the University of Westminster.

    Can someone offer me some advice? I'd be extremely grateful.
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    if you care about location Goldsmiths isn't located in a really nice area whereas Westminister is. However, Goldsmiths' atmosphere is liked by many and the education there is quite good and since it's University of London it has a good reputation and you can use all other University of London libraries.

    Good luck.
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    Personally I would choose Goldsmiths. As NnN says, the resources you will have will be a lot better. Remember as well, that in your first year, some of your credit will come from studying a subject that isn't your degree (I haven't had to do this, but I know people that do, and I'm surprised that they don't stress this more in the prospectus), so you could look into taking a neuroscience/biology option - send them an email to ask if it's possible.
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    Thanks for your replies-

    How difficult is it to switch from a BSc Psych to an MSc in a neuroscience related field?
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    Well you wouldn't switch, as a Masters course is generally one year full-time or two years part-time, which you complete after your undergrad degree (there are exceptions to this, such as all Edinburgh degrees are Masters, etc).

    It is important to realise that having an MSc in neuroscience will not allow you to be a 'Neuroscientist.' You might know this already, but just checking! Doing a Masters is expensive, and although people do do them solely because they're interested in it (obviously), I personally couldn't afford to do one just because I wanted to.

    There are lots of masters' courses in the UK, I googled it:
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en...oscience&meta=

    I'm not sure if the fact that you don't have any Science A-Levels may be hinder your application, but I couldn't tell you for sure.

    Also, does your undergrad degree have a bit of neuroscience in it anyway? In my first year I had to pass 3 modules, one of which was "Neurophysiology," and a lot of modules I'm doing now are very physiologically based (e.g. lots of the studies we look at are MRI/EEGs etc). I had a peek at the Goldsmiths course structure, and it's rather different to mine, but in the first year you do:

    PS51006A Biological and Comparative
    Approaches to Psychology
    Theoretical, ethological and comparative
    perspectives; basic neuroanatomy and
    neurophysiology; relationships between brain
    and behaviour and modes of investigating
    them; chemical communication in the brain
    and in the body; genes, chromosomes and
    the inheritance of behaviour; the nature
    of evolutionary influences on behaviour.
    ANd in 3rd year when you get to pick your options there appear to be two or three topics that are neuroscience related (one is called Neuropsychology). With the nature of psychology these days, you'll be doing some neuroscience whatever course you choose!
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    Thanks for your reply. I'm curious as to what you think of the Psychology with Neuroscience degree at Westminster. It's a degree that allows for BPS registration but with additional biochem lab skills on the neuroscience side of things. Do you think this confers any value over the Goldsmiths' degree? Would the lab skills taught at Westminster mean that if I had a hard time getting onto the psychology career ladder, that I could pursue the pharmacology side of neuroscience? Does it open up extra options career-wise? I'm worried by the fact that psych is so competitive!

    Just on a side-note, I did take A' Levels this year in Human biology and AS Chemistry... (but I'm sure I'm not going to get As!)
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    Oooh sorry, I missed that bit in your original post, now I see it! This will help.

    I don't know much about the department or the course at Westminster, so I will refrain from comment. Although the advantage is, with your A Levels, you'll probably be near top or top of the year, and more likely to do well in the exams (especially as universities are lowering their offers as a result of the drop-off in applications the year top-up fees came in). As long as you get lots of work experience (volunteering in prisons/schools/hospitals/research departments are all good, some may even be paid if you're lucky!) plus a good finals result, your CV will look spiffy and you should have just as good a chance. If you wanted to work in the public sector (i.e. NHS etc) where you got your degree wouldn't matter, but I get the impression it matters more in academia.

    I don't know about the advantage of the neuroscience. Your best bet would be to do some research on what it takes to get into neuropharmacology - unfortunately I get the feeling they'll probably require Bio/Chem/Pharmacology undergrad degrees and/or postgraduate degrees, but have a look anyway. If you think you're going to have the money to pursue this route, go for it. Maybe email the Westminster department and ask them if the neuroscience option can lead to anything else?
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    just to add an extra dimension to all of this:

    what is it you want to do with your psychology degree? to be a neuropsychologist you will need, in addition to 3-4 years undergrad study, an additional couple of years (ish) of work experience, then a further 3 years for the doctorate in clinical psychology (or 3 years focused ed.psych according to bps). once you have your doctorate, you will have to work as a clinical/ed psych for several years before you can apply to the do neuropsych masters needed to be a neuropsychologist. at the moment, these masters are professional masters and will take 2-3 years part-time (i don't know if you can do them full time but check out nottingham for clarification). So, all in all, you are looking at a 10 year journey to be a neuropsychologist.

    personally, i would choose goldsmiths because max velmans resides there (he's world class in his field and a key player in consciousness studies) BUT i've never been to either university and location is important to me.
 
 
 
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