Is Psychology Blacklisted or Not?

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SylverStrike
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I've been told from lots of different sources that yes, Oxford and Cambridge do like psychology A-level if you want to study it for degree, or no, they think it shows real interest in the subject if you've got it, and I'd just really like to know whether it's blacklisted or not. I do plan on taking a psychology degree, so does this make any difference?
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anonymous1985
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If you enjoy it, do it! I'm doing psychology and am applying for Cambridge; it's not blacklisted.
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The West Wing
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No, psychology is not one of the worst ones you can do. It'll count as an academic subject.
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epitome
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See the "Course Requirements" list of less helpful subjects for Cambridge here: http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde.../requirements/

And the list for Trinity, Cambridge here: http://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/index.php?pageid=604 (Please note that this does not necessarily apply to other colleges, though the general principle is a sound one).
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Shuky
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What a load of rubbish, i Take History English Lit adn Psychology and honestly Psychology is my hardest subject.
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epitome
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(Original post by Never Give Up)
What a load of rubbish, i Take History English Lit adn Psychology and honestly Psychology is my hardest subject.
Disproportionate defence, given that no-one here has said that Psychology is either easy or unsuitable! :rolleyes:

As people's brains work differently, though, just because you find Psych harder than the other subjects doesn't actually make it 'harder'. It's just that you find it harder. No proof of anything.
But as none of us were slating the subject anyway, it doesn't matter!
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Shuky
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(Original post by epitome)
Disproportionate defence, given that no-one here has said that Psychology is either easy or unsuitable! :rolleyes:

As people's brains work differently, though, just because you find Psych harder than the other subjects doesn't actually make it 'harder'. It's just that you find it harder. No proof of anything.
But as none of us were slating the subject anyway, it doesn't matter!
And i was not actually saying it to you i was saying it about the Universities views about the subject. yes people's brain work differently and that is just my point how can they label anything as a weak subject, as someone who is amazing at Maths can be totally rbbish at business studies or media.
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SylverStrike
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Thanks for the help, everyone!

My other three subjects are Physics, Latin and Maths, and I'm also taking Further Maths, so I guess those all count as 'traditional'. I worry about the fact that I'm not taking biology or chemistry, but I might take one of those two as an AS next year.

I guess psychology is one of those strange subjects- on the one hand, it'll never be thought of in the same way as the sciences or maths or history, etc., but on the other hand it really isn't one of those so-called 'doss' A-levels like media or drama.
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Miu Miu
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A friend of mine (albeit not close) is in her second year doing Law at Christ Church, Oxford and she only did 3 ALevel subjects, with one being Psychology. It's not impossible by any means.
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MissSurfer
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Yeh I agree. I did Psychology alongside Maths, Physics, Biology and French, and Psychology was probably the most stressful! The lessons are nice and simple to understand, but there is a huge amount of information to memorise and analyse/evaluate for the exam.

Psychology is definitely not blacklisted, no, but that's at the moment. For my old spec at least I know the AS is getting a lot easier from next year (more short questions like filling in tables etc) rather than essays.. (A2 isn't changing much though), so it might mean it does come to be blacklisted devaluing (sp?) it for the rest of us who take the 'harder' spec!
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CocoWood
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Hi, I'm actually just finishing my degree in Experimental Psychology at Oxford. I did psychology A level and found it useful. It was definitely not frowned upon - the psychology department at Oxford is big and is part of the medical sciences department and they take themselves very seriously. Psychology at Oxford is v. scientific - we do a lot of neuroscience, I have no idea what its like at Cambridge. The psychologists' workload is enormous compared to a lot of other subjects there (it used to be a 4 year course which has been condensed into 3 years). You do finals both in your second year and third year - unlike most other subjects. Bear in mind what you want to do afterwards. If you want to become a psychologist then it won't really matter what your other A'levels are but if you then decide to do fast track medicine (which a few of my friends have done) then make sure you have the appropriate A'level sciences. Doing clinical psychology takes almost as long as doing fast track medicine. Hope this was helpful!
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SylverStrike
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(Original post by CocoWood)
Hi, I'm actually just finishing my degree in Experimental Psychology at Oxford. I did psychology A level and found it useful. It was definitely not frowned upon - the psychology department at Oxford is big and is part of the medical sciences department and they take themselves very seriously. Psychology at Oxford is v. scientific - we do a lot of neuroscience, I have no idea what its like at Cambridge. The psychologists' workload is enormous compared to a lot of other subjects there (it used to be a 4 year course which has been condensed into 3 years). You do finals both in your second year and third year - unlike most other subjects. Bear in mind what you want to do afterwards. If you want to become a psychologist then it won't really matter what your other A'levels are but if you then decide to do fast track medicine (which a few of my friends have done) then make sure you have the appropriate A'level sciences. Doing clinical psychology takes almost as long as doing fast track medicine. Hope this was helpful!

That's really, really helpful- Experimental Psychology is the degree I'd love to do, and I know how at some universities it's much more scientific than at other universities.

Thank you everyone for all the input! I'm feeling relieved, especially since what A-levels you take can determine what Universities you get into. And it sounds like a biology AS would be useful, too.
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Cirsium
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You do finals both in your second year and third year - unlike most other subjects
Well... not really... Biology do 2nd and 3rd year. Chem do 2nd and 4th. 3 year phy you do 2nd and 3rd although obv if you do the 4 year course it's 2nd and 4th. Same applies to maths. Engineering I think is 2 and 3 cos 4 is then your project, ditto biochem...

Basically if you do a science then you have Part A finals and they're usually 2nd year so EP is hardly different in that respect :p:
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twistme
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Some of us have exams 2nd, 3rd and 4th
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Es*
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Psychology doesn't appear to be in any list of unsuitable A levels, except at Trinity College, Cambridge. I have got offered a place at St Edmunds with Law, Maths and Psychology A levels. I couldn't apply to Trinity at all, with that combination.

As someone said above, SPS doesn't really involve experimental psych. At Cambridge you can still do experimental psych, but it's in the Nat Sci Tripos, I believe. SPS is developmental and social psychology.
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epitome
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(Original post by Es*)
Psychology doesn't appear to be in any list of unsuitable A levels, except at Trinity College, Cambridge. I have got offered a place at St Edmunds with Law, Maths and Psychology A levels. I couldn't apply to Trinity at all, with that combination.
It is deemed to be of "limited suitability" at Trinity, not "unsuitable".
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Es*
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(Original post by epitome)
It is deemed to be of "limited suitability" at Trinity, not "unsuitable".
Sorry, I should have been more specific. I couldn't apply as I had two subjects of 'limited suitability'. Neither of these subjects are on the list of 'unsuitables'.

The point I was trying to make was that the list which Trinity College uses is not used at other colleges.
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epitome
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(Original post by Es*)
Sorry, I should have been more specific. I couldn't apply as I had two subjects of 'limited suitability'. Neither of these subjects are on the list of 'unsuitables'.

The point I was trying to make was that the list which Trinity College uses is not used at other colleges.
Thanks for the clarification!
It does seem like major error that schools allow students who might want to pursue academic Higher Ed. to take subjects that aren't well-liked by the higher-tier universities. *growls* More annoying, perhaps, is the fact that these A Levels -- despite being in interesting subjects like Law & Psych -- aren't made more tricky so that they become respected. If they just made the studies more rigorous, there wouldn't be this problem...
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Es*
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(Original post by epitome)
Thanks for the clarification!
It does seem like major error that schools allow students who might want to pursue academic Higher Ed. to take subjects that aren't well-liked by the higher-tier universities. *growls* More annoying, perhaps, is the fact that these A Levels -- despite being in interesting subjects like Law & Psych -- aren't made more tricky so that they become respected. If they just made the studies more rigorous, there wouldn't be this problem...
I completly agree. At no point was it pointed out to me that these subjects would not be considered as rigorous, and yet it has been known that I wanted to do SPS or something similar since before my GCSE's. I would have been happy for them to be harder, if that would mean they were respected more. I suspect that the fact that I also did Maths (a proper academic subject, by anyone's standards) may have been the thing which made it all okay. I so nearly did Sociology as the third!

OP - I think you would be fine to do Psychology so long as you do other more rigorous A levels alongside it. I think it issue comes when someone does all/most of their A levels from these sort of subjects.
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SylverStrike
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(Original post by epitome)
Thanks for the clarification!
It does seem like major error that schools allow students who might want to pursue academic Higher Ed. to take subjects that aren't well-liked by the higher-tier universities. *growls* More annoying, perhaps, is the fact that these A Levels -- despite being in interesting subjects like Law & Psych -- aren't made more tricky so that they become respected. If they just made the studies more rigorous, there wouldn't be this problem...
Both you and Es* are completely right- at my school, we were never guided at all as to what subjects are considered more academic than others. Sometimes it's obvious, sure, but I always would have thought a subject such as Law would be considered very suitable rather than of being 'limited suitability'.

Without this guidance, many students miss oppurtunities simply because they chose the wrong subjects by chance.

Es*- That's good to know. All of my other subjects are considered as 'traditional', so it shouldn't be a problem.
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