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Help me rate universities for psychology!

Hello everyone!

I have gotten a few offers for the Psychology conversion courses from some universities and I’m waiting on a few more to make a decision. I’m trying to sort my priorities for some of them. Please help me rate Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Cardiff, Exeter, Sussex, Essex, Reading and UCL according to their respective psych faculties and student experience.
Original post by antifragile81
Hello everyone!

I have gotten a few offers for the Psychology conversion courses from some universities and I’m waiting on a few more to make a decision. I’m trying to sort my priorities for some of them. Please help me rate Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Cardiff, Exeter, Sussex, Essex, Reading and UCL according to their respective psych faculties and student experience.


If the course is accredited by the BPS, then it should be fine irrespective of which uni that you go to.

However, if you insist, then my biases would favour the following in the respective order:
Top: UCL, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Exeter
Mid: Cardiff, Sussex, Essex, Reading, Glasgow

Alternatively, you can look at the Guardian's university rankings to look at their student experience and facilities rankings: https://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2022/sep/24/best-uk-universities-for-psychology-league-table
Alternatively, the Times and Complete Uni Guide offer their own rankings:
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/best-universities/best-universities-psychology-degrees-uk
https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings/psychology
Hey! thanks for replying. However I’m curious as to why you placed essex and sussex above reading and glasgow even though the latter two are relatively better ranked than the former two.

Original post by MindMax2000
If the course is accredited by the BPS, then it should be fine irrespective of which uni that you go to.

However, if you insist, then my biases would favour the following in the respective order:
Top: UCL, Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Exeter
Mid: Cardiff, Sussex, Essex, Reading, Glasgow

Alternatively, you can look at the Guardian's university rankings to look at their student experience and facilities rankings: https://www.theguardian.com/education/ng-interactive/2022/sep/24/best-uk-universities-for-psychology-league-table
Alternatively, the Times and Complete Uni Guide offer their own rankings:
https://www.timeshighereducation.com/student/best-universities/best-universities-psychology-degrees-uk
https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/league-tables/rankings/psychology
Original post by antifragile81
Hey! thanks for replying. However I’m curious as to why you placed essex and sussex above reading and glasgow even though the latter two are relatively better ranked than the former two.


Strictly speaking they are broadly in the same tier in my opinion. However, if you want the specifics of it, I would say it comes down to personal bias.

I'm based nearer the South, which is probably Glasgow isn't a top choice. Having said that, Glasgow is better known for engineering from what I can tell than for psychology. It's a good university nevertheless, I just don't know enough about its psychology department to say for sure.

With Reading, I have mixed opinions. I know people who went to Reading and they enjoyed it. I also know people who went to Reading and have strong opinions about the teaching. Mind you, these people went to Reading a while back, and none of them did Psychology. For all I know, they might have a fantastic psychology department.

Essex is a university that I know well, so I am more confident of their reputation.

With Sussex, I know people who went there and said it was OK, although I haven't heard much about their psychology department.

As a disclaimer, I have not studied psychology at degree level, so I am not the best person to opine regarding this matter. Feel free to ask for a second opinion, but my initial statement still stands: If the course is accredited by BPS (or any other regulatory body that you need specifically for the profession that you want to get into), I very much doubt the NHS would mind which university you went to.
If you want to go and do academic research in psychology, then you should get into the university with the top rankings.
Original post by antifragile81
Hello everyone!

I have gotten a few offers for the Psychology conversion courses from some universities and I’m waiting on a few more to make a decision. I’m trying to sort my priorities for some of them. Please help me rate Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Cardiff, Exeter, Sussex, Essex, Reading and UCL according to their respective psych faculties and student experience.


Undergraduate or postgraduate?
Original post by ageshallnot
Undergraduate or postgraduate?


As it's a conversion course, it's technically postgrad degree. However the modules would be undergrad, since the degree covers undergrad material.
Original post by MindMax2000
As it's a conversion course, it's technically postgrad degree. However the modules would be undergrad, since the degree covers undergrad material.


Ah missed that, I wondered how you had so many unis to choose from. I've no particularly useful opinion though.
(edited 1 year ago)
Ah, got it! I’m an international student actually, so I don’t know much about the uni scenario. And the reason why I really wanna make the right choice is because I already have a degree in psychology but it’s a joint degree so it’s not accredited by the BPS because it has an insufficient volume of psychology modules. So I really wanna make a right choice this time to increase my chances of pursuing a doctorate as well if I go down that route! I’m currently exploring the field so I wouldn’t mind go into research as well. Anyways, thanks a lot for providing your insights! :smile:
Original post by MindMax2000
Strictly speaking they are broadly in the same tier in my opinion. However, if you want the specifics of it, I would say it comes down to personal bias.

I'm based nearer the South, which is probably Glasgow isn't a top choice. Having said that, Glasgow is better known for engineering from what I can tell than for psychology. It's a good university nevertheless, I just don't know enough about its psychology department to say for sure.

With Reading, I have mixed opinions. I know people who went to Reading and they enjoyed it. I also know people who went to Reading and have strong opinions about the teaching. Mind you, these people went to Reading a while back, and none of them did Psychology. For all I know, they might have a fantastic psychology department.

Essex is a university that I know well, so I am more confident of their reputation.

With Sussex, I know people who went there and said it was OK, although I haven't heard much about their psychology department.

As a disclaimer, I have not studied psychology at degree level, so I am not the best person to opine regarding this matter. Feel free to ask for a second opinion, but my initial statement still stands: If the course is accredited by BPS (or any other regulatory body that you need specifically for the profession that you want to get into), I very much doubt the NHS would mind which university you went to.
If you want to go and do academic research in psychology, then you should get into the university with the top rankings.
Oh no, I haven’t gotten offers from all these universities yet but I’ve applied to all of them. I’m just trying to sort my priorities as to whose offer I should wait for and whose I shouldn’t really worry about
Original post by ageshallnot
Ah missed that, I wondered how you had so many unis to choose from. I've no particularly useful opinion though.
Original post by ageshallnot
Ah missed that, I wondered how you had so many unis to choose from. I've no particularly useful opinion though.


I'm not the OP/thread starter. It's likely because the entry requirements for the degrees is a 2:1 undergraduate degree in any subject (I have not come across a case where they specifically ask for a 1st class degree). Some universities are willing to accept a 2:2, unless someone ocrrects me.

The course is very much standardised from my understanding of it, so it's likely that the requirements are more or less the same across most UK universities
Original post by antifragile81
Hello everyone!

I have gotten a few offers for the Psychology conversion courses from some universities and I’m waiting on a few more to make a decision. I’m trying to sort my priorities for some of them. Please help me rate Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Cardiff, Exeter, Sussex, Essex, Reading and UCL according to their respective psych faculties and student experience.


Hi there!

My name is Angela and I graduated from BSc Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience in July 2022. I'm not very familiar with psychology courses at other universities you've mentioned, but can give you great insight into Essex being both an UG and PG student here. I believe that doing Psychology at Essex was possibly the best decision I made in shaping my career and myself as a person. The courses that are offered here are incredibly interesting, and things I've larned from neuroscience to social psychology modules are extremely useful not only career-wise but also in observing how we function and perceive things in everyday life. I'll divide some of the most important aspects in sections:

Academics, courses and materials
The lecturers in Psychology Department are top tier, but at the same time extremely friendly and down-to-earth. Any time I wanted to learn something extra or had questions regarding the learning materials, the lecturers would always reply with all the clarifications so I felt I really have the support I deserve and paid for. The lectures were genuinely so interesting, as the lecturers would always bring something novel to capture our attention and make the complicated concepts clearer to us (once our lecturer brought some bananas to explain a slide in the presentation and I still remember everything from that slide 2 years after:rock:, so this interactive approach is really working out!). All the materials are easily accessible in our library, so I never had to pay any extra money for books and journals!

Facilities
The Department has amazing facilities for studies and research. The study spaces such as STEM building and library are opened 24/7 so they are perfect for pulling all nighters and getting you productive. The campus is like a small town, so everything is so close and you feel extra safe and homey. The Centre for Brain Science is equipped with amazing technology for conducting experiments, such as EEGs, TMS machine, VR equipment, etc. This is really important when choosing university as all of the mentioned equipment will be extremely useful in your dissertation project and any additional research you might do!

Research opportunities
One of the things that amazed me the most here is how easy it is for you to be involved in research and meet academic staff if you show interest in their topic! We have a scheme called Research Experience Scheme where you can apply to be a research assistant in the lab and work on real-world experiments with your lecturers. This goes into your CV and helps enormously to improve your employability. You can get as involved as you wish to, and a lot of the researchers will be more than happy to work with you if you show interest. You might even get your name published in the scientific journals if you show ambition and hard work! During my 3 years of undergrad, I completed 2 research schemes and conducted my own experiment together with my research team! You can also be a participant in various interesting experiments to expand your areas of interest for future.

Other things to mention are of course that our courses are BPS accredited. Some other stats for the Department are:
- 91% of our psychology graduates are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2022)
- 21st in the UK for overall student satisfaction for Psychology (National Student Survey 2022)
- 20th in UK for research outputs in psychology (Grade Point Average, REF 2021)

Hope this helps and please do not hesitate to ask me any further questions, I'm always happy to share my experiences and talk about psychology :u:

Best wishes x
Essex Official Rep - Angela

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