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Is Undergrad Psychology hard?

Hello there, I just wanted to know whether doing psychology at degree level is hard. I’m not very good at maths and I’ve heard that there will be a lot of statistics involved, maths equations etc. How hard actually is it? I’ve only got a grade C in maths so I feel as if I will struggle or something.
Original post by rajjfilms
Hello there, I just wanted to know whether doing psychology at degree level is hard. I’m not very good at maths and I’ve heard that there will be a lot of statistics involved, maths equations etc. How hard actually is it? I’ve only got a grade C in maths so I feel as if I will struggle or something.

I think that university is one of those things that as long as you put enough practice and work into it, you'll get a rewarding result 🙂 I was totally the same way - I took psychology, sociology and fine art for my A-Levels! (not very maths-y haha) Dropped maths at GCSE with a grade 6 but I found the statistics modules alright. By second year the statistics module was actually one of the modules I did the best in :smile:

I would say it also depends on your university as well - luckily my course was really good with maths support - there were weekly drop in math sessions and some tutorials were focused on statistics specifically. Plus, lecturers were quite good with answering questions on discussion boards. So I would say don't let the statistics deter you - I'd recommend asking on open days or even contacting universities specifically how much maths support the university offers, if this was something that worried you :smile:

The different type of statistics you cover depends uni to uni as well. For example in Cardiff, you learn a lot of hand written formula work in first year (which is basically just putting formulas into a calculator) but I know that other universities go straight into using statistics programs without this. Using statistics programs is usually just a step-by-step process. The most challenging part I would say is understanding the theory behind why you would use certain statistical methodologies! But its definitely doable as long as you work hard :smile:

~ Fatiha, Cardiff University Student Rep
Reply 2
Original post by CardiffUni Rep 2

I think that university is one of those things that as long as you put enough practice and work into it, you'll get a rewarding result 🙂 I was totally the same way - I took psychology, sociology and fine art for my A-Levels! (not very maths-y haha) Dropped maths at GCSE with a grade 6 but I found the statistics modules alright. By second year the statistics module was actually one of the modules I did the best in :smile:

I would say it also depends on your university as well - luckily my course was really good with maths support - there were weekly drop in math sessions and some tutorials were focused on statistics specifically. Plus, lecturers were quite good with answering questions on discussion boards. So I would say don't let the statistics deter you - I'd recommend asking on open days or even contacting universities specifically how much maths support the university offers, if this was something that worried you :smile:

The different type of statistics you cover depends uni to uni as well. For example in Cardiff, you learn a lot of hand written formula work in first year (which is basically just putting formulas into a calculator) but I know that other universities go straight into using statistics programs without this. Using statistics programs is usually just a step-by-step process. The most challenging part I would say is understanding the theory behind why you would use certain statistical methodologies! But its definitely doable as long as you work hard :smile:

~ Fatiha, Cardiff University Student Rep


Wow thanks for that. It’s definitely reassuring. I guess its all about managing your time well and being able to focus on studying effectively. Btw, how much of the Bsc psych degree involves statistics? Is there a substantial amount?
Original post by rajjfilms
Wow thanks for that. It’s definitely reassuring. I guess its all about managing your time well and being able to focus on studying effectively. Btw, how much of the Bsc psych degree involves statistics? Is there a substantial amount?

Yes definitely! Managing your time effectively and just practice, is what I would say is important :smile:

So in Cardiff, in both year 1 and year 2, we have 6 modules per year. Out of these 6 modules, we had 1 module that was statistics focused in both years. But we also had practicals for most modules, which involved doing some statistical analysis. You always did this in a group though, and get support from your practical leader on how to do the statistics. Other universities might be different. Then, in your final year you do a dissertation which of course, involves statistic analysis, but you do get some guidance from your supervisor for this, I believe.

~ Fatiha, Cardiff University Student Rep
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 4
Original post by CardiffUni Rep 2

Yes definitely! Managing your time effectively and just practice, is what I would say is important :smile:

So in Cardiff, in both year 1 and year 2, we have 6 modules per year. Out of these 6 modules, we had 1 module that was statistics focused in both years. But we also had practicals for most modules, which involved doing some statistical analysis. You always did this in a group though, and get support from your practical leader on how to do the statistics. Other universities might be different. Then, in your final year you do a dissertation which of course, involves statistic analysis, but you do get some guidance from your supervisor for this, I believe.

~ Fatiha, Cardiff University Student Rep


Thanks a lot for the help, you’ve been very informative. I’ll make sure to take your advice and put the effort in at university. 😁
Original post by rajjfilms
Hello there, I just wanted to know whether doing psychology at degree level is hard. I’m not very good at maths and I’ve heard that there will be a lot of statistics involved, maths equations etc. How hard actually is it? I’ve only got a grade C in maths so I feel as if I will struggle or something.

Hi there,

@CardiffUni Rep 2 gave a great reply. I just wanted to add that no matter where you go for your Psychology undergrad, you will have a statistics module for at least your first two years - that's inescapable (thank you, BPS).

Not all universities are quite like Cardiff though in how we get taught statistics. At my university we don't get taught the formulas or made to put them in calculators. We are shown the formulas, so that the sadists amongst us can please themselves by having a go at them, but we are very much expected to just use the statistics programme we are provided with.

I... detest statistics. You don't understand just how much I hate it. It's very wishy washy to me, and my stats notes are prefaced by a Mark Twain quote that goes "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics". That should give you a little idea of the exceedingly poor relationship I have with statistics. And even I, statistics hater to my rotten core, manage alright with it. There are some hard moments but lecturers tend to be exceedingly nice when you ask questions, so do make sure to ask during lectures if you don't understand something. So don't let it deter you. After all, you do go to uni to be challenged and broaden your knowledge and skills! :smile:
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 6
Original post by Scotland Yard

Hi there,

@CardiffUni Rep 2 gave a great reply. I just wanted to add that no matter where you go for your Psychology undergrad, you will have a statistics module for at least your first two years - that's inescapable (thank you, BPS).

Not all universities are quite like Cardiff though in how we get taught statistics. At my university we don't get taught the formulas or made to put them in calculators. We are shown the formulas, so that the sadists amongst us can please themselves by having a go at them, but we are very much expected to just use the statistics programme we are provided with.

I... detest statistics. You don't understand just how much I hate it. It's very wishy washy to me, and my stats notes are prefaced by a Mark Twain quote that goes "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics". That should give you a little idea of the exceedingly poor relationship I have with statistics. And even I, statistics hater to my rotten core, manage alright with it. There are some hard moments but lecturers tend to be exceedingly nice when you ask questions, so do make sure to ask during lectures if you don't understand something. So don't let it deter you. After all, you do go to uni to be challenged and broaden your knowledge and skills! :smile:


Ahhh okay i understand. These replies are so helpful and informative. I guess i’ll just have to push through it then and try my best when it comes to statistics. It does sound like a challenge, but thats what unis are about. Thanks again :smile:
Hi,

I’m Lily a second year Psychology student at ARU.

I can really empathise with this, as I as well was really anxious about the maths part of psychology. I’ve always found it a struggle and not something that clicks with me.

Personally on my course at ARU, I’ve found there is such a big support group. The lecturers are aware that this kind of stuff is difficult, and not everyone will understand it. When I was struggling my seminars was super useful, with the lecturers constantly asking how we were getting on etc.

Also a lot do templates and workbooks was given to us as support, almost as a practice before our assignments.

I would say personally, don’t let the maths part put you off. It is only a small part of psychology, but it is important as well. As long as you put the work in, which may take some extra time for those who struggle with maths you will get there in the end.

Also, different universities have different assignments and learning techniques so maybe try and see what modules are on at each university?

Hope this helps and if there’s any questions please feel free to ask!

Lily
ARU Digital Ambassador
Original post by rajjfilms
Hello there, I just wanted to know whether doing psychology at degree level is hard. I’m not very good at maths and I’ve heard that there will be a lot of statistics involved, maths equations etc. How hard actually is it? I’ve only got a grade C in maths so I feel as if I will struggle or something.
Hi!
I think how difficult psychology is can differ for everyone. This is largely because it is a varied course, so you'll cover things from social theories, statistics, neuroscience, and ethics. For some people, they may find neuroscience impossible but statistics really easy! And other people may struggle more with statistics than theory. An undergraduate degree in anything is going to challenge you, but hopefully whatever university you go to will be well set up to support you.
From experience, I can say that Lancaster teaches statistics with an assumption of no prior knowledge (except basic GCSE maths), meaning that everyone has equal opportunity and support. This has been good for me as I have quite weak maths, but have been able to excel at statistics. Most universities will use coding software such as RStudio or SPSS to calculate statistics, so you won't regularly be doing anything complex by hand.
Hope this helps, best of luck with the future!
-Kat (2nd year psychology student at Lancaster University)
Original post by rajjfilms
Hello there, I just wanted to know whether doing psychology at degree level is hard. I’m not very good at maths and I’ve heard that there will be a lot of statistics involved, maths equations etc. How hard actually is it? I’ve only got a grade C in maths so I feel as if I will struggle or something.
@rajjfilms
I did an MSc Psychology conversion (after getting grade E for it a A.S level - I've led quite a strange routed rock n roll life), and I was a bit nervous about the maths content. The mathematics content is largely to do with the use of statistical analysis programs like SPSS - think of it as a jazzed up version of Microsoft Excel which does a lot of similar stuff - its just hidden away on there. A really useful book by Coolican called Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology is an essential source

Marc
Arden University Student Ambassador
Original post by rajjfilms
Hello there, I just wanted to know whether doing psychology at degree level is hard. I’m not very good at maths and I’ve heard that there will be a lot of statistics involved, maths equations etc. How hard actually is it? I’ve only got a grade C in maths so I feel as if I will struggle or something.
Hey there 😀

I cannot speak for how Research Methods/Statistics modules are structured at other universities, but I can provide insight into how they are taught at De Montfort University. In the field of Psychology, research often involves statistical analysis, but the good news is that there are programmes available that handle the mathematical aspects for you. While a basic understanding of mathematics is necessary to comprehend where the numbers come from, the majority of the work is done using software like SPSS and other statistical tools. In my experience, the math involved is not overly complex.

Throughout the three years of study, we have a dedicated Research Methods module. In these sessions, conducted in small group workshops, we work with statistical software on computers. Each lesson provides detailed and clear instructions, allowing us to gradually expand our knowledge of the software's capabilities and how to navigate it effectively. Personally, I find these classes to be among my favourites, as they offer a hands-on, practical approach that yields tangible results. There is a sense of satisfaction in completing tasks that directly contribute to our understanding of the subject matter.

I hope it was helpful 💪 Feel free to reach out if you have any questions 😉 You can also chat with me or other students directly through The Ambassador Platform.

Take care,

Julia
Psychology student
De Montfort University

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