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When I chose to apply for a psychology degree, I think I was narrow sighted. I chose psychology because I was good at it when I took the A level course. In hindsight, I didn't get much guidance about what courses to apply for. However, I decided to go for joint honours with criminology.
I don't think many universities are geared towards joint honours, because no one ever seems to know what is going on with the modules you should take. When I give in essays, I tend to get picked up on thngs the other students take as part of "Research methods", which I don't take as a joint student. (Last year, I was failed for a module I had in writing that I didn't have to take as a joint honours student, however it turns out I did have to. But no one checked, and they just failed me for it on results day).
In the first year, we took "Introduction to Psychology 1" in the first semester and "Introduction to Psychology 2" in the second semester. These involved a series of 3 ish lectures on each subcategory, for example: developmental psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, language development etc.
In one way, this is beneficial, because students who have never taken psychology before are not thrown in at the deep end choosing modules which they know little about. However, it does leave for confusion, because most topics only 'skimmed the surface' and didn't go into much detail. Maybe this way intended to leave some interest to the student, maybe it was just a lack of time.
In my second year so far, I have taken developmental psychology, social psychology and memory, attention and perception. Developmental psychology, is, in my opinion, fascinating. It covers the development of children, from conception and cell division to issues affecting them as they grow up, for example, autism, development of motor skills, theory of mind etc. Social psychology involved the study of group behaviour. Although I didn't find all aspects of lectures interesting, it is still able to explain phenomena relating to your everyday life, for example, why some people walk away in an emergency etc. Memory, Perception and attention involved a lot of repeat A level work. For example, Multi store model of memory, working memory etc. But, also involvled a good amount of neuropsychology.
Personally, although I don't intend to take my psychology after I graduate with my bachelors, I still find some areas of psychology interesting. I just don't much like the department running it at my university!
If you are looking at taking psychology at degree level and want to pursue it as a career, make sure your degree is BPS accreddited. (British Psychological Society).
I completed a degree in psychology last summer. I had always been interested in the topic and really wanted to learn more after getting an A level in the subject. I just want to warn a few people about what a psychology degree entails, as I think a few people may be surprised by it's content. There are roughly ten modules per semester. Two or three of these may be compulsory and the rest will be free to choose. I really do suggest that really find out what each module is really about. Also check the marking system (ie, how much depends on coursework and how much on exams) because it's usually too late to change once you are a good way through. I advice this because in my first year and I have to admit, the first semester of my second year (!) I wasn't as thorough as I could have been before checking my choices. Occupational psychology is one example. I assumed that this would be an in depth module into the interelationships of people in the work place and how different personalities suit different jobs. It wasn't. Don't ask me what it exactly was about! I was concentrating on staying awake through most lectures! I know that this is just my opinion and yours may differ; but you get my point; check out what you are letting yourself in for before you decide! I also suggest that you really ask and find out as much as you can about what is expected from you with regards to essay writing. Psychology is very much like history in that you must gather evidence and examples and form a balanced argument based on past opinion and research. There are millions of names and dates to remember!. I found that it differed alot according to the lecturer but find these things out in your first year to avoid throwing away valuable marks away in your 2nd and 3rd years. Psychology isn't just about people and how they operate. At degree level it emcompasses human neurology (a brilliant module!, criminology, data research techniques ( compulsory
and very mathmatical), drug therapies and treatments, the list is endless. Of course all the aforementioned topics are relevant to psychology - but don't be blinded by what you assume. It's a very big topic. If I had to choose to do a degree again I would without hestitation choose psychology - but this time I would take heed of the little tips I have given you! I ended up with a 2.2 and worked hard but I know that with better selection of my modules and better advice ( which I should have sought) about my style of writing, I could have got a 2.1 or even better!! Good luck if you do do it and I hope you enjoy!