The Student Room Group

Placement year vs Oxbridge undergrad degree for psychology/ PBS

I took a gap year and have unconditional offers to Cambridge to study psychological and behavioural sciences and Bath for psychology with a placement year but I am torn. I half wasn't expecting to get into Cambridge and Bath had been my top choice before then.

Is a work placement more valuable than having a degree from an Oxbridge uni for my career?
A placement would mean experience and more direction, but a degree from Oxbridge may be more prospective. At one point I was considering going into clinical psychology but now I think research may be what I want to do, which would be more useful for this? Which degree would look better on a masters/ PhD application? Also, what is an applied dissertation?

Also, what is the difference between Psychology and Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at undergraduate level?
Is PBS more broad? But then Oxbridge is known for being more experimental and research-heavy. If I want to pursue research would Cambridge be better?

I really love and prefer the city of Bath and the campus to Cambridge, though I also like the college I was accepted to. I have visited both but I think I'd enjoy studying and socialising at Bath more

I'm trying to decide whether to prioritise my uni experience (Bath) or my life after uni (Cambridge), but both seem like great options for me. Any advice would be much appreciated
Reply 1
I am torn between my top two choices for my Psychology bachelors, Bath with a placement year or Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Cambridge.

For both further education (masters, PhD, etc.) and for my future career in psychology (either research or potentially a clinical psychology setting), would a placement year or a degree from a well-respected Oxbridge uni be more beneficial? Is one more likely to secure me postgraduate course offers or job opportunities than the other?
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 2
Original post by milla-s
I am torn between my top two choices for my Psychology bachelors, Bath with a placement year or Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Cambridge.
For both further education (masters, PhD, etc.) and for my future career in psychology (either research or potentially a clinical psychology setting), would a placement year or a degree from a well-respected Oxbridge uni be more beneficial? Is one more likely to secure me postgraduate course offers or job opportunities than the other?

Bath is a great uni, but that will be an easy decision for the vast majority of people. Every year, get a small number of people that choose LSE over Cambridge, and Imperial over Cambridge, but never heard of anyone choosing Bath over Cambridge.

I assume placements are useful for psychology, but so would summer internships, and I can’t imagine they would be too difficult to land when your are on what is widely regarded as the best psychology degree in the country
Just be aware that at postgrad level, 'which Uni' you went to previously has little meaning. If you have a solid academic record, good references etc, then postgrad at Cambridge or any other top Uni is still a vey achievable option if you went to Bath.

Bath has an an excellent reputation for Psychology, it is a hugely competitive subject there, and the Bath placement system is probably one of the best in the UK - and yes, it makes graduate employment far easier / more likely.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by lalexm
Bath is a great uni, but that will be an easy decision for the vast majority of people. Every year, get a small number of people that choose LSE over Cambridge, and Imperial over Cambridge, but never heard of anyone choosing Bath over Cambridge.
I assume placements are useful for psychology, but so would summer internships, and I can’t imagine they would be too difficult to land when your are on what is widely regarded as the best psychology degree in the country

Well a number of Engineering applicants do choose Bath over Cambridge
Original post by milla-s
I am torn between my top two choices for my Psychology bachelors, Bath with a placement year or Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Cambridge.
For both further education (masters, PhD, etc.) and for my future career in psychology (either research or potentially a clinical psychology setting), would a placement year or a degree from a well-respected Oxbridge uni be more beneficial? Is one more likely to secure me postgraduate course offers or job opportunities than the other?

Bath is a great choice - a placement year trumps a summer internship.
these comments are mad and not realistic. I have psychology BSc and Neuroscience MSc from one of the top uni and working in research field - and I had the same thoughts when I was younger. if you consider DClinpsy or Research (so MSc, PhD, etc) DO ACCEPT CAMBRIDGE. I am very sorry to tell you but uni name matters ESPECIALLY in academia (remember, DClinpsy is not just practical but also heavily research base, depending on uni). Also, your placement is, I am sorry again for the comments other made, utterly (compared to oxbridge degree) useless. Your experience as part of your degree is not regarded as high as summer internships you will take at one of the best labs in oxbridge. I feel like the other comments are trying to sabotage you or have no clue about the field of psychology or academia. AND if you go to Cambridge, and u want a placement, u can simply take a "interruption of study" year and work on the placement of your choice ! Cambridge psychology labs do offer side work throughout the year, like u can work as an RA (unpaid) during term time etc etc. Do not listen to these people for your future. Go to Cambridge. your life will be so much easier. u will find good friends too at Cambridge.

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