The Student Room Group

Question to anyone who has/is studying psychology

Me again :wink:

I'm thinking of studying Psychology as it sounds fascinating but I haven't actually had a proper introduction to it yet. Please could you tell me what it's like to study Psychology at any level and/or what careers you think it can/will help with. I'd also love to hear others' opinions.
(edited 12 months ago)
@-Eirlys- @Noodlzzz and @bones-mccoy all studied psychology and may be able to offer some insight into it.
Original post by artful_lounger
@-Eirlys- @Noodlzzz and @bones-mccoy all studied psychology and may be able to offer some insight into it.


Thank you!
Reply 3
Original post by iL1L
Me again :wink:

I'm thinking of studying Psychology as it sounds fascinating but I haven't actually had a proper introduction to it yet. Please could you tell me what it's like to study Psychology at any level and/or what careers you think it can/will help with. I'd also love to hear others' opinions.


I studied A level Psychology in 1996 as a B unit and was awarded 64% mark. I loved the subject as it dealt with child psychology with insight into people like John Bowlby among many others and pioneers of the understanding of children. I enjoyed Freud and his rather denotative simplistic views on determinism all the way through to Carl rogers and his ideas around environment and affects on people. I studied memory and cognition ' how our thinking processes are affected by the outside world with distraction etc. I enjoyed learning about how we make sense of the world at different stages of our lives. I can recommend this subject as it has helped me cope having Asperger syndrome and personal relationships with people not always being easy for me. Anyway I can heartily recommend the subject as it relates to everything we are everywhere.
Original post by baycrusher
I studied A level Psychology in 1996 as a B unit and was awarded 64% mark. I loved the subject as it dealt with child psychology with insight into people like John Bowlby among many others and pioneers of the understanding of children. I enjoyed Freud and his rather denotative simplistic views on determinism all the way through to Carl rogers and his ideas around environment and affects on people. I studied memory and cognition ' how our thinking processes are affected by the outside world with distraction etc. I enjoyed learning about how we make sense of the world at different stages of our lives. I can recommend this subject as it has helped me cope having Asperger syndrome and personal relationships with people not always being easy for me. Anyway I can heartily recommend the subject as it relates to everything we are everywhere.

This is absolutely fantastic - thank you so much!
Reply 5
Original post by iL1L
This is absolutely fantastic - thank you so much!


You are welcome
Original post by iL1L
Me again :wink:

I'm thinking of studying Psychology as it sounds fascinating but I haven't actually had a proper introduction to it yet. Please could you tell me what it's like to study Psychology at any level and/or what careers you think it can/will help with. I'd also love to hear others' opinions.


It would be helpful to know what you expect or hope to learn about in psychology, so then I can clarify on whether your expectations are suitable to the reality of studying psychology, if that makes sense. :P
Original post by iL1L
Me again :wink:

I'm thinking of studying Psychology as it sounds fascinating but I haven't actually had a proper introduction to it yet. Please could you tell me what it's like to study Psychology at any level and/or what careers you think it can/will help with. I'd also love to hear others' opinions.


Hey there,

I'm a second year Psychology student at University!

So far it has certainly be fascinating. I feel like I have learnt almost everything in Psychology but there is so much! I have learnt about things ranging from animal behaviour and evolution to biology and cognitive psychology! The best way to find out what content you'll learn at a university is to look through their module guide on their websites. You cover a lot of things learnt at A level, but then expand into so much more detail. There is a lot of reading, but it is helpful to understand your modules better. I was surprised how much maths is involved in psychology but it's super interesting learning how to calculate loads of statistical tests against your own experiments - I have conducted so many studies! And through conducting these studies you start to understand and apply your knowledge to how much psychology is in everyday life.

With a Psychology degree, you open up your career choices A LOT. I thought it would be narrowed down to things such as mental health, therapist etc. but that's only a small part. You can become a researcher in Africa following animal behaviours, enter graduate schemes such as investment banking, or if you're me aspire to become a clinical psychologist. The options are amazing and my university have really helped support career development while I study. It makes sense that the career field for psychology graduates is so vast as you learn everything about people (and some animal) and how to communicate, read and understand them - this comes with great skills such as analytical, paying attention to detail etc. which employers love.

This is probably just a quick snippet of what studying psychology is like, but I hope it helps and feel free to ask any questions.

Lauren -Official Student Rep
Original post by iL1L
Me again :wink:

I'm thinking of studying Psychology as it sounds fascinating but I haven't actually had a proper introduction to it yet. Please could you tell me what it's like to study Psychology at any level and/or what careers you think it can/will help with. I'd also love to hear others' opinions.

Hi @iL1L!

I'm currently studying Psychology at university, but I also studied it at A Level. Before A Level, I didn't have any experience with psychology at all, but when I read into what it was before I chose it as an A Level, I also thought that is sounded fascinating! Studying it at A Level provided me with a great introduction to what psychology was, and introduced me to all of the main theories and psychologists, and provided me with an insight into which specific areas interested me most! Doing psychology A Level made me love it so much, and that's why I've carried on with it at university!

At university, we get to go so much more into depth with topics that we were introduced to at A Level, as well as lots of different ones! And we also get to apply the knowledge we learn to lots of different forms of coursework, which gives us lots of well-rounded writing and academic skills. We get the chance to read lots of different academic papers and articles, and gain so much insight into all different areas of psychology. And now that I'm in third year, I've had the chance to complete my own dissertation, on a topic that interested me, which has given me knowledge and understanding about psychological research that I wouldn't have had otherwise!

I hope this was helpful, and please let me know if you have any other questions!

~ Cathryn (Lancaster University Student Ambassador)
Wow - thank you so much!!

Original post by University of Portsmouth Student Rep
Hey there,

I'm a second year Psychology student at University!

So far it has certainly be fascinating. I feel like I have learnt almost everything in Psychology but there is so much! I have learnt about things ranging from animal behaviour and evolution to biology and cognitive psychology! The best way to find out what content you'll learn at a university is to look through their module guide on their websites. You cover a lot of things learnt at A level, but then expand into so much more detail. There is a lot of reading, but it is helpful to understand your modules better. I was surprised how much maths is involved in psychology but it's super interesting learning how to calculate loads of statistical tests against your own experiments - I have conducted so many studies! And through conducting these studies you start to understand and apply your knowledge to how much psychology is in everyday life.

With a Psychology degree, you open up your career choices A LOT. I thought it would be narrowed down to things such as mental health, therapist etc. but that's only a small part. You can become a researcher in Africa following animal behaviours, enter graduate schemes such as investment banking, or if you're me aspire to become a clinical psychologist. The options are amazing and my university have really helped support career development while I study. It makes sense that the career field for psychology graduates is so vast as you learn everything about people (and some animal) and how to communicate, read and understand them - this comes with great skills such as analytical, paying attention to detail etc. which employers love.

This is probably just a quick snippet of what studying psychology is like, but I hope it helps and feel free to ask any questions.

Lauren -Official Student Rep

Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador
Hi @iL1L!

I'm currently studying Psychology at university, but I also studied it at A Level. Before A Level, I didn't have any experience with psychology at all, but when I read into what it was before I chose it as an A Level, I also thought that is sounded fascinating! Studying it at A Level provided me with a great introduction to what psychology was, and introduced me to all of the main theories and psychologists, and provided me with an insight into which specific areas interested me most! Doing psychology A Level made me love it so much, and that's why I've carried on with it at university!

At university, we get to go so much more into depth with topics that we were introduced to at A Level, as well as lots of different ones! And we also get to apply the knowledge we learn to lots of different forms of coursework, which gives us lots of well-rounded writing and academic skills. We get the chance to read lots of different academic papers and articles, and gain so much insight into all different areas of psychology. And now that I'm in third year, I've had the chance to complete my own dissertation, on a topic that interested me, which has given me knowledge and understanding about psychological research that I wouldn't have had otherwise!

I hope this was helpful, and please let me know if you have any other questions!

~ Cathryn (Lancaster University Student Ambassador)
Original post by -Eirlys-
It would be helpful to know what you expect or hope to learn about in psychology, so then I can clarify on whether your expectations are suitable to the reality of studying psychology, if that makes sense. :P


Oh ok. I guess I was just wondering in general what the subject is like because I really don't know
The degree is skills heavy, so there's a lot of focus on critical thinking, being able to read and understand scientific journals, how to carry out an experiment practically and ethically, writing critically and data/statistical analysis. You read about the most notable psychologists, what they discovered but everything always has a critical opposite view and this is carried into your assignments.

Assignments are usually argumentative essays, where you have to outline two different psychological approaches, or you'll be given a statement like "Dementia is purely a biological condition", and then come to a conclusion by using evidence critically. Though there is never a right answer; you could come to the conclusion that both approaches are great or both are **** or favour one or the other. It is how you use and weigh up evidence to argue your point that is what they're looking at.
You'll have the occasional literature review, probably a presentation or two and then ultimately you will carry out your own experiment/study at the end (which you can get published if you want, but it's a long and arduous process that most students don't bother with and it's only ever the truly exceptional studies that are published). Personally we had quite a few assignments where you could choose which question to tackle or chose a topic out of a select number of topics to focus on for an assignment which was nice. I remember I did a presentation on sex workers, and how society criminalises vulnerable women, leading to them not being protected by the law, which I actually really enjoyed and found interesting.

You learn that psychological issues are approached differently depending on which field the psychologists work in. So you'll have biological psychologists focusing heavily on biology to explain an issue, social psychologists who blame the issue on social context and upbringing or cognitive psychologists focusing on the way people think and view the world as the issue. Though they encourage you quite heavily to take the biopsychosocial approach, which is a combination of all of those and you learn that everything is an interplay and there's multiple factors. It's basically frowned upon to approach an issue from one angle and to not at least acknowledge other alternative explanations.

Depending on the modules you choose, you will learn social, child, sport, forensic, biological (my fave subject!) and counselling psychology. It gives you a good taste of all areas and a good foundation to build on. You certainly won't come out as an expert on mental illnesses, that would come in later study at Master's level and above. Honestly, the main conditions that were covered in great depth was anxiety, depression and dementia. All other conditinos like BPD, schizophrenia etc. were kind of touched upon in case studies and such. You learn about the craziest experiments and case studies that are really interesting and blows your mind in regards to human behaviour and the brain.

If you've done the psychology A-level, then it's basically that but with more work and mor expected of you. When I looked through my psychology A level work recently, I covered a lot of what was covered in that A-level.
Original post by iL1L
Oh ok. I guess I was just wondering in general what the subject is like because I really don't know
Original post by -Eirlys-
The degree is skills heavy, so there's a lot of focus on critical thinking, being able to read and understand scientific journals, how to carry out an experiment practically and ethically, writing critically and data/statistical analysis. You read about the most notable psychologists, what they discovered but everything always has a critical opposite view and this is carried into your assignments.

Assignments are usually argumentative essays, where you have to outline two different psychological approaches, or you'll be given a statement like "Dementia is purely a biological condition", and then come to a conclusion by using evidence critically. Though there is never a right answer; you could come to the conclusion that both approaches are great or both are **** or favour one or the other. It is how you use and weigh up evidence to argue your point that is what they're looking at.
You'll have the occasional literature review, probably a presentation or two and then ultimately you will carry out your own experiment/study at the end (which you can get published if you want, but it's a long and arduous process that most students don't bother with and it's only ever the truly exceptional studies that are published). Personally we had quite a few assignments where you could choose which question to tackle or chose a topic out of a select number of topics to focus on for an assignment which was nice. I remember I did a presentation on sex workers, and how society criminalises vulnerable women, leading to them not being protected by the law, which I actually really enjoyed and found interesting.

You learn that psychological issues are approached differently depending on which field the psychologists work in. So you'll have biological psychologists focusing heavily on biology to explain an issue, social psychologists who blame the issue on social context and upbringing or cognitive psychologists focusing on the way people think and view the world as the issue. Though they encourage you quite heavily to take the biopsychosocial approach, which is a combination of all of those and you learn that everything is an interplay and there's multiple factors. It's basically frowned upon to approach an issue from one angle and to not at least acknowledge other alternative explanations.

Depending on the modules you choose, you will learn social, child, sport, forensic, biological (my fave subject!) and counselling psychology. It gives you a good taste of all areas and a good foundation to build on. You certainly won't come out as an expert on mental illnesses, that would come in later study at Master's level and above. Honestly, the main conditions that were covered in great depth was anxiety, depression and dementia. All other conditinos like BPD, schizophrenia etc. were kind of touched upon in case studies and such. You learn about the craziest experiments and case studies that are really interesting and blows your mind in regards to human behaviour and the brain.

If you've done the psychology A-level, then it's basically that but with more work and mor expected of you. When I looked through my psychology A level work recently, I covered a lot of what was covered in that A-level.


Wow, thank you!

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