The Student Room Group

Psychology degree questions

Hi, I want to do psychology at degree level. I enjoyed it at AS but right now A2 is such a drag, I like the content but I'm literally just memorising essays and studies. Whenever i realise i have to study psychology (by memorising an essay) i audibly sigh. It's the same with biology and I use to love biology. I like writing the essays though. I'm predicted 3 A*s for a levels. I really want to be a therapist but this is killing me off slowly. I am really burned out (Hence why I'm taking a gap year)
(edited 2 months ago)
Hello,

I am currently in my final year of studying psychology at Lancaster University. I also did A Level Biology and Psychology, and found Biology particularly challenging. I also took a gap year to refresh before starting uni! What I've realised is that many of the things you are taught during A levels, especially the studies, are the fundamentals of Psychology. I'm still referencing some of these studies with the essays I write now. My advice is to read more papers about how the concepts in psychology that you like, can be applied to topics that interest you. For example, I'm really interested in Forensic Psychology and can remember that many of the A Level content surrounding memory was related to Eye Witness Testimony. Reading more should also help you to write better. I would also advise that you keep doing some reading over your gap year just to keep in memory some of the important studies and psychologists like Bowlby, Rutter, Freud etc. In terms of memorising things, I found using cue cards and a whiteboard really beneficial - I still have my A Level cue cards!

Hope this helps. Best of luck for your exams!
Holly

Lancaster Psychology Ambassador
Reply 2
Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador
Hello,
I am currently in my final year of studying psychology at Lancaster University. I also did A Level Biology and Psychology, and found Biology particularly challenging. I also took a gap year to refresh before starting uni! What I've realised is that many of the things you are taught during A levels, especially the studies, are the fundamentals of Psychology. I'm still referencing some of these studies with the essays I write now. My advice is to read more papers about how the concepts in psychology that you like, can be applied to topics that interest you. For example, I'm really interested in Forensic Psychology and can remember that many of the A Level content surrounding memory was related to Eye Witness Testimony. Reading more should also help you to write better. I would also advise that you keep doing some reading over your gap year just to keep in memory some of the important studies and psychologists like Bowlby, Rutter, Freud etc. In terms of memorising things, I found using cue cards and a whiteboard really beneficial - I still have my A Level cue cards!
Hope this helps. Best of luck for your exams!
Holly
Lancaster Psychology Ambassador

Thank you for the help. I know each course is different depending on the uni but I was wondering, say if you had an assignment to write an essay about eg the extent of how much criminal behaviour is influenced by social factors, would you have to also memorise that essay and then write it in the exam? Because at A level, every lesson is another essay I have to remember for the exam. I enjoy writing the essays and don't mind learning studies but the sheer amount of stuff I have to remember for A2 psychology is making me doubt the degree even though I would like to become a therapist or work in mental health. I wish psychology was all coursework lol because then I'd love it.
Reply 3
It will probably depend on the university you go what to the balance between coursework and exams is. It is likely you will have at least some exams wherever you go but some unis are more coursework-heavy than others.
For example, I did my degree at Oxford and the majority of my degree was based on exams, many of which were closed book and in person. This was pretty unusual and other universities might have much more of a mix of coursework and exams. At a lot of unis during COVID there had been a move to open book online exams, and some of them have kept those changes even as university life has moved back in person, so even if you had to do exams there's a good possibility you wouldn't have to do so much memorisation anyway. You'd also be examined in a less structured way than at A-level, most of the time it is not the case you'd just be learning essays to reproduce in exams but rather learning key studies and using those to respond flexibly to questions on the exam. Indeed, if you submitted an essay for coursework, it would probably be self-plagiarism to write the same thing on the exam!
Reply 4
Original post by khadijac2004
Hi, I want to do psychology at degree level. I enjoyed it at AS but right now A2 is such a drag, I like the content but I'm literally just memorising essays and studies. Whenever i realise i have to study psychology (by memorising an essay) i audibly sigh. It's the same with biology and I use to love biology. I like writing the essays though. I'm predicted 3 A*s for a levels. I really want to be a therapist but this is killing me off slowly. I am really burned out (Hence why I'm taking a gap year)

broo i so get it 😭😭 i'm studying psych for a levels and idk about you but the amount of content there is to study is so daunting, and the grade boundaries this year arent gonna make it any easier
Reply 5
Original post by eeeli
It will probably depend on the university you go what to the balance between coursework and exams is. It is likely you will have at least some exams wherever you go but some unis are more coursework-heavy than others.
For example, I did my degree at Oxford and the majority of my degree was based on exams, many of which were closed book and in person. This was pretty unusual and other universities might have much more of a mix of coursework and exams. At a lot of unis during COVID there had been a move to open book online exams, and some of them have kept those changes even as university life has moved back in person, so even if you had to do exams there's a good possibility you wouldn't have to do so much memorisation anyway. You'd also be examined in a less structured way than at A-level, most of the time it is not the case you'd just be learning essays to reproduce in exams but rather learning key studies and using those to respond flexibly to questions on the exam. Indeed, if you submitted an essay for coursework, it would probably be self-plagiarism to write the same thing on the exam!

That's great thanks. I like the questions at A level where I have to cherry pick the studies I already know and use them to answer the question because I'm actually using my brain. What do/did you work as when you got your degree? It would be nice if I end up getting 3 A*s and going to Oxford too but it seems unlikely at this point!
Reply 6
Original post by ratnates
broo i so get it 😭😭 i'm studying psych for a levels and idk about you but the amount of content there is to study is so daunting, and the grade boundaries this year arent gonna make it any easier

Yess it feels like hell😭
Reply 7
Original post by khadijac2004
That's great thanks. I like the questions at A level where I have to cherry pick the studies I already know and use them to answer the question because I'm actually using my brain. What do/did you work as when you got your degree? It would be nice if I end up getting 3 A*s and going to Oxford too but it seems unlikely at this point!
I only graduated last year but I'm doing a PhD in Psychology now! Also as an aside if you do think Psychology at Oxford might be for you don't feel put off about applying because it feels unlikely - the only way to definitely not get in is not to apply
Reply 8
Original post by eeeli
I only graduated last year but I'm doing a PhD in Psychology now! Also as an aside if you do think Psychology at Oxford might be for you don't feel put off about applying because it feels unlikely - the only way to definitely not get in is not to apply

You are definitely right. Congratulations for graduating and good luck on your PhD!

Quick Reply

Latest

Trending

Trending