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Royal Holloway or Russel Group Uni?

I think logically, Leeds is my first choice for prestige and then Manchester for league tables and then Royal Holloway. But I love Royal Holloway like I’m OBSESSED with the campus and the clubs and everything. I didn’t even know it wasn’t a Russel group uni until way after!. So logically, it would be good to go with Uni of Manchester or Uni of Leeds but ughhh idkkk. Royal Holloway looks like a dream. This is for BSc Psychology!!

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Original post by P.r.i.n.z.y
I think logically, Leeds is my first choice for prestige and then Manchester for league tables and then Royal Holloway. But I love Royal Holloway like I’m OBSESSED with the campus and the clubs and everything. I didn’t even know it wasn’t a Russel group uni until way after!. So logically, it would be good to go with Uni of Manchester or Uni of Leeds but ughhh idkkk. Royal Holloway looks like a dream. This is for BSc Psychology!!

Russell group uni means effectively nothing to the majority of students, it is not a bye word for quality or success. Also, aside from the TSR most people will care little or even be aware it is a "thing". For psychology the uni does not matter at all, and no employer cares post qualification.

The key variable is which environment will enable you to reach your potential, and how happy or comfortable you are there will have a big bearing on your classification. Focus on you not league tables or brands, as no one else will.

Greg
Original post by greg tony
Russell group uni means effectively nothing to the majority of students, it is not a bye word for quality or success. Also, aside from the TSR most people will care little or even be aware it is a "thing". For psychology the uni does not matter at all, and no employer cares post qualification.
The key variable is which environment will enable you to reach your potential, and how happy or comfortable you are there will have a big bearing on your classification. Focus on you not league tables or brands, as no one else will.
Greg

I guess you’re right. But if I had all the same qualifications as someone that went to a Russel group Uni when looking for a job, I feel like they’d pick them over me simply over that tiny fact. So it could be that they have a tiny leg up over me.
Original post by P.r.i.n.z.y
I guess you’re right. But if I had all the same qualifications as someone that went to a Russel group Uni when looking for a job, I feel like they’d pick them over me simply over that tiny fact. So it could be that they have a tiny leg up over me.
For Psychology, i can assure you it wont matter for any jobs, be that psychology specific or grad schemes. What they will look at is the degree classification, practical experience and the individual themselves. Most recruitment is scored on set templates, and degree location is not one of them.

I have worked in Psychology for many years, and I only learnt about Russell group unis when i saw it on TSR, so please take this forum as more of a teenagers misguided echo chamber, rather than an accurate view of the world outside.

Greg
Original post by P.r.i.n.z.y
I guess you’re right. But if I had all the same qualifications as someone that went to a Russel group Uni when looking for a job, I feel like they’d pick them over me simply over that tiny fact. So it could be that they have a tiny leg up over me.

No, work experience will be the dividing factor. Your degree, no matter where it was completed is worth **** all on its own. Employers are not going to hire someone without real life experience over someone that does, that is my advise to you or any student, get work experience during your studies.
Original post by P.r.i.n.z.y
I think logically, Leeds is my first choice for prestige and then Manchester for league tables and then Royal Holloway. But I love Royal Holloway like I’m OBSESSED with the campus and the clubs and everything. I didn’t even know it wasn’t a Russel group uni until way after!. So logically, it would be good to go with Uni of Manchester or Uni of Leeds but ughhh idkkk. Royal Holloway looks like a dream. This is for BSc Psychology!!

Hi there,

It's great to hear you're considering studying Psychology at Royal Holloway. You can find out more about our course here: https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studying-here/undergraduate/psychology/psychology/ including the entry requirements and course content.

Our department is among the best-equipped psychology departments in the country where post- and undergraduates may benefit from the department's advanced technology. You’ll study in a department ranked 3rd in the UK for research (THE, REF Institutions ranked by subject, 2022), learning with academics who are experts in their fields, and contributing your own findings to this leading research culture with a final year research project.

Come to our campus to view the fantastic facilities, see where you could be studying and living and find out more about what Royal Holloway has to offer. We run regular guided tours of our Egham campus, or if you can't make the dates, you're welcome to come along for a self-led tour: https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/student-life/visit-royal-holloway/book-a-campus-tour/

Our campus is one of the most beautiful in the world with numerous teaching and study spaces, bars and cafés, high-quality accommodation, and sports facilities. Visit our campus and get a real feel for student life at one of our Open Days. You can find out more information on this page: https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/student-life/visit-royal-holloway/open-days/.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes,
Royal Holloway, University of London Rep
Original post by greg tony
For Psychology, i can assure you it wont matter for any jobs, be that psychology specific or grad schemes. What they will look at is the degree classification, practical experience and the individual themselves. Most recruitment is scored on set templates, and degree location is not one of them.
I have worked in Psychology for many years, and I only learnt about Russell group unis when i saw it on TSR, so please take this forum as more of a teenagers misguided echo chamber, rather than an accurate view of the world outside.
Greg

Oh, that’s amazing then! Thank you so much for all your help :smile:. I really needed that! How would you say working in Psychology has been? Is it something you’ve enjoyed and are happy you pursued?
Original post by random_matt
No, work experience will be the dividing factor. Your degree, no matter where it was completed is worth **** all on its own. Employers are not going to hire someone without real life experience over someone that does, that is my advise to you or any student, get work experience during your studies.

Thank you very much!! This is some really good advice. I will do my best to find work experience while in Uni. I need it lol. I don’t really know where to start but I hope I get somewhere. What kind of work experience do you think I should actively search for once I start Uni? And how can I use my Psychology degree to its fullest potential and become a Psychologist?
Original post by P.r.i.n.z.y
Oh, that’s amazing then! Thank you so much for all your help :smile:. I really needed that! How would you say working in Psychology has been? Is it something you’ve enjoyed and are happy you pursued?

Yes love working as a Clinical Psychologist, challenging and very rewarding in equal measure, and with a good mix of therapy, training other staff and research.

Good luck on your journey,

Greg
Original post by greg tony
Yes love working as a Clinical Psychologist, challenging and very rewarding in equal measure, and with a good mix of therapy, training other staff and research.
Good luck on your journey,
Greg

This is very reassuring, thank you. A lot of ppl don’t like my decision to choose Psychology over Medicine but I feel like everything I want to do aligns more with becoming a clinical Psychologist over anything else. It’s scary because everyone talks about how you can barely scrape by on a Psychology degree and I’m beginning to worry :smile:. Would you say it’s hard to get by with a Psych degree? Was it hard to get into your workplace with your Psych degree? (I know it must’ve been hard but I mean harder than other degree courses).
Original post by P.r.i.n.z.y
This is very reassuring, thank you. A lot of ppl don’t like my decision to choose Psychology over Medicine but I feel like everything I want to do aligns more with becoming a clinical Psychologist over anything else. It’s scary because everyone talks about how you can barely scrape by on a Psychology degree and I’m beginning to worry :smile:. Would you say it’s hard to get by with a Psych degree? Was it hard to get into your workplace with your Psych degree? (I know it must’ve been hard but I mean harder than other degree courses).

I cant compare to other degrees as only did Psychology. It is very competitive and interview and application skills are so important for securing jobs (sometimes NHS asst Psy roles get 100 applicants per individual role) and are often harder to secure than getting on the Doctorate (statistically anyway).

Im a Clinical Psy now so never reference my undergrad now, but when I was just out of uni the undergrad held more importance, but it is effectively just a tick in the box for roles as most applicants will have this. What is important is what other skills and experience you can bring to the role, like volunteering or life skills etc. It is unlikely you would get an asst psy role straight off a degree so i would consider other health roles, charities or other services. Think outside the box, mental health difficulties and people are everywhere, so you dont need a job with Psychologist in the title to gain meaningful experience, for example some of my most important experiences pre doctorate were working with homeless services as a support worker. Most of all be shrewd with what roles you pick (how will this help me take next step) but always pick roles that interest you also. At the end of the day the doctorate and beyond is not looking for clones they want varied and unique people and perspectives, so back yourself and dont get too caught up in what is the right or wrong experience, its what you learn through it and how you reflect on it thats important.

Greg
Would echo everything Greg Tony says, but would also add that I went to Royal Holloway as a undergrad, and ended up working as a NHS clinical psychologist (after getting my DClinPsy at another RG unversity) and academic. To get onto a DClinPsy it is far more about your experience, broader CV good supervision and also your ability to reflect/ people skills.

RH never held me back, but would add it probably helped in many ways as it was a smaller cohort and small campus, I was able to make good connections to the staff. I doubt I would have been able to do that at a massive RG university and would have probably gone nuts in the city at that age with the distractions and extra expenses.

I have also taught at several RG universities and oxbridge afterwards, and with that knowledge wouldn't change anything. There are a lot of advantages of being a bigger fish in a smaller pond and would have probably had my confidence knocked at 18 if I was up against the brightest the country had to offer.

That said it depends a lot on who you are, and what your background is. It worked for me, but it may be totally different for you.
Original post by greg tony
I cant compare to other degrees as only did Psychology. It is very competitive and interview and application skills are so important for securing jobs (sometimes NHS asst Psy roles get 100 applicants per individual role) and are often harder to secure than getting on the Doctorate (statistically anyway).
Im a Clinical Psy now so never reference my undergrad now, but when I was just out of uni the undergrad held more importance, but it is effectively just a tick in the box for roles as most applicants will have this. What is important is what other skills and experience you can bring to the role, like volunteering or life skills etc. It is unlikely you would get an asst psy role straight off a degree so i would consider other health roles, charities or other services. Think outside the box, mental health difficulties and people are everywhere, so you dont need a job with Psychologist in the title to gain meaningful experience, for example some of my most important experiences pre doctorate were working with homeless services as a support worker. Most of all be shrewd with what roles you pick (how will this help me take next step) but always pick roles that interest you also. At the end of the day the doctorate and beyond is not looking for clones they want varied and unique people and perspectives, so back yourself and dont get too caught up in what is the right or wrong experience, its what you learn through it and how you reflect on it thats important.
Greg

This is truly so helpful. I want to commend you for going so deep in your response :smile:. I am very grateful. You’ve given me a lot to work with and it has actually fueled my drive for Psych. It’s hard, it’s less of an assured job position but I will do my best and leave the rest for God. I will definitely begin looking for work experience weeks into starting Uni. It’s certainly overwhelming that I won’t start making an okay salary after school but I truly do like Psychology and I know it’ll be good for me :smile:.

I will leave you alone now as I’ve bogged you down with so many questions lol it’s just because I have so much to ask. Thank you so much!!!
Original post by Lord Asriel
Would echo everything Greg Tony says, but would also add that I went to Royal Holloway as a undergrad, and ended up working as a NHS clinical psychologist (after getting my DClinPsy at another RG unversity) and academic. To get onto a DClinPsy it is far more about your experience, broader CV good supervision and also your ability to reflect/ people skills.
RH never held me back, but would add it probably helped in many ways as it was a smaller cohort and small campus, I was able to make good connections to the staff. I doubt I would have been able to do that at a massive RG university and would have probably gone nuts in the city at that age with the distractions and extra expenses.
I have also taught at several RG universities and oxbridge afterwards, and with that knowledge wouldn't change anything. There are a lot of advantages of being a bigger fish in a smaller pond and would have probably had my confidence knocked at 18 if I was up against the brightest the country had to offer.
That said it depends a lot on who you are, and what your background is. It worked for me, but it may be totally different for you.

Oh thank you greatly! I needed these responses for sure. I feel like Psych is such a rewarding pathway, but I can’t deny the fact that I’m incredibly anxious over the fact that I won’t be making any money all through my progression in studies + career until I reach my goal. Can I ask how you managed that? I’m considering doing some nursing degree apprenticeship or switching over to nursing before going back to Psych while working because no one will shut up about me having dirt for dinner with a Psychology degree. Your pathway makes it seem doable and like I’ll be okay (thanks again haha) but I’m still worried :frown:.
Original post by P.r.i.n.z.y
I think logically, Leeds is my first choice for prestige and then Manchester for league tables and then Royal Holloway. But I love Royal Holloway like I’m OBSESSED with the campus and the clubs and everything. I didn’t even know it wasn’t a Russel group uni until way after!. So logically, it would be good to go with Uni of Manchester or Uni of Leeds but ughhh idkkk. Royal Holloway looks like a dream. This is for BSc Psychology!!

I went to Bournemouth University for my undergraduate, completed a MSc at Surrey and subsequently got on the DClinPsy the first time I applied, 1 year after my MSc. I chose BU because I loved the beach/lifestyle etc. RHUL has a greater level of prestige. You can still go and make the most of every opportunity- that is what I did and it did not hinder my career.
Original post by P.r.i.n.z.y
Oh thank you greatly! I needed these responses for sure. I feel like Psych is such a rewarding pathway, but I can’t deny the fact that I’m incredibly anxious over the fact that I won’t be making any money all through my progression in studies + career until I reach my goal. Can I ask how you managed that? I’m considering doing some nursing degree apprenticeship or switching over to nursing before going back to Psych while working because no one will shut up about me having dirt for dinner with a Psychology degree. Your pathway makes it seem doable and like I’ll be okay (thanks again haha) but I’m still worried :frown:.

I don't think you can use anyone elses journey for reassurance. For starters, I went to university pre-fees, and we got maintainance grants to support us at the time. Then I graduated into a good economy under the Blair government, and finding relevant work wasn't tricky. Costs for housing were reasonable, I could support myself on a stipend plus there were far fewer graduates so more opportunities. It's a totally different situation today.

I would be wary of people here or elsewhere giving you reassurance or telling you what to do. Anyone in a position to know that needs to know YOU well, know the clinical psychology world in depth and be a good gauge of your strengths and weaknesses and see how you compare to your peers. This is probably why one of the biggest predictors for successful applicantions for clinical training is recieving supervision by a practicing clincal psychologist. They know the scene well, will be able to rate your chances and be able to guide you in where you need to develop.
Original post by Bradley Powell
I went to Bournemouth University for my undergraduate, completed a MSc at Surrey and subsequently got on the DClinPsy the first time I applied, 1 year after my MSc. I chose BU because I loved the beach/lifestyle etc. RHUL has a greater level of prestige. You can still go and make the most of every opportunity- that is what I did and it did not hinder my career.

That’s amazing omg!! And getting onto the DClinPsy your FIRST try??? Are you kidding? Wow!!! Do you have any tips for me please? That’s the dream 🥹. Study, research, work experience, lifestyle, application grades + what they want to see to get onto the DClinPsy, how to manage not having much income immediately after University - anything would be great 🥹. Thank you so much for this response!
Original post by Lord Asriel
I don't think you can use anyone elses journey for reassurance. For starters, I went to university pre-fees, and we got maintainance grants to support us at the time. Then I graduated into a good economy under the Blair government, and finding relevant work wasn't tricky. Costs for housing were reasonable, I could support myself on a stipend plus there were far fewer graduates so more opportunities. It's a totally different situation today.
I would be wary of people here or elsewhere giving you reassurance or telling you what to do. Anyone in a position to know that needs to know YOU well, know the clinical psychology world in depth and be a good gauge of your strengths and weaknesses and see how you compare to your peers. This is probably why one of the biggest predictors for successful applicantions for clinical training is recieving supervision by a practicing clincal psychologist. They know the scene well, will be able to rate your chances and be able to guide you in where you need to develop.

That makes a lot of sense, thank you. I will definitely hope to receive supervision under a Clinical Psychologist in the nearest future just to see my strengths and weaknesses. I’m a bit of a personality test/Career test nut (I love the fact that these little tests use Psychological concepts and theories to ascertain your personality and what career would suit you) and I’ve gotten Clinical Psychologist + healthcare careers with so many of them. I have passion for it and it’s more so fear of not “making it” or making a good wage that is holding me back. Then again, I am a generally anxious person haha. Thank you so much for this response. You’ve done an amazing job :smile:
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by P.r.i.n.z.y
That’s amazing omg!! And getting onto the DClinPsy your FIRST try??? Are you kidding? Wow!!! Do you have any tips for me please? That’s the dream 🥹. Study, research, work experience, lifestyle, application grades + what they want to see to get onto the DClinPsy, how to manage not having much income immediately after University - anything would be great 🥹. Thank you so much for this response!

There are lots of people who get onto the DClinPsy first try, however a lot of people do not. It's great you are thinking about this now.

When I started BU, I knew I wanted to become a Clin Psych. I knew it was competitive, so this motivated me to take every opportunity that presented itself. I was a student rep in first year, second year, third year (and in my MSc and first year of DClinPsy). In my second year I did a voluntary research assistant role with one of the lecturers, and at the end of that year I secured a grant to do a mental health volunteering trip in Sri Lanka. In my final year I was elected as VP Welfare of the Students Union which gave me some unique experience and opportunities. I worked in a nursing home throughout the summer and Christmas holidays. I finished with a high 2:1. Looking back I should have asked the lecturers for individual meetings requesting advice on how to hit a first. 1st class is important for applications.

Whilst VP Welfare, I did more mental health volunteering, anything that is clinically related is good. E.g. Samaritans or Mind. I applied for an AP role at the end of this year, interviewed but was turned down, fortunately I had secured a place on a MSc (going to a different Uni for MSc means you grow more, in my opinion).

The MSc was very helpful, I did not do a placement year at UG. I lived at home to help financially. It honed my research skills, I published my dissertation, I got a distinction in all but two pieces of work. The increased research skills, published article, and distinction were all very important for getting onto the DClinPsy.

I secured a Senior Assistant Psych role after the MSc, and worked on the side as a healthcare assistant. I applied to the DClinPsy and was offered two interviews.

I worked hard for the first interview, but was not offered a place. I put 110% into my preparation for the next interview and secured the place on the RHUL DClinPsy - it's a fantastic Uni.

Hope this is helpful!
Original post by P.r.i.n.z.y
I think logically, Leeds is my first choice for prestige and then Manchester for league tables and then Royal Holloway. But I love Royal Holloway like I’m OBSESSED with the campus and the clubs and everything. I didn’t even know it wasn’t a Russel group uni until way after!. So logically, it would be good to go with Uni of Manchester or Uni of Leeds but ughhh idkkk. Royal Holloway looks like a dream. This is for BSc Psychology!!

Hi! In terms of psychology, most BSc courses will largely be the same due to BPS requirements. So, your choice of university is unlikely to influence what you learn to a large extent. What you really want to base your choices on is career opportunities, teaching quality, if the style of teaching works for you, etc. Being part of the Russell Group does not guarantee any of these! Additionally, it's important to consider if the university feels like somewhere that you would be comfortable living for three years. So the campus, the city, the general community vibe, how many extra curriculars and societies there are.
Good luck with all your decisions, remember that ranking isn't everything!
-Kat (2nd Year Psychology BSc student at Lancaster Uni)

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