Psychology at BathWatch
Hi there, I was wondering if anyone could tell me about their experience with the course at undergraduate level. I haven’t ever studied psychology before but am intrigued by the course and have therefore applied, did anyone else not take the subject before degree level?
Currently I am doing my Masters in Psychology at Bath and also did my undergraduate (Psychology again) here as well so hopefully I can help.
When I first came to do Psychology, I had only studied it for a semester in school and that was in grade 9 (around 15/16), so I would say I very much started it from scratch at university. Not to mention that I am foreign so I had never really written a scientific paper before, etc.
I did feel a bit intimidated at first as most of my fellow students had taken Psychology at A Level, etc., but the First Year really is a bit of an introduction to Psychology for everyone. The units that you take in the First Year usually introduce you to the most popular areas of psychology briefly and are geared to teaching you how to write scientific essays, lab reports, how to conduct experiments and studies, how to read up for your essays properly and how to present. In fact, there is a specific unit (Controversies in Psychology) which is usually led by a PhD student and is more like a class of 15-20 people, rather than a full lecture theater, where you can discuss various topics and you get to do an online debate, presentations and probably write your first essay for the course.
There are also Writing Skills workshops and classes available to all students where you will get support with your writing and various workshops throughout the year around presentation skills, etc. You will also have the support of your personal tutor (with you for the duration of the course) who you will be able to talk to about any academic and personal issues and is a member of staff within the department. Another person you would be able to talk to about such things in the First Year is your peer mentor who is a Second Year student that has volunteered to mentor a small group of you and will be able to give you more of a student perspective on both academic and general student life. Your First Year really is meant for you to be able to learn without being too stressed about your results, etc. and therefore, your grade from that year does not make-up any portion of your final diploma. You would still need to pass and it would definitely be useful to have a good grade if you want to go on placement, but there isn't really much pressure from the department, as long as you are progressing.
Let me know if there is anything more specific that you would like to know. I've only covered your first year at uni as it seemed that you were most worried about not having done Psychology before, but let me know if you would like some information about placement, Final Year, etc.