Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Psychology at university – what’s it all about? Ask the experts here Watch

    • Official TSR Representative
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    12
    ReputationRep:
    Ever wondered what makes people tick? Or why we react in certain ways to certain situations? Or even what it means to be alive?

    Psychology is about understanding behaviour, in all its forms. It’s a broad subject and psychology courses can vary from uni to uni. It’s understandable that you may have some questions about what a psychology course will involve. So we thought it would be handy if started a thread with a few of our academics from the BSc (Hons) Psychology course team at Nottingham Trent University. They can all help you with choosing the right psychology course; tell you what they enjoy most about teaching the subject and why they are passionate about psychology.

    Curious about studying psychology but not sure what your options are or where it could take you career-wise? Post your question below.

    Answering your questions will be:

    Dr Sally Andrews - BSc (Hons) Psychology course leader originally wanted to be a clinical psychologist. At university, she studied Psychology, and got involved in psychological research alongside her studies in a number of different areas. Sally’s background is in how we identify and learn faces, however she loves Psychology because of its breadth, and is interested in sports psychology, cyberpsychology, and almost any other branch of psychology that people talk about!
    In addition to her role as course leader, Sally also teaches on a number of modules on the undergraduate course, including Statistics, Professional Practice in Psychology, Person Perception, and has previously taught and lead on Research Methods and Cognitive Psychology modules.

    Rebecca Stack - BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology and BSc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology Course Leader. Rebecca originally decided to do a psychology undergraduate degree because she enjoyed studying psychology at A-level and wanted to learn more about mental health. During her degree, Rebecca developed an interest in how psychology could be used to encourage people to take up healthy behaviours (e.g. exercise), stop unhealthy behaviours (e.g. smoking) and deal with the stress of long term illnesses (e.g. adjusting to a diagnosis of cancer). She then spend time working in the NHS, completed a masters health psychology and a PhD to understand patients attitudes towards taking medicines. As well as being a course leader at NTU, Rebecca also teaches health psychology, research methods and psychological wellbeing. She also enjoys teaching tutorials and supervising student’s projects.

    Loren Abell - BSc (Hons) Psychology Associate Course Leader. She considered becoming a midwife before taking Psychology at A-level. Loren decided that Psychology was something she wanted to pursue with the aim of becoming a counsellor. Loren then completed a degree in Counselling and Psychology. Whilst doing this degree Loren undertook a research internship and decided, she wanted to pursue a career in research. Loren then completed a PhD looking at how personality influences our behaviour in friendships. Loren now looks at how our childhood shapes our personality, and how this then influences our social relationships, both in childhood and in adulthood.

    Angela Young - BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology and BSc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology Associate Course Leader. Angie considered a career in Geography and Ecology, before developing a
    passion for the investigation of human behaviour. When she was completing an undergraduate degree in Psychology, she developed an interest in the Psychology of everyday behaviour and how we carry out simple tasks that we often don’t even think about. How do we find our car keys in a messy room? What grabs our attention when we move around in the world and why? To what extent are we really processing all the information around us? Angie’s applied research is in driving Psychology; finding out where we look when we drive and using this to figure out how attention is affected by additional tasks, like talking to a passenger or on the phone, and what makes us more or less likely to be involved in a collision. Angie teaches on a number of modules on the BSc Psychology degrees, including Research Methods, Statistics and Tutorials and really enjoys helping students develop their research ideas so that they can find out new things about human thought and behaviour.

    Post your question and the academics will be online this week to help you
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    Where can a degree in psychology take you? What are the career options available?
    Thank you in advance
    Offline

    8
    ReputationRep:
    Generally, how much of a Psychology degree is science-based?
    Also, how are students assessed (coursework, exams, etc.)?
    Online

    16
    ReputationRep:
    Are there really too many Psychology graduates?

    (it sounds facetious but I'm being genuine, I keep hearing that for Psych and Law all the time)
    Online

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Is psychology undergraduate really completely different to psychology a level?
    • Official TSR Representative
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Lilsthebest)
    Where can a degree in psychology take you? What are the career options available?
    Thank you in advance
    Psychology is a great combination of understanding human behavior, critical evaluation skills, and ability to analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data.

    As such, it's not so much what *can* you do with a psychology degree, than what do you *want* to do with a psychology degree. From clinical psychology and forensic psychology, to data analyst, to user experience analyst, human resources, and really any other job that involves people! Oh, and of course psychological research / lecturing!

    -Sally
    • Official TSR Representative
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by LightTheWorld)
    Generally, how much of a Psychology degree is science-based?
    Also, how are students assessed (coursework, exams, etc.)?
    Both of those things depend very much on the course you choose (so make sure you check those things out!) a BSc (bachelor of science) degree should be predominantly science based; that is, you should be taught psychological research methods, how to analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data, and how to critically evaluate others' scientific research. At NTU we have specialists in both quantitative and qualitative research, and all students have opportunities to develop these skills. In addition, we ensure that our modules are research driven, and updated to include contemporary psychology.

    Assessments will also vary based on the course you do. Most will have a combination of exams, essays, lab reports, and a final year research project. At NTU we provide more opportunities to develop students' skills further; we ask students to submit podcasts (presenting an argument to a lay audience), technical reports (presenting an argument to specialists), and even creating recommendations to address a particular issue that an organisation has had (which students then discuss with the organisation!), based on the psychological literature.

    -Sally
    • Official TSR Representative
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by CastCuraga)
    Are there really too many Psychology graduates?

    (it sounds facetious but I'm being genuine, I keep hearing that for Psych and Law all the time)
    Honestly, I don't think so! Remember that you get out of your degree what you put in. If you put in a lot, you will get a lot out!

    If you know what you want to do after your degree (and that thing needs a Psychology degree), then it's obviously a good choice!

    Psychology is popular for good reason. If you don't yet know what you want to do, a psychology degree is a great choice because of the range of 'soft' and 'hard' skills that you develop (see our previous answer) and while there may be many psychology graduates, there are also loads of jobs that you can do with a psychology degree.

    -Sally
    • Official TSR Representative
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Ginger_)
    Is psychology undergraduate really completely different to psychology a level?
    In my experience, yes! In both content and context.

    With regards to context, A level psychology studies a lot of classical psychology - Freud, Milgram, Zimbardo, etc. While this was important research, the field of psychology has advanced hugely since these guys. At first and second year we cover cognitive, biological, social, and developmental psychology. In third year you get the option of doing specialist modules (we have about 20 to choose from!), including (but not exclusive to) forensic psychology, psychology of trauma, health psychology, occupational psychology, educational psychology, psychology of sex, psychopathology, advanced statistics, person perception, and gender, identity, and body image. Let me know if you want more detail about these.

    With regards to context, we don't just assess you by exams. With a degree we want you to show you understand concepts, and because psychology doesn't have "right answers", we want you to develop your ability to evaluate the research for yourself (which has obvious benefits in terms of not getting caught by fake news!), figure out what the evidence tells us, what it doesn't tell us, and what we still need to figure out.

    We also want you to find your own research, and tell us things that we've not already told you. Find the thing that fascinates you, and tell us what you think it means.

    -Sally
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Nottingham Trent University)
    Ever wondered what makes people tick? Or why we react in certain ways to certain situations? Or even what it means to be alive?

    Psychology is about understanding behaviour, in all its forms. It’s a broad subject and psychology courses can vary from uni to uni. It’s understandable that you may have some questions about what a psychology course will involve. So we thought it would be handy if started a thread with a few of our academics from the BSc (Hons) Psychology course team at Nottingham Trent University. They can all help you with choosing the right psychology course; tell you what they enjoy most about teaching the subject and why they are passionate about psychology.

    Curious about studying psychology but not sure what your options are or where it could take you career-wise? Post your question below.

    Answering your questions will be:

    Dr Sally Andrews - BSc (Hons) Psychology course leader originally wanted to be a clinical psychologist. At university, she studied Psychology, and got involved in psychological research alongside her studies in a number of different areas. Sally’s background is in how we identify and learn faces, however she loves Psychology because of its breadth, and is interested in sports psychology, cyberpsychology, and almost any other branch of psychology that people talk about!
    In addition to her role as course leader, Sally also teaches on a number of modules on the undergraduate course, including Statistics, Professional Practice in Psychology, Person Perception, and has previously taught and lead on Research Methods and Cognitive Psychology modules.

    Rebecca Stack - BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology and BSc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology Course Leader. Rebecca originally decided to do a psychology undergraduate degree because she enjoyed studying psychology at A-level and wanted to learn more about mental health. During her degree, Rebecca developed an interest in how psychology could be used to encourage people to take up healthy behaviours (e.g. exercise), stop unhealthy behaviours (e.g. smoking) and deal with the stress of long term illnesses (e.g. adjusting to a diagnosis of cancer). She then spend time working in the NHS, completed a masters health psychology and a PhD to understand patients attitudes towards taking medicines. As well as being a course leader at NTU, Rebecca also teaches health psychology, research methods and psychological wellbeing. She also enjoys teaching tutorials and supervising student’s projects.

    Loren Abell - BSc (Hons) Psychology Associate Course Leader. She considered becoming a midwife before taking Psychology at A-level. Loren decided that Psychology was something she wanted to pursue with the aim of becoming a counsellor. Loren then completed a degree in Counselling and Psychology. Whilst doing this degree Loren undertook a research internship and decided, she wanted to pursue a career in research. Loren then completed a PhD looking at how personality influences our behaviour in friendships. Loren now looks at how our childhood shapes our personality, and how this then influences our social relationships, both in childhood and in adulthood.

    Angela Young - BSc (Hons) Psychology with Sociology and BSc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology Associate Course Leader. Angie considered a career in Geography and Ecology, before developing a
    passion for the investigation of human behaviour. When she was completing an undergraduate degree in Psychology, she developed an interest in the Psychology of everyday behaviour and how we carry out simple tasks that we often don’t even think about. How do we find our car keys in a messy room? What grabs our attention when we move around in the world and why? To what extent are we really processing all the information around us? Angie’s applied research is in driving Psychology; finding out where we look when we drive and using this to figure out how attention is affected by additional tasks, like talking to a passenger or on the phone, and what makes us more or less likely to be involved in a collision. Angie teaches on a number of modules on the BSc Psychology degrees, including Research Methods, Statistics and Tutorials and really enjoys helping students develop their research ideas so that they can find out new things about human thought and behaviour.

    Post your question and the academics will be online this week to help you

    hi there im actually applying to NTU to study psychology!!


    I was just wondering if there's an opportunity for me to specialise in animal psychology because that particularly interests me

    also, during the degree, will i be conducting lots of experiments?? Like, a fair few, the occasional one or LOTS?

    thank you!
    • Official TSR Representative
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ZiggyStardust_)
    hi there im actually applying to NTU to study psychology!!


    I was just wondering if there's an opportunity for me to specialise in animal psychology because that particularly interests me

    also, during the degree, will i be conducting lots of experiments?? Like, a fair few, the occasional one or LOTS?

    thank you!


    In your 3 year you'll get the opportunity to select from a range of modules, some of our modules present critical comparisons between human psychology and animal psychology. I think the 3rd year module which may interest you the most is ‘Evolutionary Psychology’.



    There are also a range of postgraduate opportunities which will allow you to specialise in animal psychology.



    In terms of experiments, the study of psychology uses a range of experimental and non-experimental methods and you will have the opportunity to get hands on experience of a range of research methods - including experiments. I don't know if I'd say "LOTS", but you will get quite a few opportunities to design and run experiments during your course.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Rebecca
    Offline

    9
    ReputationRep:
    What are the job prospects like for Psychology graduates, particularly for Clinical Psychologist careers or for Psychology teachers? Thanks xx
    Online

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AnnaBanana2000)
    What are the job prospects like for Psychology graduates, particularly for Clinical Psychologist careers or for Psychology teachers? Thanks xx
    Sorry, I'm not with them, but about Psychology my A Level teachers were always saying there aren't enough of them so that's a pretty in-demand path
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    I have a degree in Psychology and now I’m an English teacher. The world is your oyster!
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Nottingham Trent University)
    In your 3 year you'll get the opportunity to select from a range of modules, some of our modules present critical comparisons between human psychology and animal psychology. I think the 3rd year module which may interest you the most is ‘Evolutionary Psychology’.



    There are also a range of postgraduate opportunities which will allow you to specialise in animal psychology.



    In terms of experiments, the study of psychology uses a range of experimental and non-experimental methods and you will have the opportunity to get hands on experience of a range of research methods - including experiments. I don't know if I'd say "LOTS", but you will get quite a few opportunities to design and run experiments during your course.

    I hope this answers your question.

    Rebecca
    Hello!

    I have a few questions regarding lab practicals as well: will they roughly be weekly during the degree or more/less often? And during Year 1 in particular, will practicals be general biological lab techniques or will they be specific to psychology?
    Also is it possible please for you tell me roughly how much maths and/or chemistry is involved in a BSc psychology degree?

    Thank you very much!
    Megan
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Hello Can anyone tell me which of these 2 universities has a stronger reputation in the Department of Psychology? Essex or Goldsmiths?

    Thank you
    • Official TSR Representative
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AnnaBanana2000)
    What are the job prospects like for Psychology graduates, particularly for Clinical Psychologist careers or for Psychology teachers? Thanks xx
    Hi AnnaBanana2000, thanks for your question.

    The career prospects for a Clinical Psychologist are really good. It's a very competitive career to get in to, so you would need to do well in your degree, have some volunteering/work experience in the mental health field and probably do some postgraduate study before you would be able to get onto a Clinical Doctorate. You can find out more information about being a Clinical Psychologist on the Prospects.ac.uk website. https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-prof...l-psychologist

    The outlook for Psychology teaching is a bit different depending on whether you would want to teach at sixth form/college level or at undergraduate level. What kind of Psychology teaching were you thinking of?

    - Angie
    • Official TSR Representative
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gwenog_quidditch)
    Hello!

    I have a few questions regarding lab practicals as well: will they roughly be weekly during the degree or more/less often? And during Year 1 in particular, will practicals be general biological lab techniques or will they be specific to psychology?
    Also is it possible please for you tell me roughly how much maths and/or chemistry is involved in a BSc psychology degree?

    Thank you very much!
    Megan
    Hi Megan,

    Those are some really good questions! Labs are a central part of a Psychology BSc, so it's great to be thinking about what they might be like.

    Here at NTU we have Psychology lab classes every week of term in years 1 and 2. The term 'labs' is probably a bit misleading though, no one wears a lab coat or does anything with bunsen burners or beakers Our Psychology lab rooms have tables for 6 people, with a 'fold-out' computer at each person's station and a projector screen at the front of the room. Each class tends to have a bit of front-led material, where a lecturer explains the task, then the students break off into group work, where they find relevant literature, design & conduct research and then analyse and write up their findings.

    In the first year you'll work in groups of 5 or 6, so that you can help each other get used to Psychology research. Research methods on the single honours and combined honours degrees are slightly different, but at the moment our first years on the single honours degree do 4 'mini-projects' across the year. The first is a partial report, to get used to thinking about research. The others are currently based around attractiveness research, sleep research and memory research and students get to plan, conduct and write-up their own studies, with lots of support on-hand from staff

    In the second year you'll work in groups of 2-3, as you get a bit more independent. Our second years are currently doing research on a range of different topics, but will broadly do an experiment, a questionnaire and some qualitative research this year.

    We never ask you to do statistics that we haven't covered in stats class and there are always staff members to help you develop your ideas. This all leads up to your final project in year 3, which you do on your own, but with one-to-one supervision from a staff member.

    Are labs something that you are looking forward to? We tend to hear that students really enjoy labs, because it's active, they have control over what study they do and get to work together in groups and share ideas.

    Happy to answer more questions on labs/research!

    -Angie
    • Official TSR Representative
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Gwenog_quidditch)
    Hello!

    I have a few questions regarding lab practicals as well: will they roughly be weekly during the degree or more/less often? And during Year 1 in particular, will practicals be general biological lab techniques or will they be specific to psychology?
    Also is it possible please for you tell me roughly how much maths and/or chemistry is involved in a BSc psychology degree?

    Thank you very much!
    Megan
    Whoops! Missed the second part of your question

    There is no Chemistry on the Psychology degree. Technically, there is no maths either, but there are statistics. Statistics classes are weekly in year 1 & 2 and there is an option to do some advanced statistics in year 3.

    I am one of a small team of lecturers teaching first year statistics and we start out right at the beginning, with looking at different types of data, considering different measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode) and dispersion (range, variance, standard deviation) and getting comfortable with calculating means and standard deviation. After a few weeks, students start learning inferential statistics, which we use to figure out whether we can apply our findings to the population. In the first year we cover t-tests, Chi-squared, correlation, regression and some non-parametric tests. You'll also learn to use some software that will do the statistics for you.

    In the second year you continue to learn some new statistics. In both years you have a combination of lectures and workshops to help you master the stats and give you lots of opportunity for self-testing and asking questions. You'll also use the statistics that you learn to analyse your data in labs and your final year project.

    Are you super keen on stats/maths or feeling a bit anxious about them? Is there anything else you'd like to know about how teaching/learning happens in stats?

    -Angie
    • Official TSR Representative
    • Thread Starter
    Online

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Jessica759565)
    Hello Can anyone tell me which of these 2 universities has a stronger reputation in the Department of Psychology? Essex or Goldsmiths?

    Thank you
    Hi Jessica,

    It's never wise to comment on the competition, so I won't comment on the specific unis However, I think it's important for everyone to be able to make an informed decision, so I've explained a bit more about reputation generally below and linked to where anyone can make comparisons between whichever universities they are considering.

    Reputation is a surprisingly complicated issue. This is partly because you can have a reputation for different things. Universities are often judged based on the type/quality of research being done by the staff there, and that is definitely important, but it is also important to consider the teaching they do, since that is what you'll experience the most of and how graduates do later. Of course there are also lots of other things to consider too! Like the location, the student experience at the uni and how well the specialities of the department match your own interests, so it's really important to go to an open day if you can alongside gathering as much info as possible about what the uni is really like from a student perspective.

    Unistats are great for letting you compare different universities, at departmental or course level, on their national student survey results: https://unistats.ac.uk/

    Guardian league tables take into account student satisfaction, employment outcomes and other metrics. You can enter the course that you are interested in here to see how the Universities measure up: https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...for-psychology

    The research excellence framework just looks at research output. If that is something that you are interested in you can find info here: https://www.findaphd.com/advice/finding/ref-by-uoa.aspx

    Hope this helps!

    - Angie
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    What newspaper do you read/prefer?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • 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

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